Transfered to secondary too early - leave it? - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Transfered to secondary too early - leave it?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-28-2010, 10:21 PM   #1
Pivovar_Koucky
Recipes 
 
Feb 2010
Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 404
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts



Hello to all,

I've had my first lager, a Czech style dark lager, going in primary for about 2 weeks at ~50 deg. F. The OG was 1.065 and I was using Wyeast Budvar which claims to have 71-75% attenuation so I should be expecting a FG of 1.016-1.020. The gravity got down below 1.020 and the bubbling was pretty slow so I transferred it to secondary reasoning (rationalizing?) that such a small amount of fermentation wouldn't produce much more yeast. I let it sit at RT for a couple of hours and, wouldn't you know it, the bubble rate picked up to about 1 bubble every 8 seconds. I stuck it back into the fridge and upped the temperature to 65 F and now 2 days later I've got about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of yeast at the bottom and it's still bubbling away. Gravity is down to 1.014. I've made up my mind to let it go for another week or so just to be sure everything is done.

My questions are the following

1) Are attenuations that unreliable (I've got 78% right now)?

2) When fermentation finally does stop should I rack back to another container for lagering so it doesn't sit on the yeast?

Any help would be greatly appreciated

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2010, 11:25 PM   #2
TipsyDragon
Recipes 
 
Mar 2009
California
Posts: 2,607
Liked 24 Times on 22 Posts


well first fermentation produces alcohol and CO2. yeast reproduction produces more yeast. the two things are related but not the same.

yes you racked to soon, your beer wasn't done fermenting. you should make sure fermentation is completely done before you rack a beer anywhere. typically for the last third of a lager fermentation you are supposed to up the temp 10F to help remove some off flavors. only when fermentation is over do you rack to a secondary to prevent autolysis and lager. if i where you i would wait for fermentation to finish completely, rack to another carboy, then lager.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2010, 11:29 PM   #3
malkore
 
malkore's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Nebraska
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts


bubbles mean nothing. NEVER EVER use the airlock as any kind of gauge of 'is it done/should I rack it'.

Ever.

Hydrometer is the only way to do it.

Having said that, yes, leave it alone now for 2-3 weeks and it'll be ok.
__________________
Malkore
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2010, 11:31 PM   #4
ChshreCat
 
ChshreCat's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 11,533
Liked 540 Times on 432 Posts


Your airlock is a great gauge. It gauges when it's time to take a hydrometer reading.
__________________
"Science + beer = good!"
-Adam Savage

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2010, 12:09 AM   #5
Cliff897
Recipes 
 
Dec 2009
NJ
Posts: 468
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts


I suspect everyone's done that.

Yah leave it until you see it sitting on top of a yeast cake that you just know has to be eliminated.
Then rack it off again.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2010, 12:13 AM   #6
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,413
Liked 7839 Times on 5493 Posts


Well, lagers are a bit different than ales. I like to leave it in primary until it's about 75% done, and then do a diacetyl rest if needed. Allow it to finish fermentintg, then rack to secondary and begin lagering.

You can wait until it's done now, and I'm guessing you are sort of doing a diacetyl rest, since you have active yeast.

What I would do now is wait until it's completely finished, and then taste for diacetyl. ( A butter flavor, or even a "slick" mouthfeel). Then, if there is no diacetyl, rack it off of the yeast cake and begin lagering. If there is any hint of diacetyl, leave it on the yeast cake until it's gone.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2010, 05:53 AM   #7
Pivovar_Koucky
Recipes 
 
Feb 2010
Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 404
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts


Thanks all,

I did taste the beer that I pulled off to take the gravity reading (I wasn't going to just pour it down the drain). I didn't notice any buttery flavor or slickness in my mouth but I did up the temp to about 65 F just to be sure. I probably won't get a chance to mess with it until the weekend now anyway. I was going to check it Friday afternoon/evening. If it reads the same Friday and Saturday should I rerack of should I wait a few days just to be sure?

Furthermore, does anyone have any input on how long to lager for? I've heard 3-4 weeks, I've heard 1 week per degree plato (16 weeks). I probably can't wait 4 months for the beer. Maybe 2.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2010, 01:22 PM   #8
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2006
Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 23,245
Liked 1692 Times on 1089 Posts


You're probably OK, but do the ramped warm up with the primary, then chill it to 35F, then rack to secondary for lagering.
__________________
Welcome to BrewHardware.com. I love you.
Corny Keg Dry Hop Canisters $26.50 for limited time
Chugger Pumps, Pump Kits, Camlocks, Sightglasses, Clear USA made Silicone Tubing, RIMS, Electric Install Parts, etc.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 02:02 AM   #10
hairy
Recipes 
 
Mar 2010
Singapore
Posts: 68
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pivovar_Koucky View Post
My questions are the following

1) Are attenuations that unreliable (I've got 78% right now)?

2) When fermentation finally does stop should I rack back to another container for lagering so it doesn't sit on the yeast?

Any help would be greatly appreciated
1) The attenuation given by the yeast supplier is just a general guideline. Actual attenuation depends on the sugar composition of your wort. If you have more fermentables, naturally you will get a drier beer. Converse is also true.

2) Lagering is usually done in the secondary and not the primary. So, yes, you need to rack it to remove it from the yeast bed. I have heard of many cases of brewers just lagering in the primary with no problems though. Rational being autolysis and off flavors do not develop so quickly at lagering temperatures. So it is up to you. Maybe you can try splitting the batch into 2 and lager in different containers to see the difference.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Transfered to secondary,do i need to top up? buzzbee Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 11-16-2009 03:20 AM
Just transfered to secondary... Kiana All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 04-29-2009 08:05 PM
Think I transfered to Secondary to Early Rendar Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 04-10-2007 05:24 AM
First Batch transfered to Secondary bigchilla77 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 03-05-2007 04:08 AM
Just transfered my first brew to the secondary... SayWhat1 General Techniques 7 03-02-2007 10:25 PM


Forum Jump