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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > 1.020 in secondary, time to bottle?
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:45 PM   #1
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Default 1.020 in secondary, time to bottle?

My SG was 1060, transfered to secondary after a week and the gravity was 1030, so I pitched more yeast. After 3 weeks in secondary it's at 1020. I think it's time to bottle. Would that be right? There's no more bubbling, so I think the yeast has ran its course. Should I use priming sugar even though the gravity is already high? Thanks...

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Old 12-15-2007, 02:56 PM   #2
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Yes, it's probably as done as it will ever be. You'll absolutely need to prime it because if it's not fermenting now, it won't in the bottle either.

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Old 12-15-2007, 03:08 PM   #3
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Just a tip for next time:

Don't just transfer to secondary after a week if it's not done yet. Did you check via hydrometer to make sure your beer was done fermenting in primary first?

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Old 12-15-2007, 04:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PseudoChef
Just a tip for next time:

Don't just transfer to secondary after a week if it's not done yet. Did you check via hydrometer to make sure your beer was done fermenting in primary first?
+1 secondary is NOT for fermentation, its for clearing. you shouldn't transfer to secondary until fermentation has ceased in primary.
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:26 PM   #5
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Mind if I add my .02.... I ferment in the primary until the bubbles commence to about 2 a minute (about 3 to 4 days). Then I leave it in the secondary for 1 week. I read this guideline in a homebrew book. I have always done my secondary fermentation this way.
Perhaps I should go by the sg. more than just t he bubbles. I would love some critique on my process.
My theory is that if the beer completely ferments in the primary there would no active to create the protective co2 blanket in the secondary. Furthermore, if all the active ceases in the primary, would there be anything left for bottle conditioning?




Got some Robust Porter clearing in the fridge.

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Old 12-16-2007, 03:43 PM   #6
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewdoctor
I ferment in the primary until the bubbles commence to about 2 a minute (about 3 to 4 days). Then I leave it in the secondary for 1 week. I read this guideline in a homebrew book. I have always done my secondary fermentation this way.
Perhaps I should go by the sg. more than just t he bubbles. I would love some critique on my process.
My theory is that if the beer completely ferments in the primary there would no active to create the protective co2 blanket in the secondary. Furthermore, if all the active ceases in the primary, would there be anything left for bottle conditioning?
Critique: its not terrible, but you're just guessing when the beer is done.
7 days in primary, minimum. you need 3 days of consistent hydrometer readings, which you should start taking when the airlock ceases to bubble.

as far as the protective CO2 blanket...as long as you're not rough housing the secondary, a little headspace is nothing to worry about. I'm assuming you're brewing 5 gallons, and then going to a glass carboy that's 5gallons, so that you've got very little headspace to begin with.
when that's the case, the minute amount of CO2 that simply falls out of the beer will provide that CO2 blanket, even if you don't see the airlock bubbling.

that's how I do mine, and I also have to tote the carboy down to the basement for crash cooling, and my beer doesn't have any oxidation type flavors/staleness.

really, the act of racking beer, and bottling, is more likely to oxidize than when the beer is still and at rest.

and for bottle conditioning...there's guys on here that do 4 month secondaries, then prime & bottle like normal, and they get carbonation.
so 2-4 weeks in secondary still leaves plenty of yeast in suspension to carbonate when bottling. You must add a priming sugar or dry malt extract to give them food to carbonate with.

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Old 07-13-2011, 05:56 PM   #8
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I am in a similar boat right now to balzar. I have a wheat beer (OG 1.047) that I just transferred into secondary after 10 days. I took a hydrometer reading after for 3 days and had an approximate reading of 1.020 each time. Due to scheduling, I had to transfer the beer (in my own mind at least).

I would not like to have a 3% ABV brew and called my local HBS to inquire about re-pitching some yeast. Advice given was to aerate and leave it alone for another week and that it would drop another .5 percent. I DO NOT LIKE THAT ADVICE (Oxygenation and .5 will do nothing but add off flavors and no significant drop).

What does the group believe would be the best move in this position?

1. Create a starter from my washed yeast (Nottingham Munich) from this current batch and re-pitch?
2. Leave alone? ... (Relax and have a homebrew? )


Also, I am going to keg this beer, not bottle so no new sugars will be added.

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Old 07-13-2011, 06:04 PM   #9
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I'd start by trying to figure out what I did wrong with the initial pitch, not enough yeast, yeast not viable, temperature too low, etc... I'd pass this 3% batch off as a 'light' wheat beer and try to do better the next time around.

As for not having yeast left for bottle priming....I've already done many lagers where the primary fermentations took 4 weeks, followed by another 4 weeks in the refrigerator to condition, and every one bottle carb'd just fine at 65F with the same yeast.

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Old 07-13-2011, 07:17 PM   #10
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Idk,1.020 is still a little high to me. Make sure you have stable hydrometer readings over 3 days to make sure it's done.
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