Quantcast

Secondary Issues

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Franiblector

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
63
Reaction score
0
Location
Nashville, TN
Hey guys! New here and excited to see there's a forum out there for all of my questions.
First off, I am a worry-wort so get used to my frequent freak out moments!

Anyways, I racked from the primary to the secondary last night.

It's a Belgian Wit Bier using White Lab liquid Belgian Wit Ale Yeast.
SG was 1.13, and gravity yesterday (after 7 days in primary) was 1.013.

I'm a bit confused because online definitions of this type of brew say SG 1.05 and FG 1.01.

Does anyone see something wrong with my measurements? It seems crazy to think my beer went down .10, especially since this is supposed to be a low gravity type beer. Maybe I'm just flat out wrong - I didn't do so well in chemistry or biology back in high school & college!

Also, after I racked to secondary, now it seems my wort is VERY active again. The fermentation slowed to about 1 bubble every minute in the primary (glass carboy), so I racked to secondary (glass carboy). Now the carboy is about as bubbly as champagne! There is even a head of krausen on top! Is it fermenting still??
Anything I should do besides wait?

Thanks in advance for your help.

(By the way, I'm at work, so I may have been off regarding my numbers above. I'll update more from home if anything was incorrect regarding my gravity readings.)
 

uglygoat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
2,765
Reaction score
10
Location
Clebland, OH
yes it is still fermenting... some beers can ferment for a long long time. what is the temperature?

did you suck up alot of the yeast/sediment off the bottom of the primary when you transfered it?

how much movement did you expose the beer too? example. i carried a five gal carboy up stairs to bottle the beer sat night, and upset some of the sediment, and the yeast woke up and started bubbling a little bit, so i let it sit over night and bottled the next day.

it won't hurt it a bit to be active in the secondary. just let it be for two weeks minumum before you start worrying about it agian ;)

as a new brewer myself, i've learned it's best to just sit on your hands after you've pitched the yeast and racked it to the secondary. as long as you've provided a sterile enviornment you'll be good to go.

i don't know about the hydrometer readings mate, i don't use a hydrometer, it reminds me too much of a science project and that's not my bag....
 
OP
F

Franiblector

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
63
Reaction score
0
Location
Nashville, TN
t1master said:
yes it is still fermenting... some beers can ferment for a long long time. what is the temperature?

did you suck up alot of the yeast/sediment off the bottom of the primary when you transfered it?

how much movement did you expose the beer too? example. i carried a five gal carboy up stairs to bottle the beer sat night, and upset some of the sediment, and the yeast woke up and started bubbling a little bit, so i let it sit over night and bottled the next day.

it won't hurt it a bit to be active in the secondary. just let it be for two weeks minumum before you start worrying about it agian ;)

as a new brewer myself, i've learned it's best to just sit on your hands after you've pitched the yeast and racked it to the secondary. as long as you've provided a sterile enviornment you'll be good to go.

i don't know about the hydrometer readings mate, i don't use a hydrometer, it reminds me too much of a science project and that's not my bag....
THANKS T1!!!
You have put me at ease.
And yes, that's exactly what happened: I moved the carboy from the closet to the bathroom counter in order to rack to the secondary, and I KNOW I upset the sediment. I reckon that's why it's active again: I woke it up!

As for the hydrometer readings, I'm clueless, and if I don't need a hydrometer to brew good beer, the to hell with it: I'll brew without! LOL
 
OP
F

Franiblector

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
63
Reaction score
0
Location
Nashville, TN
One more thing...should I rack again in 2 weeks to the 6.5 gal carboy, just to remove the beer from the trub again?
It seems there is quite a bit of sediment forming again, as well as some more krausen, in my secondary.

A tertiary fermentation prior to bottling?

Here's my timeline so far:
Primary 6.5 glass carboy: SG 1.13, 7 days, 68F, bubbles reduced to one per minute
Disturbed brew prior to racking to secondary.
Gravity at this point is 1.013.

Secondary 5 gal glass carboy: plan on leaving it in there 2 weeks....

Then prime & bottle?

OR

Rack again to 6.5 glass carboy & leave for 2 weeks before priming & bottling?

Is this going to increase alcohol or just clarify and refine tastes?

