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Old 09-30-2006, 06:26 PM   #1
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Default Primary Fermentation.......

Got ahold of some recipes from some different sites, some sound interesting, others good, others nasty, and still others sound like "Oh my god, I've GOT to make that!".
Thing is, some of the recipes call for primary fermentation of only 3 to 4 days. Then rack to secondary for 14 days or so. Sounds like they are cutting the primary and extending the secondary.
Now I know a lot of it depends on what you are making. Largers taking much longer than ales, etc, etc. And that some yeasts are much more aggressive and active than others due to higher alcohol tolerances.
So far I've done all ales since I'm waiting to get my freezer to do any largering. And I've been using the same yeast for all my batches so far: Safale US-56 which is a dry ale yeast. It hasn't failed me yet, easy to pitch (just sprinkle it on straight from the package). Most of my batches I have a lot of activity start within 12 hours easy. It will stay pretty active for 3 to 4 days then stop. But I still have a good foam for about another 2 days until it too falls. So every batch I've kept in the primary for 7 days, waiting for the foam to fall, and then I rack it. And so far every batch has turned out great. (the one exception to this was Cheesefood's Carmel Cream.....Gods almighty, it stayed very active for almost the whole week!)
So here is the question:
If the activity has decreased to almost nothing after only 3 to 4 days, but you still have the foam should I rack it like the paticular recipe calls for or wait the full 7 days?

Merlin's Ale

Bottled and Waiting:
Cherry Wheat Ale #2
Ready to Drink:

Pumpkin Spice Ale
Cheesefood's Carmel Cream Ale
Chocolate Cherry Ale

Planned Batches:
Maple Ale
Past Batches:
Brewnet Brown
American Pilsner
Cherry Wheat Ale #1
Honey Ale
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Old 09-30-2006, 06:53 PM   #2
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You should always wait for the kraeusen to fall before transferring it to a secondary. Most of the time, fermentation is over within 3 to 4 days, but if the kraeusen is still there, it's not done.

Hold off transferring until that puppy has settled down.


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Old 09-30-2006, 09:11 PM   #3
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Make sure you make good use of your hydrometer. Thats the best way of telling when its time to rack. Once you see the krausen fall take readings for a couple of days and when they are the same two days in a row its time to rack.

Primary: Fullers ESB Clone
Secondary: Hierra Sevada Pale Ale
Bottled: NOTHING
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