Too long in secondary?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Daniel777, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Daniel777

    Daniel777 New Member

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    Hi everyone!

    Here checks in one home brew enthusiast from Hungary. :)

    I started to brew my own last spring and this is my first big beer.

    It is a 3 gallon (12 liter) batch Belgian Trappist, and was made with Special B and a pound (half kg) brown candy sugar.
    OG was 1.095.

    First I pitched it with a starter, from 3 pack of Safeale S-04 (alcohol tolerance 9%) and it fermented really well for 1,5-2 weeks, the gravity decreesed to 1,017.

    Then I put it to secondary (my first beer with secondary, I don't have any experience with this), and pitched it with another starter, from 1 pack of Safebrew Abbaye (alcohol tolerance 12%). It started slowliy bubbling in secondary again.

    But it is in there now for 13 days, and it is still bubbling slowly. My last read was 1.008 yesterday and this is still fermenting! The tast was great, so I don't think infection, but isn't this too long? Should I rack it to a tertiary?

    Thanks and sorry for my bad english. :)

    Daniel
     
  2. SwampWater

    SwampWater Member

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    No, in my opinion it isn't too long. To me a gravity of 1.017 down from 1.095 is pretty good. I would not of added any more yeast, but that is me. Let it sit awhile longer and check the gravity to see if it is changing. It is going to be a dry beer with a low gravity like that. When you decide to bottle it, be careful not to add too much corn sugar and don't go over a C02 volume of 3. Are you using Belgian bottles or any bottles that can handle higher pressures of C02?
     
  3. Daniel777

    Daniel777 New Member

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    Thank you for the reply!

    Yes I wanted to make a dry beer from this, but I assume it went farther then my assumptoins.

    Should I be extra carefull because it is dry, or because it is high in alcohol? I use simple 0.5 litre bottles from commercial beers, but I usually target 2.8 CO2 volume (with calculator). Should I target less in this beer?
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Daniel, one thing to think about is the amount of alcohol you're producing. Pure alcohol has a SG of about 0.78, it's much less dense than water. The more of it you produce, the lower the gravity. 1.008 is reasonable considering you started with a 1.095 wort. My suggestion would be to taste it. A wort that big - it's in the wine range - can go less than 1. Take a sample, taste it and see if it's as dry as you like and, if you're concerned with the time in fermentation, if you taste any off flavors. Assuming no off-flavors, if the beer isn't as dry as you'd like, a fresh pitch of yeast might help. Use something like champagne yeast, rehydrate - you're putting the yeast into a very hostile environment - and watch it shave a few more points off. I even tasted a beer not long ago dried out with distiller's yeast! I don't recommend it - that stuff produces some nasty beer - but it's another possibility.
     
  5. Daniel777

    Daniel777 New Member

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    Thank you.

    I don't really want to go more dry with this, just was concerned because of the long fermentation. My ororiginal goal was 1.01 and this already went further.
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    when a beer is very high in alcohol it really changes the flavor and one in particular that Ive made wasn't that good at 12%, you could smell alcohol in the glass
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Tactical Nuclear Penguin (32% abv) is no longer a beer. It takes real skill to pull off a double-digit beer that's worth drinking.
     
  8. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    I agree that anything that high is hard to categorize as a "beer", and I wasn't a big fan of TNP, but... Sink The Bismark was IMO f'n awesome!
    Still not a "beer" as such, but dangerously drinkable. :)
     
  9. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Daniel,
    Sounds to me like you have a great Belgian going. If the taste to you is good then relax, be patient, and it should be fine. As NBear pointed out alcohol has an influence on the gravity sample. Your yeast choices were proper, just add some patience.
     
  10. Daniel777

    Daniel777 New Member

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    Thank you everyone, than I will go and wait for it.
    When it will be ready to drink I will post the results.
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The difference between 1.008 and 1.010 is measurement error. Unless you can really see the hydrometer scale and the bottom of the meniscus, you aren't going to get much closer than that. Back to basics: If you're happy with the outcome, it was a successful brew!
     
  12. Daniel777

    Daniel777 New Member

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    Today my reading was 1.007.
    It went down in 4 days from 1,008 to 1,007.
    Does this count still fermentation? (It bubbles 1 in exry 2-3 minutes)
     
  13. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    thats almost 13 % I personally wouldn't go any lower but thats just me
     
  14. Daniel777

    Daniel777 New Member

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    I don't want to go any lower, but it doesn't stop. :)
    What should I do? Just bottle it now with less priming sugar? ( I usually use 9 g corn sugar/litre, what do you think, will 6 g make it this time?)
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It's still bubbling and losing gravity, it's still fermenting. Let it continue....
     

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