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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > christmas ale, take 2. any thoughts?
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #11
xthestewx
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So i made the beer with a few adjustments and it smells great. I read else where that 12oz of molasses might have been a bit much, but its debatable i guess. Anyway i started fermentation temp low, it started in 12hours, and is now going strong. I plan on letting the fermentation temp naturally rise, while keeping the ambient temp between 62- 66F. Any thoughts on this? Also my OG was a little over 1.095. So i was also wondering how long i could leave this in the primary? Also iv read that its debatable weather its necessary to rack to a secondary, in the past i have, but if i dont have to risk infection and O2 exposure i dont want to. So, should i rack this? and when? Also in either case how long should i let it sit(in primary or secondary) before bottling? If it helps, im trying to have this thing ready by December, but during that time i really want to minimize the risk of infection and the way i see it is the sooner its bottled the sooner it can be stored away and i dont have to worry about anymore steps where it could "catch a cold".
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:09 PM   #12
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I wouldn't let nottingham ferment too high. Danstar recommends 57-70F. It can throw off some weird esters at temps around 70F and higher, and at the height of fermentation your beer can be ~8 degrees warmer than ambient. I usually put my fermenter in a large bucket of water and use frozen water bottles to regulate the temperature. Search "swamp cooler" for ideas.

I would say you only need to transfer to a secondary if you were going to age it for more than like 2 or 3 months. That wouldn't be a bad idea with a beer this big, but you said you wanted it ready for December, so I would say leave it in primary until mid to late November. If you bottle around then it should be ready to drink by Christmas, but the longer you wait the better it will get probably.

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Old 11-15-2012, 09:40 AM   #13
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hey, just as an update on this Christmas beer, its all done and in bottles. So basically this beer was a second attempt at one i tried to brew a few months earlier(for the season) that ended up being awful. After making a few changes and although the beer is not fully done conditioning, it seams to taste great to me. If anyone is interested the recipes on brewers friend under winter wolf warmer. The new brew fermented at an ambient temp of 62-64F and i let it sit for about a month before racking to a carboy and let it sit, to this day while it cleared a bit. The final ABV came out at 9.85%(calculated via SG and FG). When bottling i added fresh yeast and 3.4oz table sugar to a total of 4.2gal beer and it has begun carbonating immediately. So id just like to say, thank you to everyone for the input and help, and im pretty sure that this beer is the first winter warmer i can be proud of.
thanks

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