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Old 07-08-2008, 12:40 AM   #1
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Default Day 5 - Concerns before bottling

Hey everyone,

I'm new to the board and brewed my first batch last Wednesday, a Brewer's Best IPA.

I followed the directions and used some of the advice from homebrewingvideo.com. Part of the advice I used from the homebrewinvideo.com site was to use the "satellite method" to get your gravity readings. The satellite method they describe involves filling an empty bottle with the wort after adding the yeast--use this to get your gravity readings.

Today (day 5) my gravity reading using the "satellite" was 1.012, exactly what it should be (1.012 - 1.015). I sanitized my bottles and got everything ready to go. I cracked the lid of my primary fermenter (an ale pail), took a sample reading -- 1.015. I quickly put the lid & airlock back on the bucket and put it back where it has been fermenting (a steady 68-70 degrees).

When I had the lid off, I noticed that there wasn't much foam or "head" that I have seen with other home brew pale ales posted on this and other sites. Aside from some hop gunk around the edges, there wasn't much foam at all. Is this something to be concerned about? My plan is to give it another day or so and take another reading before bottling. If I bottled tomorrow, and the reading was still around 1.015, do you guys think it is safe to go ahead and bottle?

I know I am playing it overly cautious...but I just want to be sure I'm taking the right approach. BTW, I already boiled the sugar with 2 cups of clean water in preparation of bottling tonight. I put the water/sugar solution in the fridge in sealed coffee cups; will this still be ok to re-boil and use when I bottle?

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Old 07-08-2008, 12:46 AM   #2
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Well I would think that in a small bottle the yeasts could eat the sugar a little faster then the rest of the 5 gallons.

As long as you keep everything sanitized you can pull a sample using a turkey baster. I dont rack my beer out of primary until the readings have stayed the same for at least 3 days in a row.

After fermentation has slowed down, you wont see the krausen anymore, it will have gone away.

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Old 07-08-2008, 12:47 AM   #3
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Well... you shouldn't rush it into the bottle. Let it sit for at least 2 weeks, maybe even 3, before bottling. This will let the yeast finish fermentation, clean up after itself and settle out. Otherwise you'll have very yeasty beer and maybe even some bottle bombs.

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Old 07-08-2008, 12:53 AM   #4
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Thanks fellas, I'll put everything away and take another reading in a week or so. I read the 1-2-3 rule, but got overly excited and ready to bottle when my reading was at 1.012 for a couple of days (in the satellite, of course).

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Old 07-08-2008, 12:55 AM   #5
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Yeah, the satellite method is not an accurate representation of what's going on inside the fermenter....

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Old 07-08-2008, 01:00 AM   #6
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I wouldn't trust the 'satellite method' either. If you have a secondary fermenter, rack your IPA to it and leave it be for at least 2 weeks before you bottle. This will give the yeast left in suspension to flocculate and fall to the bottom, giving you a much clearer and cleaner tasting beer.

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Old 07-08-2008, 01:08 AM   #7
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I have this kit in my primary right now. Make sure it is done before you rack. I would also give it at least 2 weeks for the yeast to clean up after itself. You could leave as long as 4 for it to clear really well. Mine is stuck at 1.020, but I used pacman yeast which I grew from a bottle.

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Old 07-08-2008, 01:28 AM   #8
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Thanks again everyone. The quick and non-condescending responses are much appreciated. Sounds like I just need to give it another week or two and check back. I'll bite the bullet and re-sanitize all of my bottles again (was hoping I wouldn't have to).

I'm really excited to get this batch done and move onto the next. I want to have something fermenting while I kill the first 50 or so beers

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Old 07-08-2008, 01:30 AM   #9
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This hobby is addicting! Believe me, the wait is hard but so worth it in the end! It's a great idea to start the next batch right away, so you always have beers in the "pipeline" to help you wait it out.

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Old 07-08-2008, 01:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarkerBrewing View Post
Thanks again everyone. The quick and non-condescending responses are much appreciated. Sounds like I just need to give it another week or two and check back. I'll bite the bullet and re-sanitize all of my bottles again (was hoping I wouldn't have to).

I'm really excited to get this batch done and move onto the next. I want to have something fermenting while I kill the first 50 or so beers
The best answer to this...Get another fermenter...they're cheap!!!!

Then you can brew again!
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