Renewed Fermentation in Secondary?

My Caribou Slobber has been in secondary for 4 weeks and I was going to bottle this weekend. Due to living in a very small apartment and just having 2 unusually warm days it appears my Slobber is starting to actively ferment… again. I was afraid the normally cool temps in my apartment stunted the fermentation to begin with and the gravity readings seemed to support this. Now I’m sure fermentation was never allowed to complete and it’s starting to ramp back up on its own. My question is, should I keep the temps up ( 72 - 74 F. ) and let it do its thing for another week or so or should I get the temps back down ( 64 - 68 F. ) and stop it from getting going again ?

Can’t really be sure without any gravity readings. But if fermentation has started again you should Let it finish. How cold was primary? What was fg when transfered to secondary? Extract or all grain?

Could be that the increased temps. just drove some Co2 out of solution. Recommend taking an SG.

Caribou Slobber extract kit. OG 1.048. Primary 1 week. Gravity reading when racked to secondary 1.022. Gravity now 4 weeks later is 1.020. The temperature was kept between 65 and 70 for both primary and secondary although there were a few temp. drops to 60 and a recent rise to 72.

The first thing is that racking to a “secondary” after one week is too early to do so.
Even the outdated directions says 2 weeks primary, 2 weeks secondary.
Leave your beer in the primary for 3 weeks or so and call the last couple weeks the secondary.

Find a way to control your fermantation temps. If your room temp is 70 then your beer is fermenting at 75 to 77 degrees, not ideal in most cases.

Before you bottle, make sure your beer is finished. Take a few readings with your hydro. to confirm. The last thing that anyone would want—Bottle Bombs.

I think the best thing to do know is to leave your beer in the 70’s until it finishes.


I agree completely with what Wally said. And, you can only trust your hydrometer when it comes to the finished product. Take a few readings over a week and if the gravity stays the same then you are ready to bottle.

Thanks for the advise Wallybeer I had a feeling I racked to secondary too early. I’ve been keeping the temps in my apartment in the low 70’s and my Slobber is bubbling away. I hope there’s enough yeast left to do the job. My next beer I’m brewing this weekend is the Kiwi Express extract kit. I’m really excited about it. I’m a little torn about the whole issue on racking to secondary or just leaving it in primary for 3 or 4 weeks. Because this beer gets dry hopped I guess the only way to do that is to rack over into a secondary, but I was wondering if I should just drop a weighted hop bag directly into my primary. I’m using a 6.5 gallon Ale Pale for primary and a 5 gallon Better Bottle for secondary although I can pick up glass carboys if that’s what I need. The directions that came with the kit say to leave the beer in primary for 1-2 weeks and rack to secondary for 2-4 weeks. Add dry hops 5 days before bottling. Should I follow these directions to the letter ? Should I switch to glass for fermentation ? Is racking to secondary necessary ? Any more advise would be greatly appreciated. I’ve read Palmer’s and Papazian’s books but they do conflict at times and specific advise from you guys is really helpful.


I’ve read Palmer’s and Papazian’s books but they do conflict at times and specific advise from you guys is really helpful.[/quote]

That is what you will get on this board also. Someone will say to do it this way. Another will say to do it that way. Both will produce a very drinkable product. YOU have to decide which way you want to go.

Me, I don’t want to clean/sanitize more equipment than is needed. So I would add the hops to the primary fermenter, Ale Pail.

You can get some $.99 panty hose and some SS washers from the hardware store to dry hop with.

For your next batch, if it was me, i would primary for 3 weeks and then rack to second with the dry hops. I would leave the hops in the 2nd for 10 to 14 days, alot different than what the directions, I know. If your a hophead you’ll like the results.

If my dry hops were low, that is under 2oz. then I might add them to my primary after 2 weeks and let it go another week or so. But thats me. Like what was said, everyone has there way of doing things, and thats a good thing.

As you brew more, you will know more.

One last thing, find a way to ferment in the low 60’s if you can. Makes a difference.

Cheers. And welcome to the forum.

Thanks for the welcome WB. I tried fermenting the Caribou Slobber in the low to mid 60’s and it stalled out. It didn’t " come alive " again until I raised the temps to low 70’s. Is that because I had some bad yeast ? The kit came with dry Windsor Ale and I re-hydrated before I pitched. There was vigorous fermentation for about 24 hours and then it stalled out and stayed that way until a few days ago. When it started fermenting again I gave the carboy a gentle shake and now it’s bubbling away with Krausen on top and everything. For the Kiwi Express kit I upgraded to the Wyeast smack pack. I made a starter last night and it worked great, there’s a ton more yeast than what was originally in the pack !!! I guess I’ll put the Kiwi in my storage area which is still inside but a bit cooler. I’ll use your directions for time in primary and secondary and for the dry hopping because I am a HUGE hop head so I’m sure the longer time on the hops will be to my taste !!! Thanks for your help. I do have another question though… I noticed the yeast on the bottom of my flask that I used as a starter seems to be " stuck " in there pretty good. Will it pour out when I pitch or is there something special that I need to do like pour a little warm ( boiled ) water in the flask before I pitch or something ?? Probably a stupid Newbie question, Ha !!

Are you only judging fermentation progress by visuals (Krausen, airlock bubbles etc) ?

If so, I’d recommend a hydrometer.

Low 60’s is a perfect temp to ferment at with that yeast. I assume that is air temp, and you beer would actually be in the mid to upper 60’s. What makes you think it “stalled”.

On your starter, put it in the fridge for 2-3 days. Then pour off the majority of the liquid, swirl what is left and dump it into your fermenter with the new wort.

Or you could, after pouring off the liquid, add some of the new wort. Let it sit for a couple hours until it starts fermenting and then pour it into the fermenter.

If you add warm water, you risk adding “too” warm water and killing them. No reason to add water to it.