Should I rack yet?

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Evan!

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I brewed an imperial stout 11 days ago. I've seen no airlock activity for several days; however, there's still a small (small!) bit of krausen on top. Meanwhile, at the bottom, you can clearly see the very delineated line of the cake. Should I just rack? BTW, I'm not in the habit of taking gravity readings.
 

homebrewer_99

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Unfortunately, if you don't take gravity readings everything else is a guess.

I put too much time, effort and $$$ into my hobby to rely on guessing.

I don't do anything without taking a reading first....PERIOD!;)
 
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Evan!

Evan!

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homebrewer_99 said:
Unfortunately, if you don't take gravity readings everything else is a guess.

I put too much time, effort and $$$ into my hobby to rely on guessing.

I don't do anything without taking a reading first....PERIOD!;)
Hmm. I've brewed 10 batches, never taken a reading. The first six, in bottle now, have turned out quite exceptionally. Perhaps I'll learn to be more diligent, and take readings in the future...but I dunno.
 

dewey316

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I am anal about taking readings. When you try to replicate a brew you have done, have good notes about what you did, and having gravity reading, batch measurements, exact timing, exact temps that you used, etc. Are the key to replicating the same taste.

It may seem like you don't need those readings, and you can make a good batch of beer without them, no worries there. I tend to want more data than I need, then not have enough. So you take an extra 30 seconds, and grab a quick reading, you may not need it, but in 6 months, you want to make this beer again, that reading is nice. Or, if you want to know when to rack it, that reading is nice.

As to your question, at 11 day's I would probably rack it, if you have a good amount of trub, and the activity has really slowed.
 

johnsma22

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After 11 days with an Imperial Stout there is still months of work left to be done by the yeast. The aggressive primary phase is over, but the conditioning phase has just begun. There are no problems with leaving it on the primary yeast cake for weeks. A hydrometer will tell you when the yeast have finished converting the bulk of the fermentable sugars to alcohol. When you reach about a 75% drop in gravity from your original reading, that is about as much as you can expect from the yeast.

The gravity will drop a couple more points during the secondary, but not much more than that. What I do for my Imperial Stouts is to primary for 3 weeks, rack to the secondary and leave it for 4-6 weeks, bottle it and forget about them for 6 months.

John
 

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