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Old 02-02-2006, 04:09 PM   #1
Onedon
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Default 4gal. in 5gal. Carboy

The title pretty much says it. didn't mix enough water with my beer and just racked it. I also scooped out the foam on top after primary fermentation for 2.5 days. OG was 1.66 and it is now 1.31. Think any of this is a prob?

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Old 02-02-2006, 04:13 PM   #2
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it's probably OK. I don't think I would have scooped out the foam, but as long as you were very clean with the tools when you did it, it's likely just fine.

As for the general question of 4 gallons of beer in a 5 gallon carboy... no issues there. The headspace would have been purged of air as the fermentation started producing the heavier CO2 gas, so the air isn't actually going to be touching your beer.

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Old 02-02-2006, 04:40 PM   #3
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I sterilized my the stainless spatula I used in iodine, and did this because I had read in THE COMPLETE JOY OF HOME BREWING that it helps, and I was rong saying it had been 2.5 days. It's been 3.5.

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Old 02-02-2006, 04:48 PM   #4
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removing the foam is one of those crowd dividing issues. Some people (like charlie) do it, others (like me) do not. I don't think any one way is The Right Way. My choice to NOT remove it is based on two things:

(1) I brewed great beer for 3 or 4 years before I even heard anyone MENTION removing the foam. Since my beer was already tasting great, I felt no need to add an extra step to my process.

(2) I'm not a 'clean freak', but I do try and minimize the chance of infection where I can. This includes opening my fermenter a minimal number of times. Normally, I only open the thing up in order to rack the beer to the secondary or to rack it to the bottling bucket.

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Old 02-02-2006, 04:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onedon
I sterilized my the stainless spatula I used in iodine, and did this because I had read in THE COMPLETE JOY OF HOME BREWING that it helps, and I was rong saying it had been 2.5 days. It's been 3.5.
At the risk of sounding blasphamous, TCJOHB is over 20 years old...I'm not sure even Charlie follows that advice anymore. IMHO, it probably doesn't hurt, but it probably doesn't help either.
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:53 PM   #6
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The newest edition (3rd) is only a couple years old and Charlie did update it.

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Old 02-02-2006, 09:09 PM   #7
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Onedon,
Just curious, maybe I'm missing something, but why did you rack to secondary after only 3 days? If your gravity is only 1.031 I would think your brew needs another 3-4 days in the primary. Your FG should be in the 1.015-20 range before you move it.
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Old 02-04-2006, 04:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOSTONBREWIN'
Onedon,
Just curious, maybe I'm missing something, but why did you rack to secondary after only 3 days? Jeff
Every thing I had read said to rack after 2 days. I think that I agree that it may not have been best, but won’t it be just as good if I rack again when it’s ready? Maybe a few more days? Also, after I do rack it again will I still need to ferment for another two weeks after that before I bottle? Thanks
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Old 02-04-2006, 05:12 AM   #9
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you want to rack the beer into the secondary when fermentation is basically complete. A *fast* fermentation might take 2 days, but I would say that most people see fermentation complete within 5 to 10 days.

One way to estimate this is to watch the bubbles in the hydrometer. They will slowly taper off as it nears the end of fermentation.

Another thing a lot of people do is wait for the kraeusen (the foam that formed during fermentation) to collapse back into the beer and vanish.

The only way to know EXACLTY when to rack it is to have the knowledge of what the final gravity of the finished beer is supposed to be, and then use your hydroemeter to take readings and see if it has hit that number.

The point of racking the beer into a new fermenter is to get the beer away from the sediment that will have formed in the primary fermenter. It's mainly hops residue, protiens, and yeast. You don't want/need any of this stuff anymore.

After racking, you'll want to let the beer mature and mellow out in the secondary fermenter. The beer will continue to drop sediment in the secondary, and the clarity will greatly improve.

Then you bottle it up, let it age a while longer to carbonate and mature
further.

Mmmmmmm.... beer.

As a rule of thumb (*), the "1-2-3" schedule is a decent guide.

1 week in the primary
2 weeks in the secondary
3 weeks in the bottle
drink

I will admit that I usually get end up with a 1-2-2 schedule because I am impatient.

-walker

(*): a rule of thumb is a rule that it always true, except for the times that it isn't.

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Old 02-04-2006, 05:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onedon
won’t it be just as good if I rack again when it’s ready? Maybe a few more days? Also, after I do rack it again will I still need to ferment for another two weeks after that before I bottle? Thanks
i forgot to address this, but meant to...

When you rack the beer too soon, I've heard that this can basically cause your fermentation to slow down to a crawl, because so much yeast was left behind in the primary. If yours seems to still be rolling along, then you probably can get away with letting it finish, racking again, letting settle two weeks, and then bottling.

-walker
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