My Beer is reacting twice! Good or Bad!?!

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willrobe

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My question involves what appears to be a 2nd fermentation for the beer I am currently brewing.

I’m brewing a Russian Imperial Stout from the Brewers Best homebrew kit. During steeping I added an extra bag of chocolate malt and 2 oz of ground coffee, during the boil I added 3 bars of Ghirardelli chocolate and a tsp of vanilla extract along with the other ingredients from the Kit. I let it sit in the plastic bucket for 1 week and when the airlock no longer moved I racked the beer to a carboy. Upon racking to the carboy I added 1 vanilla bean (which I bought at World Market, it was vacuum sealed). I sliced it open and scraped the insides of the bean into the carboy, then added the beer, shook vigorously, added the airlock, and let it sit. During the first week I noticed some sediment accumulate on the bottom, as well as some light sediment on the top. Then approximately 1 week and 2 days after it had been sitting in the carboy, I noticed bubbling and the airlock was moving again. There’s a small layer of bubbles at the top of the beer in the carboy and the airlock is releasing bubbles 2-3 times a minute. This has been happening now for 2 days.

My question is: what is going on here? Is this good or bad? I’ve never had this happen before and I’m just worried the beer might be going bad. Is it normal for beer to ferment a second time, or more so a Russian Imperial Stout? I’m just hoping this is normal.

Thanks for your help!
 
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You should have taken a hydrometer reading before racking to see if it was done fermenting. Shaking the carboy after racking woke up the yeast and gave you some secondary fermentation.

It's not good or bad. It just is. Give it some time, especially a beer like that. Step away from the carboy. And use the hydrometer.
 

Revvy

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No gravity reading, meaning you more than likely racked too soon (especially for an imperial stout that you added MORE fermentables to), plus in racking you kicked up the yeasties into action, and therefore you have fermentation going again...No big deal, happens all the time, but for god's sakes don't bottle for awhile...Let the process finish before you move to the next step...


Use you hydrometer...not your airlock.

The longer you leave you beer in primary the better it will be. But at least take a hydro reading on the 7th and the 9th day, if they match more than likely fermentation is done...Or just leave it alone for 2, 3, or 4 weeks in primary.
 
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willrobe

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Initial gravity after the boil was 1.07...
gravity once I racked to Carboy was 1.03...
havent checked the gravity since
 

PseudoChef

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First of all, don't move the beer when "the airlock stops." You need to be measuring the gravity with a hydrometer to make sure the fermentation is complete - this could be the issue, especially with a high gravity beer like a RIS. A good rule that a lot of us follow is to just leave the beer in the primary for about 3 weeks, then take some measurements.

Second, why did you "shake vigorously" when you put it in secondary? This is really bad as you are no introducing oxygen back into your beer which will lead to oxidation -i.e., your beer tasting stale and metallic.

Third, what is also just probably happening is that carbon dioxide is coming out of solution. When yeast ferment, they are producing ethanol and CO2 - but some of that CO2 will come out of solution from the liquid. Also, if the temperature has risen, fermentation could restart or there is a higher probability of the CO2 coming out of solution.
 

AndrwHock

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I'm betting that your fermentation hadn't stopped when you racked to your carboy. 1.03 would be a pretty high FG. Moving your brew around could have roused some of the yeast into activity after it had started slowing down a bit.
 
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willrobe

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ok so no worries then, i'll let it sit for another 3-4 weeks. i'll check the gravity once i notice that fermentation stops. then ill know its ready once the gravity is the same for 3-4 consecutive readings.

Thanks for the help!
 
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