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Old 10-30-2010, 08:44 PM   #1
BostonJ
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Default Question on Brewer's Best Kit

Just got a Pumpkin Spice Porter Kit. It says let it ferment for 6 days then bottle. That doesn't seem right. I planned on it going into the first fermenter for 6 days, then a secondary for two weeks, then bottling and waiting an additional two weeks before sampling. Your thoughts?



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Old 10-30-2010, 08:50 PM   #2
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I say both ideas are not optimal. Leave it in primary a month, then bottle and wait 3-4 weeks before sampling.

What those instruction usually leave out is the use of a hydrometer to PROVE that fermentation has indeed stopped in 7-10 days.

As most of us now realize, if fermentation can sometimes take 3 days to even begin, there is a high likely hood that it is not really done on the 7th day (come one we KNOW that the inexperience brewer will read 7-10 days and do it on the 7th, I did my first time, it's human nature.)

The kit and kilo or basic kit manufacturers are banking on the fact that they only have a limited window of sales to an individual before he/she moves on to the next step of brewing, either trying recipes in books or online, or going all grain. So the bank on 2-3 sales per new brewer before they discover how to brew beer better.

Also as you ALL know, as you became more experienced, this is a hobby about patience, but in this quick trunover society retailers know that something that takes time, would be less popular than something with a quick turn around time...So they know that even though the beer would be better if they told the n00b to wait even a week further, they want to make this hobby as "pain free" as possible....

They're not technically lying, IF the yeast takes hold within a few hours and finishes in a week, you can bottle a lower to moderate gravity beer in 10 days, as Orfy's 10 for 10 milds proves. They just leave off the fact that waiting even a week more makes for better beer.

If you've noticed, it's mostly the kit and kilo, brew in a bag or mr beer type kits that say to do it quickly. The better kit manufacturers usually tell you to wait, as well as suggest to use a hydrometer. I've noticed the the Norther Brewer Catalog gives the most accurate range of their beers based on gravity and style. They will say, for example, "primary for 14 days, secondary 3-6 months, bottle condition another 6" for a higer grav beer.

We have multiple threads about this all over the place, like this one http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ignore-instructions-do-not-bottle-after-5-10-days-78298/

You'll find that more and more recipes these days do not advocate moving to a secondary at all, but mention primary for a month, which is starting to reflect the shift in brewing culture that has occurred in the last 4 years, MOSTLY because of many of us on here, skipping secondary, opting for longer primaries, and writing about it. Recipes in BYO have begun stating that in their magazine. I remember the "scandal" it caused i the letters to the editor's section a month later, it was just like how it was here when we began discussing it, except a lot more civil than it was here. But after the Byo/Basic brewing experiment, they started reflecting it in their recipes.

Where fermentation is concerned, If you arbitrarily move your beer, like to follow the silly 1-2-3 rule (or instructions that say move after a week or when bubbles slow down), you will often interrupt fermentation. Because sometimes the yeast won't even begin to ferment your beer until 72 hours after yeast pitch, so if you rush the beer off the yeast on day 7 then you are only allowing the yeast a few days to work. The problem is that yeast don't know how to read so they seldom follow the instructions. They dance to their own tune and its seldom 4 x 4 Time.

This often leads to stuck fermentation because you have removed the beer from the very stuff you need to ferment your beer. The yeast....It can often lead to the same off flavors one gets if they undrpitch their yeast.

Besides, fermenting the beer is just a part of what the yeast do. If you leave the beer alone, they will go back and clean up the byproducts of fermentation that often lead to off flavors. That's why many brewers skip secondary and leave our beers alone in primary for a month. It leaves plenty of time for the yeast to ferment, clean up after themselves and then fall out, leveing our beers crystal clear, with a tight yeast cake.

Additionally I have found that my pumpkin ales need 4-8 weeks before they are carbed and drinkable.



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Old 10-30-2010, 09:00 PM   #3
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That was very informative, thank you

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Old 10-30-2010, 09:08 PM   #4
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After a 4 week primary can I siphon straight to a keg, charge, cool and drink in how many days?

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Old 10-30-2010, 09:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwaite37 View Post
After a 4 week primary can I siphon straight to a keg, charge, cool and drink in how many days?
Well many experienced brewers who keg, still let their beers condition. Since you are kegging you could probably start drinking it in 2-3 weeks. And yes after 4 weeks you rack directly to keg.
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Well many experienced brewers who keg, still let their beers condition. Since you are kegging you could probably start drinking it in 2-3 weeks. And yes after 4 weeks you rack directly to keg.
Does the keg conditioning need to happen at 70 degrees like with the bottles? Or should it go directly into the kegerator?


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