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Old 01-20-2013, 05:07 PM   #11
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I've changed my mantra of the three week bit a few months ago through observation & my notes. Long story short,I check the gravity at 2 weeks in primary to see where It's at & how long it might need to finish. When FG is stable 3-7 days to clean up & settle out clear or slightly misty. Then bottle for 3-4 weeks at 70 or a bit better. Then at least one week frisge time for decent carbonation & head. Two weeks for thicker head & longer lasting carbonation. Also,chill haze comes up as soon as the beer cools down. It can take 5 days or more to settle out like a fog. Fridge time also compacts the trub on the bottom of the bottle if given adequate time.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:34 AM   #12
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I've changed my mantra of the three week bit a few months ago through observation & my notes. Long story short,I check the gravity at 2 weeks in primary to see where It's at & how long it might need to finish. When FG is stable 3-7 days to clean up & settle out clear or slightly misty. Then bottle for 3-4 weeks at 70 or a bit better. Then at least one week frisge time for decent carbonation & head. Two weeks for thicker head & longer lasting carbonation. Also,chill haze comes up as soon as the beer cools down. It can take 5 days or more to settle out like a fog. Fridge time also compacts the trub on the bottom of the bottle if given adequate time.

So if you're checking gravity at two weeks, couple to three days to ascertain a stable measurement, 3 - 7 days to clean and clear you're going closer to 4 weeks primary a lot of the time?
I end up 4-5 weeks in primary quite often but that's more down to suddenly having something else I need to do on a weekend I'd planned to bottle.

But yeah, I still think that, assuming no stalled fermentation or any other major problem, three weeks primary is a good objective to aim for, for someone in the beginning stages of their brewing career, as impatience can get the better of you.

Some of the really experienced/practiced brewers on here can turn a well brewed beer out for bottling or kegging after 10-14 days, but they are pitching substantial yeast starters and keeping flawlessly controlled fermentation temps down to a fine art. Something that not many new brewers fully realize the importance of or have the means to achieve.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:53 AM   #13
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Ive just tried a bottle and its bubbly, a bit sweeter than I expected and also a little thinner, almost like ive watered it down with a cider... could this be because of carbination drops? It tasted much better before i bottled... I used 2 per 740ml bottle as on the instructions. Will this change over time? I bottled exactly 2 weeks ago after gravity remained same over 3 days... very disappointed!! :/

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Old 02-05-2013, 10:09 AM   #14
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Ive just tried a bottle and its bubbly, a bit sweeter than I expected and also a little thinner, almost like ive watered it down with a cider... could this be because of carbination drops? It tasted much better before i bottled... I used 2 per 740ml bottle as on the instructions. Will this change over time? I bottled exactly 2 weeks ago after gravity remained same over 3 days... very disappointed!! :/

Mate, you only brewed this batch back on January 15th, right??

As I tried to express earlier this beer would definitely benefit from, at least, a three week primary. It's estimated (from your ingredients list) starting gravity was something like 1.085 and you only used 14g of the Cooper's yeast (not even sure how well that'd handle such a high gravity brew, and Extract stout kits are a pretty intense load of malts for the yeast to try and consume) so, if any weird by products were produced from the overworked and stressed yeast, having the brew in primary for three weeks would have allowed for a bit of a cleanup/conditioning phase. By the way. What was the Final Gravity, before you bottled?

Looks like you went a bit over one week primary and have done two weeks in bottles, so far. Being as it's probably quite a high ABV% AND a VERY STOUT stout, I'd expect it to take even longer to really mature, to the best it possibly could. If you are storing the bottles at about 70*F, 20*C, you'll get it carbed/conditioned eventually. Just keep on putting a bottle in the fridge, for a few days to a week, every week until it seems the batch is fully carbed, then chuck however many you want to in to chill/cold condition. Just remember though, just because they are carbed doesn't necessarily mean they are anywhere near their prime. The "Watered down with cider" flavour you describe suggests very "green", as in nowhere near peak condition or fully matured, beer.

Personally, I'd leave this batch for a good long while and brew up a couple of lower gravity, quicker to ferment and condition, batches so that I could be drinking decent beer soon and then enjoying the black stuff after a suitable amount of conditioning time.

Best of luck
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:02 PM   #15
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1.022 was the FG. I read on the coopers website that the chance of infection is a lot higher once primary fermentation is complete but shouldve listened to you. I also read that cidery taste & bubbles can sometimes be due to sanitation or over priming bottles but i couldnt of been more careful... one other thing i read was if temp is too high at start of fermentation? What do you find works best as far as sanitising? It tastes kinda ok when its flat! Hopefully a few more weeks in the shed will fix it otherwise i'll definately have another crack at it, recipe has a lot of potential with possibly a few changes.. i started a light german bock nearly 2 weeks ago, would this be better left in primary for 3 weeks aswell? I just threw in 2 x 1.7kg Thomas Coopers Heritage Lager and 2 x 500g Coopers Light Dry Malt

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Old 02-06-2013, 02:47 PM   #16
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So if you're checking gravity at two weeks, couple to three days to ascertain a stable measurement, 3 - 7 days to clean and clear you're going closer to 4 weeks primary a lot of the time?
I end up 4-5 weeks in primary quite often but that's more down to suddenly having something else I need to do on a weekend I'd planned to bottle.

But yeah, I still think that, assuming no stalled fermentation or any other major problem, three weeks primary is a good objective to aim for, for someone in the beginning stages of their brewing career, as impatience can get the better of you.

