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Old 04-28-2009, 03:22 PM   #1
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I just bottled my first batch last night. I made an American Ale from an extract kit. I noticed when bottling the beer itself was fairly murky. Any idea why?

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Old 04-28-2009, 03:26 PM   #2
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How long did you leave the beer in primary, an or secondary before you bottled? Did you use your hydrometer to make sure fermentation was over?

What kind of beer was it?

Many of us skip secondary and leave our beers in primary for 3-4 weeks...I can vouch for not having murky beers at all, in fact they are clearer than when I used to secondary....

More than likely you just kicked up a lot of yeast when you racked to your bottling bucket...If that's the case they will clear in the 3 weeks (minimum) @ 70 degrees that it will take to carb and condition them.

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Old 04-28-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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I kept it in the primary for about 4-5 days, I then moved it to a secondary fermenter and kept it there for about 6 days, until the hydrometer hit 1.00. It was an American Ale. Kicking up the yeast is a possibility. I had to move it from the floor in the basement to the main floor of the house...but does everything else sound alright?

thanks for the quick reply. you guys sure are prompt.

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Old 04-28-2009, 03:31 PM   #4
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Yeast checking out their new home.

You want to get the sugars and yeast to get together and give you some carbonation. This is a good thing.

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Old 04-28-2009, 03:38 PM   #5
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Well first off, you shouldn't move your beer to secondary until fermentation is complete. That's why we recommend at the minimum that on the 7th day you take a hydro, and then on the 10th....If the numbers are the same, THEN rack it to secondary to clear.....Then you should leave it in secondary for another 2 weeks..Moving it too soon, besides not letting the yeast clean up after fermentation is complete, your not leaving enough time (either in primary for long primary) or in secondary for the yeast to flocculate out....

Even thogh fermentation is complete, the yeasties aren't done with their jobs.

Even Palmer recommends this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by How To Brew
Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.
In the future don't be so quick to rush the process, besides not worrying about murkey beer, you beer will benefit from you patience....
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:59 PM   #6
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Ah gotcha. I was just following the kit's directions...I knew something looked funny, but I didn't know where I messed up. I'll definitely take your advice. Thanks a lot.

Though continuing on this train of though, a family friend recommended that since I want to be brew in a craft style, that I move to grains as soon as possible. 1) The forum's thoughts? 2) What type of extra investment is required?

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Old 04-28-2009, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
since I want to be brew in a craft style, that I move to grains as soon as possible.
I don't really understand that statement, but I think the gist is that with kits you don't have as much flexibility as far as altering the style and making it your own. There are in-between methods that offer progressively more options as far as styles and ingredients.

Steeping grains w/extract is a popular step up from all-extract kits. They involve soaking specialty grains in your water before adding the extract. Color and flavor can be manipulated by using different combinations of specialty grains, but the fermentable sugars pretty much all come from the extract used.

A "partial grain" or partial mash style is only marginally more involved and doesn't really take much extra equipment. See Here I do mine with a $10 cooler (2 gallon round), that and a large nylon grain bag (about $8) aside from what I had already, and I can handle up to 5 lbs of grain or so with it. I've been real happy with the beers I've been able to make this way. This method allows the use of adjuncts like flaked grains that require mashing (can't just be steeped) and you do have a lot of control over the recipe compared to a kit. A lot of your fermentable sugars are coming from the grain through the mashing process - basically I'm making a half batch using grain, then using plain extract to increase it to 5 gallons.

Going to all grain does require more equipment - besides a large cooler to convert to a mash tun, you'll at least need a large pot (8+ gallons), an outdoor propane cooker for boiling and a wort chiller. This style does allow the ultimate control of the contents of the recipe and technique.
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Well first off, you shouldn't move your beer to secondary until fermentation is complete.
Actually if you are going by what Palmer says, you would remove the beer BEFORE fermentation is complete:

Quote:
The primary or attenuative phase is marked by a time of vigorous fermentation when the gravity of the beer drops by 2/3-3/4 of the original gravity (OG). The majority of the attenuation occurs during the primary phase, and can last anywhere from 2-6 days for ales, or 4-10 days for lagers, depending on conditions.
...
As the primary phase winds down, a majority of the yeast start settling out and the krausen starts to subside. If you are going to transfer the beer off of the trub and primary yeast cake, this is the proper time to do so.
Not saying he is right or wrong here, just saying if you are quoting Palmer then racking the beer to secondary before FG is hit is the correct thing to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by celts View Post
Though continuing on this train of though, a family friend recommended that since I want to be brew in a craft style, that I move to grains as soon as possible. 1) The forum's thoughts? 2) What type of extra investment is required?
I would not be in a big rush to move to AG. Get comfortable with the beer making procedure first, then do some reading on making beer from grain rather than extract. It requires more equipment and time, but I think the process and results are worth it.

