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Old 12-10-2012, 04:29 PM   #1
ayupbrewing
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Default A few newbie questions

Hi, I have my first baby in the primary. I have some questions about the next few steps.

Its a winter warmer Jubleale clone which the recipe calls for dry hopping for 14 days after 7 days in the primary. My questions are;

1) After 7 days CO2 is still coming off at a rate of 2 bubbles/minute. What is an approximate bubble rate to indicate almost completion?

2) Is it neccessary to wait out the primary ferment until the FG becomes constant before moving over to a secondary and adding dry hops? Whats the impact of active fermentation on the dry hop process/flavour?

3) Recipee calls for 14 days of dry hopping, is that a tad excessive?

4) Should I add dry hops in some kind of bag or just let them float on top? Whats the pros and cons of bag vs no bag

5) Im trying to get this beer in bottle and carbonated for a Christmas eve party im going too where i want to give some as gifts or even drink a few. I know it needs to condition in the bottle for a few weeks for best flavour but how many days will allow for complete carbonation?

Thanks for any help out there....
Ayup! Brewing Co.

Primary: Rudolphs Night Cap (Jubleale clone) - Winter Ale
Secondary: None
Bottle: None



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Old 12-10-2012, 06:04 PM   #2
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Congrats on the first beer. I'll keep my answers brief as these questions are asked frequently in the forum.

1. There really isn't a reliable way to gauge completed fermentation based on a rate of bubbles in the air lock. The true indicator is the beer's gravity reading. Beer can be completely done fermenting, but stil off gas CO2. A stable gravity reading over a period of 2-3 days indicates the end of fermentation although the yeast may still clean up fermentation by products after the beer has reached its terminal gravity.

2. You want to wait until fermentation is complete or nearly complete before using a secondary. The risk being that if you transfer your beer away from the majority of the yeast too soon, it won't attenuate properly. Some people dry hop in the primary, others in the secondary. The thought is the CO2 off gassing and agitation from active fermentation will reduce the hop aroma in your finished beer, so some prefer the secondary. If active fermentation is over, then I personally don't think you have much to worry about dry hopping in the primary as their won't be agitation or CO2 from active fermentation.

3. I suppose that depends on the beer you're dry hopping and the hops you're using. In general, 14 days is not excessive.

4. You can dry hop in either fashion. Some say the bag reduces the hop exposure to the beer. If you choose to use a bag, ensure it's sanitized.

5. It takes about 2 weeks to fully carbonate in the bottle at room temperature.

I hope this helps, I'm not sure your beer will be fully carbed by your Christmas party, but it should be mostly there if you want to bring a few.



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Old 12-10-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
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You want to wait to transfer to secondary and dry hop until fermentation is complete. You should take a couple gravity readings 2-3 days apart. If the readings are the same, you can go ahead and transfer. If you dry hop during active fermentation, you will loose some of the aroma. Each fermentation will be different, so the 7 days is just a guide. 14 days does seem a bit excessive to me, I usually do 10 days max. Any longer and you run the risk of extracting some vegital flavors from the hops. A few weeks for carbonation is a good starting point, however it all depends on the gravity of your beer and temperature. A higher gravity beer will take longer to carb than a lower gravity brew. I hope this turns out good for you, Jubleale is a good beer!

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Old 12-10-2012, 06:27 PM   #4
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Don't worry about following the recipe exactly on times. They write those based on the usual. 7 primary/ 14 secondary/ 21 bottled (1:2:3) is a very common standard that is easy to remember, but not always right for the circumstances. I had a beer that completed primary in 4 days--I left it for a whole week. I moved it to secondary for three days, but then bottled it and a week later it was nicely carbonated. This is very unusual--others have taken far longer than the standard at each stage. Wait until your beer is stable for a couple days then rack to secondary and you should be able to follow the 14 days in secondary. It won't be excessive--many dry hop for longer. As you approach the end of secondary the beer should clear quite a bit--though the dry hopping will effect this.

If you are really concerned about leaving the hops in too long if you have to secondary past the 14 days then try a sanitized hop bag that you can fish back out of the fermenter when you are ready. Another option would be to siphon off of the hops in secondary for a tertiary fermentation--I did this with a real bruiser size batch before. The nice thing about doing this is you can dry hop for the time you want and then let it settle nicely before bottling.

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Old 12-10-2012, 06:37 PM   #5
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For the carbonation question, I don't keg--yet. I bottle everything, but I often put part of a batch in a tap-a-draft system. It has a bottle that holds about a gallon and a half. The cap has a dispensing tap and a connector for 16 gram CO2 cartridges--don't use the old 8 gram ones. If your LHBS has this system you could try it. I fill it at bottling time--without priming sugar. It goes in the beer fridge to chill overnight and then a cartridge is inserted, which pressurizes the bottle. It goes back in the fridge for about a week and then when dispensing a new cartridge is used. It has carbonated everything I have put in quite nicely. The only problem I have had has been one time when the second cartridge didn't quite give enough pressure to dispense. After sitting overnight in the fridge again it did fine. Right now I have a Kentucky Common and Foreign Stout in the system to drink while waiting for the bottled versions to carbonate.

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Old 12-10-2012, 11:00 PM   #6
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Some good info. Thanks folks! I think I will be set now.

Ayup!



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