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Old 06-27-2012, 04:18 AM   #1
kevinrobinson
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Default What the flock?! I forgot the Whirlflock.

In the excitement of brewing my first original double IPA recipe (my hop schedule, a little help on the malts from the brew store guy) I totally brain-farted the Whirlfloc. I racked it and just moved it to the secondary after five days of fermenting. It's a cloudy mo-fo. Will this impact the beer significantly? If it does, is there anything I can do? Also busted my hydrometer so I've got no clue what the OG is.

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Old 06-27-2012, 04:30 AM   #2
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I racked it and just moved it to the secondary after five days of fermenting
Whoa, why this soon? I think this is a bigger worry than the whirlfloc... You can use gelatin or something later to clear it up but transferring a big beer after 5 days in primary could be a bad idea. It's probably cloudy because it's still trying to ferment, but you just took it off the yeast. Hopefully you pitched a big starter or enough dry yeast to begin with that taking it off the yeast so early won't leave it under-attenuated.
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:33 AM   #3
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You know what, you can make a perfectly fine beer without whirlflock. I use it all the time, but if I forgot it I would not panic or change anything. The beer may not be as clear, but it will still taste fine. Relax and enjoy.

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Old 06-27-2012, 04:38 AM   #4
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I've heard you can put your fermenter in the fridge and cool it down just before you transfer to bottle or keg. It helps the yeast flocculate. Trying it myself right now but haven't finished so now results to say one way or the other.

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Old 06-27-2012, 04:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ChessRockwell

Whoa, why this soon? I think this is a bigger worry than the whirlfloc... You can use gelatin or something later to clear it up but transferring a big beer after 5 days in primary could be a bad idea. It's probably cloudy because it's still trying to ferment, but you just took it off the yeast. Hopefully you pitched a big starter or enough dry yeast to begin with that taking it off the yeast so early won't leave it under-attenuated.
I've been moving from primary to secondary after the air lock bubbling slows down to more than 90 second intervals. I pitched two packs of dry yeast (Safale US-05 American Ale Yeast) and it really went bananas for about a day or so. Our master bedroom smelled like a distillery for a couple days (I ferment my beer in the bathtub of our master bathroom...lame, I know, but it's the most temperature-controlled/kid-proof location I have). How long do you usually leave your big beers in primary?
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kevinrobinson View Post
In the excitement of brewing my first original double IPA recipe (my hop schedule, a little help on the malts from the brew store guy) I totally brain-farted the Whirlfloc. I racked it and just moved it to the secondary after five days of fermenting. It's a cloudy mo-fo. Will this impact the beer significantly? If it does, is there anything I can do? Also busted my hydrometer so I've got no clue what the OG is.
Yikes buddy. Five days on the yeast is not enough - it's cloudy because you have a bunch of yeast still in suspension. I'd probably pitch another round of yeast and let it sit for another three weeks before bottling. Give that a try - I think you'll be really satisfied with that.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:25 AM   #7
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How long do you usually leave your big beers in primary?
A month or so, 3 weeks min.

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I'd probably pitch another round of yeast and let it sit for another three weeks before bottling. Give that a try - I think you'll be really satisfied with that.
Yep, that!
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:55 AM   #8
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How long do you usually leave your big beers in primary?
The shortest amount of time I leave a beer on the yeast is a month. I've gone far longer - I brewed a Belgian dark strong ale that I left in the primary for something like 10 weeks. I brewed a giant imperial stout last week that will sit for at least a month, maybe two and then aged on oak chips for probably 6 months. Honestly, most of the fears that used to surround an extended time in the primary are no longer valid - do a forum search on "extended primary".

The only exception to this are dry hopped IPAs - I will typically leave them on the yeast for 2 weeks and then transfer to another fermenter to dry hop for 7-10 days and then bottle. If I were kegging, I'd probably try and get it into a keg after 2 weeks and then dry hop in the keg.

A lot of kit instructions preach the whole "1-2-3" thing. 1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary, and 3 weeks in bottles, but it really doesn't yield the best results.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:59 PM   #9
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How long do you usually leave your big beers in primary?
Until it's done. Once gravity hasn't moved in about a week or possibly two, it's done. I only use secondaries as brite tanks.

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Old 08-04-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinrobinson View Post
In the excitement of brewing my first original double IPA recipe (my hop schedule, a little help on the malts from the brew store guy) I totally brain-farted the Whirlfloc. I racked it and just moved it to the secondary after five days of fermenting. It's a cloudy mo-fo. Will this impact the beer significantly? If it does, is there anything I can do? Also busted my hydrometer so I've got no clue what the OG is.
Racking that early is a bigger issue (and I always do use a secondary) than the missing whirfloc.
I almost never use it anyways.
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