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gERgMan 03-08-2006 01:50 PM

Question about fermentation time
 
So, I started my first batch (5 gal) of beer (Badger Amber Ale) on Saturday. Everything seemed to go perfect, and easier than expected. I didn't notice active fermentation (fermentation lock bubbling) until Sunday evening (about 26 hours after pitching the yeast), and when it started, it was going pretty good. I noticed it slowing down quite a bit on Monday and by Tuesday, it seemed to be nonexistent. I pried the cover open a crack and peeked inside and there was still a frothy head on the brew. Just wondering if this seems like a low amount of fermentation lock activity to have seen? I was expecting it to be active for a few days and then start to slow down.
-Used 11g Nottingham Dry Yeast (I will be using liquid in the future)
-Temp of fermentation pail is about 66F
-Wort was aerated through strainer, not a diffusing stone (is this worth purchasing??)

Mr_Turtlehead 03-08-2006 02:04 PM

Sounds like it's doing fine. Let it go a few more days and rack to secondary.

1 week primary
+2 weeks secondary
+3 weeks bottle
=perfect brew

gERgMan 03-08-2006 04:02 PM

More questions
 
So, eventually I will be doing secondary fermentation into a glass carboy. The directions for the kit I have say to transfer to the bottling pail with priming sugar after 7-10 days (if I don't have a two-stage kit) and allow to condition in the bottle for a week before drinking (it also says it will get better over time). What is the advantage of transfering to a secondary fermentation carboy? Should I stick with the directions I have or go with these:
"1 week primary
+2 weeks secondary
+3 weeks bottle
=perfect brew"
Again, since this is my first batch, I am in a trial stage to see how it goes. I will modify things and buy more equipment (glass carboys, racking tube, aerator stone, etc.) as I go onto more and greater brews.
Thanks for the info

Baron von BeeGee 03-08-2006 04:05 PM

You can skip the secondary fermentation and you'll have fine beer. It's something you can add to your repertoire later if you want to. Search on terms like 'secondary', 'bulk aging', 'clarification' to get an idea of what a secondary is used for.

Also, I'd say 1 week in the bottle is not going to get the job done...I typically don't crack one open for a test until 10-11 days minimum, and it's really 2-3 weeks before they're right.

Walker 03-08-2006 04:17 PM

also, the reason to go to a secondary is to give the beer a chance to clear up better and let the flavors meld together as a whole batch (rather than letting the melding happen in the bottle.)

Secondaries are not necessary, but recommened. If you don't use a secondary, you might want to let the beer sit in the primary for 2 weeks rather than one (for better clarifying of the beer and less sludge in the bottom of your bottles.)

-walker

uwmgdman 03-08-2006 04:35 PM

Since I see you're from Madison, and by your description of the beer, I'm guessing got your kit and Badger Amber Ale is from the Wine and Hop Shop on Monroe St (Madison, WI)? If not, then I apologize.

I'm brewing my first batch, same Badger Amber Ale from the Wine and Hop Shop, along with my equipment kit from them. I bottled the beer this past Sunday. About your fermentation, what you describe is exactly how mine went, so like others have said, don't worry.

From reading a few books and reading here, I would follow the instructions from here or good books. I didn't follow the receipe sheet they sent along exactly, changed a few boil times, etc. If you got the kit with the auto-siphon, I would recommend going into a secondary because it's so easy. I never siphoned anything my life before that and the autosiphon was very easy to use both for racking and bottling with the bottle filler attachment.

When I bottled Sunday, the beer had good taste, a nice color and great clarity. The biggest difference between the two samples of my beer (after transferring from primary to secondary and secondary to bottling) was the clarity. So if you like your beer to be nice and clear, go for the secondary. I'll stop rambling now, especially since I'm just a beginner too. Enjoy the beer!

gERgMan 03-08-2006 04:47 PM

Thanks for the info. I assumed from reading and this forum that secondary is recommended, but not necessary. I will be doing it in the future. And yes, it is from the Wine and Hop Shop on Monroe Street. uwmgdman, how long did you keep it in the primary before you transferred to the secondary? How long did you keep it in the secondary before you bottled? Have you drink any yet, or is it still conditioning?
And I look forward to enjoying this beer!

uwmgdman 03-08-2006 05:53 PM

Here's what I ended up doing, but take it with a grain of salt, as your conditions (fermentation temp, aeration, yeast rehydration, etc.) may all have been different than mine and even though we are making the same beer with the same ingredients.

I ended up transferring after 5 days, airlock activity had ceased so I transferred. I bottled this Sunday, it was in the secondary for 10 days. I thought about leaving it sit another week, but I wanted to make sure it was ready to drink by April 1 and since it's my first batch I'm damn impatient, so I bottled. Not to mention it had cleared nicely.

I haven't drank any of it from a bottle as it's still carbonating/conditioning. I did try some after I transferred from primary to secondary and also some while bottling. For room temperature, flat beer I thought it had good flavor and I'm looking forward to cracking one open as soon as they're ready. Like I said before the time in the secondary really let it clear considerably.

Good luck.:mug:

Pumbaa 03-09-2006 12:51 AM

:ban: More Cheeseheads:ban:

We are taking over El P . . . God Bless TX, they gonna need it with us yankees taking over :D

david_42 03-09-2006 01:01 AM

I thought cheese heads were from southern Canada or maybe that was headcheese?


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