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Old 01-08-2005, 05:26 AM   #1
DesertBrew
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I'm on my 1st ever batch of brew (European bock) and racked after 5 days to the secondary as someone "told me" to. Starting gravity was 1.055 and was 1.030 when I racked. FG is to be 1.020 so figured I was close but still had airlock activity in the primary.

I went to the home brew store and was chatting on the activity that I'm still seeing in the carboy after 10 days total (pri + sec); airlock every 20 sec or so, foam on top all but gone now but can still "see activity/bubbles". He thought it a little cool (68) so get it a little warmer to increase activity to complete. He also told me to rack only after FG is met and fermentation is done next time. Then stay in secondary for 10 days or so will give best clarity which makes sense.

My question as I forgot to ask him; does "completed fermentation" look completely dormant or will you always see ever so slight activity if you stare at your brew? I read some other thread about not to bottle if still active (bombs) so now am curious what "done really looks like.

Thanks

 
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Old 01-08-2005, 05:52 AM   #2
rightwingnut
 
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I haven't started my first brew, but I have read that if you check the gravity, then check again 3 days later, if no change, it's done. I can't tell you what it should look like (little activity or none).

 
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Old 01-08-2005, 06:15 AM   #3
DesertBrew
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I think that's why the racking too soon is also a problem. A bit more difficult to get the reading when it's in the carboy. The brew shop had a "tool" to get a sample out of the carboy but was another $20 and I didn't think I'd need it if I follow his preferred racking process...

Funny thing was the guy on the phone was the one who said rack it at 5 days but that wasn't the owner who told me the to wait 1st. Sounded like a kid and was when I went into the store.

 
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Old 01-08-2005, 06:18 AM   #4
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I wonder could you put the hydrometer in the carboy when you rack and leave it. (If there's enough space).

 
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Old 01-08-2005, 08:21 AM   #5
strat40
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I usually rack to the secondary after a week to 10 days. It will slow till you see a bubble every 15 minutes or so. Then rack after noticable activity ends. Keep in secondary till it drops clear.
This is pretty foolproof, in my experience.
Yes, you can use hydrometer readings too, but when it stops, it's done.
I only take hydrometer readings when I do the racking prossess.
If you want to do both, try using a fermentap on the carboy. You can drain trub, etc., plus take a reading and a taste too.
Above all, don't stress....
...It's beer. Not someone's life..

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Old 01-08-2005, 04:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat40
Above all, don't stress....
...It's beer. Not someone's life..

But...beer IS my life!

 
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Old 01-08-2005, 05:08 PM   #7
strat40
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Thats the spirit!

 
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Old 01-08-2005, 08:33 PM   #8
DesertBrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat40
I usually rack to the secondary after a week to 10 days. It will slow till you see a bubble every 15 minutes or so. Then rack after noticable activity ends. Keep in secondary till it drops clear.
This is pretty foolproof, in my experience.
Yes, you can use hydrometer readings too, but when it stops, it's done.
I only take hydrometer readings when I do the racking prossess.
If you want to do both, try using a fermentap on the carboy. You can drain trub, etc., plus take a reading and a taste too.
Above all, don't stress....
...It's beer. Not someone's life..
Sounds good, thanks Strat. It's not just beer though, it's my beer!!

 
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:59 AM   #9
Dark_Ale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertBrew
I'm on my 1st ever batch of brew (European bock) and racked after 5 days to the secondary as someone "told me" to. Starting gravity was 1.055 and was 1.030 when I racked. FG is to be 1.020 so figured I was close but still had airlock activity in the primary.

I went to the home brew store and was chatting on the activity that I'm still seeing in the carboy after 10 days total (pri + sec); airlock every 20 sec or so, foam on top all but gone now but can still "see activity/bubbles". He thought it a little cool (68) so get it a little warmer to increase activity to complete. He also told me to rack only after FG is met and fermentation is done next time. Then stay in secondary for 10 days or so will give best clarity which makes sense.

My question as I forgot to ask him; does "completed fermentation" look completely dormant or will you always see ever so slight activity if you stare at your brew? I read some other thread about not to bottle if still active (bombs) so now am curious what "done really looks like.

Thanks
Usually to determine if your brew is ready you will need to know the starting gravity of your brew, I guess it depends on what your making, but you should see a little bit of fermintation going on, even when its time to bottle, but it should be very little, and only a hydrometer can tell you. Sometimes the yeast, and definitly the temp will determine ferment time. I started a dark ale one day, original grav 1.070, then the next day I started a barley wine with a gravity of almost 1.090, the barely wine was done in 4 days, no noticable fermintation, while the dark ale was still going. I was told it was the yeast. Brew on

 
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Old 01-11-2005, 09:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat40
...It's beer. Not someone's life..
Best advice I've seen on this board. I NEVER use a hydrometer and don't own one. When it stops bubbling and the yeast settles, it's done. Not sure? Wait a few more days. Waiting a little bit longer will only make your beer better and won't hurt it.

Throw your hydrometer away, and stop taking samples while it ferments. It only causes risk and less beer to drink later and doesn't do a damn bit of good. There is no harm in letting your beer sit around for a bit.

Janx

 
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