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Old 02-06-2009, 02:05 AM   #1
OrCoastBrew
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Default Racked to secondary!

This is my first time and I probably should have just left it in my primary but I just had to see what was going on. So I waited for airlock activity to die off. That took about 6 days. Man was I blown away when I took that lid of to siphon over to my carboy. It was nasty looking! I am assuming all that crap around the rim and on the bottom of the bucket was yeast crap. Anyway it looked good and smelled like the best stale beer I have ever smelled. Now its in my carboy covered up with an old dallas cowboys t-shirt and I don't plan on messing with it for about 3 more weeks. I am hooked and I can't wait to taste test!!!!


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Old 02-06-2009, 02:54 AM   #2
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It's okay. Lots of people use secondaries.
Congrats on a good batch.


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Old 02-06-2009, 03:15 AM   #3
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I use a secondary all the time - but, you really should wait a little longer and check the gravity before racking. Airlock activity isn't really a reliable indicator of readiness. If the hydrometer says it isn't quite done yet you'd want to leave it in primary a little longer before moving it, because sometimes they won't finish out once you take them off the yeast cake. 10 days is my minimum.

Did you check the gravity before racking?
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:56 PM   #4
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Default not finish out off the yeast cake

Quote:
Originally Posted by ifishsum View Post
I use a secondary all the time - but, you really should wait a little longer and check the gravity before racking. Airlock activity isn't really a reliable indicator of readiness. If the hydrometer says it isn't quite done yet you'd want to leave it in primary a little longer before moving it, because sometimes they won't finish out once you take them off the yeast cake. 10 days is my minimum.

Did you check the gravity before racking?
So ifshsum, what happens if you take it out of the primary to soon and it hasn't finished fermenting with the yeast?
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:03 PM   #5
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Well, as ifishum said, one danger is that the beer wont fully finish fermenting. This leaves you with a malter beer than you may want. The Big danger, from what i've read, comes from those who want to bottle before fermentation has fully stopped. This risks bottle bombs because there is more fermentable sugar in the solution than you might have planned for and could potentially over carbonate and cause the bottles break from the increased pressure.
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:09 PM   #6
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Another question you had was the crust on the top, that's the residue of the Kreusen, or yeast bubbles and foam that forms at the top of the fermentation process, nothing to worry about there... If you aren't using a hydrometer yet, do it, it makes you know when fermentation is done. The recipe's usually have an expected final gravity FG, which gives you a hint if its close but the only way to know for sure is to take identical gravity readings several days in a row.
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pompeiisneaks View Post
Another question you had was the crust on the top, that's the residue of the Kreusen, or yeast bubbles and foam that forms at the top of the fermentation process, nothing to worry about there... If you aren't using a hydrometer yet, do it, it makes you know when fermentation is done. The recipe's usually have an expected final gravity FG, which gives you a hint if its close but the only way to know for sure is to take identical gravity readings several days in a row.
The recipe calls for a FG of 1.012. When I transferred to carboy I took a reading and it was at 1.015, I put that sample in a clean beer bottle stuffed a paper towel in the top and took another reading the next day and it was the same. Hope I didn't screw anything up by moving it to fast. I waited 3 days longer than the recipe called for. There seems to still be some activity in the secondary as the center piece in my airlock is pushed to the top and there is a small amount of foam/bubbles on top of the beer. Dunno, hopefully I will be a little more patient on my second batch!
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:18 PM   #8
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I'm no expert, but that isn't a huge different in gravity. What most people worry about is bottling when the beer is still at 1.030 instead of 1.012 or something. You might get a little more movement, but there are also lots of factors that can keep a beer from getting to the final gravity. Maybe the beer got too cold and the yeast went to sleep, maybe your OG was higher and the yeast attenuated to its full potential and only could get down to 1.015...

Again, no expert, but i bet you're fine where you are, especially if you only racked to secondary and didn't immediately bottle.
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrCoastBrew View Post
The recipe calls for a FG of 1.012. When I transferred to carboy I took a reading and it was at 1.015, I put that sample in a clean beer bottle stuffed a paper towel in the top and took another reading the next day and it was the same. Hope I didn't screw anything up by moving it to fast. I waited 3 days longer than the recipe called for. There seems to still be some activity in the secondary as the center piece in my airlock is pushed to the top and there is a small amount of foam/bubbles on top of the beer. Dunno, hopefully I will be a little more patient on my second batch!
Are you saying you measured the same sample over 2 days? The proper way is to draw another sample from the fermenter and test it. Drink the sample after you test it. (Some people will put the sample back into the fermenter, but i don't like the risk of infection, and I do like to taste my beer as it goes along)
That said I would say you are probably plenty close enough to rack to secondary. Next time give it a little more time in primary before you sample, but you should be fine this time. Most of my brews spend at least 3 weeks in the primary (probably overkill) before I move them to secondary.

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Old 02-06-2009, 07:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Stratotankard View Post
Are you saying you measured the same sample over 2 days? The proper way is to draw another sample from the fermenter and test it. Drink the sample after you test it. (Some people will put the sample back into the fermenter, but i don't like the risk of infection, and I do like to taste my beer as it goes along)
That said I would say you are probably plenty close enough to rack to secondary. Next time give it a little more time in primary before you sample, but you should be fine this time. Most of my brews spend at least 3 weeks in the primary (probably overkill) before I move them to secondary.

Terje
I'm a little confused because I have heard that you can use the same sample repeatedly so that you don't need to keep opening up your fermenter. Is it not a problem to open you primary up multiple times as long as you sanitize your sample puller?


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