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Old 11-15-2013, 03:15 PM   #1
waitej02
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Default Pumpkin ale w/maple syrup

I brewed a pumpkin ale that had 1 lb of maple syrup at flame out. After a week of primary, the top looks like boiled caramel (the CO2 bubbles haven't broken with all of the syrup). Should I go ahead and rack or give the yeast a longer chance to attack some of those sugars. I'm afraid that the foam won't rack over and I will lose quite a bit of fermentables.

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Old 11-15-2013, 09:19 PM   #2
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If you rack to secondary at all (and many people here, myself included, don't except under certain circumstances) you should never rack while fermentation is still going on.

A gravity reading would tell you for sure if fermentation is still taking place or not. I wouldn't rack until you reach FG ... well, actually, I wouldn't rack at all but that's me.

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Old 11-15-2013, 09:29 PM   #3
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Agree with shawnbou. You generally shouldn't be moving your beer until three weeks in primary.

This is real maple syrup?

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Old 11-16-2013, 02:35 PM   #4
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I bought the maple syrup in Ohio at an Amish place, but I must admit that I didn't look carefully on whether it was imitation or not. What would that cause?

I've always racked to secondary (I have only brewed 50-60 batches), as my LHBS told me to in the beginning. I have read here that it is not necessary. I travel during the week, so I do things in weekly buckets. I often let beers go 2 weeks (and maybe 3, but that would be extremely rare). That is based on having the time to do so (depends on the honey-do). I am usually doing a total of 3 weeks (either 1 then 2 or 2 then 1). Most beers are big (1.075 to 1.085) and I am doing mostly IPAs, so 7/10 are dry hopped. Whether it is 1 or 2 weeks for primary, I get 1.02-1.025 and after secondary 1.015 or less. I feel that it cleans up the beer nicely as well. I do rack down the side of the bucket, but no matter what, there are some bubbles. What is the downside of secondary?

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Old 11-16-2013, 02:53 PM   #5
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I would leave the beer alone till that gunk fell back in. It's most likely just a mat of yeast floating on top. Really racking to a secondary is a matter of preference and is often used in a mistaken attempt to avoid autolysis when not for specific reasons (dry hoping, fruit, etc.). Ales don't seem to have an issue with autolysis. I've personally left an ale on yeast for 2 months with no issue. I've read on here of people going for longer.

The down side of secondary is the minimal risk of infection and oxidation. It's about the same risk as when you rack to a bottling bucket.

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