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Old 09-22-2007, 02:57 PM   #1
EinGutesBier
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Default Second Fermentation...Right Before Bottling!

Last Wednesday I made a cranberry wheat beer (half batch...about 2.5 gallons). Not sure if it's relevant but I used 3 lbs of DME, a lot of hops, and one envelope of Wyeast Propagator. While I realize now I should've used an activator, I'll admit this was my second batch and didn't realize it until it was time to pitch the yeast...so I went ahead anyway (maybe this turned my wort into a giant fermenting bucket of starter?).

The fermentation hasn't been terribly active and has altogether stopped for a while now. When I looked into the bucket, I saw what I presume to be an ugly, ugly krausen. It was kind of slimy, green from the hop residue but it was receding. I figured that this wasn't something I wanted to let keep on my beer and since it had been a week and 2 days, I figured it wasn't a big deal. So I used a sanitized spatula to remove this. No big deal. I put the lid and airlock back on, now being able to actually see the fermenting wort/beer again.

Long story short, I decide to bottle this morning (by this time it had been a week and about 3 days since I started) since the fermentation seemed to have stopped. When I removed the cover to put the sugar water in for priming, I noticed that there was a bit of light traces of foam and maybe one bubble came up. After seeing that, I decided to stop with the bottling process until I could figure out if my yeast had come back with a second wind.

Does anyone have an idea as to what's going on and whether I should let it keep fermenting or just bottle it? Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer me some sage advice.

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Old 09-22-2007, 03:04 PM   #2
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Grenades!!

You could have just left the krausen on top. You risk infection when you open the fermenter and start sticking objects in it, sanitized or not. That Krausen won't hurt the beer.

RDWHAHB!

Maybe take a Hydrometer reading and check it again in 2 days....see if fermentation is complete.

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Old 09-22-2007, 03:12 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. Sometimes, I just try to overmaintain my fermenting wort in an effort to do a better job...but it seems to always backfire when you try too hard.

I should just install a small plexiglass window on my fermentor so I don't have to bother the fermentation process to see how things are going.

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Old 09-22-2007, 03:19 PM   #4
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Get some carboys! Then you can watch it without bothering it.

Did you use real cranberries or a flavor extract?

If you are going from primary straight to bottles (not to say you shouldn't), you should wait no less than 10-14 days. So, you are at 10 days right now, take a hydrometer sample and then again on Wednesday. No change: bottle. It is possible your fermentation is done and moving it is letting more CO2 come out of solution but waiting a few more days won't hurt just in case you still have sugars in there (don't want bottle bombs).

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Old 09-22-2007, 03:22 PM   #5
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Buckets are great and convenient, but for those who can't stop thinking about their brew and need to take a peak, 6 1/2 gallon carboys are great. Invest in one of those and you will begin to see the whole fermentation process beginning to end.

Edit: 3 minutes late on the carboy suggestion

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Old 09-22-2007, 04:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Grenades!!
Or bottle rockets! I would suggest getting some sort of water proof bucket/box to put those bottles in. Here's what you risk having happen in your cabinet or where ever you are storing them.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=0lDlPUr-gJE
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