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Secondary Fermentation

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ForkBoy

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Hi All,

I have a batch that has been in primary for 3.5 days now. For the first 2.75 days, fermentation was humming along very well, bubbling about once every 10-15 seconds. Now virtually all activity has stopped with the hydrometer reading 1.020 (OG 1.042). It's target gravity should be about 1.010

My question is; is it time to transfer to secondary now? Will the gravity continue to drop in secondary, or do you think I have a stuck fermentation, and I should look at adding more yeast? Only my second batch, so I'm not sure if this is normal behaviour.

Also, when transferring to secondary, should I make sure I transfer across some of the yeast slurry, or should there enough in suspension to finish the job?
 

kook

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Personally, I'd leave it in primary for another 2-3 days then rack it to secondary for 2 weeks. You can transfer it now if you wish though, it should have plenty of yeast left in suspension.
 

PostModern

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Fork,

Watch the hydrometer readings for a couple of days before reaching a conclusion like "stuck fermentation". The beer may be fermenting so slowly that you don't notice the bubbling of the airlock. What temperature is the brew at at the moment and is it within the range of the yeast.

btw, welcome to AHB ;)
 

ForkBoy

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The the cupboard it lives is at 18.5C at 6PM when I get home from work, which is on the low side of the yeast's optimum range (18.3C - 20C), I guess it must drop a degree or two overnight. Anyway I'll check hydrometer tonight and see what that tells me.
 

RegBadgery

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What sort of brew is it - eg. kit, extract, grain? Some of my grain brews have had final gravities a little under 1.020.

cheers
reg
 

ForkBoy

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It is a partial mash Special English bitter, 1.7Kg extract and about 1.6Kg grain. The hydrometer reading had dropped again last night to 1.015, so I guess things are still hapenning after all. My fermenter must not be quite airtight enough to push the airlock with the lower activity. I wonder if the carboys provide better seals than pails... anyway I guess it's all systems normal atm.
 

PostModern

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iirc, Fork, it's the same problem you had with your first brew?

Carboys have the advantage of a rubber O-ring and thread. I tighten mine down so hard it's sometimes an effort to open them...
 

kook

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One of my fermenters is an old (wander?) 25L fermenter. I've replaced the seal on it once before but it just doesnt want to seal properly. I now use it as a primary if I'm doing a brew with a volume of 19L or less (to leave enough space for krausen). Still works fine for that, just in the last 3 or so days of primary you cant see the bubbling cause its leaking :)
 
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