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General Category => Extract/Partial Mash Brewing => Topic started by: donredbull on March 07, 2013, 08:27:46 PM

Title: Another noob question
Post by: donredbull on March 07, 2013, 08:27:46 PM
So I made the mistake of racking my ale into a secondary fermenter. To late to do anything about that. But I have noticed that all activity has stopped in my air lock over the past few days. Do you guys think I would be safe to bottle at this point or should I test the gravity for a couple consecutive days and make sure that it doesnt change?
Title: Re: Another noob question
Post by: dmtaylor on March 07, 2013, 08:29:43 PM
Test gravity today, wait 3 days, test gravity again.  If it changed, wait another 3 days, and check again.  Once it stays the same over 3 days, it's ready to roll.  If you bottle too early, you can get bombs.
Title: Another noob question
Post by: theDarkSide on March 07, 2013, 08:30:01 PM
Definitely test the gravity for a couple days.  If it doesn't move and you're close to final gravity, bottle it up. 
Title: Re: Another noob question
Post by: Jimmy K on March 07, 2013, 08:55:54 PM
I agree with above.  How long was it in primary? 
Title: Re: Another noob question
Post by: donredbull on March 07, 2013, 08:59:52 PM
Thanks again for the help and it was in primary for 12 days
Title: Re: Another noob question
Post by: Jimmy K on March 07, 2013, 09:19:36 PM
Thanks again for the help and it was in primary for 12 days
I'd still check the gravity, but that should have been plenty of time for fermentation. I doubt you hurt it at all.
Title: Re: Another noob question
Post by: garc_mall on March 07, 2013, 11:29:59 PM
I agree with the "wait 3 days" Method. IMO, it is a waste of beer to check gravity more than twice at the end, and you need at least a couple days to make sure you have a stable gravity.

Also, the consensus is not that it is especially bad to transfer to secondary. The consensus is that transferring to secondary is only useful in certain circumstances (Usually fruit), and in other instances just doesn't provide much benefit for the hassle and chance of oxidation.

I know when I started brewing, I didn't have a blow off, so I was transferring to secondary so I could clean out my 6g carboy and put fresh wort in. I did 1 week primary (6g Carboy), 1 week secondary (5g Carboy), and then into bottles. Since I was brewing every week, and had only 2 carboys, I had to transfer just to clear space.
Title: Re: Another noob question
Post by: Jeff M on March 08, 2013, 02:30:40 AM
Ive had good luck with extracts doing the following.

Brew
7 days primary
Rack to secondary, 7 more days in secondary
check gravity, if close to estimated FG, prime and bottle.

ive had 0 bottle bombs

2c
Title: Re: Another noob question
Post by: skrag6713 on March 08, 2013, 10:47:45 PM
there are all kinds of reasons to use a secondary fermentation: ciders, big beers that need to age for very long periods, anything you want ultra-clear like pilsners or cream ales.  i just bottled an amber ale that sat in primary for a month and secondary for two.  i racked it into my bottling bucket with my priming sugar solution and a package of rehydrated nottingham and it looks (and tastes) fantastic!
Title: Re: Another noob question
Post by: donredbull on March 09, 2013, 06:37:27 AM
Thanks again for the advice I am just scared of screwing my beer up.
Title: Re: Another noob question
Post by: hellbound on March 14, 2013, 04:25:50 AM
Thanks again for the advice I am just scared of screwing my beer up.

RDWHAHB!!! Beer is VERY forgiving, and a lot harder to screw up than you might think, especially if you're doing extract brews.

And even IF you do happen to screw it up slightly, it will still be beer, and therefore great cause you made it!
Title: Re: Another noob question
Post by: jamminbrew on March 14, 2013, 04:46:48 AM
Ive had good luck with extracts doing the following.

Brew
7 days primary
Rack to secondary, 7 more days in secondary
check gravity, if close to estimated FG, prime and bottle.

ive had 0 bottle bombs

2c
I don't use a secondary any more, except for aging or adding fruits or other adjuncts. Current beliefs are that secondary fermenters are unnecessary. I leave my beers in the primary for 2-3 weeks, and once the gravity stops dropping, I'm there. Bottle time!
Title: Re: Another noob question
Post by: Jimmy K on March 14, 2013, 01:43:59 PM
Ive had good luck with extracts doing the following.

Brew
7 days primary
Rack to secondary, 7 more days in secondary
check gravity, if close to estimated FG, prime and bottle.
I hate to say you're wrong - but if it is not at FG and you rack to secondary, you're removing most of the yeast from the beer.  It may have worked so far, but it is begging for trouble.  Leave it in primary until it is at FG, then rack to secondary if you wish.