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Question about secondary fermentation..need help

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Robtobfest, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Robtobfest

    Robtobfest Savant (340) Connecticut Oct 21, 2009

    I brewed my first batch of beer on Thanksgiving with my brother. Yesterday morning we racked into a secondary. And at this point I still cannot see any visible signs of fermentation. After about a day and a half in the primary I couldn't see any bubbles in the air lock either. The OG was 1.042 and the gravity when I checked it yesterday it was 1.025 or so. So obviously there was some fermentation going on but now I'm just worried because it in a glass carboy and I cannot see any activity. Should I be able to see signs of fermentation or am I just being paranoid. ? Thanks, Rob.
  2. Timmush

    Timmush Savant (330) New Jersey Jan 5, 2008

    Just wondering why you racked into secondary if there was no activity in primary?
    What yeast did you use?
    JrGtr likes this.
  3. Robtobfest

    Robtobfest Savant (340) Connecticut Oct 21, 2009

    To be honest it's probably just inexperience ! Cant remember the yeast brand bit it eas dry yeast and did not do a starter becuase i read some forums that said this brand did not recommend a starter. Should i wait a coue days to take a gravity reading or pitch more yeast now? Or should i let go longer than a coue days without a reading?
  4. Unfortunately, it isn't as easy as just pitching more yeast! If your beer doesn't strart fermenting in the primary within a few days that would be the point at which I would have tried to do something. There could have been several causes to this as well. My first question would be was the yeast past it's expiration date? If the date is fine I would ask what the temp of your wort was when you pitched? Those are 2 major factors when yeast does not activate along with proper aeration! I would also recommend making a starter even if it says it isn't necessary!
  5. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Basically, you interrupted the fermentation when you racked to secondary. It's not ideal, but it will probably start up again on its own. (In fact, it may not have actually stopped.) Here's what I would do... Keep relatively warm, but within the yeast's recommended range, wait a week and take another gravity reading. If it's still at 1.025, repitch.
  6. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    In OP's situation, yes, it may be just that easy. Maybe even easier.

    Did you read his post? Gravity went from 1.042 to 1.025. I'd say the yeast 'activated.'

    This was a dry yeast packet (huge cell count) into a low gravity beer. A starter is not indicated here. Even if more cells were needed, with dry yeast, it's simpler (and possibly better) to pitch a second packet rather than make a starter.
    southdenverhoo and hopsandmalt like this.
  7. Robtobfest

    Robtobfest Savant (340) Connecticut Oct 21, 2009

    Thanks guys. The temp was 72 or so when i pitched. The only thing i can say i did not do well us aerate the wort, so that is an opportunity to get better results next time. Other question is. Worst case yhe is no more fermentation...is there something wrong with bottling it with some priming sugar and drinking the beer where it is with abv right now? Ither than having less alcohol, whay is the problem/ downside there????
  8. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    The downside is that the rest of the fermentables left in your beer, plus the priming sugar, would continue to ferment in the bottle, causing overcarbonation and possibly bottle bombs. I stongly suspect that when you check your beer in a week you'll find the gravity is lower.
    oach likes this.
  9. oach

    oach Aficionado (120) Illinois Jul 8, 2009

    Agree with VikeMan. Also, for future reference, check out Mr. Malty (http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html) for the correct amount of yeast to use when brewing. Based on you using an 11 gram packet of yeast for 5 gallons, you wouldn't have officially need an entire packet of yeast, therefore the yeast you pitched should have been fine.
  10. MLucky

    MLucky Savant (345) California Jul 31, 2010

    I would pitch more yeast.

    It's hard to guess why your fermentation stalled. Maybe it got too cold at night and the yeast dropped out? Maybe you misread your hydrometer, and your FG is actually OK? It's very possible that given a little more time and proper temp (and maybe a bit of swirling via gently rocking the carboy) fermentation will kick in again soon and finish up.

    Regardless, it won't hurt anything to add more yeast, and it might help quite a bit, so that's what I'd do if it was my beer. If you tell us what style you're making, we should be able to recommend an appropriate yeast. I would probably use a dry yeast--more cells, less costs--making sure to properly hydrate before pitching.
  11. Robtobfest

    Robtobfest Savant (340) Connecticut Oct 21, 2009

    Its an ipa
  12. oach

    oach Aficionado (120) Illinois Jul 8, 2009

    I would take hydrometer readings over the next couple of days. If those readings don't move (means the yeast has done all it will do and has stopped fermenting), then pitch more yeast. If those readings continue to drop, then your fermentation is still going, just not that you can see, ride it out.

    What is the final gravity you are shooting for?

    Safale US-05 and Danstar Nottingham are both neurtral ale yeasts that work fine w/ American IPAs if you choose or need to go that route.
  13. Robtobfest

    Robtobfest Savant (340) Connecticut Oct 21, 2009

    This is a partial mash recipe recommended by someone at the home brew shop I used. She said it would get me to about 5 percent ABV. I'm so new that I'm not even sure what my target final gravity is.
  14. MLucky

    MLucky Savant (345) California Jul 31, 2010

    In that case, I would use SF-05. Be sure to properly hydrate, if you do this.

    BTW, a 1.042 OG is very low for an IPA.
  15. Robtobfest

    Robtobfest Savant (340) Connecticut Oct 21, 2009

    Yeah I guess you could call it a hoppy pale ale. My brother and I were going for a sessionable ipa. Ala daytime or All Day ia
  16. MLucky

    MLucky Savant (345) California Jul 31, 2010

    Those can be really great, especially while fresh. Don't be shy with the dry hops!
  17. Robtobfest

    Robtobfest Savant (340) Connecticut Oct 21, 2009

    Oh i wont! I love aroma hops all day! Knowing all this.....should i bottle or keg this and drink regardless of what happens in the next week?
  18. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    No. 1.025 is definitely not terminal gravity for a 1.042 OG pale ale. You should probably be looking to get down into the neighborhood of 1.010. If you post your recipe, someone can possibly provide a better estimate.
  19. Pitch a huge starter with safe ale 05
    Grab a 2L bottle rubber stopper and air lock.
    Boil a lb of extract... cool to 80º, then add dry yeast 1st and cooled mini wart into 2l . Let sit for a couple days
    Mlucky is right.. I would ad a couple poubds of granulated suger after boiled and cooled to beef up the abv.1.042 is low
  20. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    If OP does not have viable yeast in wid wort/beer (I happen to think he probably does), he would not need to add a 'huge starter' of US-05. A single rehydrated pack would do it.
  21. Robtobfest

    Robtobfest Savant (340) Connecticut Oct 21, 2009

    Ok so i re hydrated some yeast and while pouring it in the carboy a good amount of it ran on the inside of the carboy! Will this deveope into anyrhing harmful to the beer of worse, dangerous to health? I believe enough teast made it directly into the beer but just worried about the yeast that is dried to the inside of carboy!
  22. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Some yeast sticking to the sides of the carboy is not a problem, other than the fact some of it didn't make it into the beer/wort. But since you probably didn't need to repitch anyway, that shouldn't be a concern either.
  23. Robtobfest

    Robtobfest Savant (340) Connecticut Oct 21, 2009

    Ok thanks for all the help guys. I let tlu know how it turns out! I took a gravity and it had not moved since i tranferred a few days before. Hopefully this will help. I appreciate everyones help!

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