It's alive! (fermentation reboot after moving carboy)

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Jun 22, 2013
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San Francisco
I have an extract Pliny clone that had a robust fermentation for the week, then by day 14, the airlock was dead. On day 19 I dry hopped. On day 23, I moved the carboy to my in-law kitchen counter, getting ready to cold crash after everything settles from the (what I thought was) a gentle walk. This morning, I go down to the in-law unit to find that the airlock percolating every minute or so!

The OG was 1.073 and on dry hop day it was 1.020 which put it at around 7% ABV. I was expecting the FG to go to around 1.012 but since it wasn't doing anything airlock-wise for a week and a half I believed (wrongly/foolishly) that it was done. From dry hop time to before I moved the carboy the airlock was still dead but the move seemed to bring the fermentation back to life.

So, my question is, has anyone else had this happen to them after a possibly less than ginger move? I could guess that maybe between the dry hopping (adding oxygen during the 2 minutes it was uncapped) and the carboy move (exposing the beer to the dried kreusen/yeast) might have kick started it?

Zombie beer! Ack!
There is a lot of co2 in the beer at this point that any disturbance to the fermenter could release it and cause some more airlock activity. Maybe this is what you are seeing? Or you could have woken it back up, who knows.

Your hydrometer will tell you for certain what is going on in there. Take a reading in a couple of days and see where it's at.
The Airlock being off wont let oxygen get in unless you were blowing oxygen directly into it as the CO2 is heavier than air. I think the "zombie" fermentation is just a result of the beer being so high gravity. It is not uncommon for high gravity beers like the one your brewing to ferment out completely in 2-3 months. Also if you under pitched (didn't make a starter or use 2 packs of yeast), the fermentation will take longer, and it is also dependent on the temps as well because in colder temps the yeast will be slower than at higher temps.

It seems like you already acknowledged this but just so that other people won't post this:
The only true way to measure fermentation activity is with a hydrometer or refractometer, not with the Airlock.
I double pitched with WLP-001. Used a blow-off tube for the first 2 weeks. It almost blew but the kreusen stopped at the neck of the carboy. I'll do another hydrometer reading tomorrow. If it keeps going for too long I may have to do another dry hop!
It's fermenting at around 67 degrees. Luckily a San Francisco basement holds it's temperature fairly well.
I have to agree that usually any disturbance will cause it to off gass co2 for a while after the disturbance. But I had a strong ale once stop at 1.020 from 1.065 & I figured it was done. But I was still not 100% sure,so I warmed it a bit after swirling up some yeast & in a couple days it dropped to 1.017. so it could go either way in my experience.