Long Fermentation - Advice Please?

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Reaction score
Fellow brewers,
I need a bit of advice on a batch I have in secondary at the moment.

It's a basic 3Kg ESB Czech Pilsener dry hopped with extra 15g Saaz in primary and again when racked to secondary.

Used DCL 34/70 dry yeast supplied with kit
1 week primary then racked to secondary

It's been in secondary for just over 2 weeks now and I'm still getting airlock activity, very slow but still bubbling maybe once every 3/4 hour.

Temperature has been fairly constant with an average 18 degrees
SG seems to be stable at 1008 (which was lower than I was expecting!)

Is this brew still fermenting or is it infected? It smells and tastes OK.
Should I rack it again or just let it go? Should I just bottle it?

I'm fairly new to racking and my four other attempts worked out really well.

Any assistance greatly appreciated!

In secondary we don't tend to use airlocks but tighten the bung down. I suspect you just racked to another fermenter, if so, these have way too much headspace and so your beer may get oxidised.

Now the airlock. Ignore it, throw them away and use teatowels to cover your fermenters.

Yeast will slowly chew away at the higher sugars so you could get slow bubbling for months.

Just bottle

Jovial Monkl

Your brew is identical to one I did back in May - even down to the 15g Saaz dry hopped. I also found that it was still bubbling at 2 weeks in secondary (albeit slowly) and my FG was 1008!! Spooky. I bottled mine at the 2 week point and have to say the results were fantastic. It was my 2nd last kit brew and far and away my best. I only have 3 longnecks left unfortunately :( My advice is to bottle ASAP and enjoy. Will definitely brew this beer again next winter. I managed to keep mine a bit cooler than yours, around 13/14 on average, but I'd reckon it should be great. I've found the 34/70 seems to really ferment out well, with lower than expected FG's and really good crisp Euro lager taste.

Good luck,

Thanks Jovial Monk,

You're right, I racked into a spare 25ltr fermenter.

I'm a little confused at you suggestion to cover with a teatowel, is this just for secondary or for primary as well?
Should the teatowels be dry or prepared in some other way?

My understanding was that the carbon dioxide formed in the head space would provide cover from oxidisation?

Thanks for the advice, I'll bottle this fellow tomorrow.


You have restored my confidence no end!

I look forward to tasting this brew and hope it turns out as well as yours did. How long did you leave yours in the bottle before drinking?


As you can tell by the fact I brewed it in May and now only have 3 tallies left, not long enough!! I gave it a week in primary, 14 days in secondary, tried an experimental bottle at 14 days in the bottle and started drinking more regularly another fortnight later. I drank most of them over the last month, so I guess at the 3 month mark was when most of them went down. I can't say enough good things about this beer. No I don't work for ESB :D

I cover my fermenters with a teatowel

means there is no airlock to confuse the brewer :)
Also means the CO2 can scrub volatiles out the fermenting beer--ever took the lid of a fermenter, stuck your nose right in and took a deep sniff? Took your nose 5 mins to recover, eh? With my open ferments there is NO accumulation of chemical type smells

My secondares are 20L 'cubes' --food grade white translucent plastic jerrycans that are shaped rather like a, errr, ummmmm *cube*! i shove my secondaries into a nice cold fridge, 0-.5C, for 4 weeks, longer for strong ales, longer also for lagers, I mean, a lager should be lagered! i ferment lagers in the fridge between 8-10C

Jovial Monk
Hi Jovial Monk,

Believe it or not, I can't get the room temperature down for a Bav Lager that I'm about to brew, below about 16C - yes, and I'm in Canberra ;)

I'm thinking about buying a temp controller for a fridge I have in the garage that would be an ideal place to ferment long, slow Lagers - do you know where I can get a temperature controller that's easy to install and cheap? I have manually operated the fridge but it seems to hover between 1 and 4 Degrees C.

By the way, is 1C too cold to primary a Bav Lager with 34/70 yeast??


ESB sell fridge controllers, you might be able to get them cheaper if you look around though.

My fridge I can adjust till the lagers are fermenting between 8 & 10 degrees without any controller

My last beer of the year is always a lager, goes in the fridge round about 30th December, gets dragged out the fridge and allowed to warm up over the course of a night (days are too warm) at the end of January, this is the diacetyl rest, then racked and bunged into a cold, 0-.5c fridge and left there till the end of May when I bottle

All my beers are secondaried at .5C, ales and lagers alike

Jovial Monk

Latest posts