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Old 11-21-2010, 12:21 PM   #1
MRmac
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Default second fermentation QUESTION?

I am new to brewing and transferred to a carboy for second fermentation. There doesn't seem to be any action. I haven't seen any bubbles coming out of the airlock although the air is right at the edge of the inner piece. Does this seem right? Is it ready to bottle?

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Old 11-21-2010, 12:30 PM   #2
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Hi Mac. Secondary fermentation is a confusing label, because for most beers, there isn't an active fermentation going on. The exception is if you add fruit or some other fermentable to your secondary and a "second" fermentation will kick off.

Many people here do not use a secondary at all for most beers. It's a matter of preference.

Whether you use a secondary or not, a good rule of thumb is to wait to bottle your beer for at least three weeks after your brew day. While you can safely bottle as soon as active fermentation is done, your beer will often be better if you give it a little time.

Cheers!

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Old 11-21-2010, 12:39 PM   #3
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I did a hydrometer reading on day 7 and day 8 and the readings were the same. From what I've read I thought thats when you go to second fermentor. Did I jump the gun or was it done fermenting? There was a bubble every couple minutes in the airlock. Should I go to the bottle now? Could I add some honey or something to activate the yeast again?

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Old 11-21-2010, 12:42 PM   #4
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Secondary fermentation isn't really a visible process. As a general rule, like Pappers said, unless you're adding something else in the carboy you really won't see anything going on.

The airlock only bubbles when your fermentation is venting excess co2. Just because your airlock isn't doing anything doesn't mean the yeast isn't working! The yeast is now cleaning up off-flavors that it produced during the active fermentation. Leave it in the secondary for about two weeks (or more, can't hurt) then bottle.

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Old 11-21-2010, 01:23 PM   #5
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Like Pappers and others have said, secondary fermentation is a misnomer, since no fermentaion SHOULD happen in the secondary. The secondary is to clear your beer, though many of us no longer use a secondary, but instead opt for the long primary, leaving our beers in primary to clear up, and feel that our beer is much better for it.

You really shouldn't see any airlock activity unless you've racked too soon which folks who don't use a hydrometer (Kudos for you for using it), or you are adding additional fermentables, orit is off gassing co2 from the trub, or due to a change of atmospheric pressure or temp. But normally in secondary your beer should just sit there and settle, very boring.

Read this to understand this better.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/multiple-questions-about-secondary-fermentation-140978/#post1601829

Many of us no longer secondary at all for normal beers, just for beers that need months of bulk aging time, or oak, and this is where some of the latest info is on the subject;

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/secondary-not-john-palmer-jamil-zainasheff-weigh-176837/

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Old 11-21-2010, 01:24 PM   #6
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I am no expert, but have brewed a few batches over the past 18 years - sometimes I rack to the secondary "too soon", sometimes "too late". Sometimes I leave the brew in the secondary "too little" or "too long"... in general, RDWHAH.

B

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Old 11-21-2010, 07:40 PM   #7
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Cool thanks for the info so far! If anyone else has input on this I would love to hear it!

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Old 11-21-2010, 07:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRmac View Post
Cool thanks for the info so far! If anyone else has input on this I would love to hear it!
What other input do you need? We gave you the info. I even gave you links to MORE info, including both of the common ways of looking at secondary. What else would you like?
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:50 PM   #9
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Your right Revvy! I guess I meant any tips and tricks for the new brewer and not just on this subject. When I come with the questions I shall ask!
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:17 PM   #10
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Your right Revvy! I guess I meant any tips and tricks for the new brewer and not just on this subject. When I come with the questions I shall ask!
You want more tips and tricks? Read the fourm, especially the stickeys in the beginner's, sanitation, and equiptment sections, you'll find more information than we could ever give you in one thread.

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