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Old 02-11-2010, 07:40 PM   #1
wawawrx
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Default I want to have a mini pipeline; fermenting time questions

I've searched this, along with "time in the secondary" and so forth, but i still have a valid question. I have 2 PET BB's, and i think i'm going to get into brewing head on (note: first batch is going to be this weekend), so i was wondering if this would be a safe pipeline.

Brew batch 1; 1st fermenter, 10 days; rack to 2nd for 2 weeks; bottle
immediately brew 2nd batch; 1st fermenter 2 weeks, rack to 2nd for 2 weeks... and so on.

so my question is, is it alright to have equal amounts of time for the beer in the 1st fermenter as the clearing stage (for example, the 2nd batch)? or is the whole point of the clearing to be longer than the fermentation?

aside: bottling will be 3+ weeks as well.

thanks in advance all.

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Old 02-11-2010, 08:13 PM   #2
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Sometimes fermentation needs more (or less) than 10 days, especially with higher alcohol content beers. You may not need to secondary your beers unless you are planning to dry hop or rack on fruit or something else. So, with two bottles, you should be able to operate them separately as primary fermenters simultaneous (as your recipes permit).

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Old 02-11-2010, 08:13 PM   #3
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it's really hard to put a time scale on different beers. in general, 10 days to 2 weeks should be sufficient for primary, but that totally depends on many factors. some people like to leave it in the primary for 3-4 weeks (even longer in some cases) and then bottle from there. you want to make sure your beer is done fermenting (with gravity readings) and then give it a few extra days. after that, you should be good to go into a secondary vessel if you wish. as far as how long to keep it in the secondary, again it depends. 2 weeks in general should be fine, but you might as well just leave it in the primary longer and put the second brew in the second better bottle... just my opinion, but doing a secondary isn't really necessary unless you really want to get it off the yeast (not necessary) or age it for a long while.

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Old 02-11-2010, 08:19 PM   #4
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well i might as well list the two brews (both are extract kits):

American Cream Extract Hombrew Beer Brewing Ingredient Kit (Learn to Brew)
I will do this one first. Reason being, it's a lower ABV and a lighter beer than my second planned beer. i was thinking of racking to the 2nd bottle because since it's a lighter beer, i want it to be as clear as can be. so this is why i assume 7-10 days will suffice (although i'm pretty much guessing) in the fermenter

The second, will be a Belgian Dubbel (AIH recipe)
From what i've read, i'm guessing this will take longer. i don't know much about this beer, or the instructions (haven't received it yet), so any advice/experience with this would be welcome

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Old 02-11-2010, 08:46 PM   #5
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I do not use a secondary. Most beers take about 10 - 14 days to ferment in the primary and then they are fully ready to bottle. Some beers are ready in less time like 5-7 days. Some take a bit longer like 2-3 weeks. But most are done in 10-14 days. You can tell it's done when the yeast flocculate and the beer looks clear.

I don't see the advantage of leaving it in the fermenter (primary or secondary) for extended periods of time. But lots of people do that and claim it makes a difference.

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Old 02-11-2010, 08:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7 View Post
You can tell it's done when the yeast flocculate and the beer looks clear.
.

one thing i've gathered is that the hydrometer knows all. are you saying otherwise
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wawawrx View Post
one thing i've gathered is that the hydrometer knows all. are you saying otherwise

Hydrometer be damned! When the yeast are done working it's very hard to get them back going again. So if your yeast floc out before you've reached the FG that you were aiming for you've got a problem that may be very hard to fix. Go ahead and take a hydro reading but when the yeast floc out it's pretty much done.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7 View Post
Hydrometer be damned! When the yeast are done working it's very hard to get them back going again. So if your yeast floc out before you've reached the FG that you were aiming for you've got a problem that may be very hard to fix. Go ahead and take a hydro reading but when the yeast floc out it's pretty much done.
time for the ubernoober questions:

1 floc out... what exactly does that mean? (i get the concept)
2 how do i know when it's happened?
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wawawrx View Post
time for the ubernoober questions:

1 floc out... what exactly does that mean? (i get the concept)
2 how do i know when it's happened?
1 flocculation is when the yeast drop down to the bottom. This means they are done fermenting.
2 It much easier to see with a clear fermenter like a glass carboy or a better bottle. But the beer will look clearer and darker in color. You will not see yeast floating at the top or swimming around in the liquid. Some yeast floc quickly like English strains. Some take forever to fully flocculate like Hefeweizen yeast. Those that floc quick do not attenuate as well as those that take more time.

I've made many batches without using a hydrometer. Once you get the hang of it you can just watch your yeast and know when they are done.

Lastly, temp control can greatly effect your yeast and if they get cold they will flocculate. Premature flocculation is not good and can lead to an under attenuated beer or a stuck fermentation. Once they fall down, it's hard to get it back up again. (That's what she said )
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:06 PM   #10
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sounds easy enough; first will be that American Cream ale extract, which is lighter in color, so i should be able to tell relatively easy. granted, i'm going to use the hydro for good practice, i don't plan on racking to a seconday unless it's very very cloudy for some reason after 2.5+ weeks; but we'll see. i'm hesitant as to whether or not i should brew up the Dubbel right away, or wait until i've bottled and conditioned the first batch in full

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