How do I know when to move to a secondary fermenter? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:54 AM   #1
Sep 2009
San Francisco
Posts: 7

So I started this brew on Sunday so its been around 5 days. The air lock doesnt have many bubbles at the moment.... but Ive been taking gravity measurements and my beer is at 1.100 right now, it seems a little high? Im brewing an IPA, I figured the FG should be closer to 1. I guess my question is does it really matter when you move to secondary fermenter, as long as the initial fermentation is mostly done?

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Old 09-26-2009, 12:57 AM   #2
Four Beasts Brewery
Brooklyn-Brewtality's Avatar
Aug 2008
Posts: 2,260
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your reading is a typo or you messed up the reading. did you mean 1.010?

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Old 09-26-2009, 01:31 AM   #3
Sep 2009
San Francisco
Posts: 7

OH ****, yeah right on its 1.010.

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Old 09-26-2009, 01:41 AM   #4
Jul 2009
Posts: 151

I generally question the use of a secondary unless required by additions or (very) long-term aging. So, my robotic answer would be to skip secondary altogether.

However, if you've got a good reason to use a secondary, it's still way too soon to think about it. Fermentation may be nearly complete, but you even admit there are still some bubbles. Even after fermentation completes, the yeast will need several days to a few weeks to break down some of the chemicals they produced early in fermentation, so don't go off gravity alone. For an IPA, I don't think I'd consider racking out of primary until at least two weeks -- if I were in a rush.

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Old 09-26-2009, 01:44 AM   #5
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Oct 2008
the sun
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Since you brewed an IPA and I am guessing you don't have a conical, then if the beer is at the terminal gravity, meaning that you have checked and it has been the same gravity for 3 days you can move it to the secondary which I am hoping you are dry hopping in. If you don't plan on dry hopping, don't move it, just leave it be and rack it to your next vessel in a couple more weeks.

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Old 09-26-2009, 02:55 AM   #6
Aug 2008
Portland OR
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I usually secondary after 14 days in primary, assuming that it has reached FG. For homebrewing purposes, it could be transferred anytime after FG has been reached but I like to give the yeast some extra time to clean up after themselves. That extra week or so in primary has really improved my beers IMO.
"If you're gonna be an ape, be a hairy one" - Spyder

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Old 09-26-2009, 04:36 AM   #7
May 2008
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Your good to transfer to secondary now, but there is no need to unless you want to free up the primary fermenter to start you next batch.
This early I would scrap up a little of the yeast into the secondary, clean and sanitize the primary and start your next batch.
In Primary: Belgium Chimay clones.
In Secondary: Braggot, pale ale, end of the world white.
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Old 09-26-2009, 04:43 AM   #8
Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
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I go 3 weeks in primary before transferring, also making sure it's fermented completely.
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-Adam Savage

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Old 09-26-2009, 04:55 AM   #9
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Ok I am gonna say it...
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:53 AM   #10
Feb 2009
Posts: 109

Hi, I have a related question.

I'm making a pumpkin ale which has a lot of sediment from the pumpkin. I was thinking of using a secondary to help remove some of that. Sound like a winning strategy?

Also, the recipe I used dosn't provide fermenting times, and of course, my hydrometer was at a buddy's house when I got impatient and started brewing anyway. I was thinking 3-4 weeks of fermenting time... does that sound about right?


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