Author Topic: Secondary fermentation  (Read 4041 times)

Offline bclosson

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Secondary fermentation
« on: December 19, 2012, 05:38:20 PM »
This is my 2nd brew ever and I can't get hydrometer reading below 1.02. I transferred to secondary tonight.  Can I add new yeast to brew?  Also can u add water to bring up to 5 gal level?  I didn't stir layer of stuff on bottom of bucket which I understand my reactivate yeast. It tasted ok but supposed to be 1.01 to 1.015

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Secondary fermentation
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 06:08:24 PM »
I think you just brought your beer up to 70F yesterday after it stopping at 1.020 and you had some activity? 

Think Guns N Roses.  Just a little patience.......

Give it a couple (3-4) days at 70-72F and take another reading.

Dave
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Offline bclosson

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Re: Secondary fermentation
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 06:14:31 PM »
No patience Dave. Racked already to secondary. Can I add more yeast or forget it and drink it?  Looks like a little over 4% abv

Offline majorvices

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Secondary fermentation
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2012, 06:15:11 PM »
A lot of time extract brews can finish a little higher depending on the recipe and extract. Especially if you used a lot of "dark" extract. Mind posting the recipe? Also, did you aerate and pitch enough yeast? That can have some effect on attenuation.

I think most us have eschewed "secondary" fermentation. Ends up just being a way to introduce oxidation.
Keith Y.
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Offline majorvices

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Secondary fermentation
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2012, 06:16:15 PM »
BTW: You can add more yeast but it will need to be an active yeast starter to do anything or a fresh slurry from a recent fermentation.

Gawd - I friggin HATE gun 'n roses. Just sayin. ;)
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Offline bclosson

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Re: Secondary fermentation
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2012, 06:30:42 PM »
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Secondary fermentation
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2012, 07:56:25 PM »
First thing I noticed reading the recipe is that there is no brand of amber extract. Extracts (Especially Amber and dark) have widely varying fermentabilities. I bet that your beer is finished. If you guess that an amber extract is somewhere between 10-20% crystal malt, and then you add more crystal in steeping grains, you are going to end with a pretty high gravity. If you really want to, you could add more yeast, but if I were you, I would learn my lesson and bottle.

For future reference, most people on this forum recommend extra light or light malt extract as your go-to base for all beers. If you add steeping grains to that, you have a bit more control over the beer you brew.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Secondary fermentation
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2012, 08:59:36 PM »
A common new homebrewer mistake (like me years ago) is to transfer to secondary too early. Make sure that fermentation is completely finished before transfering. Any earlier and you're removing the beer from the yeast that is supposed to be fermenting it (Doesn't make much sense does it?)  Most beers should sit in primary for two weeks. You can transfer when it's finished, though as mentioned, many (like me) skip secondary altogether.

And I LOVE Guns-n-Roses
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 09:47:57 PM by mtnrockhopper »
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Online anthony

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Re: Secondary fermentation
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2012, 09:15:53 PM »
I am going to guess that you used the dry ale yeast option for this kit, which happens to be Danstar Windsor, so I doubt you're going to go much lower in gravity.

Offline majorvices

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Secondary fermentation
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2012, 03:30:30 AM »
A common new homebrewer mistake (like me years ago) is to transfer to secondary too early. Make sure that fermentation is completely finished before transfering. Any earlier and you're removing the beer from the yeast that is supposed to be fermenting it (Doesn't make much sense does it?)  Most beers should sit in primary for two weeks. You can transfer when it's finished, though as mentioned, many (like me) skip secondary altogether.

+1

Quote
And I LOVE Guns-n-Roses

How embarrassing! ;)
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Secondary fermentation
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2012, 05:29:51 AM »
A common new homebrewer mistake (like me years ago) is to transfer to secondary too early. Make sure that fermentation is completely finished before transfering. Any earlier and you're removing the beer from the yeast that is supposed to be fermenting it (Doesn't make much sense does it?)  Most beers should sit in primary for two weeks. You can transfer when it's finished, though as mentioned, many (like me) skip secondary altogether.

And I LOVE Guns-n-Roses

+1 and +1000!   8)
Dave Zach

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Secondary fermentation
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2012, 05:52:21 AM »
No patience Dave. Racked already to secondary. Can I add more yeast or forget it and drink it?  Looks like a little over 4% abv

Here is your dilemma.  If it's done, then you can bottle and give them a try in 2 weeks.  If it's not done, then you run the risk of bottle bombs. 

Since you transferred to secondary (in the future I would just leave in primary for 2-3 weeks) I would go ahead and bottle and leave them in a place that can get wet.  I think you will be alright and agree with above that it's probably finished.
Dave Zach

Offline northarrow

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Re: Secondary fermentation
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2012, 01:15:36 PM »
I'm Intrigued by the idea of forgoing the secondary fermentation step altogether, and I'd like to try it.  Is it simply a matter of combining the time normally spend in primary + secondary?   Are there other variables to consider?

Offline erockrph

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Re: Secondary fermentation
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2012, 01:20:13 PM »
I'm Intrigued by the idea of forgoing the secondary fermentation step altogether, and I'd like to try it.  Is it simply a matter of combining the time normally spend in primary + secondary?   Are there other variables to consider?

That's pretty much it. But frankly, time spent in fermentation is something that the yeast determines, not the recipe. Generally, once you get to a stable final gravity for 2-3 days straight, then the yeast is done and you are OK to bottle/keg.
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Offline northarrow

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Re: Secondary fermentation
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2012, 04:37:15 PM »

Why is it that some NB kits recommend a yeast starter and two-stage fermentation?  Yeast starter I understand, but two-stage fermentation - what's their logic?