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-   -   Wacky fermentation, stuck!?, when to move to secondary? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/wacky-fermentation-stuck-when-move-secondary-46222/)

gallagherman 11-28-2007 05:37 PM

Wacky fermentation, stuck!?, when to move to secondary?
Hey I've got a question. I am fermenting an Irish red ale, and this is only my third batch of beer ever. The other two batches I have not been able to monitor my fermentors as closely as I have with this one. This time around, I pitched the yeast on sunday it started fermenting after about 24 hours. It has been bubbling steadily and vigorously since then until last night when it as slowed down to a bubble about every ten seconds. Now, the fermentor was too hot to begin with and rose to about 75:( degrees on monday night. I have since then brought it down and is now about 65 degrees. I guess my question is; is my fermentation almost over after only 3 days?? I have a secondary and was going to put it in there on friday, but at this rate I don't know how many airlock bubbles I may have by then and maybe fermentation will be complete before then. The last beer I made the bubbles lasted for about a week! I don't forsee that happening with this batch. Is my fermentation stuck, prematurely finished, or should I just RDWAHAH?!:tank:

FlyGuy 11-28-2007 05:43 PM

It might be over already, but the only way to know is to take a hydrometer reading. Have you done that yet? Post your OG and current SG here, as well as some details on the recipe and yeast strain. I am sure someone can help.

Yooper 11-28-2007 05:44 PM

And regardless of whether it's done or not, the beer can benefit from staying in primary 7-10 days. There is no reason to move it off the yeast cake yet.

High temperatures definitely impact how fast a fermentation happens. I can happen overnight even with a cooler temperature, but a warm temperature like that will reallly have it go fast. If you leave it where it is, maybe some of the off-flavors you might have from that warm temperature ferment will mellow a bit.

gallagherman 11-28-2007 06:49 PM

okay i will post the gravities later on today, I didn't want to open it yet to take one. I can get the recipe and yeast type too. thanks

gallagherman 11-28-2007 07:23 PM


Originally Posted by YooperBrew
If you leave it where it is, maybe some of the off-flavors you might have from that warm temperature ferment will mellow a bit.

yeah i was really concerned about the temp, do you think that the off-flavors might mellow during time in the secondary too? what are the off-flavors in particular?

TheJadedDog 11-28-2007 08:30 PM

I have had many fermentations where the airlock activity stopped after 3-4 days so I wouldn't be too worried about that.

As for going to secondary - you want your fermentation to be complete BEFORE you rack to secondary or else you risk stalling the fermentation. Secondary is a misnomer and no fermentation is really taking place during the second stage. Rather the second stage is for clearing your beer and bulk aging.

Personally I leave all my beers in primary for a MINIMUM of 7 days before moving them. Lately I have been leaving them in primary for 14 days, then going to secondary for bulk aging for a few weeks to a few months depending on the style (and whether I have keg space available).

Beerthoven 11-28-2007 08:43 PM

Dropping the temp from 75 to 65 as quickly as you did might have stalled the fermentation. I could be wrong, but I think yeast prefer consistent temps or slow temp changes.

In any case, as others have said, there is no reason to rack to secondary yet. Take a hydro reading and see where you're at first.

gallagherman 11-28-2007 08:46 PM

okay will do, i'll let you all know what it is

gallagherman 11-28-2007 09:50 PM

Okay, so I took a hydro reading, it is at 1.018 as of now, and the OG was at about 1.057, which gives it an ABV at about 5.1%. Pretty impressive for only about 2 days of fermentation! I can definitely smell some estery aromatics, kinda smells fruity - like pineapples? I sealed her up and gave a bit of a swirl to maybe wake up those lazy microbes, but careful enough not to let that nasty stuff on the wall fall back into the brew. Hope the esters settle out with time! :( here is the recipe i used, found on beertools:

"Perfect Red" Irish Ale
.50 lbs. Crystal Malt 40L info
.50 lbs. Belgian Biscuit info
.15 lbs. Belgian Special B info
5 lbs. Dry Light Extract info
1 oz. Goldings (Pellets, 5.00 %AA) boiled 50 min. info
1 oz. Perle (Pellets, 8.25 %AA) boiled 15 min. info
.50 pounds honey (not included in calculations)
Yeast : WYeast 1084 Irish Ale info

Yooper 11-28-2007 10:10 PM

Yeah, you can expect some esters from the high temperature the first day. Hopefully it cooled down in time to prevent any fusel alcohol off-tastes. (That is a solvent-y off flavor). I would think you cooled it down fairly quick, so I wouldn't worry. Regardless, both of these subside a little bit with time!

I think you've made yourself a good beer!'

Edit- how does it taste? I mean, you did drink your hydrometer sample, didn't you?

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