Keep in mind this is a Belgian wheat beer using extract, not all grain.....
(FYI, it was a kit I purchased, with 1/2 grain & 1/2 liquid malt extract plus pellet hops)
 

uglygoat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
2,765
Reaction score
10
Location
Clebland, OH
there is an ongoing discussion throughout the forum about hydrometer readings and their importance. i don't use one, but would not say you shouldn't use one, and i can see the value in employing a hydrometer, but it is simply not for me. i personally don't care what the specific gravity of my beer is at this moment in time ;)

i would give it a good two weeks to just set and settle. then when you are ready to put it in the bottling bucket, move it to the surface you are going to use to rack a day or two ahead of time, thus any thing on the bottom you upset will have time to settle.
 

uglygoat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
2,765
Reaction score
10
Location
Clebland, OH
i wouldn't rack a thrid time. put some new beer in your primary ;)

it will ferment a while in the secondary (more vigorously than usual cause you stirred it up) but the secondary is more to let it settle and smooth out. don't worry about the new layer of sediment, unless you plan to really age the beer longer than a month, even then i don't know if i would worry about it. just take care not to stirr it up when you get ready to bottle :)
 

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
t1master is giving you good advice. I'll add:

Don't freak out. There is nothing about brewing that lends itself to freaking out. Don't stress either. Everything usually goes just fine whether you worry or not, so why add the gray hairs :D

Sounds like your fermentation wasn't done yet. All you have to do is wait for it to finish. Wait until the bubbling stops and then wait some more. The more you wait, the tastier your beer.

No tertiary fermenter is necessary. Just rack to a bottling bucket when it's time and add priming sugar. Wit's are cloudy and yeasty anyway ;)

The perception that you can "wake up" the yeast when you move a carboy is just that...a perception. It doesn't really happen. When you move your carboy and it immediately starts bubbling, it's because the solution is saturated with CO2 and you are jostling some out. Just like shaking a soda. Remember the individual yeast that are doing the work are microscopic. They're in suspension until the job is done and you can't really see them. That stuff on the bottom is partly yeast, but much of it is trub.

In your case, I wonder if you aerated adequately in the first place, because it sounds like your fermentation really got a jump start upon racking. If you never aerated the wort to begin with, it's possible that the splashing involved with racking gave the yeast the O2 they needed to finish the job. Only thing I can think of. Stirring the trub back into solution really doesn't re-start fermentations.

Lastly, I am an advocate of not using a hydrometer unless it adds to your enjoyment. If it's just something you worry about then put it away. It is not necessary to use a hydrometer to brew. I don't even own one. You can tell your beer is done when it stops bubbling. You want to wait a week or so longer than that point just to be sure, and to let the flavor of your beer improve. A lot of homebrew isn't as good as it could be because people jump the gun and drink it green. A hydrometer only helps with that mission.

Welcome to the world of homebrewing! I can't wait to hear how your Wit turns out! That's one of our next projects. :D
 
OP
F

Franiblector

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
63
Reaction score
0
Location
Nashville, TN
Janx - you're a homebrew god! I can tell by all of your posts!

I am so anal, I think I will continue to use a hydrometer...just so I can record the information for all of my notes. Call me fickle...I admit it!

Anyways, I know for a fact I aerated the wort. I shook that carboy for like 15 mins straight after I pitched the yeast. It did take a while to start fermenting though - like 24 hours.
After the boil, I ended up cooling my wort with a wort chiller, and cooled it too low of a temp: 60F. That bad boy cooled in about 7 minutes....granted it was around 35F outside when I brewed. (I brew outside with a propane camping stove)
So, I had to put the carboy on an air conditioning grate to warm it to around 68F before I pitched.

Honestly, I think you're right: I think the fermentation is continuing (never finished) ...

One more question: Shouldn't I worry about the trub in the secondary and removing the beer from it so I don't get any off flavors???
 

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Cool, then hydrometer on! Sounds like it's right up your alley :)

It is quite curious that the racking cranked up the fermentation. I have no real explanation for that. I've seen it get going a little bit after racking, but never go from stopped to full blown fermentation again. But, it doesn't really matter. It just wants some more time.

Ideally, once the secondary is done (2 weeks is a very general rule of thumb), you'll rack the beer out of there and into some sort of bottling bucket to which you add your priming sugar. So that gets it off most of the trub.

The really important trub to remove it from seems to be the primary trub, in my experience. You can really taste the off flavors if you leave beer in the primary too long. Not so with the secondary as far as I have seen.

Hopefully you have some sort of bucket with a spigot for bottling, because bottling with a racking cane is a PITA.
 
OP
F

Franiblector

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
63
Reaction score
0
Location
Nashville, TN
No problem with the bottling...bought the homebrew kit that came with buckets (one with a spigot)...abandoned the primary plastic bucket (easily contaminated compared to glass), but I still use the bottling bucket with spigot.

As for the Belgian Ales, Hoegaarden is my abosolute favorite & is what got me into the Belgian styles in the first place.

A Belgian Blonde Ale is next (from MidwestSupplies.com).

I'll be sure to tell you how this one ends up.

Until then, patience is my nemesis! At least I have some Raspberry Red Ale bottled and awaiting that first sip!
Kisses ;)
Frannie
 

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
How about Celis White? (since this thread is wandering away) I love Hoegaarden, too, but I thought Celis was even better. I think they're making it again in Belgium now, but the only place I saw it was expeeeeeensive.

Pierre Celis is the guy who founded Hoegaarden, then started Celis in Austin, TX when he was bought out.

