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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Ready to transfer to secondary fermenter?
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:38 PM   #1
Mandan
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Default Ready to transfer to secondary fermenter?

I boiled my first batch of IPA from a kit a week ago. Trying to figure out if I'm ready to transfer to secondary fermenter. Bubbles in the airlock have subsided to about one every 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. SG is 1.016 at 67˚. It looks and tastes great. Am I ready to transfer to the secondary? I just read that the secondary fermenter should be filled to the neck, leaving as little oxygen as possible. My carboy is 7 gallons. I'm brewing a five gallon batch and can't get another carboy until Tuesday. Will it be okay to wait till Tuesday?

Thanks for your help.

Happy Fourth of July to all!

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Old 07-04-2009, 06:50 PM   #2
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if you have the patience, leave the IPA where it is for another week or two, or three. you can get away without even using a secondary this way and bottle after the wait. or you can put it in secondary at that time if you want to bulk age it and clear it more. i would say that 1.016 sounds a little high, but i don't know your recipe specifics. most of my beers have finished in the 1.010 range, but again, it all depends on many factors.

don't worry about the carboy being filled to the neck. when you put your beer in secondary, it will naturally vent a little gas and the oxygen shouldn't be an issue. and i'm confused about what you're asking with will waiting til tuesday be Ok. to brew or rack to secondary or what?

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Old 07-04-2009, 07:01 PM   #3
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Safest thing to do is take another gravity reading on Monday. If the FG is still 1.016, then it's safe to transfer to secondary (and go ahead and wait to get a 5 gallon carboy). Having no headspace is more important for wine...but I still don't leave that much headspace in my secondary.

Not all beers attenuate the same way, so there's no way of knowing if 1.016 is a good gravity for your beer or not: without knowing your recipe. IPAs do tend to have crystal malts in them and that does lend itself to a higher FG. If you're going by a recipe...they normally do have an estimated FG that you can shoot for.

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Old 07-04-2009, 07:04 PM   #4
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Wait a few days and take another gravity reading. You should leave it in the primary until the gravity is stable. My guess is, that gravity will drop some more. Patience. Will it be ok if you put it in the carboy? Probably, but it is always best to wait it out.

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Old 07-04-2009, 07:07 PM   #5
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Traditional wisdom says ferment until the bubbles slow, then rack to secondary for fermentation to complete, hence the secondary fermentation.

However the more modern and better method is to let fermentation complete in the primary. So secondary is no longer considered a fermentation vessel. Not it's just called "secondary" or "brite tank" since the purpose of the secondary is more or less to clarify the beer and never to ferment.

Some people skip the secondary altogether. I typically rack to secondary. Once you are sure fermentation is done start taking hydro readings every other day. Whenever you get the same reading twice it's done and ready to rack over.

I've never worried about the airspace in the secondary. Just rack it over. If you were that worried just leave in in the primary for the entire duration and skip secondary altogether, there is no problem in doing this at all.

Also to calculate your expected final gravity look up your yeast's attenuation percentage and the OG of your brew and you can do the math to see what it should bottom out at.

GL and happy 4th to you!

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Old 07-04-2009, 07:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davesrose View Post
If you're going by a recipe...they normally do have an estimated FG that you can shoot for.
The recipe says it should be 1.024 or less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hossua View Post
Wait a few days and take another gravity reading. You should leave it in the primary until the gravity is stable.
I will check again Tuesday. I have patience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cvstrat View Post
However the more modern and better method is to let fermentation complete in the primary.
My books are old. I'm going by those, the recipe, and what I can find here. Thanks to everyone who replied!
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Old 07-04-2009, 07:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandan View Post
The recipe says it should be 1.024 or less.
Was your starting gravity similar to the recipe? If so, you've got better attenuation then what they were estimating. When it comes to primary only vs having secondary, you'll find that many people have their particular preferences. There are varying theories about how beer clears...and whether one choses to try doing primary only or going to secondary, YMMV based on your setup and techniques. It's probably best to try one batch with a secondary and then a future batch just with primary....so you can judge yourself what is best.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davesrose View Post
Was your starting gravity similar to the recipe?
Yes- 1.066. Or pretty darn close. So far, the batch is doing everything that the recipe says it should. Next, I'm supposed to add a second packet of "aromatic hops" to the secondary fermentor and transfer the wort on top of it.
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