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Old 08-17-2012, 01:34 PM   #1
J3conn
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Default Bubbling in secondary?

After Fermentation ( I thought) I transfered my IPA into the secondary. The next day it bubbled in the airlock. I thought this was because some yeast found some food when unsettled during transfer. It's almost been two weeks in the secondary and it still bubbles. Not constantly like during primary fermentation, but every so often it bubbles. Is this an indication that there is an infection, or is it just taking its time to consume all the sugars? I was hoping to rack mid next week!


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Old 08-17-2012, 01:47 PM   #2
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I'm going to say that I'm about 98% certain that you're ok. You can either roll with that or read my thoughts on the matter.

Here's my explanation:
There's a nice layer of CO2 that forms above your brew. Changes in ambient temperature, or weather conditions can also change the ambient pressure. When ambient pressure changes, CO2 has to escape the airlock. Your carboy doesn't expand...and if it did, it'd probably explode.

Someone with far more experience will correct me if I'm wrong .


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Old 08-17-2012, 01:55 PM   #3
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Okay thanks! I'm not too worried, but I would hate to see a batch go bad! I've brewed a lot of beer this year and I have not seen this happen yet. I'll wait it out and brew another in the meantime.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:57 PM   #4
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easiest way to find out if you're ready to keg or bottle: 3 days of constant hydrometer readings. ignore the bubbles, several things other than fermentation can explain escaping gas.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:08 PM   #5
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Sidepart and sweetcell both hit it right. I've seen it happen often in my secondary and for me its been because of slight variations in temp. (Knock on wood) I haven't had a bad batch yet.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J3conn View Post
Okay thanks! I'm not too worried, but I would hate to see a batch go bad! I've brewed a lot of beer this year and I have not seen this happen yet. I'll wait it out and brew another in the meantime.
Good luck buddy. I'm ramping up beer production for the end of the year myself and hope I don't run into any issues.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:49 PM   #7
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It bubbled because you moved it and disturbed it.

Think of an airlock as it's supposed to be thought of, as a VENT a VALVE to release gas, NOT as a fermentation gauge. All that more than likely happened is gas that has been present ALL THE TIME in solution got released, either from it being trapped in the yeast at the bottom of the vessel, because of some physical shaking of the vessel or the room it is being stored in, or the change in barometric pressure putting pressure on the liquid in the vessel or a rise in ambient temp causing the co2 to expand beyond the layer that was in the headspace. Or opening the fermenter to take a gravity reading....

Or because they moved the fermenter.

Airlocks bubble for many reasons Barometric changes/Temp changes/ A truck rumbling by on the street/The cat brushing against it/Vacuum Cleaner....Bubbling of an airlock, especially if it's been idle for awhile, is usually a product of changes in the environment, rather than anything else.

That's what so many brewers into trouble, they keep thinking an airlock is a fermentation gauge, that any time it acts up or doesn't act up they think fermentation is or isn't occurring. If you think of it as it's REAL purpose, as a release valve to keep the beer off the ceiling, then you realize that you dealing with gas which is fluid in it's own right, it expands, contracts, and comes out of solutions form many reasons beyond JUST fermenting....
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:01 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your input! Beer is quite an adventure!


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