Quantcast

To Bottle or Not to Bottle My IPA

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

sogrady

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Question for the experts here as I'm unsure how to proceed. Brewing a fairly standard IPA recipe, OG of 1.057, target is 1.014. Had problems with the primary fermentation - effectively zero airlock action - but based on the krausen condition and other factors some more knowledgeable folks told me I probably just had a leak.

Here's the problem: because I'm not the sharpest tack in the box, I racked to the secondary on schedule (1 week) but - I was told later - probably before I should have. Gravity was was 1.031 at the time.

To add insult to injury, my primary was not a 5 gallon carboy for the 5 gallon batch, but a 6 gallon.

Now, two weeks later, it's - in theory - time to bottle, but my gravity is ~1.018.

So the question is do I bottle now and minimize the risk of oxidation in the too large carboy? Or do I risk the oxidation and wait for the gravity to come down further?

And if I do bottle with that high of a gravity, how does it ultimately affect the taste of the beer after bottle conditioning (it tastes great right now)?

Any help appreciated. This isn't my first batch, but it's my first in years and I'm screwing things up right and left.
 

DeathBrewer

Maniacally Malty
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Messages
21,788
Reaction score
314
Location
Oakland, CA
give it another week, it should go down much more. the 6 gallon fermenter is not a problem, there should still be a nice layer of co2 on top of that, especially since it was fermenting in the secondary.

word of advice: a secondary is for clearing only and getting your beer of the trub. in the future, you should not rack it until you have reached a steady final gravity. one month in the primary is not a problem. let er sit.
 
OP
sogrady

sogrady

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
"give it another week, it should go down much more. the 6 gallon fermenter is not a problem, there should still be a nice layer of co2 on top of that, especially since it was fermenting in the secondary."

Thanks for the reply, and can do on the waiting. Not sure the co2 will still be there, however, given that I had to pop the airlock to get a sample for the gravity.
 

shafferpilot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Messages
1,579
Reaction score
16
Location
Cincinnati OH
CO2 is heavy, it's still there. Ironic isn't it, that the two problems/mistakes that you had canceled each other out. Racking early, allowed the yeast to create CO2 which filled the headspace negating any chance of oxydation. I agree let it sit for a week to be sure it's done.... which it probably isn't yet.... which is why it should sit.... I need to stop responding to posts after drinking that many pints... I'll stop now.
 

PseudoChef

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2007
Messages
3,401
Reaction score
117
Location
West Chicago 'Burbs
Invest in a hydrometer and learn to love it. Every beer is different. Even after fermentation is complete in the primary, I'd give it another 3-4 days. The yeast will actually help clean up off-flavors that they don't want there, effectively making your beer better.
 

TexLaw

Here's Lookin' Atcha!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
3,673
Reaction score
36
Location
Houston, Texas
It sounds like you will be just fine if you let the beer finish up. In the future, let the beer tell you when it's time to act, rather than the calendar.


TL
 

ohiobrewtus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
7,762
Reaction score
72
Location
Ohio
Ya, I don't think it will cause any problems. Leaving it a week may get you another point or two.

My rule of thumb is 10 days in primary. With the yeasts that I normally use, 99% of everything I brew is done fermenting in 3-5 days. I give it a few extra days before I either keg it (wheats) or rack to secondary.
 
OP
sogrady

sogrady

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Outstanding. I'll let it sit for another week, and let everyone know how it turns out. Appreciate all of the great and timely feedback.
 

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
975
Location
St. Louis, MO
One thing that will help push the gravity down:

Since you racked a bit early, you eliminated the majority of the yeast. But I'd guess you now have a decent layer of new yeast on the bottom of your secondary.

Stick your racking cane in there and give that yeast bed a bit of a swirl. THat will resuspend your yeast and aid it in continuing to digest any remaining fermentables. Don't worry about oxidation at this stage. You've got a good blanket of CO2 on that beer, and the beer itself is CO2 rich.

1.018 is not an unusually high final gravity, but you're likely to squeeze a few more points out in the next week.

What kind of yeast did you use?
 
OP
sogrady

sogrady

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
@BierMuncher: thx, will give that a whirl.

As for the yeast, I think it was Wyeast 1054. (not at home at the moment)
 
Top