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Question regarding secondary fermentation

Ok, here’s the scenario: I decided at the last minute to brew a holiday spice ale. I brewed this past Thursday, plan to secondary for 5-7 days over cacao nibs then keg in time to carbonate for Christmas Eve. In hindsight I wish I brewed this in October, but my wife found out she was pregnant a few months back, and I stopped brewing for a few months because I haven’t been drinking much recently. I calculated that if my fermentation is as quick as most of them have been lately, I will be able to make a beer worth debuting at our annual Christmas Eve celebration with the family. I’ve been using Wyeast nutrients and starters with every 5 gallon batch, so most of my fermentations are finished in a matter of days. As a matter of habit I leave it in primary for 2-3 weeks regardless, but I’m cutting this one tight.

The issue I’m having is I just broke my hydrometer. I was about to check on the progress of fermentation when it rolled off of my bench and crashed down to my concrete floor. I was planning to rack to secondary tomorrow, Wednesday at the latest so that I could get 5-7 days with the cacao before kegging, but now I won’t know when primary is completely done. I don’t live near a LHBS, so getting a new hydrometer isn’t practical by Wednesday. If the krausen has dropped, is it safe to rack to secondary? There should be enough yeast still in suspension to finish any fermentation that may need to happen, right? The yeast that has dropped is no longer active in primary fermentation?


I would rouse the yeast and add the nibs, skip the secondary.

Just rack to secondary. It’ll be fine.

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