Secondary fermentation...when is it complete

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by mrkrausman, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. mrkrausman

    mrkrausman New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I ferment in glass carboys. Generally primary completes for me in about a week and the beer reaches it's final gravity. I do not rack to secondary unless I am dry hopping. My question is how do you know when the conditioning phase is complete and the beer is ready to keg/carbonate? Can you tell from airlock activity, taste or what other factors?
    Mike
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,686
    Likes Received:
    7,181
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    I taste a sample. When it tastes good, I bottle. There's no hard-fast rule on this: Some are done in a week, some take months. It's better to rely on your taste buds than the calendar on this one.
     
  3. mrkrausman

    mrkrausman New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  4. W1IA

    W1IA New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ales are quick mike, about 4-7 days average in my primary and conditioning should be at least 3 weeks. My ales are there best at 4-6 weeks. Watching the krausen is a fairly good way to know your ferment is winding down. The best way is a wine thief and check the gravity. You will get a feel for it. Your mileage may vary depending on the recipe.

    Good Luck,
    Brent
     
  5. TheZel66

    TheZel66 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    18
    depends how thirsty you are.. :lol: :lol:
     
  6. Lager_Head_Turtle

    Lager_Head_Turtle New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In addition the the above excellent advice - I always condition longer for higher gravity and higher IBU's. Most ales a week to 10 days for abv between 3-5.5%, and it increases from there. You'll have to experiment to get what feels right for you. I've had Belgian Tripples that I secondaried for 7 months...

    Taste a sample or two and when you feel good about it keg it or bottle it. Just remember if you do ever secondary for 7 months you'll need to add a nice neutral yeast to the bottling bucket if you don't keg.
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,483
    Likes Received:
    3,671
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    when beer is ready is really when you need it to be :) my golden rule is wait till the top has cleaned its self up before I keg, if not done before 2 weeks transfer any way because the yeast is most likely dead or dormant, with that said I also cold crash at 36 for 3 days so everything drops into a slurry, you can cold crash in a carboy or keg it doesn't matter so with that said Ive drank fine beer in 7 days or 3 weeks, its all your choice (helps to have a filter system and be able to force carbonate) !

    if your using a secondary to dry hop, the time will depend on the hops and how grassy it gets after it dissolves, I never dry hop with the same hops for more than 4 days, take it out and add fresh
     

Share This Page

arrow_white