Author Topic: Airlock on my secondary is not moving.  (Read 13779 times)

Offline Lucas Zimmerman

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Airlock on my secondary is not moving.
« on: January 07, 2012, 09:24:35 AM »
Hello all,
              I am not quite a newbie, but am definitely out of practice.  I just recently started brewing again, and decided to get my feet wet with an easy recipe (American Amber with Specialty Grains) to get things going.  i was .002 points lighter "no big deal".  I fermented in the primary for four days as suggested by beersmith.  Yesterday (1/6/12) i transferred to my secondary.  my concern is, there doesn't seem to be an pressure from fermentation, as my airlock is not bubbling that i can tell.  there is a small bit of trub developing on the bottom which seems that it would still be fermenting, or just settling out.  I have been fermenting at a steady 66F, the OG was measured at 50 points, and hoping to at least reach a FG of 12. I am using wyeast 1056 American Ale. I vaguely remember this happening with an IPA I brewed when i first started, it turned out fine, the wort had fermented in a week do to the high temp of fermentation.  Should i check the gravity now, or wait till my 14 days are up?  Any input will be helpful.

Offline merfizle

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Re: Airlock on my secondary is not moving.
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 09:42:34 AM »
Active fermentation happens in primary.  Before transferring to secondary I check gravity.  If it's close to FG then I transfer.  I never see air lock activity in my secondary ferms.

Primary: Lambic base for solera barrel
Kegged: Bavarian Weissbier, N. English brown, Roggenbier

Offline RGWilder

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Re: Airlock on my secondary is not moving.
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2012, 01:01:00 PM »
^^^yep.  Most of my ales finish out at 12-17, after 4-5 days.  I was doing secondaries for clarification, but have recently stopped, and simply allowed my ales to finish out in primary.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Airlock on my secondary is not moving.
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2012, 01:13:22 PM »
Active fermentation in the secondary isn't necessarily a good thing. It means you racked too early.
The main purpose of a secondary is to get the brew off the yeast to prevent autolysis (not something most people have to worry about) and let the brew get nice and clear.
So relax, don't worry, and have a homebrew.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline ArtCox

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Re: Airlock on my secondary is not moving.
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 07:06:03 AM »
You can change the Fermenting Schedule and Temps in Beer Smith.

My general rule of thumb for ales is 7 days primary, 7 days secondary for light colored ales.
For Stouts and Dark (Heavy) Ales is 14 - 21 days primary (depending), then Secondary for 4 days.   

Offline VictoryRider

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Re: Airlock on my secondary is not moving.
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2012, 06:47:56 PM »
I too have started brewing again after more than a decade off. When I brewed last, secondary fermentation was strongly recommended. As a matter of fact, when I was buying new equipment, the homebrew store recommended secondary fermentation. According to the experts at Wyeast and White labs, it is a waste of time and could do more harm than good for most ales. If you have a high gravity ale or are adding fruit/dry hops you may want to use a secondary.

Offline HolyFirkins

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Re: Airlock on my secondary is not moving.
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 10:24:58 PM »
4-5 days in primary is not long enough anyways. i let my fermentation sit 4 weeks minimum. and i ONLY do a secondary if i'm dry hopping, or adding adjuncts such as fruit or oak chips or something. if you are not adding anything, then a secondary is pointless. it is just one unnecessary step in which you are welcoming possible oxygenation or airborne bacteria for no reason. you dont want any yeast activity in primary as well, so that in itself is a good thing. let the yeast do its job. if you pull off too soon then you are going to get off flavors from not allowing the yeast to do what it is supposed to do. time and patience is key. 
Great beer is great..

Offline Tress

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Re: Airlock on my secondary is not moving.
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 11:02:54 AM »
Next time, check the SG before transferring to the secondary.  If your SG in the primary was still high and you had no airlock activity, then you may have had a stuck fermentation; if the SG was a few points above what you expected the FG to be at, then nothing to worry about...transfer away!  (BTW...if you do have a stuck fermentation, add a few grams of dry yeast.  To help prevent stuck fermentation, use a yeast starter.)

No activity in the secondary airlock (at least after the first day of transferring it) should occur.  Secondary fermentation is used to get the beer off the yeast cake to help prevent off flavors and to help clarify the beer...not to finish fermentation.

Before bottling, make sure your FG is consitently low (at or near your expected FG).  Take readings three days in a row and if each reading is the same, then you can bottle.  Otherwise, let it sit for a few more days.