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Old 12-18-2006, 05:25 PM   #1
Adam's Apples
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Default Priming and other things

Well, my first batch is in several glass secondaries now. No airlock activity, so just a case of waiting for them to clear.

Couple of things I should really find out before I bottle, if anybody has any advice:

- Do I have to put priming sugar in each bottle, or can I put the whole lot into my fermenting bin, syphon onto this and then bottle? Would I have an even carbonation through all bottles if I did this? What do you guys find works best?

- As I said, fermentation is well and truly finished. Do you chaps leave in secondary for, say, 2 weeks every brew, or do you just go by how the brew looks? It's clearing up nicely and I think it may be clear before 2 weeks is up, but I want to be sure there are no disadvantages to bottling it earlier.. I guess you will probably say this differs beer to beer, but I just thought I'd get your opinion.

- I will be using my auto syphon to bottle, which worked a treat when racking to secondary, but I think stopping and starting this between each bottle may be tricky. Do you guys use a clothes peg or something to stop the flow? What do you find works?

I have tasted the bitter already and I love it, so I'm thinking after a week or two in the bottle it's gonna be delicious. (Well, my lager lout mates may not think so, but I'm sure I will!)

I guess the one advantage of having the brew in several secondaries would be that I could experiment with how long I leave the brew to clear and stagger the batches I bottle. On the down side I know there will be more sediment overall, probably. But that's ok, I will still have plenty to drink!

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Old 12-18-2006, 11:53 PM   #2
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1) Yes you are supposed to move you beer into the bottling bucket before you bottle, and that is where most people will add extract or whatever they use to carb the bottles. You will get even carb. if you do this, just make sure you stir, but slowly so as not to let in air.

2) Some people like to use a secodary, some don't, but I say go for it, I like it, and in my limited experience it has all turned out well. Most people just follow the 1-2-3 rule, but if you wanted to bottle earlier, go for it.

3)For bottling, use a bottle wand, I have one and it is unbelievable. I think that it is a necessity to get, because all you do is press down at the bottom of you bottle, and out comes the beer. Also, if you fill all the way to the top, then remove the wand, it leaves the perfect amount of space for carbination to take place.

Sounds like everything is going great so far, and good luck with the rest of your brewing!

Cheers!
-Matt

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Old 12-19-2006, 06:45 AM   #3
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Cheers matt.

A bottling wand will be on my xmas list now.


Nice one.

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Old 12-19-2006, 11:57 AM   #4
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Bottling wand is definitely a must... I'd bet there is 500% less mess (for the average brewer) with a wand as compared to pinching the hose off or something.

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Old 12-19-2006, 12:22 PM   #5
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Yeah the wands are great and very inexpensive.

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Old 12-19-2006, 12:35 PM   #6
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It is possible to prime directly into the bottles but it requires some math and it takes a lot longer than priming into a bucket. Some people use coopers drops with no problems, but I can't seem to get them locally so I haven't tried them.

I would definitely invest in a racking cane. It fills the bottle when it touches the bottom and when you withdraw the cane the beer stops flowing. (Mine does drip a little, but not badly) It saves a ton of time and screwing around.

When ferm is done, you can leave it in for a week or more I suppose. I usually do about 5 days to clear, depending on what I am brewing. But it rarely clears completely unless you add fining agents or filter it. So dont expect crystal clear beer.

I suppose if you have them in smaller secondary vessels (seperate vessels I assume) then you could bottle in stages, but be aware that leaving them in secondary for too long may cause some funny flavors from what I am told. I haven't tried it, so can't say for sure. I am always too impatient and bottle up at about day 14 or 15.

Let us know how it all turns out!

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Old 12-19-2006, 12:38 PM   #7
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While we're on priming questions:
1) Do you normally take FG before you put into the bottling bucket with piming sugar?

2) If I were to have done the opposite, how 'off' is my FG readings?

3) Am I an idiot for doing #2?

Oh yeah...a bottling wand is like $2. Don't waste a valuable xmas gift (like more carboys!) on something like that...just go get it.

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Old 12-19-2006, 04:22 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice all.

I was just gonna leave in the secondaries for 2 weeks, to give the brew as much chance to clear as poss.

How long would the brew generally have to be left in secondary before any 'off' flavours developed? I definately want to avoid this!

Cheers

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Old 12-19-2006, 05:36 PM   #9
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If you are using a glass secondary (plastic may be risky as some oxygen may get through over a long period of time) and did a clean transfer from the primary you can leave the beer in there for probably 4 weeks - 6 weeks easy with no worries. Probably even 8, who knows. Maybe even longer for bigger beers that need aged longer anyway, but I don't want to speak to this b/c I don't make many 'big' beers (1.075-1.100 OGs) yet.

I mean, the beer generally takes 6 weeks to be ready anyway (1-2-3 rule) and even sometimes then its still 'green'. I don't see why if you racked to secondary after 1 week, you couldn't leave it in the secondary for 1-2 months before bottling.

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