Originally Posted by gts
I recently got a brewer's best home brew kit as an anniversary present. I bought the American Cream Ale extract kit for my first batch. It has been in the primary for 19 days. Only bubbled about 3 days, but after reading some threads here I did not let that bother me.
On brew night it took a really long time to cool to 70 degrees. Once it got to 80 I transferred from the brew pot to the primary and then added cool water (straight from the faucet). Mistake?
I opened the bucket tonight to see that the beer really has not cleared much if any at all. Still looks like wort. temp reading on the outside of the bucket has been 66-68 degrees (sitting in the dark basement)
I thought when I got the kit, the guy at the store told me to bottle it after 2.5 to 3 weeks, but now I'm thinking I either misunderstood or was misinformed.
I thought he had said to let it sit in the primary for 5 or 6 days, transfer to secondary and let sit for 2 weeks then bottle, or just leave it in the primary for 2.5 to 3 weeks then bottle. I believe he said leaving it in the primary much longer than that could cause some off-flavors
Reading through some of the beginner threads I've seen the 1-2-3 or 2-2-3 rule mentioned. Is this different for extract kits vs. all grain brewing?
I thought about stopping in to pickup a carboy tomorrow and transferring to that and giving it more time. Or should I just leave it in the primary and check on it in another 2 weeks?
I know that's a lot of questions for one thread, sorry to ramble. Any help/advice appreciated.
Adding anything that hasn't been sanitized (water straight from the tap, etc ) is not good practice, but you can't really worry about that now. Watch for infection, but pretend it never happened.
It's tough to tell in the bucket whether it has cleared. Not a lot of light filters through, so to me they always look opaque. And 66-68 is plenty warm, maybe even too warm. Fermentation is exothermic, so during the most vigorous times, it can heat up 5-10*f. Maybe look into a swamp cooler if you can't keep it cooler via other methods.
After that, there are some opinions on how long to stay in primary and how long to stay in secondary, if at all. I would suggest leaving it in primary a total of about 3 weeks. Check your gravity and then check it again a couple days later. If it is steady, bottle it. If not, wait longer.