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Old 06-18-2012, 03:18 PM   #1
knightnorth
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Default Time to Secondary?

I’m debating on when it is a good time to transfer to secondary. Going to make soda in the bottling bucket then wine in the primary next weekend so I’d like to open up some space. I was going to transfer tomorrow (10 days) but I’m still getting good bubbles out of the airlock; about 2-3 every minute. I didn’t know if that mattered. Here’s the recipe:

3 lbs Munton’s Dark DME
3 lbs Honey Malt
1 lbs Black Malt
2 lbs Honey
3 oz Saaz hops
Belgian Wit Ale WL400 yeast

Does the active fermentation matter and do you think it’s still active because of the honey? I’ve read enough here to know not to worry about anything. What I am worried about is that the wife issued a demand that if I’m going to brew beer I have to make her some wine. So I’ve been reading up on that and fear you have to be a chemist to understand all those ingredients/times/adjustments… At least I get to have a good drink when I’m done thanks!

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Old 06-18-2012, 03:31 PM   #2
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Well first off never go by what the airlock is doing. Always take 2 hydro samples 2-3 days apart. If they are the same your beer is done fermenting. At ten days most ales should be done fermenting and chances are it's just traped CO2 coming out. I would say right about now is a good time to transfer and maybe buy more fermenters too

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Old 06-18-2012, 03:39 PM   #3
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The timing for transferring to secondary is not a critical as for bottling. I never bother with the hydrometer until packaging. As barrog said, this is likely just trapped CO2 escaping, due to changes in temperature or atmospheric pressure. If all other indicators suggest that it is 99+% done fermenting, then go ahead and transfer it. At this point, the only danger of transferring is simply a little extra yeast in the secondary - which is no big deal.

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Old 06-18-2012, 03:56 PM   #4
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If you are getting "good bubbling" out of your airlock as you posted, that IS a sign that fermentation is still happening.

If you are getting an occasional bubble, it might be done and time to check withthe hydrometer.

In general, most recommend waiting untill primary fermentation is complete untill racking off the yeast cake into a secondary. Sounds like you probably aren't there yet at just 9 days in.

Pez.

EDIT - Honey is a simple sugar and does not cause fermentations to "lengthen out" or anything like that.

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Old 06-18-2012, 04:38 PM   #5
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Don't let your upcoming brew schedule determine your current beer's fermentation state. Only your hydrometer can tell you that.

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Old 06-18-2012, 04:46 PM   #6
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"What I am worried about is that the wife issued a demand that if I’m going to brew beer I have to make her some wine"

I'd worry about that too. Beer is democratic. Wine is not. You can get the same quality ingredients as a commercial brewer for beer and can even get some that microbrewers can't buy in production quantities. The same is definitely not true of wine.

Anyway, as others have pointed out, all that you get when you try to rush beer is bad beer.

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Old 06-18-2012, 04:54 PM   #7
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For the wine, I would just buy a nice bottle and pour it into a decanter. Voila. ("I poured my heart and soul into this one, honey"). Now time for more beer.

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