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Old 12-05-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
CaptainCool
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Default I took it out of primary before the fermentation had finished fermenting WHat to do?

I'm a beginner brewer and I think i may have made a big noob mistake.. I make cider and i used champagne yeast before but more recently i got some Safale S-04 yeast and used it for the first time.. I also used a hydrometer for the first time... I got a reading of 1.070 after pitching all my sugar.. So i expected it to come out around 9%abv.. It's been around 2-1/2 weeks now and i have heard about how quickly this yeast ferments that i just pitched it right to a secondary bucket before i got a hydrometer reading... but it's only at 1.024 now which if my calculations are correct is only 6.04%... I was a little careless and didn't realize that there was bubble action still going on in the airlock.. So i'm guess it didn't cut off early and can still finish fermentation... heres my questions..
-Should i go ahead and pitch it to secondary for 3 weeks or so? will it finish fermentation?
-or should i carefully put it back in to primary (without spreading the yeast around too much) until it finishes and then rack to secondary? it's only a 1 gallon glass carboy batch so i can be careful..

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Old 12-05-2010, 11:11 PM   #2
joel4482
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The only way to know if it is done fermenting is by checking hydrometer reading on consecutive days and when you get the same reading 2-3days in a row it is done. The bubbling usually slows down toward the end of fermentation but is not an exact way to tell if something is done fermenting. It will finish fermenting if the temp is right. There is always some yeast in suspension. Do not put it back in the primary it won't ruin the cider but it will take even longer to clear up again. Put in the secondary and keep the temp right and it will ferment out fine. Take a hydrometer reading before bottling and it should be close to your target.

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Old 12-05-2010, 11:20 PM   #3
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Put an airlock on it and leave it where it is.

There is most likely enough yeast left in suspension to bring the gravity down further if you leave it alone and give it some time. In fact some times racking to another vessel is enough to rouse yeast and kick off further fermentation if there are still enough fermentables left in the brew.

If you are really worried about it and confident that the yeast from the primary hasn't been contaminated by being left open for a long time you could probably get away with pouring some of the yeast slurry into your cider.

If it were me, I'd just put an airlock on it and forget about it for a month.

Edit: Dang it joel! you beat me to it! i gotta learn to type faster.

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Old 12-05-2010, 11:31 PM   #4
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thanks fellas.. I'm gonna go ahead with secondary and check it in a few weeks.

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