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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First Time Batch Racking Questions
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:46 PM   #1
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Default First Time Batch Racking Questions

Alright, I'm getting pretty close to moving my first batch from plastic primary to glass secondary and I've got a few questions:

1. In the beginning, I used B-Brite sanitizer which was a no-rinse powder that came with my kit. I ran out of that, so for this step I will be using a bleach solution. How much do you have to rinse in order to avoid funky bleach smells or tastes in the beer?

2. Is it necessary for all fermentation to be complete before moving to a glass carboy with an airlock on top? I didn't know if moving it would affect whatever yeast activity is still going on. It's an ale and has been in the primary since last Monday night and had activity starting pretty quickly. I just checked and there's a small bubbling in the airlock about every 45 seconds. I just bought a hydrometer on Saturday, but haven' used it yet.

3. When using my hydrometer with a flask, what is the best method to get a sample and how worried do I have to be about letting air into the brew.


Thanks for your help!!

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Old 10-08-2007, 06:02 PM   #2
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1. Basically you want to rinse until you can't smell the bleach anymore.

2. I personally like to wait until fermentation is complete before racking to secondary. The hydrometer is the best way to see if this is the case. Check today and then check 2 days from now. If the reading is the same and in a good FG range, fermentation is complete. Bubbling really isn't a good indication of activity because CO2 will off-gas from the beer as well.

3. I bought a wine thief for taking my samples. Before I had that I had purchased a new turkey baster which worked quite well. As long as you don't stir the brew while taking the sample you don't really need to worry about introducing oxygen.

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Old 10-08-2007, 06:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for your help...I have taken a sample and it measured 1.020. The original gravity one the recipe was 1.045. Am I looking for a some correlation in those numbers or am I just looking for the current measurement to stay constant? Other than that, the batch is looking great and smelling better!!

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Old 10-08-2007, 06:54 PM   #4
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1.020 is pretty high for a 1.045 OG, I would give it a few more days at least. If the measurement stayed constant that high I would think the yeast flocculated early and you would need to rouse them. Check it again in 2 days, I think you'll find it has dropped more.

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Old 10-08-2007, 11:45 PM   #5
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usually your final gravity is 1/4 your starting gravity, so this isn't done yet.

I highly recommend star-san, a no rinse sanitizer, instead of bleach, which you must rinse several times to remove.

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Old 10-09-2007, 02:50 AM   #6
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Ok, thanks for your help. And if it doesn't change in a couple of days, should I add more yeast or is there something I should do to get this yeast workin'?

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Old 10-09-2007, 02:54 AM   #7
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How long has it been in primary? If it's been over a week and it still doesn't drop, you can add more yeast. Do you have the recipe?

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Old 10-09-2007, 04:26 AM   #8
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Usually just swirling the fermenter is enough. There are tons of yeast in there already, they've just dropped out. Swirling it gets a bunch of them back into suspension. If that doesn't have a change after another 2 days you can pitch more yeast if you want.

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Old 10-09-2007, 05:00 AM   #9
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Thanks for your input, Brad and Prof. I got it as a kit at my lhbs...its a Frog & Hound Pub Ale clone. I followed the instructions with the kit, I don't really know how to format this but here's the info.:

Orig. Grav: 1.045
Bitternes: 35
6.6 lbs LME (added after bittering hop boil)
8 oz. Muntons Crystal 60 (taken out of pot after boil starts)
Bittering - Target 6aau. (boiled for first 30 min)
Flavor - Willamette 1 oz. (boiled for last 15 min)

Nottingham Dry Ale Yeast (Pitched last Monday night at around 78F, no starter)

It's been at about 70 degrees since then.

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Old 10-09-2007, 05:14 AM   #10
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Nottingham is definitely not done yet at 1.020, it attenuates much better than that. Give the primary a swirl and leave it be for a couple more days.

Oh and the crystal 60 (or any grain) you don't want to boil those. Hold them at around 150F for 30 minutes, remove them and then take the wort up to a boil. You will extract unwanted flavours from the husks if you boil the grains.

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