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Old 07-09-2007, 04:51 PM   #1
menschmaschine
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Default Question for the bitter experts

I'm new to the hobby and somehow successfully (so far) dove right into all-grain brewing after lots of research (thanks to many on this board) and preparation. I have a munich helles (first batch) lagering in my chest freezer in two 5 gallon Better Bottles for probably 3 more weeks. I'm anxious to brew another batch, a Marston's Pedigree clone, and I have two 6 gallon Better Bottles from the primary of my lager available for fermentation. Would it make a big difference not to do a secondary fermentation on the Pedigree? I'm thinking of just keeping it in the primary for 3 weeks, then bottling. I've spent enough money (my work bonus!) on my whole system and don't want to buy more fermenter's. Thanks.

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Old 07-09-2007, 04:57 PM   #2
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Im not familiar with Marstons Pedigree, but a secondary fermentation is not necessary for brews for which clarity is not a big issue. The main point of secondary fermentation (or clearing) is to let the yeast settle out, thereby giving clearer beer. Very little, if any, actual fermentation takes place during this stage.

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Old 07-09-2007, 05:03 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input! What about finings? Isinglass or irish moss? When is it appropriate to use each of these (during brewing, fermentation, bottling?) and would one of these help with clarity?

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Old 07-09-2007, 05:20 PM   #4
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3 weeks in primary will be fine. I don't "secondary" anything unless it's really high gravity or I'm doing a true seconday fermentation. If you have space in your chest freezer, crash cool the primaries for a day at the end of three weeks before you keg or bottle.

If you don't have space to crash cool, you'll still get crystal clear beer after conditioning in the keg/bottle. You'll have a little sediment in the bottom of the keg (gone after the first couple pints) or bottle (pour carefully, no problem).

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Old 07-09-2007, 05:36 PM   #5
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Awesome... I feel much better about it. Anyone have any input on the finings?

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Old 07-09-2007, 05:39 PM   #6
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Oh, one more question... will crash cooling affect the yeast concentration in regards carbonation (bottling)?

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Old 07-09-2007, 05:46 PM   #7
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You'll have plenty of yeast in suspension for carbonation after a day or two of crash cooling.

As far as finings: Irish moss is added to the boil (typically @ 15 mins) to help coagulate and break out proteins. It won't affect your yeast.

I've never used isinglass or any other post-fermentation finings, but as I understand it they will drop your yeast and so can't be used if your bottling. If you search "isinglass" you'll get a bunch of threads on the use of finings.

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Old 07-09-2007, 06:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine
Awesome... I feel much better about it. Anyone have any input on the finings?
I've used polyclar (no more) and gelatin.

I recommend using gelatin. I have had great success with it.
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:27 PM   #9
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Marston's Pedigree will benefit from an extended Primary or a secondary.

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Old 07-10-2007, 03:41 PM   #10
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I'm not familiar with the beer but looking at their website it is an English Ale and not a Bitter. I've brewed several bitters recently with OG's of 1.035 with Wyeast 1968. They've been done fermenting in 3-4 days and bottled within 10-14 days without use of a secondary. The 1968 yeast is a flocculating demon and the beer is crystal clear without any finings. If anyone tries this yeast it looks like cottage cheese once it settles out and that is normal.

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