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Old 06-26-2012, 03:52 PM   #1
bibowski
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Default Which method is better for secondary fermentation?

I brewed a batch of coopers pilsner extract last night and I was wondering what the best method of second (or final) fermentation is?

It's currently in a plastic barrel with an airlock. Should I siphon and move to a carboy after a few days, then wait for another 2 weeks, THEN bottle it?

I'm VERY new at this so any help would be appreciated.

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Old 06-26-2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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I never use a secondary fermenter. Instead, I leave my beer in the primary fermenter for 3-4 weeks, then transfer to the bottling bucket and bottle.

So if I were you, I would just leave it alone. 3 days is way to short for primary fermentation, the yeast need time to ferment the sugars and clean up off flavors produced from fermentation. Just let it be for 3 weeks, then take a gravity reading. If after three weeks the gravity is where it should be (depending on what yeast you used and what your recipe was) go ahead and bottle it up!

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Old 06-26-2012, 04:04 PM   #3
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Yeah, I don't want to mess anything up yet.

After the 3 weeks, I add more dextrose and immediately bottle it right? Then wait another 2 weeks to begin drinking it?

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Old 06-26-2012, 06:09 PM   #4
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So your kit should have come with a little packet that says "priming sugar" or something of the sort. On bottling day, you boil 2 cups of water, add the priming sugar, cool it, add the solutions to bottling bucket and rack you beer on top of it. Stir gently to make sure the priming solution is mixed in thoroughly, and bottle from the bottling bucket.

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Old 06-26-2012, 06:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mewithstewpid View Post
So your kit should have come with a little packet that says "priming sugar" or something of the sort. On bottling day, you boil 2 cups of water, add the priming sugar, cool it, add the solutions to bottling bucket and rack you beer on top of it. Stir gently to make sure the priming solution is mixed in thoroughly, and bottle from the bottling bucket.
All I got was a big ol' bag of dextrose. I put about 1 cup of it in the initial malt extract mix as per the instructions on the can.. but now I'm left with a ton of it. I've heard to use about 1 teaspoon per bottle, but is there any difference between priming sugar and dextrose?
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibowski View Post
All I got was a big ol' bag of dextrose. I put about 1 cup of it in the initial malt extract mix as per the instructions on the can.. but now I'm left with a ton of it. I've heard to use about 1 teaspoon per bottle, but is there any difference between priming sugar and dextrose?
here is a handy little calculator to help you out:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/

you give the style of beer, volume, and temperature and it will spit out how much you need of whatever priming sugar you are using, whether its dextrose, DME, corn sugar, etc etc etc.

good luck, and i Hope that helps!
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mewithstewpid View Post
here is a handy little calculator to help you out:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/

you give the style of beer, volume, and temperature and it will spit out how much you need of whatever priming sugar you are using, whether its dextrose, DME, corn sugar, etc etc etc.

good luck, and i Hope that helps!
Oh, awesome. Thanks for the heads up, I'll definitely give this a whirl.

Thankfully the guy at the homebrew store recommended I add the sugar to the beer before bottling instead of adding sugar to each bottle. I wouldn't have known otherwise.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:59 PM   #8
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The instructions that come with the ingredients kits are pretty much useless. They represent personal prefeence rather than particular requirements. Find a process that works for you and stick with it. The common logic is to do 4 weeks primary, 4 weeks conditioning and 24-72 HRS chilling. Some more some less, but that's pretty much how I roll. The only time secondary is recommended is if you are adding fruit or soaking oak chips.

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Old 06-26-2012, 07:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by william_shakes_beer View Post
The instructions that come with the ingredients kits are pretty much useless. They represent personal prefeence rather than particular requirements. Find a process that works for you and stick with it. The common logic is to do 4 weeks primary, 4 weeks conditioning and 24-72 HRS chilling. Some more some less, but that's pretty much how I roll. The only time secondary is recommended is if you are adding fruit or soaking oak chips.
That sounds about right. Since it's a pilsner that I'm brewing currently, I've heard that they ferment a bit quicker than most other brews since they can still ferment even at lower temperatures. Regarding secondary fermentation... I figured as much. I don't plan on adding anything to this beer since it's my first crack at it.

All I used was the malt extract and dextrose for the brew, no dry malt or anything else. I hope it turns out ok :-S
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