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Old 10-27-2010, 11:17 AM   #1
gusty83
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Default Beer started fermenting again the day before bottling....

So I was going to bottle my first ipa later today but I came home and the beer is fermenting again with a small layer of foam over my dry hops. Its gone from 63 to 73 degrees in my basement in the past few days due to the weather. I dont think its contaminated since I dry hopped 2 weeks ago. Before this the beer was nice and clear and ready to go. I cant detect any warning flavors. It actually tastes great. What should I do at this point. If I were to bottle today, what would be a safe method of filtering out some disturbed cell/hop debris?

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Old 10-27-2010, 11:41 AM   #2
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My theory is that the foam you see is CO2 coming out of solution because of the jump in temperature.

If you fermented for 2-3 weeks in primary and dry hopped for two weeks more it's unlikely your beer is still fermenting. You could take hydrometer readings for a few days to make sure it is finished (but it's probably all done, five weeks is plenty of time for most ales), see if the gravity remains steady.

When you rack to bottling bucket just try not to siphon the trub and hop debris along with the beer, should be fine.

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Old 10-27-2010, 11:42 AM   #3
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Take a hydrometer reading. If it's not fully fermented, put the top on the fermenter and walk away until it's finished, or you'll risk overcarbonated beer at best, and bottle bombs at worst. It's usually finished when the gravity has reached 20% or less of the original gravity and multiple hydrometer readings over several days remain constant.

If it is finished, you can do a few things:

1. Leave the fermenter alone for a few days and the debris will settle out naturally
2. Siphon the beer off the hops into another container and allow the debris to settle out for a few days (may want to do this since an extended dry hop may impart stale flavors)
3. Just bottle it - the debris will settle out in the bottle during conditioning, but you may also fashion a sanitized filter for the business end of the siphon out of a new sock, hop/grain bag, etc.

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Old 10-27-2010, 12:43 PM   #4
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wow ok very informative ill let you know what happens later on today

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Old 10-27-2010, 12:59 PM   #5
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oh ya and jkreuse. i just took a whiff and its packed with co2. Also took a taste sample and its significantly higher in alcohol than before.

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Old 10-27-2010, 01:00 PM   #6
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i dont have any tools yet for gravity unfortunately

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Old 10-27-2010, 01:00 PM   #7
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Airlock bubbling starting suddenly doesn't necessarily mean fermentation has started, nor does airlock bubbling stopping suddenly mean that fermentation has stopped. You really need to grasp this fact and seperate airlock bubbling in your mind from fermentation.

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2. To keep your beer off your ceiling. Nothing more.


That's why you need to take a gravity reading to know how your fermentation is going, NOT go by airlocks, or size of krausen, or a calendar, the horoscope or the phases of the moon (those things in my mind are equally accurate).

The most important tool you can use is a hydrometer. It's the only way you will truly know when your beer is ready...airlock bubbles and other things are faulty.

The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....

Thinking about "doing anything" like repitching, or bottling, or racking, without first taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on?

Sorry but that really is the only answer that is accurate or consistant, the numbers on the little stick. I have had evrey airlock bubbling/non bubbling/slow bubbling/fast bubbling/little krausen/big krausen/slow forming krausen/krausen staying 3 weeks after the hydro showed terminal gravity scenario imaginable in nearly 1,000 gallons of beer, and none of that stuff is as sccurate as 30 seconds with a hydrometer.

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Old 10-27-2010, 09:35 PM   #8
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i dont have a hydrometer yet revvy. I can see a layer of foam that was not present as of a few days ago. I can also see debris moving around, small bubbles actually forming and adding to the top foam layer and the solution is very cloudy. The beer also tastes a lot stronger than before. I mean a lot. This has been going on for a couple of days without me moving the fermenter or opening it or anything like that. These things tell me it has started fermenting again even without a hydrometer.

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Old 10-27-2010, 10:28 PM   #9
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jkreuse is probably right.
Revvy's definitely right.
You're not right.

You can't tell squat w/o a hydrometer (or some other method of measuring SG or fermentable sugar content).

When was the last time you tasted it? Before you dry hopped? Doesn't really matter what the answer is. Because whether it's the effect of the hops, the reduced yeast sediment, the 'sting' of co2 on the nasal passages, or extended conditioning... your perception of alcohol content by taste alone is easily fooled.

Buy a hydrometer. It's 5 bucks for Christs sake.

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Old 10-27-2010, 10:44 PM   #10
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ok youre right. but no, thats not how it went. I dindnt secondary ferment so i dry hopped in primary 2 weeks ago. I was going to bottle today but the past few days have been really warm and I noticed this was happening. I have a sample valve on the fermenter so I can take taste samples every few days or so. Past few weeks, solution has been clear with hop leaf bed on top of liquid. Now theres foam covering even over the leaf hops. The beer tastes at least 2% higher in alcohol based on testing it every 3 or 4 days. This has been going on for more than 24 hours so im just not sure whats going on. Im not saying im right im saying the evidence is pointing towards a second fermentation cycle in my tank.

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