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Old 11-01-2005, 06:14 AM   #1
rewster451
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Default second fermentation

My roommates and I brewed a ginger chocolate porter, and the activity has pretty much stopped. It only took about five days, whereas everything else we've done has taken much longer. We are going to check the gravity and see if the yeast has prematurely gone dormant, or if it's done. What I'm wondering is, if it is partially fermented, what can be gained, and what can be lost by re-pitching yeast. Yeast bite? Higher alcohol content?
In a more general sense, how is a second fermentation, as is done with dubbel and trippel style beers achieved? Is this something we should have planned to do, or something we can do as an afterthought? At this point the beer is an experiment and we have backups so if it fails we will still have plenty of homebrew to drink. I wouldn't mind trying something off the wall.

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Old 11-02-2005, 12:16 AM   #2
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Re-pitching is always a good idea if the batch is stuck. I keep some safale 04 around to toss into slow or stuck batches, as it is very neutral. Sometimes, I'll use champaign yeast. Safale 04 is faster.

Some styles with very high target ABV's will only put part of the sugars in the wort at the start, adding more sugar as the ferment progresses. This is to avoid blowouts and over-heating. There can also be problems with the yeast stressing because of the osmotic pressures of high OG worts.

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Old 11-02-2005, 02:52 AM   #3
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Re-pitching yeast wont create a higher alcohol content unless you are using a diffrent yeast that will result in a diffrent fg (ie ale vs wine) Re-pitching yeast may finish what your first yeast didnt finish. There is a possibility that your beer is finished. Mine usually do finish bubbling by the 4-5th day. I would take a gravity reading and re-pitch if nessisary.

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Old 11-02-2005, 03:08 AM   #4
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rack to secondary i'm sure it's done. let it sit 7-14 days, then bottle or keg. let carbonate for 10-14 days, chill and enjoy! a porter by style doesn't have a lot of carbonation, or high ABV. so i wouldn't let it go for more than 2 weeks to carb.

sounds yummy too!

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Old 11-03-2005, 02:31 AM   #5
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Default rack to secondary

I'm an idiot, but how do you "rack to secondary?" What's the purpose of this? It appears to be done, so would it be better to do that, or bottle? It's been about three days since it apparently finished.

I'd like to try a dubbel style ale in the future. Any input on how this is accomplished would be apprecciated.

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Old 11-03-2005, 02:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewster451
I'm an idiot, but how do you "rack to secondary?" What's the purpose of this? It appears to be done, so would it be better to do that, or bottle? It's been about three days since it apparently finished.
Siphon it into another fermentor and air-lock it. It probably won't bubble much, if at all, but it will settle out (clear) some more, and the flavors from your various ingredients will have time to combine and mellow somewhat. Then bottle.

You could certainly also bottle if it has, in fact, completed fermentation, you'll just miss out on some of the clearing and flavor mellowing which may or may not be important to you.
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Old 11-03-2005, 11:32 PM   #7
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Default racked it

I took a reading, and it was still at 1.023 or so, so I racked it to secondary, and I repitched a neutral ale yeast. I don't know if that was necessary, but it appears to have been stuck for a while. I think the yeast settled to the bottom, along with the chocolate and some of the ginger, and it got too thick to work through it. When we got to the bottom of the original carboy, the sediment was thick and bubbly, like a lava lamp that was shaken when it was still hot.
The good news is that although it smells a little medicine-y (probably due to unmellowed ginger), it tasted great. Thanks for all your help guys.

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Old 11-04-2005, 02:01 AM   #8
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Default Lookin' for confirmation

I know I'm being impatient, but a lot of people have read my last post and noone has replied. I just want to know, did I do the right thing? Should I not have re-pitched? Why was the yeast sediment so... foamy?
I really apprecciate the help I've gotten from everyone, and I'm sure you can understand my sense of urgency. I know. Relax. Have a homebrew.
Sounds like a good idea.

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Old 11-04-2005, 02:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewster451
I just want to know, did I do the right thing? Should I not have re-pitched?
Since you can't at this point un-pitch, quit worrying...you did absolutely the right thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rewster451
I know I'm being impatient... I know. Relax. Have a homebrew.
Sounds like a good idea.
It is a wonderful idea. Give the new yeast a couple of days...then take a sample and check the SG. If it's moving down, then give it a few more days...if not go ahead and bottle it. Either way, just relax and trust to the beer gods (or at least St. Mungo the beer saint).
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:17 AM   #10
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Default Whew!

Thank you for easing my troubled mind. The homebrew helped too.

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