Author Topic: Noobie racking to secondary question  (Read 786 times)

Offline david58

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Noobie racking to secondary question
« on: July 14, 2010, 08:06:36 PM »
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?

Offline richardt

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1227
    • View Profile
Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2010, 08:12:58 PM »
Check the specific gravity with the hydrometer and tell us what you got.

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7658
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2010, 10:26:12 PM »
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.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8019
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010, 04:55:42 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.
Cowboy. Pirate. Brewer.

Offline theDarkSide

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2561
  • Derry, NH
    • View Profile
Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 05:49:27 AM »
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.
Sergeant - BNArmy CLUB Member
Seacoast Homebrew Club - Portsmouth, NH
AHA Member
Stephen Mayo
------------------------------------------------

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8019
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 06:12:16 AM »
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.
Cowboy. Pirate. Brewer.

Offline theDarkSide

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2561
  • Derry, NH
    • View Profile
Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 06:50:05 AM »
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.
Sergeant - BNArmy CLUB Member
Seacoast Homebrew Club - Portsmouth, NH
AHA Member
Stephen Mayo
------------------------------------------------

Offline david58

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Noobie racking to secondary question
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2010, 06:09:47 AM »
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.