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Old 11-29-2007, 03:14 AM   #1
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Default Ready For Secondary? - There is a sticky for this.

Alright..so our recipe says we should leave it in the primary for 8 days, but the gas bubbling has slowed to every few minutes so we're wondering if we can safely rack it into the secondary or if we should just wait a few days. What do you guys think?

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Old 11-29-2007, 03:21 AM   #2
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Get a hydrometer and take a gravity reading, if you have hit the final gravity, or are very close to it, you can safely rack the beer to the "secondary" or clearing vessel.

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Old 11-29-2007, 03:37 AM   #3
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I recommend waiting about 7-10 days at a minimum! Even after the sg is down, the yeast is busy cleaning up after itself, eating their own waste products and reducing any off flavors. There is no benefit at all to rushing it.

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Old 11-29-2007, 03:51 AM   #4
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I just took the gravity reading for it, and it's at 1024. The reading was taken at around 63 degrees. The reason we are asking is because in the book we bought (Homebrewing for Dummies) it says it's okay to rack to the secondary if the airlock bubbles are over a minute apart, and when I timed them tonight they were 2 minutes apart. From what I've read on the forum though you guys say that doesn't mean anything. Anyway, the gravity reading was 1024 and the scale for the FG should be between 1008 and 1020 so it's got a few days yet.

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Old 11-29-2007, 03:52 AM   #5
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=43014
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:32 AM   #6
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Any Reason You Don't Read The Stickies?

The easy way is 7-10 days then on to the conditioning vessel.
The best way is wait until fermentation has finished and the krausen has dropped
I recommend for the main. 1 month then rack and keg or bottle.
It depends on the brew.
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:35 AM   #7
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I give my beer two weeks before I even take a hydro reading, and it's usually done. The reason I give the yeast more time is so that it can clean up any fermentation by-products, as YB said. Don't use the airlock and bubbles to determine whether the beer is ready or not, use a hydrometer and taste samples to make sure the beer is ready for racking.

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Old 11-29-2007, 06:16 AM   #8
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The reason he started a new thread was because our book says the bubbles in the air-lock is a good way of deciding if it's ready, and you guys say it's not a good way to tell. We can't really ask the author of the book why he thinks the bubbles is good enough. So can you guys who say don't rely on the bubbles maybe explain why? I understand that the best way to tell is to take a gravity reading, which I did. I don't want autolysis to happen (which I don't think can even happen this quickly) and I don't want to possibly open the door for some kind of infection by taking gravity readings if there is a method for knowing if it's done without having to open it up. So, why is the bubble timing method not good?

BTW the kraussen dropped like 3 days ago and since then there has been very little visable activity.

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Old 11-29-2007, 12:09 PM   #9
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There are several reasons why airlock activity isn't reliable. One is simply that the fermentation happens, but maybe not vigorously enough (or only for a few hours while you were away) for you to notice bubbling. Also, sometimes lids and bungs don't seal competely airtight and you might have an airleak. Even though it might appear to be sealed, maybe the bung slid up a little bit. And sometimes the fermentation is finishing up and the sg is dropping but not producing vast enough amounts of co2 to cause airlock bubbling. Sometimes people leave quite a bit of headspace, and it takes alot of co2 to purge all that headspace and bubble.

Conversely, I've seen airlocks bubble pretty steadily. When I went to bottle, I checked the sg and it only dropped from like 1.060 to 1.030! Definitely not done- but stuck!

Steady hydrometer readings that are in the expected fg are the only way to know if fermentation is finished.

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