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Old 11-08-2012, 03:17 AM   #1
pwessinger
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Default First brew fermenting... Questions for moving forward!

Ok, so long story short, I have been talking about home brewing for quite a while now, and finally got a starter kit for my birthday (from the girlfriend! ). My first kit was the brewers best holiday ale. The brew date was Oct. 31, so as of today it has been fermenting for 7 days.

I switched the blow off tube to an airlock after the first 4 days, and the airlock is still moving, but rather slowly. Maybe one little bubble per minute or so. I got curious (I know, I know... JUST LEAVE IT!.... but I had to look) because the smell that was being produced from the fermentation did not smell pleasant at all. I figured if I was going to open the lid momentarily to make sure there wasnt anything funky going on, I might as well take a quick draw of beer to test the SG. The OG was 1.074, .002 above the recommended, but I was very happy to even get that close. The SG that I got today was 1.013, which is .002 below the listed FG in the instructions. Will this reading continue to get lower and lower if there is still movement in the airlock? Anyways, I figured I had to give it a quick taste, and sure enough... it wasn't half bad! (Knock on wood!) I plan to let it sit in the primary for another 2-3 weeks, then move to bottling.

That leads me to my questions.

First: I did not strain my wort when I transferred it into the primary bucket. I used an auto syphon to transfer it, and it got clogged several times... Stupid looking back on it, but I definitely learned from the experience! There still seems to be quite a bit of hoppy junk and what not floating around from the boil... Is there any way to filter this out as I transfer to the bottling bucket, or should I just let gravity do its job and siphon the "clear" stuff out after a few weeks?

Second, I took a picture of the top just to make sure it didn't look like an infection was starting/taking place. I don't think there is, but here is a picture for your viewing pleasure.



Any help is much appreciated, and thanks to everyone on this site who has posted in the hundreds of threads that I have already scoured through!

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Old 11-08-2012, 03:22 AM   #2
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wait a couple of more weeks, most of that will drop out. what is left floating will move to and clink to the walls of the bucket while you rack to your bottling bucket.

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Old 11-08-2012, 03:24 AM   #3
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first, to ease your mind, it looks like a perfectly healthy fermentation. second: all the trub that gets transferred: don't worry about it. we all transfer it during racking/bottling/kegging

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Old 11-08-2012, 10:12 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses! I stopped by my local home brew store to pick up some Star San and the employee convinced me into transferring to a secondary fermenter.

So after I sanitized the piss out of everything I siphoned the beer into the carboy. I was extremely careful to keep the lid on the bucket as much as I could and I made sure everything was very clean. My only question that arose was regarding the carboy stopper. I sanitized it and went to put it on and it just kept slipping out because it was still wet from the star san. I didnt want to dry it, as that could possibly contaminate it. For now, I just let it sit on top and once it air dries I will make sure its air tight. Can't wait to get this stuff into bottles and carbbed up!

image-148871623.jpg  
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:31 PM   #5
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Wipe it and the inside of your carboy near the top with a clean paper towel.
There is no need for a secondary for most beers and if you do you want very little head space. You have too much head space in that carboy, you left the protective CO2 layer behind in your fermentation bucket, oxygen is an enemy to beer after it has fermented.
What is done is done though, don't move it around and cover it with a towel or dark T-shirt unless you have it in a dark place.

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Old 11-08-2012, 11:37 PM   #6
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Eh, I think you'll be fine. The yeast will still produce CO2, just not as much as they do during active fermentation. It'll still produce the protective layer. The headspace should be OK, I've certainly had 4-4.5 gallons in a 5G secondary with no trouble. But, yeah, there's a lot of good arguments for just waiting it out in primary...enough that this is pretty much all I ever do, unless I've gotta age something for months. There's certainly nothing wrong with going to secondary though...it's just a lot of hassle, moderate risk and completely unnecessary in most cases.

Looking good!

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