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-   -   A few simple questions :] (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/few-simple-questions-276127/)

ArizonaJohn 10-23-2011 12:39 AM

A few simple questions :]
 
Hey everyone, just joined this forum today and have been reading up quite a bit. Well, like a lot of others here my girlfriend got me the monster brew starting kit for my birthday (Oct. 20th) which comes with 3 five gallon ingredient kits, 2 buckets, one for fermentation one for bottling, bottling equipment, caps, bottles, hydrometer..ect.. the usual. Well, I started first by making the Amber Ale because I figure this would be my least favorite so its a good place to start, wont be too hurt if it doesn't come out great. Anyways, the making of the wort went just fine according to the Amber Ale directions. My question is, the directions say it will usually be ready to bottle within a week. After reading up on here, I have been pondering letting it go for 3 weeks. I understand that you don't want to do much more time than that in plastic buckets, but is one week just too unrealistic and short? And, does more time usually seem to relate to better beer? I also have read that once it is bottled to let it be for another couple weeks before drinking it, but does this mean after bottling immediately put it in the fridge or wait a bit before that? Again, I know there are a lot of different techniques but any advice would be very helpful. Sorry if this has all been asked before, but for some reason the search feature won't work on my computer? Thanks again. :mug:

Cellarbrau 10-23-2011 12:43 AM

http://www.howtobrew.com/

NWMOBrewer 10-23-2011 12:53 AM

I suggest waiting as close to 3 weeks as possible. I remember my first one I rushed, and now that I think of the taste, I can tell I rushed it. Directions are sometimes outdated, and although great for first time brewers, I don't go by them, I just read them, and put aside for extract. Secondly, the bottling time is to wait for the beer to mature, and to carbonate up. You will want to store the bottles at fermentation temps, meaning 65-70 in my cases so far. Generally, beer matures and stabilizes as I understand it. Congrats on receiving the beer stuff, and I hope it turns out great for you!!

Also, yes, read the above link, its a great read!!!!

Wolfhound180 10-23-2011 12:56 AM

What was the OG? I would personally leave it in primary for 2 weeks and then bottle. Leave bottles in at at least 70 something degree place for 3 weeks. Taste some in between to know what young beer tastes like. Should be done by then.

Beerthoven 10-23-2011 12:57 AM

My advice is to leave the beer 2 weeks in the primary fermenter to allow it to ferment completely. Then, rack it into a secondary fermenter and leave it for 1 more week. This step is just to help it clear so you don't get a lot of sediment in your bottles. Bottle the beer and allow it to sit at least 2 weeks at room temperature to ensure the bottles carbonate. Like the previous poster, I also recommend you read "How to Brew" by John Palmer. Fabulous book that will teach you a lot. Good luck.

RM-MN 10-23-2011 01:33 AM

I'd recommend you leave it in the fermenter bucket for 3 weeks to let it have time to finish fermenting, time for the yeast to clean up after themselves, eating some of the byproducts of the fast initial ferment, time to let the yeast settle into a nice firm bed at the bottom of the fermenter so you can rack the beer off into the bottling bucket without getting a lot of trub mixed in.

Boil a couple cups of water and stir in the priming sugar and pour this into the bottling bucket and rack the beer onto this, trying to make it swirl to mix without splashing as you do not want oxygen added at this point. Use a long spoon and slowly stir this mixture to help get the priming sugar evenly distributed, then put it into the bottles, making sure to leave a little space above the beer for the carbonation, then put the bottles in a dark location (inside a box with a lid works fine) where it will be about room temperature and give them a week or even 2 to let the yeast consume the priming sugar and produce CO2. At this point you have beer. Not necessarily good beer, but drinkable. If you can keep from drinking it all right away, your homebrew will continue to mature for some time and get better flavors. Chill it well for at least 24 hours before drinking, preferably longer to let the CO2 dissolve into the beer. Enjoy!

ArizonaJohn 10-23-2011 04:30 AM

Thanks for the responses my friends, it seems to be that most of these kits give you guidelines to make "beer", but not necessarily the best instructions. I am planning on letting it go for a week longer than directed after reading (which will be about two weeks) and then put in to the bottling bucket. Question.. When I put into the bottling bucket with priming sugar do I want to let it sit in there a bit before bottling or go directly to bottling? I appreciate the link to the guide, I do plan on checking it out!! So basically, let ferment about 2-3 weeks in plastic, transfer to bottling bucket without air but still a nice flow so priming sugar mixers, bottle and leave in room temp for about two weeks and refrigerate for a week or two? All in all I know this is going to be a hands on learning process more than anything but I just didn't want an EPIC failure :D I do plan on reading the link you sent to the guide as soon as possible and once again, I appreciate all the help!! After all, it can't be any worse than jail hooch, right? Lol.. kidding. Thanks!! :drunk: Ps: I plan on trying the brew a few times at different stages after fermenting and bottling between room and fridge temps to find what works for this type :D

Beerthoven 10-23-2011 11:24 AM

To mix the priming sugar with the beer to be bottled, dissolve the sugar in a cup or so of hot water and put it in the bottom of your bottling bucket. Then rack the beer into the bucket. This will ensure good mixing of the priming sugar. You can then bottle right away, you do not need to let it sit.

(As an aside, some folks like to boil their priming sugar & water mixture for a few minutes to ensure it is sanitized. While this step won't hurt anything, I never found it necessary either. Choice is yours.)

RM-MN 10-23-2011 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beerthoven (Post 3415150)
To mix the priming sugar with the beer to be bottled, dissolve the sugar in a cup or so of hot water and put it in the bottom of your bottling bucket. Then rack the beer into the bucket. This will ensure good mixing of the priming sugar. You can then bottle right away, you do not need to let it sit.

(As an aside, some folks like to boil their priming sugar & water mixture for a few minutes to ensure it is sanitized. While this step won't hurt anything, I never found it necessary either. Choice is yours.)

I've found that just racking the beer onto the priming sugar mix does not always give you good mixing and leaves you with some bottles too carbonated and fizzy beer while other bottles are a bit low. Instead of relying on just the swirling, I've begun slowly stirring the beer with a long slotted spoon to get better mixing.

jcdouglas 10-23-2011 01:32 PM

Ignore the kit instructions and be patient. Once I started doing that and following what I read here and in the brewing books, my beer improved immensely. Good luck with your other kits.


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