Author Topic: probably been covered, but…..  (Read 903 times)

Offline fierceheadwindbrew

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probably been covered, but…..
« on: November 10, 2014, 10:39:40 PM »
First, this is my first post after lurking on the forum for the past couple of weeks.

Second, I tried to a search to see if this had been answered, but didn't find anything that applied to my specific situation, so I appologize if I am asking something that has already been covered, and I know I am displaying my complete "noobness" by asking this.

Ok, on to my question.

I am brewing my first batch, an oatmeal stout (from a Brewers Best extract kit).  I plan on adding some vanilla when I move it to the secondary.  My issue comes with how long I should leave it in the primary fermentor.

The guys at the homebrew store said I should leave it at least 7 days.  Went to my first Home Brewers meeting this weekend, and they told me at least 2 or 3 weeks in the fermentor would be better.  I was mildly concerned that it seemed to be very active the first 24 hours, but after that, I haven't seen any bubbling in the airlock.  OG was 1.060, and I took a hydrometer reading yesterday (Day 7) and got 1.029.

So, should I leave it in for another week (or 2) or go ahead and move it to the secondary?  Are there pros and cons?

thank you in advance.

Offline Stevie

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probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2014, 11:08:17 PM »
Leave it be. Do not transfer or package until the reading is stable over a couple of days. Airlock activity isn't the best indicator, sometimes the fermentor won't be perfectly airtight.

Personally I wouldn't transfer to secondary. If you are using vanilla beans, drop them in once the beer is done, taste everyday, and package when it gets to where you like it. Less work and less chances for oxidation or contamination.

Edit - WOULDN'T transfer. Stupid small keyboard.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 11:55:26 PM by Steve in TX »

Offline jeffy

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2014, 11:34:51 PM »
Leave it be. Do not transfer or package until the reading is stable over a couple of days. Airlock activity isn't the best indicator, sometimes the fermentor won't be perfectly airtight.

Personally I would transfer to secondary. If you are using vanilla beans, drop them in once the beer is done, taste everyday, and package when it gets to where you like it. Less work and less chances for oxidation or contamination.

Did you mean to say "wouldn't"?

I would leave it in the primary until fermentation is complete.  A reading of 1.029 is far from complete.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2014, 11:49:56 PM »
+1 to what Steve and Jeffy have said so far.

also, welcome to the forum and to the hobby. it's a blast.

Two general things to remember as you embark on this crazy hobby:

Don't worry, it's only beer
And
The yeast don't read schedules. They will decide when they are done. if you are careful and watchful they will tell you when they are done.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
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Offline Stevie

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2014, 11:54:20 PM »
Yes, I wouldn't transfer to secondary. My bad

Offline fierceheadwindbrew

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2014, 12:25:05 AM »
Thanks for the quick responses. 

Follow up question. Is there any harm in moving it to the secondary and let it finish fermenting?   I have all the ingredients to make an IPA, but I need the fermenter to do so.......

Offline Stevie

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2014, 12:29:49 AM »

Thanks for the quick responses. 

Follow up question. Is there any harm in moving it to the secondary and let it finish fermenting?   I have all the ingredients to make an IPA, but I need the fermenter to do so.......

It could stall. As Jonathan (mort) said, yeast has its own schedule. Sounds like you could use a second fermentor.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2014, 12:31:52 AM »
If you rack to a secondary be sure to clean it well then sanitize it well. Rack without aerating and you should be good.
Huntsville AL

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2014, 12:34:33 AM »
I say do not rack your beer until you're @ FG - verified by 3 hydrometer checks of a day or two apart.
Jon H.

Offline bengelbrau

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2014, 12:44:37 AM »
As one who had only a single primary fermenter, I always racked to secondary so I could start that next one. No issues with oxidation or infection (I flush the secondary with CO2 prior to racking). Of course, now that I have 5 6 gallon primaries, they always seem to be full, waiting for the next batch, so I still secondary almost everything

Offline majorvices

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2014, 01:11:09 AM »
Whatever you do be sure you don't rack the beer until it is done fermenting. To check if beer is done take a hydrometer reading once the beer looks to have settles down and the yeast has started dropping and beer starts to look darker. After 3 days take another hydrometer reading. If the reading is the same it is probably safe to rack. If the reading is lower then wait 3 days and take another reading.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2014, 01:43:30 AM »
Analyze the thought process. 'My yeast isn't done yet, so I'll remove the vast majority of them.' Sure doesn't make sense to me.

Offline santoch

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2014, 03:13:44 AM »
+ 1 on giving it time.

Those yeast work on their own schedule, not yours.  They aren't going to magically know that they need to speed up because its YOU that they are making beer for.

Even when they have finished producing alcohol and co2, they still are busy scrounging around the beer, cleaning up after themselves.  This is really where the patience comes in. They will clean up a lot of flavors that otherwise would leave the beer tasting "green".  So, let them do it.

Another factor is that plastic buckets are notorious for allowing gas to escape out through the edges, causing no bubbles to appear in the airlock.  Additionally, when temperatures drop (like with this cold snap that's coming through the US), the gas in the head space contracts and you get reduced pressure -- no bubbles.

I understand this is your first batch and you are excited to taste it, but you will be much happier with the finished product if you let it take all the time it needs.

Get another batch going while this one is conditioning.  You want to fill your pipeline of beers so that you have enough finished ones that you won't be tempted to drink one before its time.

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2014, 04:02:59 AM »
Nothing helps build patience than lots of great beer in stock

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: probably been covered, but…..
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2014, 12:17:28 PM »
I agree with the advice already given.  I just wanted to point out you've invested way more than the cost of another bucket or two in your first batch.  Don't make it less than it could be by rushing it.  Spend 01 or 20 bucks for another bucket or three.  You'll be glad you did.   ;D

Welcome to the obsession.

Paul

(Up at 5 this morning to get the mash started on a RIPA before I take the kids to school.  Making a red after that.)
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?