I have an extract chocolate milk stout in the primary. The temp has been around 68-70 degrees while fermenting. It started bubbling shortly after pitching yeast and bubbled pretty rapidly for a couple days. Its been about 4.5 days. The bubbles are slowing. I used Safale S-04 yeast. Should I rack to secondary after 1 week? I don’t see any reason to leave it in the primary for longer if its more or less complete. I understand the three phases of fermentation. The reason I’m racking to a secondary is the directions call for cacao nibs 2 weeks before bottling. Anyone have any experience with cacao nibs? What is the best amount of time before bottling.
Can’t answer about cacao nibs, but I would leave the beer in the primary until fermentation is completed, and then give the yeast a few more days to clean up.
I agree with this 100%. Don’t rush it, if you give it time, it will pay off.
If you use a secondary, either transfer it when it is about 3/4 done (typically when the gravity is half the OG) or after it has finish completely. If transferring early, the majority of active yeast is still in suspension and going strong so you won’t risk it getting stuck before reaching FG, but the majority of non-yeast trub has already fallen to the bottom by then.
Leaving it longer though is no problem, and leaving it for at least a week after the bulk of fermentation is done allows the yeast to clean up and start to flocculate out before you rack. That is what I’ll typically do when adding flavoring elements like cacao nibs, fruit, spices or dry hops.
In homebrewing, you can almost never go wrong by waiting longer.