when to rack to secondary (by eyeball...)


My typical brewing schedule is to rack to primary, wait about a week and then rack to secondary for another week.
However every time I rack to secondary it appears that nothing ever happens in the airlock. Should I rack to secondary earlier in the process to jumpstart a second fermentation process?
Reply to
Joe Murphy

What you do is fine, and probably what most do. IMHO, the secondary is more for clearing and aging than fermentation. In fact, for most ales, I don't even do a secondary anymore... just primary longer for the clearing and aging, then bottle. I've seen no difference in quality.
Derric
Reply to
Derric

I agree...pretty much wait until primary is done and yeast has fallen...then decant off the yeast and you can leave it in secondary for a while.
--
harsley
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Click to see the full signature
Reply to
harsley

Fermentation *should* be done before racking to secondary. This is the time the beer starts to clear.
--
BierNewbie
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Click to see the full signature
Reply to
BierNewbie

If all you had to go by was airlock activity, how would you define a complete fermentation? Right now I get a CO2 bubble every 12-13 seconds, a considerable slowdown since two days ago, but fermenting nonetheless.
What I want to avoid is keeping the beer on the trub for too long and getting off flavors. I also want to make sure that the remaining yeast is active enough to give me carbonation during bottle conditioning
Reply to
Joe Murphy

At a rate of 12 - 13 seconds between co2 bubbles, I'd say it's safe to rack to secondary.
Contrary to what others have said in this thread, I have always put my beer in secondary for the past 19 years.
Leaving beer on the yeast in primary too long can give you off flavors, do to the fact that the yeast that is dead (not all of it is dead but some of it dies and some goes dormant) starts to decay.
Reply to
Yeah Right

It takes a few weeks before autolysis. An average rule of thumb for ales is 7-10 days in primary or until fermentation slows to 1 bubble at a minute+. Which ever comes last.
Wild
--
wild

::It is my design to die in the brew-house; let ale be placed
 Click to see the full signature
Reply to
wild

That all depends on how warm your fermentation is... but hell, I know nothing after 19 years of homebrewing.
Reply to
Yeah Right

I drop mine into the secondary as soon as the primary fermentation starts to slow down and there isn't a thick 'head' of yeast on the beer. This is usually about 4 days after I started the brew.
Reply to
trequites

You don't own an hydrometer?
All bubbles in an airlock indicate is that the secondary is sealed.
The 'secondary fermentation process' is for 'conditioning'. Minimal fermentation should be taking place in the secondary. See:
formatting link

Dick
Reply to
Dick Adams

That is pretty much what I did.
I bottle tomorrow. When I tasted it last week it was already showing promise so I think I'm in good shape.
Reply to
Joe Murphy

DrinksForum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.