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Old 02-15-2012, 11:53 PM   #1
bacchusmj
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Default Krausen forming in secondary

Noob question alert -->

Superbowl Sunday I pitched yeast into an amber ale and fermentation was rolling within 24 hours. The following Sunday I popped the lid to find a very thin Krausen still present. Instead of leaving it in the primary I racked it into the secondary and tossed it back in the garage.

2 days later I noticed some small white spots on the top of the beer. First thought was mold but the airlock was slowly bubbling and the spots looked a lot like yeast clumps.

Fast forward 2 more days and I have a full-fledged Krausen and a bubbling airlock. I also noticed a fairly decent yeast cake on the bottom of the carboy.

So... should I be concerned? Im planning on leaving it in the carboy for about another week and bottle.

FWIW --> Before anyone says it, a new hydrometer and thief set is in the mail. I didnt have one to originally test the gravity but I wont make this mistake again.

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Old 02-15-2012, 11:56 PM   #2
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Well you have a krausen because you chose to rack a beer into secondary, while it was still fermenting...in fact while it still had a krausen to begin with...which to me is every indication to leave my beer alone.....

I wouldn't worry....but the reason it krausened is that it wasn't done...and OFTEN folks who do that, end up with stuck fermentations.

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Old 02-15-2012, 11:58 PM   #3
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And I really hope you mean by "wait another week then bottle,"you mean wait til my beer is REALLY finished fermenting, by taking consequitive gravity readings and making sure it is in the range of FG that your recipe says it will be. Right?

Or else rather than just a krausen again, you'll have 48 bottle bombs.

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Old 02-16-2012, 12:00 AM   #4
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You probably did transfer before fermentation was complete. Or, you had a stalled fermentation and the action of transferring "woke up" the yeast. There was a time when transferring to secondary was done at 75% of expected fermentation, so I think you will have no problems. It might change the flavor slightly but it should still be good.

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Old 02-16-2012, 12:18 AM   #5
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Kinda sounds like a temperature problem. cold crashed it while it was in the garage? Then roused the yeast a little when you racked it into the secondary.

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Old 02-16-2012, 12:56 AM   #6
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my garage stays at about 68-70 degrees. Its fully insulated and I live in VA so its fairly warm.

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Old 02-16-2012, 12:58 AM   #7
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thanks for the responses. If it is in fact a stuck fermentation, can I pitch more yeast or should I just continue to give it all the time it wants to finish its work?

I was planning on giving it till next weekend in the secondary and I will pull a FG reading off it before I bottle. Of course, if I pitch more yeast I will just give it my normal 3 weeks.

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Old 02-16-2012, 01:09 AM   #8
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Take gravity readings. When you have at least 3 days at the same gravity the beer should be done. I have had bottle bombs before and it is not something you want to deal with. If you still had a krausen when you transfered I agree with Revvy that your fermentation was not done and you transfered early. When you get your hydrometer for your next batch go by your readings not how long it has been in the primary....Good luck and enjoy this wonderful hobby!

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Old 02-16-2012, 05:01 PM   #9
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You've got krausen, it's not stuck yet.

Though it's not what you're looking for, I think the real response you need is this:

LEAVE THE BEER ALONE.

You're simply trying to move it too quickly, while the yeast are still working. You racked to secondary while the yeast were still working hard without checking the gravity readings, and therefore left a number of yeast behind. You were lucky to not stall out, but there is a good chance you'll still end up with more esters than you would have otherwise.
Whether the beer stalls out in a few days from now, or the esters create an undesirable off flavor... only time will tell.
You might still end up with the most amazing beer you'll ever make, but you're not following the most basic rules to shift the odds in your favor.

What's done is done, so this is a prime occasion for "Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Home Brew"
The yeast WANT to make beer. Most futzing around just impedes them, so you want to limit your intercessions to only what's absolutely necessary, and always err on the side of giving them more time than you think they need. The hydrometer will help alot to check their work, but one week in primary is way too short for any beer. I wouldn't even bother looking at it until 2 weeks in, even for a relatively low gravity recipe.

If you post what recipe (or kit) you used, and what yeast, it should be easy to estimate what your OG was, so that you know what FG you should be looking for once you've given the yeast their time.

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Old 02-16-2012, 05:15 PM   #10
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Quit messing with the beer......

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