I’m new to home brewing and am in the process of brewing my first two batches of beer. Since I’ve never done this before, I have a couple of questions about when to move to the next phase. Caribou Slobber has been in secondary for two weeks and it looks like there are specks of dust floating in the beer and powder along the sides of the carboy. I swirled it around and the stuff seems to sink to the bottom. Also, CO2 is still bubbling (although infrequently) through the airlock. How do I know when it is time to bottle? Batch two, Bavarian Dunkel Lager, Is finishing its second week in primary, but it is still bubbling away. and the foam on top has not settled back into the beer. How do I know when it is time to move to secondary fermentation? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
you know when to move to secondary, or when to bottle when fermentation is complete. take a gravity reading now, and in 3-5 days. if the gravity is the same, then it’s OK to move the beer
rule of thumb is to let it sit in the primary for 2-4 weeks. Secondary is optional and not necessary, but you should leave it in the secondary anywhere from one week, to several weeks
Lager, do you have it in place that is between 50*-55*?
Yes, room is at 52 degrees
:shock: Give the lager a full month before secondary. You’ll be glad you did. Following fermentation the yeast still do things to clean up the beer, so moving it off too soon can result in some off flavors.
There will be those who disagree, but let’s put it this way - I’ve never had a problem with beers left in the primary a month and I have tasted problems in beer racked too soon. By the same token, 3 weeks is probably fine if you pitched enough yeast.
I have read what S.Scoggin suggested on other posts as well.
I, too, have Caribou Slobber fermenting. I transferred to the secondary fermentation today after being in the primary for 7 days because I had three stable OG readings the past few days at 1.012. However, there was still a little bit of krausen on the top that had not settled back into the beer - did I transfer too early?
[quote=“stnorth”]I have read what S.Scoggin suggested on other posts as well.
I, too, have Caribou Slobber fermenting. I transferred to the secondary fermentation today after being in the primary for 7 days because I had three stable OG readings the past few days at 1.012. However, there was still a little bit of krausen on the top that had not settled back into the beer - did I transfer too early?[/quote]
I don’t normally rack that early but if fermentation was finished within a couple of days, you might be fine. It’s good to leave the beer on the yeast awhile after fermentation so they can reabsorb some of the nasties of converting sugar to ethanol. I don’t think you hurt anything but just “to be sure” I leave my beer in the primary for a standard 3 weeks before messing with it.
Krausen will sometimes stick around but by giving it three weeks, it’s usually settled to the bottom.
Thanks mvsawyer. Each batch is a learning experience; I’ll know for my next wishlist brew to let it wait longer.
I’ve needed to rack to secondary soon after high krausen with no ill effect. I would say there is still plenty of yeast in solution to finish in the secondary. Your results may vary, but a wise man once said “relax, don’t worry”.
My last Slobber was 2 ferm, 2 sec ,2+ Bottle Condition. Turned out excellent. It became even better with time in bottle.
I brewed Caribou Slobber without a secondary and it turned out great! Secondaries are a complete waste of time in my opinion unless you are dry hopping or adding fruit. Leave it in the primary for 3-4 weeks and your beer will clear. Do a good job siphoning the wort into your bottling bucket and there is absolutely no advantage of using a secondary in my opinion. Some critics will argue you still get a clearer beer by using a secondary…I would pit mine up against theirs any day of the week. Bottle condition for another 3 weeks and you’re good to go.