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Old 02-15-2013, 07:35 PM   #1
yewtah-brewha
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Default transfer to secondary airlock question!

I just transfered my Ale after 6 days in primary, The airlock activity was bubbling every 30- 40 seconds, now that its in the secondary there is very little to no activity, will this take place Immidiatly or should I give it some time before panicking. its been 2 hours,

my plan was to wash the yeast for the next batch, did I leave too much in the primary, should I put the yeast back into the secondary? any helps appreciated.



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Old 02-15-2013, 07:36 PM   #2
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Fermentation should be done before transferring to the clearing vessel ("secondary"). You shouldn't see any or much activity if you transferred at the correct time.



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Old 02-16-2013, 12:03 AM   #3
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Fermentation should be done before transferring to the clearing vessel ("secondary"). You shouldn't see any or much activity if you transferred at the correct time.
I deffinatly think it could have gone a few more days as the bubbles in airlock were spaced at 30-40 seconds and the gravity was 1.012. I ussually wait till theyre 1-3 minutes apart. I however needed to get started on my next batch and wanted to reuse the yeast, I figured it would be ok, it is however not active at all and I need to get the oxygen off of the beer asap!

im going to try boiling a cup of priming sugar too see if that gets things moving, might also shoot some co2 in the carboy while it cools.

sorry for tyops im in hurry
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:05 AM   #4
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im going to try boiling a cup of priming sugar too see if that gets things moving, might also shoot some co2 in the carboy while it cools.

sorry for tyops im in hurry
Why? At 1.012, the beer is finished or just about. Why would you mess with it, and start up fermentation again when the point of the secondary is for clearing and conditioning? That doesn't make any sense at all, and you risk ruining a perfectly fine beer.

You want to see the airlock bubble? Raise your room temperature, and the airlock will bubble. That's all that it takes- barometic pressure changes, temperature changes, etc. It doesn't mean that there is any fermentation happening.

The beer is done. It's not going to get "doner" by you messing with it.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:53 AM   #5
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I agree with Yooper: I think it was fine to transfer when you did and I think your beer is totally fine right now. You're not seeing a lot of activity in the beer now because it sounds like it's almost done fermenting. Beer usually has a really active fermentation in the first few days and then tapers off after week. You'll see activity if you add sugar water at this point, but that's just the yeast eating the sugar water -- not actually any fermentation in the beer itself.

Re: shooting CO2 into the carboy -- I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you've been seeing ANY bubbles in the airlock, that means that there has been enough fermentation that CO2 is pushing oxygen out. (CO2 is heavier than oxygen, so it will create a barrier over the surface of the beer.) Also, much of the point of transferring beer into a carboy is to reduce the surface area that ultimately gets exposed to oxygen. If there's a little in there now, it really don't think it will hurt your beer (I've been brewing for years, often see no fermentation activity in the secondary, and haven't had oxygen off-flavors yet)

Re: putting the used yeast sludge back into the secondary -- don't bother with that either. The sludge is just the spent and dormant yeast that's fallen to the bottom; there's still active yeast buzzing around in the brew itself (that's why beer carbonates when you add a bit of sugar during bottling -- the yeast still in the beer get a kickstart!)

Hope that helps! Good luck with the ale!

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Old 02-17-2013, 04:49 AM   #6
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Thanks it does help! there was however no airlock activity, so i added a cup of priming sugar, I feel better about it right now, but I do see the point letting it be the way it is w/o sugar/co2. I tasted it (16 oz)and it was really good, one of the best ive tasted at this stage, but no buzz.

the activity is now at about 60 seconds on airlock. I'll take a gravity reading when it clears, I am happy I got the oxygen off the top, but dont know why, Why would that small amount of oxygen hurt the beer. 4 cubic inches, dont know the science behind it i just do what im told works!


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Originally Posted by EmmaC View Post
I agree with Yooper: I think it was fine to transfer when you did and I think your beer is totally fine right now. You're not seeing a lot of activity in the beer now because it sounds like it's almost done fermenting. Beer usually has a really active fermentation in the first few days and then tapers off after week. You'll see activity if you add sugar water at this point, but that's just the yeast eating the sugar water -- not actually any fermentation in the beer itself.

Re: shooting CO2 into the carboy -- I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you've been seeing ANY bubbles in the airlock, that means that there has been enough fermentation that CO2 is pushing oxygen out. (CO2 is heavier than oxygen, so it will create a barrier over the surface of the beer.) Also, much of the point of transferring beer into a carboy is to reduce the surface area that ultimately gets exposed to oxygen. If there's a little in there now, it really don't think it will hurt your beer (I've been brewing for years, often see no fermentation activity in the secondary, and haven't had oxygen off-flavors yet)

Re: putting the used yeast sludge back into the secondary -- don't bother with that either. The sludge is just the spent and dormant yeast that's fallen to the bottom; there's still active yeast buzzing around in the brew itself (that's why beer carbonates when you add a bit of sugar during bottling -- the yeast still in the beer get a kickstart!)

Hope that helps! Good luck with the ale!
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:20 AM   #7
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If you added to secondary there is no need to put in more sugar until you are ready to bottle or keg. It defeats the purpose. The purpose of a secondary is for it to finish all the way off and make it more clear. In fact, if it a dark beer there is no need at all to do a secondary. You CAN, of course, but it won't make too much difference. The most important thing is to make sure it is done fermenting. That makes all the difference. If it is done it is done. Secondary is only to clear out the yeast and other particles. A dark ale doesn't need a secondary and most beers don't. If you are making any type of lager you will secondary but in that case you know way more than this post suggests. Lagers take a lot more time and care to make. Temperatures are way more important.

In any case, don't add sugar to your secondary. Secondary is for clearing. You only add sugar if you are bottle or keg priming... unless you are trying to defeat the purpose of a secondary.

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Old 02-17-2013, 02:16 PM   #8
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I don't bother with secondary at all. I just bottled a Patersbier after 3 weeks in primary and it was a very nice clear golden color.



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