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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: david58 on July 15, 2010, 03:06:36 am

Title: Noobie racking to secondary question
Post by: david58 on July 15, 2010, 03:06:36 am
I have a batch of Amber ale fermenting since Sunday (its now Wednesday evening)  - activity has slowed down quite a bit.  OG was about 1.044.

Do I expect fermentation to be tapering off this soon?

Is it possible to rack to the secondary too soon?

I am anxious to rack to the secondary, as I'd like to get one more batch started this weekend.  I will be traveling for a couple of weeks, and would love to think I could get an ipa cooked this weekend and racked to the secondary next.  Is that realistic?
Title: Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
Post by: richardt on July 15, 2010, 03:12:58 am
Check the specific gravity with the hydrometer and tell us what you got.
Title: Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
Post by: euge on July 15, 2010, 05:26:12 am
Yes current gravity! Was the OG 1.044 or was that a reading? Are you sure you read it correctly? ;)

Don't know what yeast or temp they're fermenting at.

But to answer your two questions: no, it's unusual but not unknown- the second is yes for a variety of reasons but not usually a disaster. A stalled fermentation could occur if your yeast strain has that tendency to drop out of suspension due to a downwards thermal shock. Rouse your yeast if they've stalled and then make sure they're at about 68F.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
Post by: majorvices on July 15, 2010, 11:55:42 am
You will need to take a second hydrometer reading to be sure the beer is finished. Visual confirmation is not a good idea, especially if you are bottling.

Also, personally, I see no need to secondary a 1.044 amber ale. Just leave it in the primary an extra week or two then package as normal.
Title: Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
Post by: theDarkSide on July 15, 2010, 12:49:27 pm
Also, personally, I see no need to secondary a 1.044 amber ale. Just leave it in the primary an extra week or two then package as normal.
I agree with this unless your primary is larger than your secondary fermenter. ( 6 gallon carboy vs 5 gallon carboy, etc ).  If they are both the same, I wouldn't secondary.
Title: Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
Post by: majorvices on July 15, 2010, 01:12:16 pm
Well, sure you would want to minimize head space on the secondary (if that is what you were talking about) but, regardless, a 1.044 ale doesn;t need a secondary. Just a waste of time IMO and raises the potential for oxidation. I have been lagering my kolch in the primary and when I rack off into the kegs I am racking crystal clear beer. Secondary is not needed to clear the beer.
Title: Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
Post by: theDarkSide on July 15, 2010, 01:50:05 pm
I see you point Major...,I was thinking he may need the larger fermenter for his new batch he wants to do.  I hate brewing beer and getting an ounce less than 5 gallons...which is why my 5 gallon better bottles rarely get used.
Title: Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
Post by: david58 on July 16, 2010, 01:09:47 pm
Ferment went like crazy a couple of days, as I said, but has held at a pretty steady rate since.  Yes, the OG was 1.044 - seemed low to me, but I checked it and rechecked it (took me a long time and lots of disasters, but I finally learned to believe the instruments in the kitchen).

I will likely rack to a secondary just due to my schedule - about the time the primary is done, I have just enough time to cook up another batch before I go on the road for a couple of weeks.  I also plan to dry hop the Amber a bit.

So the biggest reason for secondary is to clarify?  My first beer, a Williams Triple Hopped Ale, seems to respond well to bottle aging - would a secondary serve to that end?

My biggest quandry is what to make next (that and the fact that my 22-yr-old is here for the summer and appreciates good beer, since his is mostly a pbr budget).  Being here in OR, I tend to follow the crowd and like big, hoppy stuff.  But I think an English porter or bitter will be the next one.