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Old 11-23-2005, 10:55 PM   #1
Thor
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Default Bubbles in siphon tube - trouble?

A funny thing happened on the way from primary to secondary this afternoon. I wonder whether it is something to consider, or just part of the world order.

BACKGROUND
Last week, I brewed an extract-specialty grain Heineken clone receipe from "Clone Brews" with the following recipe:

4 oz. Crystal Malt

5.5 lb. LME
1/2 oz Northern Brewer hops (4 HBU) - bittering
1 oz. German Hallertau hops, (3 HBU) - bittering

After grains steeped and sparged and hops added, above boiled for 50 minutes then added 1/4 oz. Hallertau for flavoring and 1 tsp Irish Moss.

Yeast: I cannot lager, so at the suggestion of my HBS I used a tube of White Labs California Ale Yeast.

I aerated this a great deal, pouring from primary to kettle and back again a ton, so that there was a lot of foam on top before the yeast was added. I do not have the OG, as I forgot to measure it. Target OG was 1.051 to 1.054 with Danish Lager Yeast.

The brew fermented nicely, bubbling after about 12 hours at a brisk pace (at least 15+ times per minute). It slowed a bit every day, and was still bubbling this afternoon at 6-7 bubbles per minute.

SG this afternoon was 1.010 (adjusted up from 1.008 at 74 degrees F). Note that target FG is 1.011-1.013, though I think I may have added a bit more water than required in error (about 5.5 gals instead of 5.0). It tastes fine, as I would expect, though it clearly needs more maturing.

When I siphoned it, there was still a foam head on top, though it had subsided from it's peak height a few days ago. There were TONS of bubbles in the siphon tube when I racked to the secondary, all up and down the line. Trub was also rather thick, but no unusual odors. Shortly after racking, bubbling restarted.

QUESTION

I never saw so many bubbles racking before. Anything to worry about? My guess is that the yeast was still actively and relatively aggressively fermenting, as it was well oxygenated and well mixed into the wort, and was producing bubbles of CO2 even as I siphoned.

I am guessing no worries, and I do plan on leaving it in the secondary for at least two weeks, more if needed. Thought I'd check with the think tank here. Let me know what you think.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

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On-deck: an ESB; a Sierra Nevada Porter clone; an Irish Ale
Primary: cleaning
Secondary 1: Summer Wheat
Secondary 2: American Ale
Bottled/Conditioning: Lonely
Bottled/Drinking: Heineken clone w/Calif. Ale yeast; Fat Tire clone

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Old 11-23-2005, 11:00 PM   #2
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Sounds like you're on track.

You didn't say how long it was in the primary. Your bubbles/foam should have subsided.

I also do 5.5 gal batches. Don't get too greedy and leave as much as the trub behind as you can when you rack. Your beer will be cleaner/clearer for it. In the end it still allows me to bottle 5 gals.

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Old 11-23-2005, 11:01 PM   #3
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I'd say no problem. Probably should have left it in the primary for two, three more days, that's all.

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Old 11-23-2005, 11:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
You didn't say how long it was in the primary. Your bubbles/foam should have subsided.
It was in the primary for 7 days. Yes, I thought the foam should be gone, which is why I was wondering. I will tell you that there was a LOT of foam even before I added the yeast. FYI, I do not use soaps when cleaning, so this was not a contributor.

Thanks!
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-------------
On-deck: an ESB; a Sierra Nevada Porter clone; an Irish Ale
Primary: cleaning
Secondary 1: Summer Wheat
Secondary 2: American Ale
Bottled/Conditioning: Lonely
Bottled/Drinking: Heineken clone w/Calif. Ale yeast; Fat Tire clone

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Old 11-23-2005, 11:29 PM   #5
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I remember you mentioning the foam earlier.

Like David said, it probably could have had more primary time.

It's OK to break the rules now and then.

Most of the time my brews stay in the primary for 2 weeks and the secondary for 2-3 weeks because I travel a lot (2 week trips mostly).

I don't have to worry if it's done or continually check the gravity because I will be gone long enough for it to be ready. I will check the temp and gravity before I rack or bottle. When I return I'll rack, bottle and brew again before I leave.

I've been on the road 20 weeks this year and still managed to brew 19 batches.

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