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Old 03-21-2007, 01:59 PM   #1
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Default When to go to secondary?

Sorry to keep asking silly questions, but I am still not completely clear as to when you rack to secondary.

The instructions that came with my kit just say to rack to secondary "after four or five days" and I was not clear on what Papazian's book is saying.

I hate to get into taking additional hydrometer readings, but other than that is there any official way to know when you are supposed to rack to secondary?

I have been fermenting a Pale Ale at 67 to 71 degrees for four days now. The bubbles in the airlock have gone from one per second during the first 24 hours to now about one every sixteen seconds.

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Old 03-21-2007, 02:06 PM   #2
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Basically after the bulk of the fermentation is done is when you rack. A good rule of thumb for ales is one week. If you open up your fermentor and the Krausen has fallen you should be good to go. It is by no means a critical factor, although racking too early can lead to problems. Moral of the story, waiting a little longer is better. I don't even worry about bubbling anymore tbh. When it stops it is ready to bottle or keg. Rate of bubbles can be deceptive due to a few factors.

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Old 03-21-2007, 02:08 PM   #3
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With patience, you'll get to 10 days in primary and 3-5 weeks in secondary, then a month priming prior to drinking and you'll love it.

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Old 03-23-2007, 05:25 PM   #4
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racked to secondary last night...

funky looking brew in primary: http://www.coyotl.net/~ggw/brew/brew_1_18.jpg

in secondary, with sample next to it in test cylinder: http://www.coyotl.net/~ggw/brew/brew_1_21.jpg

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Old 03-23-2007, 05:37 PM   #5
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The primary is perfectly normal.

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Old 03-24-2007, 05:26 AM   #6
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When I make my beer then place in a plastic primary, I pitch the yeast at about 72F then put on a brew belt (I have a cold house) keep the temp at about 74 - 77F for 7 days.... When I take the original gravity at the beginning..

Take my Amber Ale I did. The Gravity was 1041 after 7 days the gravity was 1001. I then racked to secondary for another 7 days, for cleaning purposes, and on Sunday I get to bottle.

The hydrometer is your best friend. once the primary gravity is 1006 or below (Sticking to basics here peeps) the beer is done fermenting. ofcourse depending on yeast and the amount of sugar or honey or whatever you are trying to go for. I am just doing basics, because I am a beginner as well that is when I will rack to secondary.


Hope this makes sense for ya. Just follow the 7 day rule and it is all good

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Old 03-27-2007, 09:08 PM   #7
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so now I am wondering... why not just toss the hydrometer in when I rack to secondary and leave it do I don't have to take samples? I mean it is sanitizde and the carboy is glass...

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Old 03-27-2007, 09:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotlgw
so now I am wondering... why not just toss the hydrometer in when I rack to secondary and leave it do I don't have to take samples? I mean it is sanitizde and the carboy is glass...
because when you own 7 fermenters and are brewing 2-4 times a month you are gonn run out of hydrometers!
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sAvAgE
When I make my beer then place in a plastic primary, I pitch the yeast at about 72F then put on a brew belt (I have a cold house) keep the temp at about 74 - 77F for 7 days.... When I take the original gravity at the beginning..

Take my Amber Ale I did. The Gravity was 1041 after 7 days the gravity was 1001. I then racked to secondary for another 7 days, for cleaning purposes, and on Sunday I get to bottle.

The hydrometer is your best friend. once the primary gravity is 1006 or below (Sticking to basics here peeps) the beer is done fermenting. ofcourse depending on yeast and the amount of sugar or honey or whatever you are trying to go for. I am just doing basics, because I am a beginner as well that is when I will rack to secondary.


Hope this makes sense for ya. Just follow the 7 day rule and it is all good

Just a couple thoughts here; your fermenting a little too warm, most ale yeasts ferment best between 62-70 degrees, and I'm not sure how you are getting such low hydrometer readings, most average gravity ales (1.040) should finish around 1.012ish. Anyway, just my thought when I read this.
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotlgw
so now I am wondering... why not just toss the hydrometer in when I rack to secondary and leave it do I don't have to take samples? I mean it is sanitizde and the carboy is glass...
Well, there is alot of gunk in there, and I'm not sure how easy it would be to see through it. Also, it's hard enough for me to read it in the test jar, up at eye level. I doubt I would be able to see in there and see what it reads! And, what if it breaks in there from bumping against the neck of the carboy? And, how do you get it out if it isn't right under the opening?

Clearly, I'm a worry wort (get it?) but it's just so easy to use a sanitized turkey baster, check the sample, and then drink. I only check the s.g at the beginning and when I move it to secondary, and then at bottling anyway, so the beer is already being transferred. So, it's no extra work.
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