1.) Fermentation temps?? Ideally, your wort is chilled to 60-65 before pitching yeast and temperature of your fermenting beer is in the mid 60’s (which means surrounding temp will be in low 60’s) Warm fermentation temps can cause fast ferments with bad off flavors. Fermenting beer is 5+ degrees warmer than the room it is in. Temps in the 70’s can cause some significant issues, temps in the 80’s can be a “beer killer.” A wheat would have held up better to higher temps because of the yeast you were likely using and the “desired” taste of that style.
Used a swamp cooler and kept the temps in the mid to upper 60’s (depending on whether or not I remembered to change out the frozen water bottles on a given day). I have GOT to get a better system for temperature control.
2.) How patient? I put my beer in primary ferment, put the lid on the bucket and don’t touch it for any reason for 3-4 weeks. I consider that being patient.
…moderately patient?..lol. I don’t remember the exact time (no notes) but I had it in primary for more than 2 weeks because it let it sit for a while after repitching the yeast to see if it took off again.
3.) Personal opinion - don’t “monitor” the gravity. I just feel that every time you put something in your beer, you inrtroduce the possibility of infection. If your wort is cooled, and you pitch enough healthy yeast, and you see fermentation progressing, and you are dealing with a “normal” beer (1.04-1.07 gravity) there is almost zero possibility that your yeast will not do its job. I wait 3-4 weeks and then the morning I plan on kegging/bottling I take a sample to taste it and get FG. On the extremely rare chance that your beer is not “done” at this point, you can leave it sit, rouse the yeast, add more yeast, etc. But I just don’t see the value in regularly checking gravity - just let it sit long enough to KNOW that it is done, and check it once to confirm.
I think I checked it twice.
4.) No need to pitch more yeast usually, unless you have a confirmation that something is totally screwed up. Especially with regular gravity beers. Especially if there was a “violent” ferment to start with.
5.) Could very well have happened. Did you taste it when transferring? Did it taste good before the transfer?
I tasted it during every gravity reading and during the transfer as well. It tasted fine but that doesn’t mean something hadn’t already “gone south” but didn’t effect the taste yet. I noticed the flavor after the emergency kegging.
6.) What do you sanitize with? Ideally, IMO, you “clean” with PBW or oxy clean, and rinse. THEN, you “sanitize” with starsan and don’t rinse. Bleach can be a common cause of off flavors. Also, treating cleaners (onestep) like sanitizers can be a problem. Rinsing after sanitizing can be a problem as well.
7.) There really should be no bubbles in secondary - the beer is done “fermenting” in primary, secondary is really more about settling out, etc. Oxygenation can be a problem - more likely due to transferring it than airlock. But oxygenation is unlikely to make beer undrinkable.
8.) I don’t secondary unless it is a beer that requires extended aging. Longer primary, leaving my beer alone, being a little careful transferring at kegging/bottling - my beers are brilliantly clear from keg and bottle. Have had comments on several occasions on competition score sheets about clarity and if it is “filtered” it is so clear. Nope, not even secondaried. The key to clear beer, often, is simply a matter of letting it sit still at a cool temp. for a while. Opinions vary on this, but my experience says it is not worth it to secondary unless there is a real reason to.[/quote]
Thanks for all the advice! I really appreciate it.