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Old 05-03-2011, 07:14 PM   #11
erikpete18
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Apr 2009
Seattle, WA
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Quote:
I haven't done this before, but recall reading about it. I'm assuming that by checking the gravity more than once, you're looking to see if it's dropped further since the last time you checked it. And, ideally, you want it to not have moved since the last check to ensure that fermentation is complete.
Exactly, most people check 3-4 days apart and make sure it hasn't moved. The point of using a secondary vessel (unless you are adding fruit/dry hops/etc.) is mostly just to allow the yeast to drop out of solution to make your beer more clear (although this can also be done with more time in the primary). If you are trying to get rid of your yeast but haven't finished fermenting, you might not have enough yeast left to finish the job, leading to unfermented sugars left that can result in bottle bombs/over-carbonation.

SG is just the specific gravity, or a measurement of the density of the water that you can get with your hydrometer. Pure, filtered water is 1.000 on your hydrometer. Adding sugar increases the gravity (say 1.050 for an unfermented wort), and as the yeast consume the sugar the gravity will drop (the added alcohol also lowers the gravity, since it is less dense than water). You'll also see OG (original gravity, gravity before fermentation) and FG (final/finished gravity, gravity after fermentation).

 
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:52 PM   #12
Alellujah
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Mar 2010
Davenport, Iowa
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Fantastic. Thanks!

 
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:42 AM   #13
kanddr
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Apr 2011
Perry, UT
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What will happen with the taste if you rack over to a secondary too soon? This is my first batch and I racked from the primary over to the secondary at day #6 but only took an FG reading right before racking. Now I'm a bit concerned that I moved it over too soon.
FYI, it's a Cooper Australian Ale with a OG of 1.053 and a FG of 1.011.

I'm planning on 1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary, 3 in bottles.

 
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:35 AM   #14
jsweet
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Apr 2011
Rochester, NY
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My understanding is that you can wind up with a stuck fermentation.

 
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:30 PM   #15
AR-Josh
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Apr 2010
Pasadena, MD
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I have a belgian wit in primary now that has been bubbling for over a week. This is the first time I've seen this... All of mine up to this point have bubbled for a couple days then quit. This puppy just keeps going. I'll check gravity at the end of this week but if it's bubbling still I may just let it sit.

 
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:55 PM   #16
jsweet
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Apr 2011
Rochester, NY
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My 2nd batch has been in primary for 17 days now, and I still get a bubble out the fermentation lock every minute or so. I've heard this doesn't mean a damn thing; it's probably just CO2 escaping. I took a SG reading last Sunday, will take another one this Sunday and bottle if it's the same (which I'd be shocked if it wasn't; it was already at the low end of target gravity after the last reading)

 
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:09 AM   #17
nolken
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Sep 2011
Rolla, MO
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So I have some beer i just started to ferment in my primary, however i just found out i have to leave town for 10 days. I will be leaving on the 12th day of fermentation, and won't return until 22nd. My debate is whether i should just let it go in the primary until i get back and bottle that day, or if i should rack it to a secondary and bottle as soon as i get back. I don't like being away from the brew in the middle of fermentation but have no choice...

The beer is an american wheat
The OG was 1.043.

Thanks in Advance!

 
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:26 AM   #18
erikpete18
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Apr 2009
Seattle, WA
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Just go ahead and leave it in the primary, it will be fine. Normally I'd say it would be even better after 22 days, but an american wheat would be one of the few beers that you could rush a little and not hurt it as much. However, it certainly won't do any harm to leave it until day 22, and if there were any potential irregularities (pitch rate, ferment temp, etc.), you can relax knowing that letting it go for 3 weeks will help to clean up a lot of problems.

 
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:20 AM   #19
nolken
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Sep 2011
Rolla, MO
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Awesome that's what i was thinking, but felt really unsure with the thought. I appreciate the reassurance and the fast response

 
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:35 PM   #20
dstranger99
 
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What is the actual verdict on subjects like this? Fermentation, the hydrometer, etc?

Is the rule of thumb to just wait until the air lock stops bubbling, then move to the secondary, I would think checking it so often by cracking the top to get a hydrometer reading increases the chance of infection?

Any input?

 
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