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Rack to secondary with kreuzen remaining?

Thirteen days ago I brewed my first five gallon batch. According to the schedule I should rack to the secondary fermenter tomorrow. But there is still a 1/2" layer of kreuzen on top of the beer. Is this normal? Prior to this I have only brewed one gallon batches and the kreuzen never lasted past day 4. Should I delay the transfer to the secondary fermenter or go ahead per schedule? I know that fermentation goes by it’s own schedule. So I don’t want to rack by the calendar but I also don’t want to delay racking for no reason either.

Details:
• NB Caribou Slobber extract kit
• Yeast: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale
• OG: 1.054 (adjusted for temp)
• Thermometer on outside of carboy 67-69 F

Like you said, fermentation has it’s own schedule. Gravity reading will tell you when it’s done.

You can rack from underneath the krausen. Or, a gentle rocking or swirl of the fermenter will break the surface tension so the krausen will fall.

Have your SG readings been steady for three or four days? If so you could go to secondary to clear your beer or dry hop. Caribou Slobber is a brown ale. How much clearing will you see by going to a secondary? Why do you want to go to a secondary? Mostly not recommended anymore. More benefits for your brew leaving it on the yeast cake longer.

From experience; Caribou Slobber is better at three to four weeks on the yeast cake. One of my all time favorites.

Who says fermentation doesn’t work on our schedule? Today (day 14) when I went to check the gravity reading the kreuzen had dropped. Right on schedule! :smiley:

I did rack to the secondary fermenter for two reasons. One is that this is the first 5 gallon batch I’ve brewed so I don’t want to deviate from the instructions immediately. The other reason is that I transferred the entire contents of the brew kettle into the primary fermenter. My racking cane plugged because I did not let the kettle sit after cooling so all the break material and hops were still in suspension. I’ve read some posts indicating that could lead to off flavors. Oh…and a third reason is that I just bought all this cool beer making equipment and I just had to use every piece I could! :mrgreen:

SG was 1.013 (adjusted for temp). Sample tasted good though it had a little harsh hoppiness. I expect that will mellow out after 2 weeks in secondary and 2+ weeks in the bottle.

[quote=“BarbarianBrewer”]Who says fermentation doesn’t work on our schedule? Today (day 14) when I went to check the gravity reading the kreuzen had dropped. Right on schedule! :smiley:

I did rack to the secondary fermenter for two reasons. One is that this is the first 5 gallon batch I’ve brewed so I don’t want to deviate from the instructions immediately. The other reason is that I transferred the entire contents of the brew kettle into the primary fermenter. My racking cane plugged because I did not let the kettle sit after cooling so all the break material and hops were still in suspension. I’ve read some posts indicating that could lead to off flavors. Oh…and a third reason is that I just bought all this cool beer making equipment and I just had to use every piece I could! :mrgreen:

SG was 1.013 (adjusted for temp). Sample tasted good though it had a little harsh hoppiness. I expect that will mellow out after 2 weeks in secondary and 2+ weeks in the bottle.[/quote]

Were your SG readings stable over 3 days or will you risk having bottle bombs?

I only took the one gravity reading today. I racked to the secondary fermenter today. Next time I’ll try your suggestion of skipping the secondary but I wanted to stick to the kit directions for this one. Prior to bottling I do plan on taking multiple readings to ensure fermentation is complete.

I guess we should have mentioned that some of the kits have instructions that are 10 years old. Some are just plain wrong. NBs may be the best and are being updated, but I haven’t ordered fro another major supply house in ten years. Others could be just as good.

After potential autolysis or for the sake of clarity (which doesn’t require a secondary really) this is the best reason to rack to secondary. I love any excuse to fiddle with my brews.

I will often swirl/rouse my yeast towards the end of fermentation. Sometimes a krausen will get so much trapped bubbles in it that it will flaot for a long time even though its not really still active.

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