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Can I wait to rack it?

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chemist308

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I've got issues. I started fermenting an extract with special grain dry Irish stout on Feb 2nd. My wort had an og of between 1.06 and 1.07--closer to 1.06. The temperature of my wort has been in the mid to low 60s since. At one point it hit 59, but I set it in front of the woodstove to at least get it back into the mid the 60's again.

Now my hydrometer is broke and I'm sick as a dog. Can I wait till Saturday to rack it to secondary fermenter without ill effect? That would be 14 days in the primary...
 

Yooper

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I usually wait at least two weeks before racking- sometimes three weeks. So, you are fine to wait. It's always better to wait for a few days after the fermentation is finished before racking, and it won't harm it to leave it for up to a month or so.
 

john from dc

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i never let my beer spend less than 14 days in the primary. you should be fine for up to a month in there.

but more importantly, when you're feeling better, you should take a hydrometer reading and see if it's at or near the predicted final gravity. that's the only way to tell if your beer is ready to be transferred.
 

DUCCCC

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The California Common I just bottled spent 21 day in primary, and it's the best extract brew I've made yet. The First AG I did this last friday is spending the same amount of time now. I'm planning on skipping secondary on all my brews now, unless I absolutely need it for something like a Barleywine or super high gravity stout, etc.
 

PseudoChef

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Like others have said, it's a common practice. I have a Belgian that is going on 2 weeks in primary right now and it's destined to spend another 3 weeks in there. I've never noticed any problems.
 

JoePolvino

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Yeah, let it go for 3 or 4 weeks. Then you can skip secondary all together. I almost never secondary unless it is a belgian, lager, or big beer.

Also, don't worry about warming your beer if it was fermenting in the mid to low 60's. I often ferment Wyeast 1056 all the way down to 54 with no ill effects, just takes a little longer.
 
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chemist308

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Thanks for all the advice. I'm doing a bit better now.

So, this Saturday it'll be 4 weeks in the primary fermenter for the stout. Will I see any benefit from a couple weeks in the secondary after 4 weeks in primary, or is it at the point I might as well bottle it?
 

knipknup

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Alright, this is a bit late, but piping in anyway... I primary every beer I brew at least 21 days and never secondary. On lagers, I lager in the primary too, so the goods usually hangs out for two or more months on the yeast. Beer turns out awesome consistently.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I am a huge proponent of secondary aging. I do it with all my beers. 4 weeks in a secondary (1 week warm, then 3 weeks cold ~45-50). I find that this clears my beers and the bulk aging really imparts a MUCH better flavor profile as opposed to the beer sitting in bottles. If you keg, the only benefit is the clearing. Also, if you have the ability, a cold crash also helps a lot.

I started my cold secondary nonsense after speaking with some high profile microbrewers (three floyds, and some locals) who suggested a cold condition on every beer as well as a cold crash. Made a huge difference for me and I see no reason not to. Patience is important.

Cheers!
 

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