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Old 06-17-2012, 04:00 PM   #1
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Default First time with double stage fermentation

I am doing a double stage fermentation for the first time. As I understand it, the main reason for doing this is the reduce or eliminate the sediment in my bottles.

My recipe says - " the beer will be ready to rack (syphon) when the rocky head subsides and the gravity drops to 1.016 or less. My recipe suggests this will happen in 2 - 4 days. It is day 4 and i am not seeing that the head had subsided much at all. I am trying to be patient and resisting the temptation to take readings. This is a honey brown ale by the way.

What is my next step? Should I go ahead and take a reading? How critical is the timing of the transfer? Seems to me it wouldn't matter so much. I am basically decanting the good stuff and leaving the sludge behind.

My recipe says to transfer to the second bucket and wait another seven days or so until fermentation is complete. Is that all there is to it?

Maybe this is much simpler than I am making it but I don't fully understand the science of the secondary fermentation process.

Thank you.

jarrodaden is offline
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:13 PM   #2
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You really should leave it in primary for at least 1 week. Search for "Primary v Secondary" and you'll get all sorts of info on this. Basically, the yeast are going to chew through most of the sugars for the first few days and then start to rid your beer of the byproducts they just created for several days after that. You can't ruin your beer by leaving it in primary for 1 to 2 or even *gasp* 3 - 4 weeks. Longer than that it becomes debatable on the good/harm your doing. By racking too soon you are greatly reducing the number of yeast cells that are going to work on your beer. For a brown ale, you can skip the secondary. Everything will fall out of suspension eventually.

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