Smell after primary fermentation???

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dannyl

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So this is my first batch and I don't know if i was just too hasty and messed up. My primary had stopped bubbling (8 days in). I took a final gravity and it checked out to what it should be. I wanted to dry hop it in a carboy so I put the hops in the carboy and racked it. As I was racking I still saw tiny bubbles still coming up from the bottom though. Also when I opened the primary, the smell was kinda sour... is that bad? Is my batch infected? The color looked good...
 

EuBrew

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Bubbles are normal, just CO2 coming out of solution as you racked the beer. As for if it's infected, hard to tell without pictures or a taste test. Did you taste the sample you pulled for your gravity reading?

8 days is pretty quick to transfer the beer off the yeast. It may have hit final gravity but the yeast will continue to clean up after themselves. Could be you're tasting compounds created in fermentation that the yeast haven't cleaned up yet.
 
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h22lude

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^+1

It is ok to dry hop after 8 days but next time you can just throw them in primary. Secondaries aren't used much anymore unless you are going to rack on top of a lot of fruit and want it to sit for some time.

Racking off the yeast in 8 days is too soon. With everything perfect (correct pitch amount, proper aeration, right fermentation temp) 8 days would be ok for a low gravity beer but even then I like to leave those on for 2 weeks without touching them. Just starting out, I'd say leave your beer for at least 2 weeks. If you have the patients try leaving for 3 weeks. Yeast will do a good job cleaning after themselves.

Acetaldehyde is chemical byproduct of fermentation. Yeast will eat it up and convert it into ethanol. Acetaldehyde has a green apple smell to it and this usually happens when you rack off the yeast too quickly or underpitch. I would guess this is what happened to you.
 
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dannyl

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do you think it will be okay if i leave it in the secondary for a week or two? The airlock is bubbling again...
 

h22lude

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do you think it will be okay if i leave it in the secondary for a week or two? The airlock is bubbling again...
Yes that will be fine. Bubbling could be because you pushed out some CO2. Racking to secondary does bring some yeast over so they may still be working a little.
 

mrgrimm101

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+1 on no secondary. IMO, 8 days is too soon to do anything. Were it me, I would have left it for about 2 weeks before I considered dry hopping. I dry hop for 7-10 days, then bottle and have always gotten good results.

Using a secondary just doesn't have much benefit these days, and it's can be a way to introduce unwanted contaminants or oxidize the beer.
 
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dannyl

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Okay but now I'm in a predicament. If I let it sit another week or so in the secondary (while its dry hopping) won't there be a grassy flavor from the hops? I could re-rack it back into the primary but from the response of people on here about using secondaries I'm sure your opposed to moving the beer again... so should I let it sit and run the risk of grassy flavors or re-rack it in a few days to the primary again (to get rid of the hops) and let it sit a little longer there and run the risk of oxygenating it again??
 

AkTom

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Leave it for a while. I got called to work after dry hopping for 3 days. I was gone for 2 1/2 weeks. I was sure mine would be grassy and nasty. It was my best beer so far. The few (very few) I shared, people thought it was great. And it was. Yours will be too.
Tom
 

microbusbrewery

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Okay but now I'm in a predicament. If I let it sit another week or so in the secondary (while its dry hopping) won't there be a grassy flavor from the hops? I could re-rack it back into the primary but from the response of people on here about using secondaries I'm sure your opposed to moving the beer again... so should I let it sit and run the risk of grassy flavors or re-rack it in a few days to the primary again (to get rid of the hops) and let it sit a little longer there and run the risk of oxygenating it again??

I'd say the risk of oxidizing it from re-racking it back to primary is greater than the risk of some grassiness from extended dry hopping. Grassy character will usually drop out pretty quick but oxidation can ruin a good beer.
 

mrgrimm101

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I wouldnt rerack back to primary. Check it after it has been in secondary for a week. I typically dry hop 7-10 days and havent experienced any grassy flavors.
 

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