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Old 01-11-2012, 03:51 PM   #1
CDavis
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Default First brew, almost a week in questions

Hello Everyone,

My first brew I am working on an English Pale Ale.

The Wort came together perfectly Friday night, so about 5 days ago and I believe the temperature was cool enough when I transferred it to the glass carboy. I did not take a hydrometer reading though and I have yet to take one, is this going to make this a fail?

I believe the primary fermentation is about complete because it is barely bubbling, I also cannot take a reading from the glass carboy, I think I need to get a turkey baster.

Now I have a bucket with a spigot and the top has a rubberized hole that I could attach the let out valve. Should I move it to that bucket for secondary fermentation or leave it in the carboy longer? Should I have began in the bucket from the start? and then moved to carboy followed by bottling in bucket?

What do you guys think? From what I have been reading it looks like the opinions vary.



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Old 01-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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If you used extract, then taking an OG is kinda pointless. It's almost always right on from where it's supposed to be.

There's no need to transfer to secondary. I leave my brews in the primary for 3-4 weeks or longer. It's actually better that way.



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Old 01-11-2012, 04:06 PM   #3
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Indeed opinion do vary, but I think what you'll hear is 1) the airlock not bubbling is not a positive sign that fermentation is done (take a hydro reading and get the same number 2-3 days in a row) and 2) a secondary transfer is not necessarily needed, unless you want to add fruit, dry hop (even then...), or other junk.

My personal suggestions: Leave it in the carboy until day 14, take a hydro reading, leave it another day and take another reading. If they're the same and under 1.018 or so (if it's extract), go ahead and bottle it using the bottling bucket. I'm on the wagon that thinks a secondary is unnecessary, and it give ample time for the yeast to complete fermentation and clean up secondary byproducts.

You could either use the bucket or the carboy to start, I prefer a bucket most of the time because they're easier to clean, check gravity, etc.

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Old 01-11-2012, 04:06 PM   #4
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I do all extracts,but not kits. I always take an OG measurement. Then wait till the 2 week mark to take another reading to see where I'm at. That will give some indication as to how much more time it needs to get a stable FG.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:06 PM   #5
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Hi, I am new as well, but I think you are little mixed up (I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong). The bucket with the spigot is for bottling only, not fermenting. The lid with the rubberized hole is for fermenting beer in a different plastic bucket with no spigot. You don't need a lid for the spigoted bucket. If you moved the beer from your first bucket to a glass carboy after initial fermentation was completed, just let it sit for a few weeks in the glass carboy. The turkey baster will be key to getting readings from the carboy. Once it levels to minimal or no movement, its ready to be siphoned into the spigot bucket for bottling.

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Old 01-11-2012, 04:08 PM   #6
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First, welcome to HBT.

You are correct that the opinions vary but these guys got the experience to back it up. At less than a week, I would let it ride. I like a minimum of 3 weeks in the primary (if I am going to a secondary) but that is just one newbie to newbie opinion.

Starting in the carboy is fine, it will be easier to bottle from the bottling bucket but not necessary. Alternatively, you could just put it in the bottling bucket and not secondary it.. Providing there is not a lot of garbage at the bottom.

Many ways to skin a cat, but you will still make beer in the end. So don't worry. :-D

J..

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Old 01-11-2012, 04:09 PM   #7
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I have spigots on both my plastic fermenters to make things easier. But I do see a lot of starter kits where only the bottling bucket has a spigot. It's easy to add a spigot if that makes life easier. You could also get a wine thief to get hydrometer samples out of your carboy. And if you sanitize the thief 1st,you can release it back into the fermenter without fear of infection.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A4J View Post
If you used extract, then taking an OG is kinda pointless. It's almost always right on from where it's supposed to be.

There's no need to transfer to secondary. I leave my brews in the primary for 3-4 weeks or longer. It's actually better that way.
^^^^AGREED^^^^^

Sometimes I go with secondary just for clarity reasons. It still need to finish up for about another couple weeks though. Never judge it just cause the bubbling stops.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msujack View Post
Hi, I am new as well, but I think you are little mixed up (I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong). The bucket with the spigot is for bottling only, not fermenting. The lid with the rubberized hole is for fermenting beer in a different plastic bucket with no spigot. You don't need a lid for the spigoted bucket. If you moved the beer from your first bucket to a glass carboy after initial fermentation was completed, just let it sit for a few weeks in the glass carboy. The turkey baster will be key to getting readings from the carboy. Once it levels to minimal or no movement, its ready to be siphoned into the spigot bucket for bottling.
Why not ferment in it? It holds liquid and I have done it.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msujack View Post
Hi, I am new as well, but I think you are little mixed up (I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong). The bucket with the spigot is for bottling only, not fermenting. The lid with the rubberized hole is for fermenting beer in a different plastic bucket with no spigot. You don't need a lid for the spigoted bucket. If you moved the beer from your first bucket to a glass carboy after initial fermentation was completed, just let it sit for a few weeks in the glass carboy. The turkey baster will be key to getting readings from the carboy. Once it levels to minimal or no movement, its ready to be siphoned into the spigot bucket for bottling.
I use my bottling bucket as a primary also.


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