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Time to bottle?

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Mugtasid

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My Batch of Raspeberry Cream stout has been in the carboy in secondary fermentation for three (3) weeks. I was going to bottle tonight. Up untill two (2) days ago all was quite in the carboy, but two days ago very small bubbles started to rise to the top of the carboy. In the few other batches I have done, there was no bubbling what-so-ever when I went to bottle. Should I go ahead and bottle tonight or wait untill all the small bubble action stops completely?
:confused:
 

D-brewmeister

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I recently bottled a batch that had sat in my basement for 4 weeks at about 55F, and it still had just a few of those tiny bubbles rising, but I think it was done fermenting. (the SG was down to under 1.010). I think as long as the beer has cleared substantially, and there isn't enough activity to make the airlock tick very often at all, you should be fine to bottle now.
 

Janx

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Sometimes bubbles that are trapped in the yeast cake or dissolved in solution will continue to slowly and occasionally bubble up even when the beer is done fermenting.

OTOH, it never hurts to leave beer in the secondary a bit longer. The flavor will improve as a result. Cheers! :D
 

mrkeeg

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Is there risk of off-flavours from the gunk at the bottom of the secondary? Or is it mostly the primary that has this concern if left too long?

Keegan
 

Janx

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Mostly the primary. If it's a beer you really want to age a long time, you can rack a second time to get it off the yeast, but for any normal ale, the yeast in the secondary is of no concern in my experience. Racking the primary within a week or so really makes the difference.
 

mrkeeg

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Thanks Janx!
Dang I wish my ale would stop bubbling (3+ weeks now) so I can keg it and get my stout out of the primary
 

djsethall

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You could always purchase more fermenters. A homebrewers answer to everything, buy bigger stuff
 

nefarious_1_

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It's probably just CO2 offgassing. If the gravity has been consistent over several days, it's ready. You can bottle whenever you want at that point.

The only way to know is to take a gravity reading. A few days later, take another. If it's the same, it's done fermenting.

At that point, if you're happy with the clarity, bottle up.
 

nefarious_1_

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Is there risk of off-flavours from the gunk at the bottom of the secondary? Or is it mostly the primary that has this concern if left too long?

Keegan
There is no risk of off flavors, even when you primary for up to 4 weeks. Secondary fermenters are merely a vessel used for clearing beer and/or aging for long periods. This can easily be accomplished in a bottle with similar results.

Check out this article. Someone was kind enough to send me the link a few days ago during a similar discussion.

The differences are so subtle, the participants were split down the middle as to whether or not flavor improved or suffered from racking off the yeast. In fact, there have been a few threads on here where brewers mention leaving beers on the yeast for months at a time with excellent results. Some brewers feel the yeast improve the flavor, others like a secondary. In the end, it's all a matter of preference since differences seem virtually undetectable.


Also, an excerpt from "Brewing Classic Styles" by Jamil and John Palmer:

"In general we recommend a single-vessel fermentation for a minimum of 1 week, and not more than 4 weeks, before packaging. Racking to a secondary fermenter is not recommended except for beers requiring a long fermentation, such as lagers, or beers requiring a second fermentation, such as sour ales and fruit beers."
Conditioning for most beers can take place in the primary, then refining in the bottle. A lot of brewers bypass secondary entirely, myself included. Of course, this is dependent on style as referenced above.

Search around on here, there's a lot of info on the topic. For example, this. And more recent research (listed above) is good to know. :mug:
 

unionrdr

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I like the way they changed their stance after many of us on here proved that secondary isn't needed in most cases. But yes,the quality is def better. I do 3-4 weeks myself.
 
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