Today I moved the blueberry wheat into the secondary fermenter. If you recall from my post back on July 22, I mentioned that I did not strain off the whole hops or blueberries when I put the wort in the primary. Well, that provided for an interesting experience this afternoon.
After getting everything and starting the siphon, everything seemed to be going well until I got about 2 or 3 gallons transferred. Then I started noticing air bubbles in the tubing. Then more bubbles, and more bubbles. I figured that with so much gunk in the beer that the siphon got clogged down at the bottom. It got to the point where the beer actually stopped flowing.
So, trying not to panic, I pulled the siphon out of the beer and quickly cleared the opening and started the siphon again. All went well for a little while, but toward the end of the bucket, the bubbles came back again. I was able to get five gallons of the beer transferred, but I don’t know what effect all those bubbles will have on the beer.
I don’t think the batch will be ruined, but it certainly is not good for the beer. Once you have started fermentation, introducing air into the system can have an “oxidizing” effect on the beer. As it was described to me, it’s basically like a bottle of wine that has been opened, if you close it back up and come back a week later, it’s just not the same as it was when you first corked it.
I am planning to bottle the beer next weekend. Hopefully that process will be a little more predictable.