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Old 01-22-2013, 03:52 AM   #1
Pelican521
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Default Just racked to secondary-notes and questions

Hi all, I just got around to racking my clone of Fullers ESB tonight. For the most part it went very smoothly.

My kit's instructions said to keep in primary for 7 days, rack to secondary, dryhop then keep in secondary for 2-3 weeks.

The kit used Wyeast 1968 London ESB ale and since I'm cheap and keep my house on the cooler side (62F) I kept it in the primary for 8 days (I did wrap a heating pad around it which helped keep it a bit warmer).

Here are a few things I noticed tonight as I racked it: I was amazed on how clear it was, with a great looking amber color. It smelled great but I thought it tasted a bit on the light side (but still tasty).

FG is supposed to be 1.013-1.014. I took a few readings, one in the bucket and another in my theif. I think the more accurate reading came from the bucket since the hydro keep sticking to the side of the theif. Anyway, it was lower than called for around 1.010 to 1.012 (to average the two readings).

So my questions are: will dryhopping add more body to it and bring up my FG reading? Or will my bottling sugar bring it up to the correct FG?

Lastly, the kit says 2-3 weeks in secondary. So should I keep it for 2 or 3 and when should I dryhop? I read on someone's post they like to dryhop 5-7 days before bottling so I can keep it in the secondary 2 weeks, dry for a week and then package. Does that sound right?

Sorry for such a long post, just excited I guess!

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Old 01-22-2013, 04:15 AM   #2
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FG isn't that off. Maybe you used a little extra water? Also you really won't be able to tell if the beer is light or not until it is carbonated. IMHO all beers big and small taste light in some ways until carbonated. I usually dry hop for 5 days and it does a good job.

Excitement is the best part, but don't let it make you jump the gun and rush your beer. Follow the directions.

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Pelican521 View Post
So my questions are: will dryhopping add more body to it and bring up my FG reading? Or will my bottling sugar bring it up to the correct FG?

Lastly, the kit says 2-3 weeks in secondary. So should I keep it for 2 or 3 and when should I dryhop? I read on someone's post they like to dryhop 5-7 days before bottling so I can keep it in the secondary 2 weeks, dry for a week and then package. Does that sound right?

Sorry for such a long post, just excited I guess!
Dry hopping won't give it anymore body. It will give it a great hop aroma. Some argue that it increases perceived bitterness. I'd leave it on the dry hops for about 10 days. I wouldn't go the full term in the secondary. You tend to get a grassy taste when you leave it on the hops for an extended period of time.

Don't worry about a couple points on your finishing gravity. As long as it is reached terminal gravity you should be fine.

You are on the right track though! Good luck and happy brewing.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:29 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. So do u think it will turn out better if i go 2 or 3 weeks in the secondary? Either way, I'll plan on 5 days for dryhopping.

I don't mind waiting, if the outcome will be better...

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Old 01-22-2013, 03:14 PM   #5
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Dry hopping won't give it anymore body. It will give it a great hop aroma. Some argue that it increases perceived bitterness. I'd leave it on the dry hops for about 10 days. I wouldn't go the full term in the secondary. You tend to get a grassy taste when you leave it on the hops for an extended period of time.
I personally feel that some dry hops can give the illusion of more body, while others do just the opposite. Amarrillo is a hop the I think gives the illusion of a little more body. Simcoe, seems to dry a beer out a little. Now I'm not talking big affects.

5-10 days is a pretty typical dry hopping schedule. Leaving dry hops in too long can increase the bitterness - again this is variety dependent. Hops also have polyphenols in them that can increase the perceived bitterness (some hops have more of these than others). It is similar but different from the bitterness derived from the Alpha acids (which contribute nothing when dry hopped). The result is the beer tastes more bitter than the calculated (or measured) IBUs would indicate
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