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Old 06-08-2008, 10:37 PM   #1
Jordan Wilson
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Default Krausen hasn't fallen

Hey, this is a straight up newbie question, but...

I've had my second batch (a Wit) in the primary for a week. I've kept it at about 75 degrees, as low as I could keep it in an ice bath. I was all set to rack it into my carboy today, but when I opened it, the krausen hasn't fallen yet.

Do I rack it anyway? Probably not, right? Is it common for it to take more than a week before it falls?

Thanks.

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Old 06-08-2008, 10:44 PM   #2
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Check your gravity. Thats the only way to make sure you are done fermenting. You really don't want to rack until fermentation is done.

If you don't have a hydrometer, go get one online. While you are waiting for Fedex to bring it, your beer can finish fermenting.

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Old 06-08-2008, 10:45 PM   #3
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Take a hydrometer reading and see if its close to the predicted Final gravity estimate. If you do not have a FG estimate, take a few readings over the next few days and see if it changes.. It is very possible for a beer to take longer then one week for sure. I have one take almost 3 weeks. Do not rack it if you are not sure if it is done with the fermentation. You will just be risking a bunch of bottle bombs.

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Old 06-08-2008, 11:17 PM   #4
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SG is 1.024, still a bit high right? Too high to move to the secondary?

So wait, is the fermentation supposed to finish in the primary? What does it do while in the secondary?

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Old 06-08-2008, 11:40 PM   #5
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1.024 sounds like its still working... leave it be.

Yes, secondary is only for clearing. You should only rack after fermentation has finished. Most say there are benefits to waiting several days after to let the yeast clean up residual sugars etc.

Most will not even bother with a secondary unless thay are dry hopping or adding something in secondary (fruit, cocoa, coffee, etc.).

Aren't Wits usually a bit cloudy anyway? Why secondary at all?

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Old 06-09-2008, 05:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan Wilson View Post
I've kept it at about 75 degrees, as low as I could keep it in an ice bath.
Try to lower your temps below 70.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for clearing that up, s3n8. This is only my second batch, and I wasn't entirely sure why two stages were used, other than to get the beer off of the spent yeast (which I guess can affect the flavor?). I've received random advice from various people against one stage fermenting in general.

But if the secondary is only for clearing, then I guess it may not be necessary for a cloudy beer like a Wit or a Weisse, huh? Should I just leave it in the primary for 3 or so weeks and not even bother with the secondary then?

Actually, the main reason I was anxious to get it out of the bucket and into the carboy is because as A4J recommended, I need to lower the temp (I can't get it any lower than 75 with the ice bath I rigged). I bought myself an IceCube cooler and built a lid for the carboy for it- I can get the temp in there down to 60 easy.

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Old 06-09-2008, 09:50 PM   #8
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It will take well over a month before you need to worry about off-flavours from the yeast cake. Best advice is to leave the beer alone in primary for at least 2 weeks (I usually do 3 weeks now). Even after fermentation has completed the yeast will still do some cleaning up after themselves, which can't happen if you rack immediately to secondary.

Regarding cooling; wrapping a towel around the fermenter (which extends down into the water bath) and blowing a fan against it is always good for a few degrees.

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