So, i lost my patience and transferred a belgium wit after 17 days in primary. There was no airlock activity, but some krauesen on top. Now it’s got airlock activity(slow) in the secondary with some foam building up. I’ve read about off flavors from moving too early. Does this batch have a chance to be good, or most likely a whole new animal? Isn’t that a long time to keep fermenting? Steady temp. at 67. Didn’t aerate well enough before pitching either. Could that be the issue? Maybe i need to RDWHAHB!!
Did you take a gravity reading when you transferred to secondary? If so, did it indicate fermentation was complete?
Some airlock activity is good in secondary, as it means the headspace should be filled with C02 to minimize oxidation. Probably nothing to worry about.
Probably fine, often if a newly fermented beer warms a little it will release dissolved CO2. 17 days is generally enough for a normal strength beer. Having krausen on top sometimes indicates the yeast are still working, but sometimes it just got bubbles entrained and keeps floating. I usually swirl the carboy some after a week or so and that will help floating stuff to drop.
Thanks for responses! No- i didn’t do a hydro check before transfer. Just assumed it must be pretty close after 17 days. Rookie mistake i guess! Do you always check gravity, even with an extract kit? If it was moved too early, will it finish up in 2nd or come to a screaching halt and taste bad? Hopefully turns out ok, but next time i’ll check gravity first or maybe leave it in primary longer, then bottle. :?
I dont check gravity but I am patient when it comes to transferring from primary. 17 days is a good amount of time for a 1.050 ale but it all depends on fermentation temp, when its cool sometimes it can drag out longer. I really think you’ll be fine though.
By the way I just mashed in on a small batch of witbier, a variation on the recipe in Brewing Classic Styles.