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Old 11-20-2012, 06:27 PM   #1
samg
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Default First brew questions

Hi guys. My first brew (Coopers Brewmaster IPA) is fermenting as we speak (5th day) and I had a few questions about bottling:

Currently its a bit cloudy. I plan on bottling in 2 days (pending readings), will the conditioning in the bottle clear this? Also, my father has said something about 'finings' and it making it clearer.

How do you siphon the whole vessel? My syphon has a black cap on the end that looks like it'd leave the last 2-3 litres in the vessel. Is this normal? If I take the cap off, it'll get the lot but it'll also bring up all the sedement from the bottom of the barrel.

Do I use some kind of filter on the funnel I fill my bottles with? Or will the sugar help clear anything up?

I also mis-read the instructions and ended up putting a whole KG of this, rather than the recommended 300g! Yes, I know, read twice cut once and all that! Any adverse effects? It taste brilliant, not to sweet etc.

I have taken the initial reading of 1045 and the reading the last 2 days have both been 1008.

Thanks for answers in advance!

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Old 11-20-2012, 06:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by samg View Post
Hi guys. My first brew (Coopers Brewmaster IPA) is fermenting as we speak (5th day) and I had a few questions about bottling:

Currently its a bit cloudy. I plan on bottling in 2 days (pending readings), will the conditioning in the bottle clear this? Also, my father has said something about 'finings' and it making it clearer.

How do you siphon the whole vessel? My syphon has a black cap on the end that looks like it'd leave the last 2-3 litres in the vessel. Is this normal? If I take the cap off, it'll get the lot but it'll also bring up all the sedement from the bottom of the barrel.

Do I use some kind of filter on the funnel I fill my bottles with? Or will the sugar help clear anything up?

I also mis-read the instructions and ended up putting a whole KG of this, rather than the recommended 300g! Yes, I know, read twice cut once and all that! Any adverse effects? It taste brilliant, not to sweet etc.

I have taken the initial reading of 1045 and the reading the last 2 days have both been 1008.

Thanks for answers in advance!
First...Congrats on beer #1!

Second...I am going to suggest that it is too soon to bottle. Even if the gravity readings tell you it is done. I would leave it for at least 14 days total. 21 days if you have the patience. AFter fermentation is done, the yeast are still working - they will metabolize some of the byproducts of fermentation, which, in essence, "cleans up the beer" in terms of flavor. Also, the yeast will start to flocculate (clump together), which will cause them to drop out of suspension, leaving you with a clearer beer. This will also happen in the bottle over time, but the more yeast you let drop out before bottling, the less sediment you'll end up with in your bottles.

You can use gelatin or other finings if you really want to force the beer clear. I never do...except for some Irish moss in the boil kettle.

As for getting all the beer bottled, I just tip the bucket to get as much as possible.

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Old 11-20-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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What he said ^

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Old 11-20-2012, 06:48 PM   #4
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As JLem mentioned, finings can be used but most homebrewers that I've spoken with only use irish moss in the boil. I would let it go another week or two and if you have the capacity, cold crash (throw it in a fridge for a couple of days) before bottling. That will help it clear up too.

The extra sugar that you used will have been eaten up by your yeast, so they would add alcohol but probably dry it out a little more than what it would have otherwise been. No harm.

As for your siphon, keep the cap on the end. It will leave some in the bottom of your vessel, but if you have a helper you should be able to tip the carboy/pail to get most of the remaining liquid. Whatever is left is going to be nasty trub that you don't really want in your bottles. I usually just siphon and angle my fermenter until the siphon decides to pull some hazy nastiness into it. Then I just stop and call the rest junk.

Good luck! Sounds like you made beer and did a pretty good job at that.

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Old 11-20-2012, 06:54 PM   #5
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Cooper's ale yeast is high flocculation. So it'll settle out clear on it's own. Hard to believe Cooper'syeast fermented down that low that fast. Must've been a very healthy yeast pitch & great ferment temps.
Also,most importantly,do not just use a funnel to get the beer in bottles! Unless you like wet cardboard. Use a bottling wand. The Cooper's fermenters comme with there version called a "little bottler". It fills the bottles from the bottom up,& when removed,leaves the perfect had space,regardless of bottle size. And no oxidation. And leave the cap on the auto siphon. It'll help keep bigger bits out.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JLem View Post
Second...I am going to suggest that it is too soon to bottle. Even if the gravity readings tell you it is done. I would leave it for at least 14 days total. 21 days if you have the patience. AFter fermentation is done, the yeast are still working - they will metabolize some of the byproducts of fermentation, which, in essence, "cleans up the beer" in terms of flavor. Also, the yeast will start to flocculate (clump together), which will cause them to drop out of suspension, leaving you with a clearer beer. This will also happen in the bottle over time, but the more yeast you let drop out before bottling, the less sediment you'll end up with in your bottles.

For beers that are naturally a bit cloudy (I've got a witbier in there now), is there any reason other than visual clarity to let it sit, assuming 3 straight equal gravity readings?
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:57 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=samg;4607019]Hi guys. My first brew (Coopers Brewmaster IPA) is fermenting as we speak (5th day) and I had a few questions about bottling:

1. Currently its a bit cloudy. I plan on bottling in 2 days (pending readings), will the conditioning in the bottle clear this? Also, my father has said something about 'finings' and it making it clearer.

2. How do you siphon the whole vessel?

3. Do I use some kind of filter on the funnel I fill my bottles with? Or will the sugar help clear anything up?


#1. Let it ferment for 2 weeks. This will help give you a very clear beer to bottle. You can add finings if you like, but with most Cooper's kits it is not that essential. The extra time will also allow the sediment (trub) to compact down even more, allowing you to get more beer into the bottles.

#2. As JLem stated, gently tilt the bucket and keep the siphon inlet above to sediment.

#3. "FUNNEL" ???? Not a good idea. You will be splashing beer into your bottles and this will most likely cause oxidation to take place. Use the extra time that you have as the beer finishes in the fermenter to get a bottle filling wand. It fills the bottles from the bottom and keeps oxidation risk to a minimum..

bosco

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Old 11-20-2012, 07:23 PM   #8
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Argh! Just typed a big reply and and it lost it

I'd really like to get this bottled this week, so I can keep it in bottles for 3-4 weeks in time for Christmas consumption. Can I bottle it cloudy and it'll clear up in this time? I'd rather not add finings if I don't have to.

My syphon (http://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/...l#.UKvLpYbdfYc) has a plastic end, which I imagine is to put to the bottom of the bottle to fill from there.

We mixed the brew at about 27degrees, then the temp dropped to 26 for the next few days, now its at 22. I've upped the heating just a little to hopfully settle it on 24-25.

Once successful, I will invest in some extra bits like the bottlers you are talking about, seems it'd make the process a lot easier.

Very excited about serving my own brew to (selected!) family and friends at Christmas!

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Old 11-20-2012, 07:37 PM   #9
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27C is def too high for the average ale yeast to produce clean flavors. At that high temp,you'll likely get fusel alcohols,diecytl,etc. Getting it between 16-20C would've been better. That siphon looks like a bottling wand without the pin valve. You'd have to use the clip thing on the tube to stop the flow to go from bottle to bottle. Could get messy.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:40 PM   #10
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The instructions said upto 27 degrees, so I just followed them!

Yes, the clip is to stop flow, maybe messy, but all I've got at the minute.

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