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Old 09-15-2007, 02:33 PM   #1
nchomebrew
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i have a brew of nb's partial extract tongue splitter in my primary. been there for only 5 days. i know it's not finished fermenting yet, but still has a very thick "head" on top. will this go away when fermenting is complete? or should i just watch the airlock carfully, and rack to secondary even if it has the "head" on top still? i am doing the secondary, because it calls for dry hopping, and i'd like it to clear a bit more.

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Old 09-15-2007, 02:40 PM   #2
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I'd buy a hydrometer and stop guessing.

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Old 09-15-2007, 02:44 PM   #3
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The "head" is called krausen, and it will fall when fermentation is finished, leaving a ring of crud around where that head was. Airlock activity and krausen are pretty fair indicators of fermentation happening but the only way to know when it's finished is to use your hydrometer. When the sg falls around 75% or so, it's ok to move to secondary (the clearing tank). When in doubt, it's better to leave it longer. After the main fermentation is over, the yeast are still busy cleaning up after themselves, eating up their waste products so it's always good to let it finish up completely before moving it.

I usually use the 1-2-3 method- 1 week (or more) primary, 2 weeks clearing tank (secondary) and 3 weeks in the bottles. When I dry hop, that schedule changes some. I usually rack from primary after about 10 days, and then leave it sit for a little while. Then I do my dryhopping anywhere from 3-7 days depending on what I'm going for.

I've never done NB kits, but I assume they came with good instructions for their particular kit so that's a good place to start.

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Old 09-15-2007, 02:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
I'd buy a hydrometer and stop guessing.
i have a hydrometer, but was hoping not to disturb the primary if i could tell some other way. but i'll have to think about that if that's the best way.
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Old 09-15-2007, 02:57 PM   #5
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Well, wait at least a week or ten days before checking- you don't want to move it until then anyway.

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Old 09-15-2007, 03:27 PM   #6
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Dropped krausen and no bubbles are a sign it may of stopped fermenting.
A hydrometer is a way to know it has stopped fermenting.

I wouldn't move it until you know it's stopped.

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