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Old 06-23-2013, 06:17 PM   #1
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Default More time in primary?

We brewed a Rye IPA which is now in primary. It's been two weeks and we were due to rack it into secondary today. Only thing is that the airlock is still bubbling about every 45 seconds. I'm thinking about giving it another week on the yeast to allow things to finish and clean up a little. It had an OG of 1.074 and I'm hoping to get it down to 1.018 or so. Thoughts?


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Old 06-23-2013, 06:25 PM   #2
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Yummy!
There's no need to rack it to a secondary. Better off letting the yeast do its work.

It's probably not done yet anyway, so let it be for another week, then take your gravity sample.
Unless you want to save the yeast, you could dry hop right into the primary.


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Old 06-25-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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Ok. I'm letting it go another week in primary. Today, 17 days in primary, I'm still getting a bubble in the airlock every 45 seconds. Then I'll probably go to secondary just for clearing purposes. We'll see. Thanks for the reply, IslandLizard.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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It must still be slowly attenuating. Are you going to dry hop your Rye IPA? Most IPAs benefit from dry hopping for that in your face hop aroma.

Most of us here don't do secondaries anymore, unless you add a bunch of fruit or other stuff, or you want an extended conditioning/aging time for High Gravity beers. Even the dry hoppers and fruit additions don't really need a secondary. Racking increases risk of infection and does expose the beer to air (oxygen). You got a nice CO2 layer on that beer now. Racking discards that.

I let my IPAs ferment/condition for 2-3 weeks (depending on OG), dry hop for a week, cold crash for 2 days in the fridge to drop everything down. Then bottle.
The cold crash clears the beer better than 2 weeks of rest at room temps.

Carefully rack off the yeast/trub cake, into the bottling bucket. Try to not suck up any trub. I start in the middle and slowly slide the cane down as the level drops. Then tilt a bit to get the last 2 quarts out. If I dry hopped, I tie a sanitized hop bag on the end of the cane to hold the hop pulp back.

I'm still working on perfecting hop tea additions right before bottling/kegging instead of dry hopping.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:33 AM   #5
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Yeah, I'll be dryhopping with an ounce of Columbus whole leaf a week or so before kegging. This beer is due to end up at about 7.2% abv so I'm thinking the yeast is still hard at work which is why, like you mentioned, leaving it in primary for another week would be good. The recipe that I was using for this brew calls for it to age in secondary for 4 weeks. I'm thinking that is due to it's higher abv?
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:51 PM   #6
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Don't rack until fermenting is done and your FG is stable over 3 days. If you do, chances are it will get stuck.

1 or 2 ounces of Columbus sounds good. What other flavor hops are in the brew? A mix of 2 or more for dry hopping will give more complexity.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:30 PM   #7
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It was a 10 gal batch and we added...
2.25 oz each Mt Hood and Columbus @ 60 min
2.25 oz Mt Hood @ 30
2.25 oz Mt Hood @ Flame out

We split the batch into two carboys so maybe I'll add a second hop to one of them. What would you recommend? Maybe something like Chinook?

And thanks, I'll keep an eye on the FG before racking over.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:25 PM   #8
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Combining hops is not my specialty. Someone else may have good suggestions.

I'd say to bring out the Mt. Hood, I'd dry hop with just that. Or add something that is really complimentary. Chinook would overpower it with grapefruit.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pellphoto View Post
The recipe that I was using for this brew calls for it to age in secondary for 4 weeks. I'm thinking that is due to it's higher abv?
Some batch kits come with instructions that were written years ago and have never been updated to incorporate newer, improved brewing knowledge/techniques (or to correct old, out-dated information). Just because the recipe instructions say 4 weeks in a secondary doesn't mean that's the best course of action.

Bubbles or lack thereof are not a good indicator that fermentation is complete. Take 2-3 gravity readings over a span of 3 days, then you'll know. Afterward that, if you have the means to cold crash 4-5 days at 35-37*F, that will help clear it just fine.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:02 PM   #10
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Check gravity with a hydrometer, not the rate of bubbles in your airlock.
Also, kit instructions generally are to be discarded re fermentation times. The yeast are done when they are done - not when the calendar says they "should" be done.
Lastly, if you underpitched yeast amounts, esp with your high gravity (i.e. not rehydrating the dry yeast, or not making a starter with liquid yeast), then things will take longer.
good luck.


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