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Old 10-16-2011, 01:22 AM   #1
CanadianQuaffer
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Default Did I rack to secondary too soon?

Hey everybody,

Just racked a batch of pumpkin ale to secondary tonight and the gravity reading was at 1.020, OG was 1.046.

Will sitting in secondary for another 2 weeks take care of those last few points to get down to around 1.014 or am I gonna be stuck with an overly malty pumpkin ale?

Thanks,

Nick

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Old 10-16-2011, 01:28 AM   #2
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you'll probably be fine but it never hurts to leave it in the primary for a bit longer, it'll drop faster on the cake. i tend to err on the side of inaction when it comes to my brewing.

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Old 10-16-2011, 01:36 AM   #3
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Yeah, I've noticed some activity in the airlock already and I only racked it about 30 minutes ago, so I'll keep my fingers crossed. I think a SS conical and a refractometer might be on my Christmas list so I can take small gravity readings during fermentation.

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Old 10-16-2011, 05:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianQuaffer
Yeah, I've noticed some activity in the airlock already and I only racked it about 30 minutes ago, so I'll keep my fingers crossed. I think a SS conical and a refractometer might be on my Christmas list so I can take small gravity readings during fermentation.
Do some research on refractometers, I've heard conflicting things. Conical huh? Playing with the big boys haha, I'm sticking to my buckets for now.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianQuaffer View Post
Yeah, I've noticed some activity in the airlock already and I only racked it about 30 minutes ago, so I'll keep my fingers crossed. I think a SS conical and a refractometer might be on my Christmas list so I can take small gravity readings during fermentation.
The airlock activity is most likely just CO2 coming out of solution from the beer being disturbed, but if you leave it alone for a while it should finish out fine. How long was it in primary before you racked it? Any particular reason you chose to use a secondary?

FWIW a refractometer is a great tool to have on brew day, but it's pretty useless after that. Once fermentation starts they're highly inaccurate because the alcohol throws the readings off. There are calculators online that will make adjustments to compensate for the alcohol, but it's still closer to an educated guess than an actual gravity reading.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:34 PM   #6
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I've stuck a couple by racking to secondary too early. I wouldn't worry about it because that is only a couple out of dozens of batches...

I would start skipping the secondary. It has made my life much easier. I find it cleans up a bit better the longer you keep it on the yeast cake. That and I got a bit of pedio once when racking into the secondary. Really turned me off it to have that happen, even though it was obviously my fault. I just decided to say screw it after that. I've never looked back since.

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Old 10-16-2011, 10:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
I would start skipping the secondary. It has made my life much easier. I find it cleans up a bit better the longer you keep it on the yeast cake. That and I got a bit of pedio once when racking into the secondary. Really turned me off it to have that happen, even though it was obviously my fault. I just decided to say screw it after that. I've never looked back since.
+1 and if your secondary is big enough make it another primary
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanMoore View Post
The airlock activity is most likely just CO2 coming out of solution from the beer being disturbed, but if you leave it alone for a while it should finish out fine. How long was it in primary before you racked it? Any particular reason you chose to use a secondary?

FWIW a refractometer is a great tool to have on brew day, but it's pretty useless after that. Once fermentation starts they're highly inaccurate because the alcohol throws the readings off. There are calculators online that will make adjustments to compensate for the alcohol, but it's still closer to an educated guess than an actual gravity reading.
not true, several people have calibrated the refratco and done side by side comparisons with a hydro and getting results that are with in a C**T hair apart.

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Old 10-17-2011, 04:11 PM   #9
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I actually just did this same thing on Sunday. I normally don't do secondaries, but people say if you dry hop, use a secondary. This was my first time dry-hopping. My gravity was 1.025 when I transferred. I'm not too worried because I got the yeast rings around the glass carboy several hours after transfer. I'm pretty sure there's activity. Unless, the yeast decided to all flocculate, but why would they do that because of the transfer?

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Old 10-18-2011, 02:33 AM   #10
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I've always done a secondary...I thought leaving the beer on the yeast cake for too long after the yeast goes dormant can result in off flavours?
Also my primary fermentors are buckets...if I leave them in there for too long can't oxygen get though the plastic? Maybe I should just rack to my carboys for now.

So you gus are saying I can leave them in one vessel for the full 3 week fermentation period?

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