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Old 12-10-2007, 10:36 PM   #1
noobrewer
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Default finished fermenting?

I just got my first real brew fermenting (im not counting my mr beer experience), and I did not take a SG reading before it started fermenting (did not have a hydrometer, but will have one soon). Some sites say wait 2-5 days, some say wait 2 weeks, before bottling. I am trying to get this batch done for x-mas/new years, so how do I know when its good to bottle? Also would a 2nd fermentation be good (does it improve the flavor by that much?), or should I just do a primary and bottle (then maybe condition it in the garage?). So lots of questions... thanks for the help

Cincinnati Pale Ale
Ingredients for a 5 gallon batch

* 3-4 lb. Pale malt extract syrup, unhopped
* 2 lb. Amber dry malt extract
* 12 AAU of bittering hops (any variety) For example, 1 oz. of 12% AA Nugget, or 1.5 oz. of 8% AA Perle
* 5 AAU of finishing hops (Cascade or other) For example, 1 oz. of 5% Cascade or 1.25 oz. of 4% Liberty
* 2 packets of dried ale yeast

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Old 12-10-2007, 11:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noobrewer
I just got my first real brew fermenting (im not counting my mr beer experience), and I did not take a SG reading before it started fermenting (did not have a hydrometer, but will have one soon). Some sites say wait 2-5 days, some say wait 2 weeks, before bottling. I am trying to get this batch done for x-mas/new years, so how do I know when its good to bottle? Also would a 2nd fermentation be good (does it improve the flavor by that much?), or should I just do a primary and bottle (then maybe condition it in the garage?). So lots of questions... thanks for the help
1-2-3 is the generic way to go
1 week primary
2 weeks secondary (not second fermenting, its more for clearing the beer)
3 weeks in the bottle
Drink (but it will still be green and will change flavor as it matures)

A lot of people go from primary to bottle but you will want to leave it in the primary for 3-4 weeks. And you will still want to use a bottling bucket to ensure you have properly mixed the priming sugar without getting all the trub back into suspension.
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:14 PM   #3
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See above for great advise

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Old 12-10-2007, 11:59 PM   #4
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You say you want to condition your beer in the garage?

Bottle conditioning should be done at about 70F for a week or so...until the amount of carbonation you want is reached then you can place the bottles in the fridge.

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Old 12-11-2007, 12:59 PM   #5
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Since you don't have a hydrometer, I highly recommend racking to a secondary. I often get a little yeast action in the secondary, and you don't want to miss out on that before bottling.

I can't tell you how many extract batches I've gone from start to finish on without even touching my hydrometer. You can do that just fine with extract, but you need to make sure that you finish fermenting. Racking helps ensure that. Give it a taste when racking, too, and that'll let you know how the fermentation went.


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Old 12-11-2007, 06:15 PM   #6
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Actually I was going to pick up a hydrometer soon since it seems like a necessary tool. But, since I did not take a starting gravity measurement, what kind of reading should I be looking for when its done fermenting?

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Old 12-11-2007, 06:24 PM   #7
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It's hard to say, since you give a range of ingredients up there (3-4# LME). Your OG should have come in somewhere around 1.040 and 1.050. Assuming 73% attenuation, you ought to have FG of around 1.011-1.014 or thereabouts.


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Old 12-11-2007, 07:03 PM   #8
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That sounds good, I actually used a 3.75lb can of Coopers LME + 2 lb of powdered malt extract. Everything else is as the recipe said. Does the refrigerated LME provide better flavor?

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