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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First batch complete!
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:58 PM   #1
chriscorapi
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Default First batch complete!

My father and I started brewing on June 17th (Father Day), it was a Sam Adam's knock off kit. We first fermented it in a plastic bucket, waited a week then moved it into a plastic carboy. From there I think it was 10 day before we put it into a plastic bucket with a drum tap on it. We did that because it would be easier to bottle and not have to worry about much settlement falling into the bottles. I'm not sure how my father did the carbonation process because I was away upstate. However we left the bottles closed until I came back yesterday. We tried two of them (one was a brown bottle that was capped, one was a green Grolsch) There was almost little to no head on the capped beer and it almost tasted too bitter, however the Grolsch one came out excellent. Is there any reason for this? Better capping held the carbonation in? or could the heat (we had a minor heat way while we were fermenting) of interfered with it making it bitter? Our next beer is going to be a lighter beer, please any recommendations?

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Old 07-10-2012, 10:09 PM   #2
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Racking to secondary after a week, in my opinion, is way too soon. Then you racked again into another bucket? Did you leave it in that bucket for longer or bottled right then?

My recommendation...you should leave the beer on the yeast for at least 2 to 3 weeks. Don't even worry about racking to secondary. I say leave it for 3 weeks and then check the gravity. If it is done then you can bottle. Racking it too soon, you don't know if it is done fermenting. You also don't leave any time for the yeast to clean up any off flavors.

Temp control is a very important factor especially when the temp gets too hot. Read up on how to control fermentation temps. There are a ton of ways to do it. Cheap swamp coolers all the way up to hand built chambers that can heat and cool.

Not sure about the bottles. Maybe the green bottle had more sugar in it

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Old 07-10-2012, 11:00 PM   #3
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It was fermenting for about 7 days for the first bucket, then 10 or more for the second one before it was bottled then it was bottled for another 10 days or so. I'm not to sure though considering I was away. It is a lager, whats a normal time frame for a lager? I thought it would take a lot longer then it did but my dad said it was fine ( he used to do it when he was younger, but hasn't for years) The gravity said it was about 4% alcohol? But that is a good point the grolsch bottles are bigger so maybe the more sugar that was in it helped out? but thank you!

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Old 07-10-2012, 11:16 PM   #4
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was it the Boston lager or an ale kit? If it was the lager, it needs to ferment cooler. I'm not sure about exact temps but preferred in the 50's. What was the FG and OG?

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Old 07-10-2012, 11:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h22lude View Post
Racking to secondary after a week, in my opinion, is way too soon. Then you racked again into another bucket? Did you leave it in that bucket for longer or bottled right then?

My recommendation...you should leave the beer on the yeast for at least 2 to 3 weeks. Don't even worry about racking to secondary. I say leave it for 3 weeks and then check the gravity. If it is done then you can bottle. Racking it too soon, you don't know if it is done fermenting. You also don't leave any time for the yeast to clean up any off flavors.

Temp control is a very important factor especially when the temp gets too hot. Read up on how to control fermentation temps. There are a ton of ways to do it. Cheap swamp coolers all the way up to hand built chambers that can heat and cool.

Not sure about the bottles. Maybe the green bottle had more sugar in it
I agree. As hard as it is, patience is definitely a virtue in home brewing. I've only been brewing 18 months but I have never racked to secondary. Always from primary (after 3 weeks minimum) then straight to bottle (or keg). I even dryhop in primary.

A good rule for bottling is 3 weeks in fermenter then 3 weeks in the bottle...minimum. Cheers!
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:08 AM   #6
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You can make excellent beer with a 2 week primary but I recommend 3 to 4 weeks to give the yeast time to clean up.

2 weeks for bottling is a good time frame.

With a lager you need to do things a little differently. I have only done one true lager at lager temps so I'm by no means an expert so take this as you wish. With a lager you would ferment at 55 or so until fermentation is about 75% done (you can tell by taking gravity readings). Then you will want to bring the temp up to about 65 for a few days or even a week. This is a called a diacetyl rest. After that you are now going to lager the beer...basically store it cold for a while. You will store the beer between 35 and 45. The lower the temp the longer you lager. 40 for 5 to 6 weeks is what I did. When you do the lager phase, you can rack to secondary at that point to get the beer off the yeast.

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Old 07-16-2012, 01:57 AM   #7
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I don't know if I remember this correctly but i think i read somewhere about a 1 2 3 fermenting plan? One week in the primary, two in the secondary and 3 in the bottle? what about wheat ales? regular ales all the rest? do any of the other need extra time? stout im sure needs even longer then lagers do. I think im going to make an ale next. I'm going to experiment with making each one so i have a good basis to learn off of.

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