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Orfy 08-29-2008 09:25 AM

Ignore the Instructions,. Do not bottle after 5-10 days!!!!!!
Cheap kits can have crap instructions.
They know you want quick beer so are trying to say their kit can give it to you.

Can any of you experience extract brewers supply a generic set of instructions to replace the crap put on most cans? I think it would help.

The point of this thread is if your instructions recommend bottling in 5 - 10 days then:

A. It's likely to be a poor quality kit.
B. It's likely to be poor quality instructions.
C. The beer will very probably be better for leaving it another 1-2 weeks

If you are experienced enough to know its ready to bottle at 5-10 days then go for it. Otherwise ignore the instructions.


Originally Posted by Rezilynt (Post 825378)

pre-hopped canned kits

1. Clean and sanitize all equipment being used the day of brewing. Namely, the primary fermenter (6 gallon carboy or food grade plastic bucket), airlocks and stoppers. Do this by allowing them to soak in a light bleach water solution for 20-30 minutes (do it in the bathtub). Rinse well and sanitize with an Iodophor solution (food grade Iodine…follow directions on bottle). Do not rinse, allow to air dry.

2. Put 2 gallons of clean, cold water in the primary fermenter, cover and set aside.

3. Put 2 gallons of water in the brew kettle and bring to a boil.

4. Remove from the heat and add 3 pounds of unhopped malt extract. Stir well to dissolve.

5. Return to the heat and bring slowly to a boil (watch carefully for a boil over…avoid this mess…keep an eye on it!).

6. Boil for 30 minutes, remove from heat and add the can of hopped maltextract. stir well to dissolve.

7. Shut off heat and begin to cool your wort as soon as possible in a sink or tub of cold water and/or ice.. When wort is about 75 degrees, or when wort is cool enough to mix with water to reach about 75 degrees, pour and strain the wort into your primary fermenter.

8. Pour the wort from the brew kettle into the primary fermenter that has 2 gallons of cold water waiting. Top the fermenter up to 5 gallons with clean cold water and cover immediately. When pouring the wort into the primary, aerate as much as possible. You can accomplish this by dipping a sanitized container such as a measuring cup into the wort
and pouring back into the wort. You can aslo por through a fine strainer. Create as much foam and bubbles as you can for abou ten minutes.

9. At this point, take a Hydrometer reading of the Specific Gravity by pouring a sample of the wort into the hydrometer jar and float the hydrometer in the sample. Take the reading where the level of your wort intersects on the specific gravity scale of the hydrometer. Write this reading down in your brewing notes. Do NOT return the sample of wort to
the fermenter.

10. Rehydrate the dried yeast (located under the lid of the can) in 1 cup of 80-degree, clean water for 15 Double check your temperature to be sure it is not above 80 degrees and take a hydrometer reading. Now pitch the contents of the yeast pack into the primary fermenter, cover, set-up the sanitized air lock and stopper assembly, and place the primary where it will remain around 68 degrees during fermentation.

11. At this point, your work is done for the day. Clean and sanitize your equipment and store it for the next time, sit back and watch the show.

12. Fermentation may take between 8-72 hours to begin…have patience, the yeast is going through it’s respiration cycle. Once fermentation begins, it will take approximately 5-7 days for it to complete. After 5 and 6 days take hydrometer readings. If no perceptible change in gravity occurs, fermentation is complete. If the gravity keeps reducing, wait. If you are unsure wait one more day. If you are doing a two-stage fermentation, now is the time to transfer your beer to a secondary fermenter (normally a 5 gallon glass carboy). When the transfer is complete, place the stopper and airlock in the fermenter and allow your beer to settle for 5-6 days. For better taste, you may also elect to let it sit longer. You can also choose to let your beer
sit in the primary or, if you are in a hurry you may now bottle.

13. Racking help: Insure that your secondary fermenter and “racking” assembly, (cane and tubing) have been cleaned and sanitized. If you are not using an Auto-Siphon: to get your siphon going, fill the tubing and racking cane with water. Place your thumb over the hose end, trapping the water. Insert the racking cane into the primary fermenter, which will be on the countertop and run the water off into a cup or the sink. The beer will follow the water and when it does, place the tubing
all the way to the bottom of the secondary fermenter, which will be on the floor. Avoid splashing the beer.

14. Bottling:
5 gallons of beer is 640 ounces. This requires 54-12 oz. bottles, 40-16 oz. bottles or 29-22 oz. bottles or any desired combination. Use Non-screw bottles only. Clean and sanitize them along with a matching number of caps.

