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Old 05-07-2009, 06:12 PM   #1
seanhuber
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Default 18 days and still fermenting

I have a batch of Midwest's Octane IPA in secondary and it's been 18 days since brew day. The airlock is still bubbling. I took gravity readings last weekend and the gravity was still falling. Does this seem like it's taking too long? Should I even bother continuing to take gravity readings if the airlock is still bubbling? I'm seeing about 4 bubbles per minute.

One thing to note is there was a lag of over 24 hours before the bubbling started and kreusen developed.

Thanks for the help,
Sean

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Old 05-07-2009, 06:33 PM   #2
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I have an Octane IPA in primary right now and it has been bubbling for two weeks. The bubbling doesn't necessarily mean fermentation is taking place. However, if your gravity continues to fall fermentation is definitely still under way. Normally I don't think you're supposed to transfer to secondary until your gravity has stabilized, but maybe someone with more experience will offer some insight on that. I wouldn't bother to take anymore hydrometer readings until the bubbling slows down. Just be patient

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Old 05-07-2009, 07:31 PM   #3
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Yeah that's another thing I've been wondering, when exactly should you transfer to secondary? This is only my 3rd batch and for each I've just transferred after 7 days. I couldn't find anything online suggesting an indication on when a good time to transfer would be.

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Old 05-07-2009, 07:35 PM   #4
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after fermentastion is complete. I have some beers that have been in primary for three weeks Better to leave it in too long than not long enough.

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Old 05-07-2009, 07:41 PM   #5
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3 weeks in primary? Then how long do you leave them in secondary? Shouldn't fermentation be complete for most styles after 3 weeks?

Midwest supplies recommends 1 week in primary, 1 week in secondary. Why is that?

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Old 05-07-2009, 07:47 PM   #6
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sean-

Midwest recommends 1 week in primary, and 1 week in secondary as a general guideline. Using these guidelines you'll be perfectly fine with 80% of the beer styles out there. Most anything with a low gravity as a start won't need more time than this (granted, I typically go 7 days, 14 days, but that's just me). But for an IPA which has a much higher OG (as well as big Belgians and Imperial Stouts, etc), you'll need longer in the primary. Rules of thumb are great but hydrometer readings are better.

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You guys joke around with this all you want, but let me tell you something: I tried making my own beer one time and wound up with herpes!


Primary: Billy Corrigan Ale, malted cider experiment, Optimator clone
Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
Kegged: Old Woodward ESB, Strawberry Blonde
On Deck: Honey brown ale, dry stout
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Old 05-07-2009, 07:59 PM   #7
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I gotchya, but I'm only following that guideline because I have no other way of knowing when a good time to transfer from primary to secondary is. I go from secondary to bottle after gravity readings stop dropping right. But how do I know when primary is done, the gravity will still be dropping yes?

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Old 05-07-2009, 08:13 PM   #8
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Nevermind, I found the answer to my question in this thread:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/when-transfer-primary-secondary-42838/

So I guess I transferred to secondary to early. I'll just let the thing sit a while longer and I'll start taking gravity readings again when it's done bubbling.

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Old 05-07-2009, 08:17 PM   #9
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I'd check your gravity now, the bubbling could be CO2 gassing out.

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Old 05-07-2009, 09:16 PM   #10
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sean-

Sometimes there's a bit of debate on this, but usually, secondary fermentation is used primarily for clarifying the beer. You can easily clarify in primary, but if you have an abundance of hops or other trub, you'd like to get your beer off it as quickly as possible. Hence, the secondary. There it can finish clarifying without collecting off-flavors.

Secondary is also a great way to introduce new flavor elements into your beer. If you want to add...

-oak chips
-vanilla
-dry hop
-spices
-fruit additions (this will re-start fermentation and require yet another clarifying transfer)
-coffee grounds
-etc

...secondary is the generally accepted place to do it.

Sorry if this was more info than you were looking for.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuporMan View Post
You guys joke around with this all you want, but let me tell you something: I tried making my own beer one time and wound up with herpes!


Primary: Billy Corrigan Ale, malted cider experiment, Optimator clone
Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
Kegged: Old Woodward ESB, Strawberry Blonde
On Deck: Honey brown ale, dry stout
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