Question about Secondary

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Beez

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Ok, so, I've got a Porter in the works. As it's my second batch and the first batch where I'm using a Secondary I've got a question...

I started it last Sunday (1/6) with no problems as SG was within recipe limits (1.045 or so) and it bubbled happily for a few days (3). Friday (1/11) I checked the gravity and it was down to ~1.023. Sunday (1/13, Brew Day) I checked the gravity again and it hadn't changed (~1.023). So, I forged ahead and racked into my new carboy (secondary) leaving the trub/yeast cake behind. I plugged it up with a new airlock and put it in a shady spot.

I haven't taken a reading because I figure I'll let it sit there a while yet. It does seem to be pushing on the liquid in the airlock although I haven't seen a bubble come out (maybe I'm not watching long enough). There is a layer of very fine sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

So, is this normal? Can I expect the gravity to come down further in the secondary? When should I check it?
 

BierMuncher

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Beez said:
Ok, so, I've got a Porter in the works. As it's my second batch and the first batch where I'm using a Secondary I've got a question...

I started it last Sunday (1/6) with no problems as SG was within recipe limits (1.045 or so) and it bubbled happily for a few days (3). Friday (1/11) I checked the gravity and it was down to ~1.023. Sunday (1/13, Brew Day) I checked the gravity again and it hadn't changed (~1.023). So, I forged ahead and racked into my new carboy (secondary) leaving the trub/yeast cake behind. I plugged it up with a new airlock and put it in a shady spot.

I haven't taken a reading because I figure I'll let it sit there a while yet. It does seem to be pushing on the liquid in the airlock although I haven't seen a bubble come out (maybe I'm not watching long enough). There is a layer of very fine sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

So, is this normal? Can I expect the gravity to come down further in the secondary? When should I check it?
When you rack to a secondary, you tend to “rouse” the yeast a bit and start up some fermentation again.

From 1.045 to 1.023 doesn’t seem quite far enough (49% attenuation). I think your yeast simply took a bit of a break and settled out in the primary. You should have a bit of a yeast sediment in the secondary even now.

Go a head and take a reading, then using a racking cane, gently stir up the yeast cake again and wake that yeast up. I’d expect you to finish out at around 1.015(ish).

What kind (brand) of malt extract did you use? Did it happen to be Laaglanders?
 
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Beez

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Thanks for the tip.

I'm pretty sure the extract was Muntons. I used a True Brew kit which had a can of Muntons dark and two packages of DME but those are long gone.
 

BierMuncher

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Beez said:
Thanks for the tip.

I'm pretty sure the extract was Muntons. I used a True Brew kit which had a can of Muntons dark and two packages of DME but those are long gone.
Okay,

Rouse that yeast up a bit and keep taking daily readings. The last thing you want is to have a lot of residual (unfermented) sugars in the wort and then go to bottles.
 

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What yeast did you use? Also Muntons extract does tend to have some unfermentable sugar in there leading to higher than expected FGs; 1.023 is still too high though. Racking to secondary should rouse some of the yeast, but it also means you've left the bulk of your yeast behind.

Do as Biermuncher recommends and see what happens over the next few days.
 
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Beez

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Thanks guys. I'll give it a gentle swish and see what happens.

I'll report back in a couple and let you know.
 

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