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Secondary still bubbling 11 days later... Thoughts?

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blacksquirrel

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Hello everyone,

This is a first post from a long-time reader of the forum, so first of all, thanks for the help you all have already provided! We're brewing an IPA (our first batch - extract), and so far everything seems to be going well. The OG was around 1.065. After 6 days in the primary (bucket), bubbles were few and far between in the airlock, and our hydrometer reading was just about at the estimated FG of 1.013 and stayed at this level the next day.

So, we racked to secondary (5-gallon glass) and dry-hopped. The bubbling sped up a bit, but we expected this based on various posts here, which said that racking can kick up and activate some leftover yeast. However, as the days have gone by, bubbling hasn't tapered off, but rather has gotten more frequent. Its been in the secondary for just about 11 days now, and its currently bubbling every 20-40 seconds. We've read that CO2 can come out of solution at warm temperatures - Its been at a pretty steady 75 degrees. Is this what is happening? Or is fermentation (or something else...) still going on? We planned to bottle it this coming thursday (which would be 2 weeks)... If the bubbling persists, is there risk of bottle bombs? We've held off from taking more hydrometer readings, for fear of contamination...

It also glows in the dark and sings... is this okay? Just kidding...

Thanks in advance,
the Abject
 

mkade

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You should take another gravity reading and see if it has changed significantly through all this bubbling, or if it's mostly CO2 coming out of solution.
 

double_e5

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It sounds to me like CO2 coming out of solution. But, your hydrometer is your friend. Not need to fear contamination from pulling samples. Just make sure you are sanitary and don't splash around.
 

rsmith179

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Just my two cents... but 75F seems like its a little high for an IPA. You may want to bring that into an area where its a bit cooler (maybe 65-70F). I'd also check your hydro readings for the next few days to see if they change any. I would definately not bottle until the bubbling stops or you at least see the same reading 3-4 days in a row. Good luck!
 

sirsloop

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IMHO, you racked to secondary early. Wait 2-3 weeks before even messin with the brew. Once its in secondary you can expect some off gassing from the added nucleation sites of the hops, but that should be short lived. If its bubbling more for an extended period of time, you didn't wait long enough. Pulling it off the cake too early can lead to off flavors.
 
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blacksquirrel

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Hey all -

Thanks for the speedy and helpful responses. We took a gravity reading, and sure enough it has dropped a few points - down to 1.008 from 1.013. (and the best part is, it looks, smells and tastes incredible). Some quick follow up questions - can we hold on to the same sample, and then re-test it over the next few days? or is it not going to follow the same trajectory as the rest of the beer? Also, there's a ton of hop residue floating around in the beer (I think its kept in suspension due to the rising CO2). Anything at all to be done about that?

Oh ****, gotta go - my roommate just blacked out from sniffing the bubbler too hard.

Thanks!
 

SeamusMac

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My Wheat beer was bubbling all the way up to 28 days (22 of which were in the secondary) and it happened to just be the beer de-gassing. A hydrometer is very useful tool indeed!
 
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blacksquirrel

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Alright, good to know... definitely going to leave our belgian golden on the cake for a lot longer.

But just to clarify - if the hydrometer confirms that fermentation is done, but the beer is still actively de-gassing (it appears that the bubbles are coming out of the substantial layer of trub at the bottom of the fermenter) is it safe to bottle?

Thanks!
 

sirsloop

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The hydrometer does not determine when the beer is done, the yeast do. You can take multiple samples to see if its still dropping in gravity, but the best indication is to wait a long time until all krausen and CO2 activity has stopped. If its still bubblin, its obviously isn't done yet.
 

steelerguy

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He actually said if the hydrometer confirms that fermentation is done, which it pretty much does when you get the same reading over multiple days.

With the beer sitting at 75 it is probably better to get it off the cake rather than let it sit around on the flocculated yeast and trub. Although it shouldn't be moved to secondary until the gravity has stopped going down for a couple days. After that cool it and rack it.
 

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