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fergi

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hi guys
this is the second topic i have started on this same subject today,i have run my coopers lager into a secondry barrel and all seemed to start well with a positive charge developing in the second barrel after about 30 mins,i had a look about an hour ago and the airlock had equilized itself out to a neutral pressure ,so i turned on the heat pad for 30 mins this didnt seem to raise the temp on the stick on thermo which is showing about 18/19 deg but it seemed to slowly put a positive charge back in the barrel so i turned heat pad off to not let the temp get over 18 deg,now it has only been in secondry since yesterday,will it have enough gas to let it sit in there for a week then be able to gas up in the bottle still ,and what happens if it looses its positive pressure again do i still leave it for a week to settle or would i need to do somthing
cheers
fergi
 

pint of lager

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Carbonation in the bottle occurs mainly from the extra teaspoon of sugar you add for priming at bottling.

Do nothing, your beer is fine. Bottle when you are ready, say in 1-2 weeks.
 

Justin

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Welcome Fergi,

I appear that your a little confused on the subject and exactly what is supposed to be happening at each step in the process.

Primary fermentation (first barrel-approximately 4-10 days) is your initial fermentation where the yeast chew through the sugars in your wort creating alcohol and other flavour compounds etc.

Secondary fermentation (second barrel-approximately 10 days -months) occurs when your primary fermentation has fully finished and all the sugar has been consumed. This set allows the yeast to reabsorb by-products produced during the primary ferment amoug other things and basically conditions your beer by allowing the flavour to develop and stabilise.

Bottling. Occurs after your secondary ferment and it's sole purpose is to put bubbles in your beer. Prior to this step there is essentially no gas in your beer that is going to give you a carbonated effect. The beer needs to be pressurised with CO2 to force more gas into the beer than would normally be present if the beer was just left at atmospheric pressures. If the beer is pressurized then the pressure is released (ie. bottle opened) then the gas that was forced into the beer slowly gets released giving you your head and the bubbles. Essentially in this step you are adding a teaspoon of sugar/per stubbie to the beer and sealing it so that the yeast then start a primary ferment again. Because the bottle is sealed this caused pressure to build up and carbonate your beer.

The gas in your secondary fermentation has no role in carbonating your beer at bottling.

Now was your beer finished fermentation when you transferred to the secondary or was it still bubbling away?

For more information and a highly recomended read look up "How to Brew" by John Palmer on the net (it's free :D). This has heaps of info in an easy to understand format and is really the bible for beginning and advancing in homebrewing. I'd be surpirised if every person on this forum hasn't read this book. Join the dark side Fergi.

Good luck, and be prepared for an addiction to brewing.

Cheers, Justin
 

fergi

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thanks justin and pint for the answers,
yes the primary was finished ,it was 1012 fg and had been down for about 7 days.just splurting the occasional air bubble about once every 3 to 4 mins i suppose. does the airlock still have to keep a positive pressure showing in the airlock to keep out the bugs or doesnt it matter if the airlock water level eaquals out to both sides of the water being level,i would have thought that it needed to keep a pressure still in there
cheers
fergi
 

pint of lager

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The airlock is to keep bugs out, they drown in the airlock.

So long as there is some water in the airlock, it is doing the job, doesn't matter if the levels are uneven or level.
 

action man

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i just have to make some corrections to justins post.


secondary fermentation is what occurs in the bottle/keg and gives the beer its fizz. just like a commercial bottle conditioned beer. tha addition of sugar allows the yeast to produce (a bit) more alcohol but more importantly more CO2 for carbonation of beer.



what most of the guys list here as secondary fermentation is in fact just racking the beer to a second fermenter and letting it sit. sure there may be a small amount of fermentation but it is still in the primary fermentation stage.
 

Justin

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Also, your fermenter may not be sealed properly, hence the water in the airlock is level. I nearly always have problems with the fermenter sealing, I don't worry about it anymore. If I was lagering for a long time I would but for the relatively short time in the primary/secondary I don't worry.

Cheers, JD
 

fergi

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thanks again guys for the help
cheers
fergi
 

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