At about a week, I check the gravity or if I notice there's no more airlock activity. I keep an eye on the activity everyday. When I see no more activity I know it's pretty close to being time for transferring. Also doing a FFT. Did that on my oktoberfest. FFT finished at 1.010, kegged at 1.014 after 7 days and it finished at 1.010. I'm not using a spunding valve either, so when I go to take a sample for FG, it blasts out of there. I figure if I can transfer it within 2-4 points from being done, I'm golden.
Posted this in the "What's brewing this weekend" thread:Are you actually measuring the gravity or just guessing? If guessing, what visual clue do you use to know when to transfer?
I am planning to rack it to a keg when it's a few points from expected final gravity though. I've been noticing major improvements from doing that alone.
While the beer sits for an additional week are you allowing it to warm up to room temps to further attenuate and clean up any fermentation byproducts (diacetyl?) at this point?
This is a cool idea, and potentially well worth giving a shot in addition to my closed transfers I do. I would guess you have to be pretty familiar with the recipe and yeast to make this work effectively and repeatedly.
True, being familiar with the recipe and yeast definitely helps. But if you're within a couple points of your FG, than it's still fine I think. If you know when your beer is usually done, you can subtract about a day and transfer then, with some yeast. And if you do closed transfers, I think that'll ward off any O2 pickup/oxidation altogether. It's a marvelous method. I just assume, like anything else, it takes a bit of practice and attention.