Author Topic: Color separation in secondary fermentation question  (Read 1659 times)

Offline raddly

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Color separation in secondary fermentation question
« on: January 30, 2012, 09:24:23 AM »
I've had a Belgian Strong Dark Ale (approx. abv 9.1%) in secondary for a month now.  It's developing a clear separation band in colors.  In other words, the top inch is a darker brown, while the remainder (aside from the trub at the bottom) is several degrees lighter.  The boundry between the two shades is clearly delineated. Any ideas as to what has caused this?

By way of background: nothing out of the ordinary occurred during brewing or primary.  Primary was controlled at between 64 and 66 degrees F.  Secondary has been a bit different, as it's stored in my basement storeroom.  Down there, the temperature has dropped to a range of 50 to 55 degrees F.  Could this colder temperature be causing the separation?  What is the separation?

Thanks,
Radd

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Color separation in secondary fermentation question
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 09:27:48 AM »
The yeast are dropping out.
Jeff Rankert
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline raddly

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Re: Color separation in secondary fermentation question
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 09:31:15 AM »
If it's the yeasts dropping, the band should grow though, correct?  It hasn't moved in two weeks.  Any ideas on how long to leave this one in secondary?

Thanks again,
Radd

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Color separation in secondary fermentation question
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 10:39:36 AM »
I find that the yeast will also cling to the sides of the carboy while it clears.

So you might have perfectly clear beer, but you have a murky carboy.

This is nothing to be concerned about.

Leave it in secondary as long as you feel comfortable with it.  Or package it now.

A BDS at 9.1% should age well, but it can also age in kegs or bottles.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Color separation in secondary fermentation question
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 12:19:11 PM »
What yeast are using? In my experience Ive noticed WLP500(the Chimay yeast) takes a LONG time to drop out and clear.  I recently brewed a Belgian Tripel and it took about 2 months in secondary for it to clear up.
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline euge

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Re: Color separation in secondary fermentation question
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 12:22:17 PM »
Time to bottle.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline andyi

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Re: Color separation in secondary fermentation question
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 03:06:45 PM »

+1 to Joe Sr.

Check the gravity and see what the sample looks like.

Offline raddly

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Re: Color separation in secondary fermentation question
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2012, 02:57:26 PM »
Much appreciated for the information.  I'll take a sample tonight and see what I'm dealing with.

Offline jlap

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Re: Color separation in secondary fermentation question
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2012, 03:56:02 PM »
What you are describing has totally happened to me with Belgian strains.  You just have to wait but it can take a long time to fully settle.  It can be really frustrating!

Offline raddly

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Re: Color separation in secondary fermentation question
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2012, 04:34:29 PM »
The sample remained separated in the thief-- it wasn't simply on the inside of the carboy.  With that said, it tasted quite good at this early stage.  I'm going to let it sit for another month or so to see if it continues to settle.  Thanks again.