Some of the really experienced/practiced brewers on here can turn a well brewed beer out for bottling or kegging after 10-14 days, but they are pitching substantial yeast starters and keeping flawlessly controlled fermentation temps down to a fine art. Something that not many new brewers fully realize the importance of or have the means to achieve.
I usually check at two weeks with the 3rd for clean up & settling out. This last one needed another week. It goes that way sometimes with yeast. They have there own timetable. I'm still trying to get some accurate temp control going but just don't have the money for small fridges,controllers,etc. I just do what I can.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:31 AM   #17
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1.022 was the FG.
That's not bad at all!!!! The figures that came out of hopville/beer calculus were 1.085 OG and 1.021 FG so near enough bang on target.


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I read on the coopers website that the chance of infection is a lot higher once primary fermentation is complete.
Usually after primary the beer has a high enough alcohol content to keep risks of infection to a minimum, BUT, racking to an insufficiently sanitized secondary, or one with too much head-space and the risk percentile probably increases.

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I also read that cidery taste & bubbles can sometimes be due to sanitation or over priming bottles
True in some ways. Just the fact that the beer is still a bit young/immature/green can give it a cidery taste. It could be that the priming sugar hasn't been totally converted into CO2 and alcohol. It could be that acetaldehyde formed during the initial fermentation, due to lack of control and higher temps, hasn't been consumed by the yeast (as the beer didn't stay in primary long enough for the yeast to do its job). Could be a sanitizing issue but you said "but i couldnt of been more careful..." so maybe not. Not sure what you mean about the bubbles. Carbonation of the beer means there are bubbles of CO2 in your beer. If you put the beer in the fridge for a few days, or longer is even better, the bubbles of CO2 get absorbed into solution, are more compressed, produce a better, more dense, longer lasting head and continue to rise from the bottom of the glass until the glass has been drained. If the beer hasn't been chilled for a decent enough length of time the bubbles of CO2 escape faster and seem bigger. Head generally dies really fast after pouring.

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one other thing i read was if temp is too high at start of fermentation?
Definitely not a good thing. Ideally you want to pitch your hydrated yeast or yeast starter into the wort, with their relative temps being within about 2 to 4 degrees centigrade of each other, as low as reasonably possible. With my ales I've been pitching somewhere around 17*C to 19*C, putting the fermenters into my brew room in swamp coolers and usually by next morning they are sitting around 14*C or thereabouts. Most of the time they take off pretty quickly and I just leave them until they get through the initial vigorous phase then, as the temp starts to drop after the extreme yeast activity, start warming them up to a max of about 24*C over the next couple of weeks.

It's generally better/easier to pitch at a cooler temp, warm up the brew and help the yeast get started than to have it too warm, producing off flavours and weird compounds then drop the temps and put the yeast to sleep.


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What do you find works best as far as sanitising?
I soak everything in Oxyclean, rinse religiously and fanatically with hot tap water then soak, spray, fill with starsan solution of a dilution ratio 1 Oz : 5 (US) gallons

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It tastes kinda ok when its flat!
Again, that might be because it hasn't been chilled enough for the CO2 to be properly absorbed, or it might just be that you were expecting it to turn out more like a Nitro'd Guinness that are silky smooth and creamy. Not going to happen BUT I've had some of my stouts that had been aging for six months, and more, that were pretty bloody smooth in the carbonation department, probably down to being in the fridge for weeks if not months.


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Hopefully a few more weeks in the shed will fix it otherwise i'll definately have another crack at it, recipe has a lot of potential with possibly a few changes.
Yep, time will probably allow certain processes to complete that might well have it turning into something you'll be pretty pleased with. If my calculation is correct I reckon you've got a beer with an ABV of somewhere from 8.25% to 8.5%, and that should take a good long while to mature and for the flavours to mellow/meld. Whether or not the Cooper's yeast you used will be up to the job, of re-fermenting/carbonating it, I'm not sure.

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i started a light german bock nearly 2 weeks ago, would this be better left in primary for 3 weeks aswell? I just threw in 2 x 1.7kg Thomas Coopers Heritage Lager and 2 x 500g Coopers Light Dry Malt
Yes, I emphatically implore you to let the yeast do their thing for at least three weeks on this one It's still a pretty heavy brew, with that amount of fermentibles, if you're doing it at 23 litres.

So, to summarize and hopefully get you a perfect start out of the gate on your next brew, make sure you have enough, decent yeast. Hydrate it if it's a dried yeast. Pitch when the wort and hydrated yeast are within a couple of degrees C of each other, preferably at or below 20*C. Have a means to keep the brew cool and near the bottom of the preferred temperature range of the yeast you use. GIVE IT TIME Both in the fermenter and after bottling. Be fanatical about cleaning and sanitizing.

Also, try to put your recipe, list of ingredients, into some sort of recipe calculator as that will give you an idea of how the malty sweetness is, or needs to be, balanced out by the addition of hops. I reckon your stout brew could have done with a bit of extra hopping to counteract the sweetness.

These are both free to use, have to download and install the one on thescrewybrewer.com but it is particularly good for calculating recipes using Cooper's kit cans, as well as other kit can stuff.

http://www.thescrewybrewer.com/2010/...alculator.html

http://beercalculus.hopville.com/recipe


By the way, the first thing that saw me getting a real positive improvement in my beer was using a swamp cooler to keep ferm temps lower and more constant.

and happy brewing.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:37 AM   #18
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I usually check at two weeks with the 3rd for clean up & settling out. This last one needed another week. It goes that way sometimes with yeast. They have there own timetable. I'm still trying to get some accurate temp control going but just don't have the money for small fridges,controllers,etc. I just do what I can.
You and me both, mate.

Still just using a swamp cooler set-up with adjustable temp, electric blanket under and wrapped around the SC. An old duvet over the top for insulation, Check them mornings before work and when I get back at night. Bottles of frozen water in the warmer months. Would love a slightly more high tech and accurate set-up eventually but the above works pretty well except for when the real humid, hot summer hits, from Mid June to end of September.
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