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Old 02-17-2009, 03:40 PM   #1
DownRightAft
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Default A few questions for my second brew

Just tried a bottle of my first brew, was a pre-hopped kit. I thought it was good for what it was but I am anxious to try a sierra nevada pale ale clone recipe. Got a few questions.....

This will be my second brew, I have read all sorts of conflicting info regarding use of secondary or just leaving in the primary. Is this truly just a Ford/Chevy type of debate? Is the only advantage to the secondary a clear beer? Will removing the beer from the yeast cake too soon leave it with a green taste?

If you are going to dry hop, should you rack to secondary, or could you just throw some hops in the primary after most fermentation completes?

Is the only way to truly "know" when to bottle based on hydrometer readings? Any other measurments besides just guessing by the bubbles in your airlock?

Any diffeerence between Syrup and Dried Malt Extracts? My last kit was a syrup, I think the dried would be easier to handle.

Thanks ahead of time for your replies, I hope this wasn't too many questions at once.

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Old 02-17-2009, 03:47 PM   #2
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I cant answer much, seeing as I am new at this too, but as far as the hydrometer reading goes, that is going to me the most reliable, accurate method of telling what the grav of your beer currently is, vs. where it should be. In the directions on your kit it should tell you the ideal final grav, so base it off that. If there is one thing I have learned, it is DONT try to use the release of co2 as an instrument to measure if the brew is ready to be bottled. Hope this helps!

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Old 02-17-2009, 03:51 PM   #3
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Ok thanks! I am going to use a recipe online for the SNPA Clone, so I wont have a gravity ahead of time, I was planning on taking gravity from wort and using "beer math" to figure my end gravity. By the way, anyone have a good SNPA clone recipe they used wiith favorable reults?

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Old 02-17-2009, 04:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DownRightAft View Post
Just tried a bottle of my first brew, was a pre-hopped kit. I thought it was good for what it was but I am anxious to try a sierra nevada pale ale clone recipe. Got a few questions.....

This will be my second brew, I have read all sorts of conflicting info regarding use of secondary or just leaving in the primary. Is this truly just a Ford/Chevy type of debate? Is the only advantage to the secondary a clear beer? Will removing the beer from the yeast cake too soon leave it with a green taste?

If you are going to dry hop, should you rack to secondary, or could you just throw some hops in the primary after most fermentation completes?

Is the only way to truly "know" when to bottle based on hydrometer readings? Any other measurments besides just guessing by the bubbles in your airlock?

Any diffeerence between Syrup and Dried Malt Extracts? My last kit was a syrup, I think the dried would be easier to handle.

Thanks ahead of time for your replies, I hope this wasn't too many questions at once.
Both the 1 week primary, 2-3 weeks secondary and the 3-4 weeks in the primary methods will produce good beer. I think there is still debate about which produces better results. However i prefer the primary only method because it is simpler and exposes the beer to infection less. Granted getting an infection while transferring to the secondary is very unlikely, so i guess the main reason for me is I'm lazy. I don't think it makes much difference on the clarity of the beer.

You can dry hop in the primary after fermentation is complete or in a secondary. Not really a big difference between the 2.

The only way to know your beer is done is to measure the same SG a few days apart. However if your beer has been at a consistent temp somewhere between 65F and 85F and you saw evidence that the fermentation started, then after 3 weeks in the fermenter it is pretty safe to bet the beer is done.

DME vs LME is a whole discussion however ever in summary if fresh LME and DME produce nearly identical results. LME is usually cheaper, DME is easier to measure and store for later use. DME also stores better with less problems of oxidation before use. So either works but it depends on your preference.

Craig
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:07 PM   #5
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You will find alot of people on this forum dont use a secondary, i usually use a secondary and my beer is pretty clear and has very little sediment, but again its personall preference and certain beer styles you really wont get any benifit from transfering.

A hydrometer is something you will learn to love... just because the recipe says your beer is ready to bottle in x amount of days dosent mean it is, you need to check your gravity and make sure you have dropped enough points... never rely on bubbles from the airlock, some batches you will never see a bubble.. not reliable.... a hydrometer is (as long as its accurate)

Syrup or liquid malt extract is great, if you warm the bag a bit it should flow right out into the kettle (just make sure your kettle burner is off so you dont scorch the extract)
you will spend a little extra time getting all the LME out of the bag (just use the toothpaste tube method and roll it out) it will drop to the bottom of the kettle alot faster than dried malt extract.

dried malt extract or "DME" For short is great stuff as well, its verry dry so make sure you dont try to dump it from the bag into the boil kettle it will clump up and you will fight it all the way out of the bag, try putting it into a few bowls (unless its a small addition like a pound or two) and pouring the bowls in as you stir, I think you loose a little more on the liquid side of extract to the bag its stored in, and you get just about all of the DME from the bag.. I think my lhbs has a better selection of liquid over DME so when i brew extract i usually use liquid........just my opinion......

sure others out there may have a different opinion...

hope this helps......

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Old 02-17-2009, 04:12 PM   #6
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I buy LME from Midwest, and it comes in handy little plastic bottles. I warm them up in hot tap water first, then pour the contents into my brew pot. After that, I dunk the bottle into the wort and repour, to make sure I get everything out. I would imagine you could do this with the bags as well if you were pretty careful about not burning your hands.

Plus, as long as the outside of the bag/bottle is clean, you don't need to worry about sanitizing it since it's just going to get boiled for an hour anyway.

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