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Question about secondary fermentation

Hi guys ! I’m on my 3ed batch of brew, this time a Caribou Slobber that I had in Primary for 2 weeks than rack to a secondary glass carboy. Now on my 3ed week in secondary. This is my first time doing a secondary and I see that the air lock still bubbles every 20 or so seconds and has a good amount of foam around the carboy on the edge of the beer and looks to me like still active yeast. Is it still fermenting or is this ready to bottled ? thanks

Most likely (I’d say for sure) it is done, but the only way to be certain is to start taking gravity readings a couple days apart and when it stabilizes, preferably under 1.025’s or so you’ll know you’re there. Just remember…the hydrometer is your friend. LOL

Cheers!!

Thanks / The Fhunt - Still new to Gravity reading - I took a reading before pitching yeast and was a 1.040 ( I think ) Will do it again and see what I come up with. Thanks for the Info !

Agree with above. You need to take a gravity reading and taste it. Frankly I’d be somewhat concerned about getting krauesen at this late date after transfer to a secondary vessel. A second bout of fermentation could indicate an infection.

This…

Caribou Slobber still fermenting after 5 weeks? Seems pretty odd to me.

There usually shouldn’t be that much fermentation going in the secondary… Mine was done in a week and a half and when I racked to the secondary there was no foam and no bubbling.

Either way, take a sample and read the gravity for a few days. If it’s still dropping, then it’s still going. I would give it a smell and a taste though as well, as I agree with the above about possible infection.

This…

Caribou Slobber still fermenting after 5 weeks? Seems pretty odd to me.

There usually shouldn’t be that much fermentation going in the secondary… Mine was done in a week and a half and when I racked to the secondary there was no foam and no bubbling.

Either way, take a sample and read the gravity for a few days. If it’s still dropping, then it’s still going. I would give it a smell and a taste though as well, as I agree with the above about possible infection.[/quote]
Hi guys / thanks for the input - I took a reading and got a 1.016 / didn’t do any more readings / removed from secondary and put into bottle bucket / didn’t taste it / but it did smell very sweet. Did not smell bad / just very sweet. I put it all in bottles - It has been about 11 days yesterday and had to try one / a very foamy head when poured into glass / not super great tasting - but not that bad. I will try another in a day or two. Hope its not infected ?

With a gravity reading of 1.016, it is likely that it was not done fermenting, despite the long time. The “very foamy” means it was not done fermenting or there is an infection. Either one is possible, thought my guess is that they were simply not done. To avoid bottle bombs, refrigerate these now. If not kept cold, there is a good chance they will explode shooting glass shards in all directions.

To avoid the same thing in the future, figure out what you did wrong, and do NOT bottle future batches until they are finished. You can only be sure that they are finished if you take two gravity readings a couple days apart and the reading hasn’t changed.

Fermentation can take a long time if not enough healthy yeast was pitched or the temperature is too low. What yeast did you use, how did you prepare it for the beer, and what temperature was the beer kept at during fermentation?

Thanks / rebuittcellars for the input ! I used Danstar Windsor Ale yeast. - Had a gravity reading of 1.040 before pitching the yeast got the yeast going in a small bowl of water before pitching it into the carboy. 15 days in primary then 3 weeks in secondary with airlock bubbles every 1/2 min or so a little foam on top of beer around the edge of carboy. I thought 3 weeks in the secondary should have been enough ? This was only my 3ed batch - But I’m not sure I did anything wrong. We did have a good bit of colder weather and I was able to keep temps around low to mid 60s with no problem?

Sounds like you did everything right with the yeast, and yes that is plenty of time and the right temperature so there is no excuse for it not finishing - unless you had a bad pack of yeast, which is pretty rare. But your tested SG of 1.016 suggests it was not done. With a OG = 1.040, the beer should finish around 1.010 - 1.012, and with a healthy pack of yeast and what you did it should have gotten there within two weeks max.

                                                                                                                                                                       Thanks for the good advice rebuiltcellars / and all you other guys too - I will learn more about using my Hydrometer so i can know more about what the beer is doing without just relying on what I see -   I don't know if it was the low temps that i was able to keep this batch fermenting at or something else.   But it didn't look like it was finish - but i wasn't sure and didn't think it was a problem going to bottles.                                                                                                                                                           It has been in bottles for 15 days now  / opened a couple of them and one seem flat - maybe it wasn't caped good ?   and the other two had a large head on top after pouring into glass and didn't taste that bad  ( still alive so far )  Lol!
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