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Old 01-04-2010, 12:39 AM   #1
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Default 1st time brewer question with secondary

Hey everyone i just stumbled on to this website today and now wish i would have found it sooner. I just got a home brew kit for christmas and was so excited to get started i only went by the directions that came with the kit. I had muntons pre-hopped nut brown ale and i started fermenting in the bucket because my glass carboy was missing the stopper but i was fine with that because the instructions told me to place in primary until the airlock bubbles once a minute and then rack to secondary which empties my bucket so i can prepare for bottling. So 7 days in the primary and i got a stopper for my carboy the airlock slowed to the 1 burp a minute so i sanitized everything and gently racked to my carboy. MY question now being is it has been sitting in the carboy for about 48 hours and the airlock is bubbling like once every 2 minutes or longer is this normal? also when i racked there was no foam in the bucket also there is none in the carboy maybe a few bubbles. but it smelled like beer so i think im ok

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Old 01-04-2010, 01:04 AM   #2
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You may not seen much activity once your beer has been transfered to the secondary. The largets visible signs of activity as shown by the bubble in the air-lock will occur during the first several days of fermentation. A very wise and respected member of this forum (All hail Revy) has a great post on how any lack of air-lock activity is not an indication that there is a problem with your beer.

Be sure to keep the outside of the carboy covered to prevent any UV light from damaging your beer. Your beer should be just fine.

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Old 01-04-2010, 01:14 AM   #3
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You will soon learn to judge fermentation by gravity readings, but for now I would leave every beer you brew in the primary for 2 weeks, transfer to a secondary for a few more and then bottle. Airlock activity is not a reliable measure of fermentation activity. I know it's hard when you first start, but with beer, patience really is a virtue.

As far as the foam, I'm assuming you referring to the krausen, that beautiful fluffy mound of goodness atop a transforming wort. After fermentation is complete, the krausen will fall back into the (now) beer and eventually fall to the bottom of the bucket/carboy. It's fine - if a foamy head sticks around, you've either got a serious problem or a fantastic experiment. The bubbles in the secondary mean that yeast is still turning residual sugars into alcohol and maybe more importantly, CO2 which will protect the beer from oxidation while it matures in the secondary.

Sounds like so far so good. Depending on the yeast, you may pick up on some diacetyl (buttery) flavors in the end product, but you may be perfectly fine also. Plus, in a nut brown, I'm sure it will be fine.

Sorry if that's alot...

Congrats on the first brew!

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Old 01-04-2010, 04:37 PM   #4
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thanks to both of you. I dont feel as worried now but hey it is my first so i can only improve. and grizzly... man do those bottles sound delicious pecan pie porter watermelon wit

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Old 01-10-2010, 04:29 PM   #5
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Ok Im back with another Question. haha So my nut brown ale has been sitting in secondary for over a week now. I now have a hydrometer but do not have a base reading. should i take a reading now and then another reading in a few days to determine if i should bottle?

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Old 01-10-2010, 06:42 PM   #6
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A lot of people use a three day rule - meaning wait until you get a consistent reading over the span of three days. At that point, fermentation has stabilized, hopefully finished where you wanted it to, and clears the way for bottle priming without a fear of exploding bottles.

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