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Old 12-05-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
wdogg311
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Default Ready by cristmas???

Hi everyone, long time lurker, and today was my first brew day.

I brewed a 60-shilling scottish ale (mini-mash) from AHB. I sanitized like a madman, and brew day went well. I have my wort in a primary today with an OG of 1.050. I know that the only way to tell if it is done fermenting is by getting hydro reading that are the same over a course of a few days. I have no plans to check for about 10-14 days.

Ideally i would like to be able to have this brew available for xmas eve. I have a bottling set up ready to go, but i understand that may take awhile longer than I would like. I am working on a keezer ( but it wont be ready by xmas), but if I was to use a corny and force carbonate would it be ready to drink by xmas?

Thanks in advance
Wes

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Old 12-05-2013, 09:30 PM   #2
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If you pitched enough good healthy yeast and keep your ferm temps under control, you should be fine to package by the 19th or 20th. Rely on your hydrometer to be sure, but that's usually plenty of time for a 1.050 beer. Bottling would be cutting it close (it *might* be carbonated, but there almost certainly won't be time for proper cold conditioning). Kegging is usually faster, but it takes longer at room temp than cold. You might be able to push it faster by bumping the PSI up to 25-30 for a few hours and shaking the keg periodically.

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Old 12-06-2013, 01:35 AM   #3
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On the assumption that it's been fairly cold in OH and you've been keeping the beer somewhere around 65 degrees or so during fermentation, you should be fine. Even more so if you have the ability to cold crash and don't mind using gelatin or isinglass. I routinely keg ales of that strength after 14 days. I've even gone as short as a week, but that's really pushing it.

Also, Scottish ale will drink just fine a little undercarbed so that's working in your favor. If your beer is cold, I've had really good luck with just setting the pressure to the appropriate level for the volumes of CO2 you desire and shaking for 20-30 minutes. That'll get you about 80% of the way to your desired carbonation level and you'll be all the way there within a week. I've tried other methods where you crank it up to 30 psi or so, but have overcarbed more often than not.

Good luck and Merry Christmas.

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Old 12-06-2013, 04:11 AM   #4
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I appreciate the quick responses. It looks like kegging is the way to go. The wort is fermenting in my basement which is 66 degrees year round. After fermentation in complete, I will have refrigeration available, so I shouldn't have any problems with the force carb. I had figured the bottling would take too long.

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Wes

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Old 12-06-2013, 03:50 PM   #5
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I was in the same boat with Thanksgiving. If you're bottling don't count on it. Call it a New Year beer.

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Old 12-13-2013, 06:45 PM   #6
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Ok, so here is the update.

I racked to primary on the 5th. I have had it at 66 degrees since then. There was initial fermentation and a lot of airlock activity after the first 3-5 days. The airlock activity has died down, and is non existent for the past few days. I will take a hydro reading tomorrow and and then again in two days.

During that time, I bought a mini fridge/kegerator and have a keg setup ready.

Assuming the hydro readings are the same what is the best process to have this ready to drink by xmas eve.

I plan to leave in the primary and cold crash until the 18th. After that, I plan to rack to the keg with gelatin and set at serving pressure until the 24th.
Does anyone see any obvious flaws with that plan? I appreciate the help

Thanks
Wes

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Old 12-13-2013, 08:31 PM   #7
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So the cold crash starts on the 16th? That should be fine. 11 days is definitely on the shorter side of things, but not unreasonable if your pitch and control was spot on. Being a lighter colored beer helps too (roasty malts take a little longer to mellow).

Be sure to taste that last gravity sample on the 16th. If it tastes harsh or muddy, you may be better off giving it another couple of days at fermentation temps. That'll cut into your carb time, but you could bump the PSI up a bit to compensate. If it just tastes yeasty but otherwise good, the cold crash will take care of things.

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Old 12-13-2013, 08:37 PM   #8
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If the FG is taken today, and then again in two days, and it's the same, it can be kegged then. You can also cold crash in the keg, and not in the primary if you want (that's what I do).

I'd keg it, and set it at 12 psi in the kegerator. In 7 days, pour off 3 ounces (it'll be sludge) and then sample the carb level. It should be getting fairly close, but will carb up a bit more over the next few days. I wouldn't wait to keg it and put it on the gas, as it needs a bit of time to carb up.

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Old 12-13-2013, 09:30 PM   #9
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I appreciate the quick responses.

The reason I planned to crash in the primary was that i thought the cold would help it settle, before i racked to the keg. It seems like the clarity won't be as much as a problem, so the carb is more important. I will check the FG and taste, and if it is set, I will go to the Keg for cold crash/ carbing as soon as possible. Thanks again

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