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Old 10-28-2010, 04:31 PM   #1
bizybrewer
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Default Move to secondary?

I am wondering if I should go ahead and move a batch of 8ish ABV(didn't take OG reading...long story) to the secondary. The reasoning is that I am afraid I didn't get enough oxygen into the wort, and while fermentation started off extremely fast it now has slowed down a bubble in the airlock every 30 seconds or so. It has been in the primary since Sunday. If I do move it do I want to splash it as much as possible, or not now that some fermentation has taken place. oh and i am keeping it climate controlled at 68 degrees and it is german ale yeast. Thanks!

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Old 10-28-2010, 05:09 PM   #2
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I hear Revvy's keyboard going already. Duck!

Seriously though, I would leave it on the primary yeast for a minimum of 3 weeks. You should be able to take a gravity reading now. If you have your recipe, you can predict what your OG should have been (as well as your targeted gravity). A few successive readings should tell you if the beer is still going.

If you think the beer has stalled, there are a number of ways to wake it up without moving to a secondary (rousting, re-pitching, etc.) Racking off the yeast before you're sure fermentation is done is a bad idea. You will reduce the number of yeast available to finish fermentation and clean up the beer by racking off the yeast cake.

What makes you think you didn't give it enough oxygen? Is it possible that you underpitched instead? Introducing oxygen after fermentation starts is not usually a good idea unless you know what you're doing and you're doing it for a specific purpose (big beer, etc.)

Warm the beer a bit. Roust the yeast. Maybe re-pitch if you're worried. But I wouldn't do any of it until you've taken a few hydrometer readings over successive days to get an idea where your fermentation is at.

As someone once said on this forum, the yeasts scoff at your airlock-bubble-counting skills and do what they want anyway.

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Old 10-28-2010, 05:18 PM   #3
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I am wondering if I should go ahead and move a batch of 8ish ABV(didn't take OG reading...long story) to the secondary. The reasoning is that I am afraid I didn't get enough oxygen into the wort, and while fermentation started off extremely fast it now has slowed down a bubble in the airlock every 30 seconds or so. It has been in the primary since Sunday. If I do move it do I want to splash it as much as possible, or not now that some fermentation has taken place. oh and i am keeping it climate controlled at 68 degrees and it is german ale yeast. Thanks!
If you brewed it sunday, it is very likely near the end of the extremely active fermentation. 4 days and still bubbling a little is perfectly normal. You are worrying about nothing.

Also, never add more oxygen to beer after fermentation has begun. The yeast no longer need the O2 at that point, so it won't help anything.

Summary: everything seems to be going just fine for you. there is nothing wrong.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:26 PM   #4
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See this thread:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/how-...rimary-201014/

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Old 10-28-2010, 05:34 PM   #5
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If you brewed it sunday, it is very likely near the end of the extremely active fermentation. 4 days and still bubbling a little is perfectly normal. You are worrying about nothing.

Also, never add more oxygen to beer after fermentation has begun. The yeast no longer need the O2 at that point, so it won't help anything.

Summary: everything seems to be going just fine for you. there is nothing wrong.
+1 No splashing - even when you move the fermenter minimize the amount of sloshing there is. When you do rack the beer for whatever reason you want it to rack very quietly.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:40 PM   #6
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I dont think i have any issues with underpitching. i had about a 1/4 inch of krausen after about an hour or so. I would think there has to be some concern with not getting enough oxygen into the wort and the yeast basically killing itself because there is no oxygen left. I was also under the assumption that you do move it to the secondary to finish up fermentation. I am kegging, but I usually put some priming sugar in to let it naturally carbonate before hooking it up. For arguments sake could it be possible that all the yeast would die and there would be nothing left to convert the remaining sugars. Just concerned because this is the biggest beer I have brewed. I will get a thief and take a gravity reading today. This is the surest way of knowing if it is near completed I guess.

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Old 10-28-2010, 06:03 PM   #7
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I dont think i have any issues with underpitching. i had about a 1/4 inch of krausen after about an hour or so. I would think there has to be some concern with not getting enough oxygen into the wort and the yeast basically killing itself because there is no oxygen left. I was also under the assumption that you do move it to the secondary to finish up fermentation. I am kegging, but I usually put some priming sugar in to let it naturally carbonate before hooking it up. For arguments sake could it be possible that all the yeast would die and there would be nothing left to convert the remaining sugars. Just concerned because this is the biggest beer I have brewed. I will get a thief and take a gravity reading today. This is the surest way of knowing if it is near completed I guess.
There's no way that the yeast would ferment like that, and then just die. They go dormant when they are done eating- but they don't just suddenly magically die. If you had enough yeast reproduction to ferment, then the yeast did their job. It's fine.

Most of us don't use "secondary" anymore, but you can if you want. I just leave my beers in the fermenter for about 3 weeks, then keg them.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:22 PM   #8
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Do you naturally carbonate or force carbonate? If you force do you leave at room temperature or go ahead and refrigerate?

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Old 10-28-2010, 07:32 PM   #9
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Do you naturally carbonate or force carbonate? If you force do you leave at room temperature or go ahead and refrigerate?
I keg my beer, but I do both force and natural carbonation, depending on whether I have space to stick a keg in the kegerator or not.

For force carbing, I do it with 10-12psi in the kegerator. I could do it at room temp, but you need a much higher pressure to do that and just have one regulator, so I force carb at serving temps and pressure.

If the kegerator is occupied and a new batch is ready, I prime it with sugar, seal it with a blast of CO2 from the tank, and then let it sit at room temp while it carbs up.

I've got two batches carbing right now, one in the kegerator on the gas, and one primed in a keg sitting next to the kegerator.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:58 PM   #10
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I keg my beer, but I do both force and natural carbonation, depending on whether I have space to stick a keg in the kegerator or not.
I've not sugar carbed with my kegs. Is sediment an issue? With a force carbed beer that sits 2 weeks at pressure and serving temps, i am usually sediment free by the 2nd or 3rd pint. How much do you lose to "flushing" out sediment when you carb a keg naturally?
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