I also own a minibrew conical fermentor and here are some things I noticed when it comes to trub dumps and ferment times specifically with the minibrew:
1. Watch your dump carefully, there'll be distinct layers that you'll see as you dump. 1st dump will most likely get you a bunch of crud and sediment. 2nd dump a day or two later will probably get sediment and a bit of dirty looking yeast. 3rd and 4th dump will vary based on your yeast strain and how far along your ferment is.
2. Ale yeast for the most part (except super high flocculating strains) is suspended throughout fermentation and even beyond. Even dumping trub until it runs clear doesn't mean that you've kicked out all the yeast (most of the time), there'll still be some floating around doing their job.
3. I've had relatively fast fermentations in my minibrew conical compared to better bottle carboys (which I still use). Dumping the trub on a regular basis kicks up some of the yeast and actually has helped jump-start a few stalled fermentations...kinda like swirling a carboy.
Timing is all about if your beer is ready or if it is not. Use your hydrometer and take daily readings until it's stabilized. Then you'll know if it's done doing it's thing. Sometimes it'll take longer and sometimes it will stabilize quicker. We can predict the timing pretty accurately, however most of us still use hydrometers.
So is 1 week too soon to bottle? It can be for some and not for others. I had an awesome Hef from a fellow HB'er that he had primaried for 4 days and was kegged and force carbed 2 days later. Talk about a young beer! Now on the other hand, a week old 10% Imperial Stout would probably not leave such a great impression. Tasting and measuring is all part of the fun!
Good luck man! And welcome to the greatest hobby of all time (besides imbibing).
Conical: gobs of sanitizer
Primary: O-Town Cider, German Pils Do-over
On Draft: All-Calypso APA, German Pilsener, Coffee-Cocoa Nib Stout, American Amber Ale
On-Deck: Imperial Chai Tea Brown Ale, Big Bock B*tch, something funky and belgian
Last edited by 22415 Brewery; 01-27-2011 at 07:35 AM.
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