15. Repeat step #9 to attain the Final Gravity reading. Subtract this reading from the Original Gravity reading and multiply by 105, this will give you the Alcohol by weight (ABW) of your beer. Multiply this number by 1.25 to attain the Alcohol of Volume (ABV).

16. In a sauce pan, bring 1 pint of water to a boil and add cup of corn sugar or 1 1/4 cups of dry malt extract (not table sugar). Boil for 3 minutes. Pour this mixture into your clean, sanitized bottling bucket.

17. Now repeat the siphoning process of your beer, from the secondary fermenter into the bottling bucket. The bottling sugar (syrup) will mix evenly throughout the beer and give you consistent carbonation in each bottle.

18. Bottle and cap immediately using the siphoning method, allowing 1-1 ” of air space in each bottle. Again, avoid splashing.

19. Store the bottled beer at room temperature, preferably in a dark area, for 10 - 21 (Suggested) days and allow to carbonate. Cool and drink!

Tips and fine-tuning:
- Try to boil and cool the largest possible volume you can manage.
- Varying the fermentation temperature will result in different
flavors. fermentinging warm (up to 72 degrees) will produce fruity,
estery qualities.
-An LCD stick-on thermometer will allow you to monitor fermentation temperatures.
-Always be sure to sanitize every piece of brewing equipment after your brew session.

Grinder12000 08-29-2008 11:11 AM

+1 on that! I have seen those instructions.

I believe anybody making beer needs to know the truth.

Chad 08-29-2008 11:46 AM

Howtobrew.com's Brewing Your First Beer with Malt Extract has a good set of instructions, including these critical quotes:

4. Leave it alone! After about 24 hours, the airlock will be bubbling steadily, the exciting evidence of fermentation. The fermentation will proceed like this for two to four days, depending on the conditions of your fermentation. The activity will decrease as most of the malt sugars are consumed by the yeast, though the yeast will continue to ferment the beer long after the bubbling diminishes. Leave the beer in the fermentor for a total of two weeks.
And later, in a more detailed section

Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring.
How to Brew should be required reading for all brewers. I'm rereading for the fourth or fifth time and am still finding new things to learn.


Mutilated1 08-29-2008 12:09 PM


Do not bottle after 5-10 days!!!!!!
If its done after 5-10 days why would you not bottle it ?

That makes no sense.

Assuming you are talking about can kits, and yes if you follow the instructions the beer will have dropped from 1.040 or so to 1.011 in 5-10 days. If the hydrometer reads the same two days in a row then its done. Oh yeah thats in the instructions too.

flyangler18 08-29-2008 12:18 PM


If its done after 5-10 days why would you not bottle it ?
Might be 'done', as in active fermentation is finished- but it won't be 'good', IMHO. Give those yeasties a chance to clean up after themselves, as indicated by Palmer in the quote above.

Mutilated1 08-29-2008 12:24 PM

It will be just as 'good' as if you let it sit there another couple of weeks, I've brewed it enough to know. More importantly I've drank enough of it to know.

JustDave 08-29-2008 12:31 PM


flyangler18 08-29-2008 12:34 PM

Then why not just leave it in the primary for bulk conditioning? I would suspect that bulk aging in primary would be more effective because the yeast is 'forced' to consume the by-products before flocculating out. When you bottle, their attention is focused on consuming the priming sugar. Just thinking out loud.

schneemann 08-29-2008 12:55 PM


Can it result in drinkable beer if primary fermentation is done and hydrometer readings are consistent? Sure.

Does it hurt anything to wait and let the yeasties clean up after themselves? Nope.

This is the biggest lesson I've learned - just sit back and be patient.

Zymurgrafi 08-29-2008 01:01 PM

JustDave the 10der and mild swap is an experiment/challenge really and not a beginning brew session, likewise it won't be bottle conditioned. Plus the fact that a mild is a very low gravity beer. The yeast has a lot less work to do then in other beers thus less time. That being said, I am even a little apprehensive about it as I ussually let all my beers sit 3 weeks in the intital vessel. Perhaps only 10-14 for a mild or something similar. Then I let it cold condtion for a few more weeks.

Orfy's point I believe is that the kits and even some beginner books lead people to believe a decent beer can be made in a short time. Course these kits also recommend many times using up to 1/2 simple sugars for your fermentables. :cross:

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