Is Frannie our first female brewer here? Good thing she came by, cause I only got into this forum to meet chicks. ;)

Glad you joined us, Frannie :)
 

DeRoux's Broux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,959
Reaction score
6
Location
Beaumont
If your primary/secondary doesn't have a spigot in the bottom, then elevate it a day or two before you rack it. That will help sediment to settle before you rack.

I racked my Imperial Rye Ale from my primary to my secondary last Saturday, and with-in two hours it had bubbled up into my ferm lock. It had been in the primary for 6 days too w/ no visible activity. Just happens sometimes. Stil lsmells great and is clearing good too! :D

A good book to get is The Complete Joy of Homebrewing 3rd edition. The motto of the book is "relax, don't wory, have a homebrew!" He very seldom talks about taking hydrometer reading's before pitching or racking!

Good luck!

DeRoux's Broux
 

DeRoux's Broux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,959
Reaction score
6
Location
Beaumont
Janx, your kill'n me talking about Celis! R.I.P Celis White!!!!! It sux now that it's brewed in Michigan, or wherever. My local homebrew shop has a Texas Wit that they cloned after Celis. Pretty good.

Have ya'll had Maredsous No. 8? Oh mama!!!!! My brother has to go to Belgium for work, and he brought back a six pack of Kriek last week. :D Man-o-man. Not crazy about lambic's, but that was damn good stuff!

DeRoux's Broux
 
OP
F

Franiblector

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
63
Reaction score
0
Location
Nashville, TN
Man I didn't get to taste any of that :(

Have you guys had any of the Blue Moon? I know it's by Coors (cough cough), but it's actually pretty good.
Also, on the note regarding kreik... have you tried Sam Adams Cherry Wheat? Man o man was that good!
 

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
But it isn't kriek...get a real kriek like Cantillon or Hansen's or at least Boon to see what the real thing is all about.

Mmm...sour! :D
 

DeRoux's Broux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,959
Reaction score
6
Location
Beaumont
um, coors? coors? :p

Sam Cherry Wheat was pretty tasty. Boston Beer Works has a good Blueberry Ale, that they serve over fresh blueberries when they poor it up. Pretty cool. Plus sitting across from the left field wall of Fenway Park helps!

I've never brewed a Belgian style. Not sure if I like all the adjuncts I'd have to use? Sure want to try and clone the Maredsous No.8 though. Talk about give you the warm fuzzies...... :p
 

Majikcook

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Location
Greenville, SC
Actually, my wife loves Blue Moon. I wonder if anyone knows a good extract recipe for something close but better :confused:
 

Majikcook

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Location
Greenville, SC
Frannie,
Still laughing at shaking the primary for 15 minutes from your earlier post.
I'm a newby as well and took Janx's advise several weeks ago and tossed the Hydrometer. Life's too short to worry about silly little numbers ;)
I have my first batch of Alt on the second week of conditioning and just got my second batch of IPA started Sat. Alot of anxious moments on the first batch, but this place is great.
Welcome to brewing! :D
 

DeRoux's Broux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,959
Reaction score
6
Location
Beaumont
Janx said:
But it isn't kriek...get a real kriek like Cantillon or Hansen's or at least Boon to see what the real thing is all about.

Mmm...sour! :D
that kriek was lindeman's. pucker up time! :D
 

NUCC98

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Location
Providence, RI
DeRoux's Broux said:
um, coors? coors? :p

Sam Cherry Wheat was pretty tasty. Boston Beer Works has a good Blueberry Ale, that they serve over fresh blueberries when they poor it up. Pretty cool. Plus sitting across from the left field wall of Fenway Park helps!

I've never brewed a Belgian style. Not sure if I like all the adjuncts I'd have to use? Sure want to try and clone the Maredsous No.8 though. Talk about give you the warm fuzzies...... :p
Boston Beer Works RULES!!! Also visited the Beer Works over in Salem this past October....real good selection there too....
 

DeRoux's Broux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,959
Reaction score
6
Location
Beaumont
been to the other two (Fenway & by Fleet Center), but not that one in Salem. i WAS suprised at the vasriety of craft brews they had. cool atmosphere too. i made a blueberry wheat, and served it up over the blueberries, but my friends thought i'd lost it. more for me! :D
DeRoux's Broux
 

NUCC98

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Location
Providence, RI
DeRoux's Broux said:
been to the other two (Fenway & by Fleet Center), but not that one in Salem. i WAS suprised at the vasriety of craft brews they had. cool atmosphere too. i made a blueberry wheat, and served it up over the blueberries, but my friends thought i'd lost it. more for me! :D
DeRoux's Broux
At the one in Salem, they make their own malt beverages too, kinda like the hard lemonades and whatnot...hmmmm......that might be something interesting to try out. I read an article in a homebrew paper that explained how Zima was made. Not that you'd want to make Zima, but I think the process is the same. I'll have to see what I can dig up....
 
Top