Really good beer can be made with extract so I would worry about nailing that first. One of the biggest things you can do to make good beer is controlling fermentation temperature. I would get that down before really feeling the need to jump to AG. Although, AG is kind of fun to do, so...do whatever floats you boat!
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:34 PM   #9
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Actually if you are going by what Palmer says, you would remove the beer BEFORE fermentation is complete:



Not saying he is right or wrong here, just saying if you are quoting Palmer then racking the beer to secondary before FG is hit is the correct thing to do.
Steeler, I know you love to try to pimp me wheneverr I bring it up, but I and many of us on here just don't read Palmer that way....and I'll give you the same answer I do every time you do it.

ctrl-v

I think due to "phrasiology" this is so confused by a LOT of people....there are 3 phases of fermentation, and they all happen (or should anyway) in the primary fermenter...including the secondary phase.

"Secondary fermenter" is a misnomer, either bright tank or secondary vessel it should be called.

Quote:
From How to Brew;

Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur....

...The fermentation of malt sugars into beer is a complicated biochemical process. It is more than just the conversion of sugar to alcohol, which can be regarded as the primary activity. Total fermentation is better defined as three phases, the Adaptation or Lagtime phase, the Primary or Attenuative phase and a Secondary or Conditioning phase. The yeast do not end Phase 2 before beginning Phase 3, the processes occur in parallel, but the conditioning processes occur more slowly. As the majority of simple sugars are consumed, more and more of the yeast will transition to eating the larger, more complex sugars and early yeast by-products. This is why beer (and wine) improves with age to a degree, as long as they are on the yeast. Beer that has been filtered or pasteurized will not benefit from aging.

The conditioning process is a function of the yeast. The vigorous, primary stage is over, the majority of the wort sugars have been converted to alcohol, and a lot of the yeast are going dormant; but there is still yeast activity. During the earlier phases, many different compounds were produced by the yeast in addition to ethanol and CO2, e.g., acetaldehyde, esters, amino acids, ketones- diacetyl, pentanedione, dimethyl sulfide, etc. Once the easy food is gone, the yeast start re-processing these by-products. Diacetyl and pentanedione are two ketones that have buttery and honey-like flavors. These compounds are considered flaws when present in large amounts and can cause flavor stability problems during storage. Acetaldehyde is an aldehyde that has a pronounced green apple smell and taste. It is an intermediate compound in the production of ethanol. The yeast reduce these compounds during the later stages of fermentation.

The yeast also produce an array of fusel alcohols during primary fermentation in addition to ethanol. Fusels are higher molecular weight alcohols that often give harsh solvent-like tastes to beer. During secondary fermentation, the yeast convert these alcohols to more pleasant tasting fruity esters. Warmer temperatures encourage ester production.....
This is NOT about secondary vessels, it's about the secondary phase of fermentation....the clean up phase. People often confuse the two.

I firmly believe that it is negated by rushing a beer from primary to secondary too soon...and it comes from a "fear the yeast" mentality from over 30 years ago, when there were limited amounts of yeast availbale, and it was usually hard crappy already weakened cakes.

The irony of the situation (or the worst case scenario) is that since the OP moved the beer after 4 or 5 days, AND quite posibly fermentation didn't even begin til 72 hours after yeast pitch (as often happened) the beer may possibly have had only 1 day of real fermentation.

Hence so much stuff in suspension still....

This is why across the board I tend to leave my beers in primary for a month...I KNOW that fermentation has ceases AND the yeast has cleaned up after itself...
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:00 PM   #10
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Steeler, I know you love to try to pimp me wheneverr I bring it up, but I and many of us on here just don't read Palmer that way....and I'll give you the same answer I do every time you do it.
Wow..not meaning to pimp you at all, not in that business. Was simply pointing out what Palmer says about when to rack to secondary.

We have disagreed in the past on the virtues of leaving beer in the primary for 3-4 weeks, but this really has nothing to do with that. Guess you read something into my post that wasn't there.
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