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Old 01-25-2009, 02:03 AM   #1
LifeBeginsFriday
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Default First Partial Mash? I think.

Hey.. Just thought I'd get on and mention I'm in the middle of my first partial... at least I think. Its a red red ale kit - had to steep the grains and what not.. let me know if I'm wrong.. anyway I plan to use a bunch of bottles I've been saving planning on this.. anyone have any suggestions on getting the old stickers off? The other thing is the beginner kit I bought came with a primary 6.5 gal bucket and a 5 gal bottling bucket... am I correct in saying that I can use the 5 gal bottling as a secondary? food grade is food grade correct?.. thanks for any suggestions or info.

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Old 01-25-2009, 02:06 AM   #2
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Hey.. Just thought I'd get on and mention I'm in the middle of my first partial... at least I think. Its a red red ale kit - had to steep the grains and what not.. let me know if I'm wrong.. anyway I plan to use a bunch of bottles I've been saving planning on this.. anyone have any suggestions on getting the old stickers off? The other thing is the beginner kit I bought came with a primary 6.5 gal bucket and a 5 gal bottling bucket... am I correct in saying that I can use the 5 gal bottling as a secondary? food grade is food grade correct?.. thanks for any suggestions or info.
Sounds good to me! If you post the recipe, we can see if you've got a partial mash recipe, or an extract recipe with steeping grains.

For bottles, I like to soak them a couple of hours in a tub in oxyclean. Rinse well, and those labels seem to slide right off. A few are stubborn, but Sam Adams bottles labels come off easily!

I wouldn't use the bottling bucket as a secondary. Because, then what are you going to do when you want to bottle? Your bottling bucket is full of beer! I'd leave it in the 6.5 gallon bucket until you're ready to bottle (about three weeks) and then rack it to the bottling bucket. Just leave the trub and other stuff behind, and you'll be all set!
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:12 AM   #3
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thanks for the quick reply - well what I was thinking is that both buckets have bottom drains, so I can just rack back to the primary for bottling.. the other kit they offered came with a secondary - it was a 5 gal better bottle.. I believe... so what would be the difference.

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Old 01-25-2009, 12:30 PM   #4
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The better bottle would have less surface area for air than a second ale pail. In 2ndary, you don't want or need all that room. In primary you have krausen, which will take up the extra room pretty quick, and leave a protective layer of CO2 on top of your beer. In 2ndary, the protective blanket is minimized, the room for krausen is not needed and less surface area is desirable. In short, the 5 gallon better bottle would be a better option than another ale pail. I'm with yooper though, just primary for 3 weeks and you should have pretty clear beer. 2ndary can be misleading, it's not really 2ndary fermentation, it's a clearing vessel, not a fermentation vessel.

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Old 01-25-2009, 12:41 PM   #5
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For a red ale, there's no real reason for a secondary at all. Just keep it in the primary for 3-5 weeks, and you'll have all the benefits (and more) of two separate stages.

In a nut shell, keeping the beer on the yeast cake after fermentation is complete (ie: leaving it in the primary) allows the yeast to reabsorb undesirable compounds, thus leaving you with a cleaner and more refined brew.

In general, I only use a secondary for fruit brews, dry hopped brews, and high OG brews that can benefit from additional conditioning. Otherwise, you're better served keeping it in the primary for an extended period.

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