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Old 12-28-2010, 07:51 PM   #11
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The bubbles, lol, I missed that.

It seems like some of the earlier editions of home brewing books are a little out of date, the authors have been revising some of these recommendations in current editions.

You should get a Hydrometer and learn to read it. Take a reading just before pitching to get an Original Gravity reading, and then the only other time it is really necessary is right before transferring or bottling. You want the same reading over a span of at least three days to ensure fermentation is complete.

You can also use 3 or 4 days after pitching if you are worried that your yeast isn't doing their job. Weekly is probably ok but excessive, daily is way to much.

It's easier than it sounds.

Good luck

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Old 12-28-2010, 11:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightynintendo View Post
4 to 5 bubbles per minute???

How could you possibly tell how far along your fermentation is by such an indicator as that??????
That's like rolling a pair of dice and using that to determine the time of day.
Hey thats just what I read, don't get all uppity on me. In fact I actually read it in a few different spots.

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In regards to your first point I would point out that any time you bottle condition you will have sediment on the bottom of the bottles, the yeast eat the sugar and produce the CO2 that carbonates your beer. If you filter out the yeast before bottling you will not have carbonated beer. Unless you keg and force carb, but that is another thing altogether.

If you pour the beer slowly and stop when the yeast starts to come out (pouring to the shoulder) you will only leave about 1/4" of beer behind, not that great a loss.

And just like in bulk aging, the longer your beer sits in the bottle, the tighter the yeast cake will get.

Which brings me to your second point regarding the secondary. It sounds like you are referring to yeast autolysis, this has been determined to be not much of an issue by many of the heavy hitters in the home brewing community, including Palmer, Papazian, and Jamial, if you search the forum you will find extensive threads on this topic. But in a nut shell autolysis is a concern for commercial brewers because their fermentation conditions are some what different from that of a home brewer, greater pressures on the yeast, higher temps in the yeast cake, etc...

Plenty of people leave their beer in the primary for months and report no problems, quite the opposite, they say it's some of the best beer they have made.
I would like to try leaving a beer in primary for 3 months to see what happens, but I drink it too damn fast!

Seriously, do some forum searches for threads like primary/secondary, long primary vs secondary or something along those lines. Or look for Revvy's posts and blogs, he has written a lot on this topic here.

The best way to find out for yourself is to try it both ways and see I guess, but I really like the long primary, I don't risk interrupting my fermentation, oxidizing my beer, contaminating it with an extra process step, and (most importantly) I am inherently LAZY and it is so much easier to just leave it.

If you want clarity, cold crash after a 4 week primary, you'll be able to read through it! If clarity is not so important to you, don't cold crash and you can still read through it! Although you might have some chill haze until it warms up a little...

I think your yeast handling was fine, but many of the dry ale and lager yeasts don't even require rehydration. I usually dry pitch my safale yeasts and they haven't let me down yet. Wine yeasts are different and can require rehydration and nutrients to minimize lag time.

My 2 cents
Thanks lots of good info! I have been reading any and all posts by revy that I can find he has a lot of knowledge!!!

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Originally Posted by D0ug View Post
The bubbles, lol, I missed that.

It seems like some of the earlier editions of home brewing books are a little out of date, the authors have been revising some of these recommendations in current editions.

You should get a Hydrometer and learn to read it. Take a reading just before pitching to get an Original Gravity reading, and then the only other time it is really necessary is right before transferring or bottling. You want the same reading over a span of at least three days to ensure fermentation is complete.

You can also use 3 or 4 days after pitching if you are worried that your yeast isn't doing their job. Weekly is probably ok but excessive, daily is way to much.

It's easier than it sounds.

Good luck
I have a hydrometer it read 1.042 before pitching the yeast. I am not trying to rush anything I am just eager to learn and would prefer not to screw up my first batch.

Also this is a forum and forums are for posting and learning so I am doing just that. I really appreciate the reply's but unfortunately I'm sure this wont be the last stupid rookie post I make. I like to have information coming and going. thats why I look and read and also start a post. many of times have I had the awesome people of a forum post a link to a thred that I had not stumbled upon yet.
The only dumb question is a question not asked, right?
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:36 AM   #13
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I think if you got foamybubbles on top of the beerfor a few days there is no need to check a hydro until you get past 3 weeks. I just dida a reading after 2 1/2 and plan botteling at 3 weeks and it makes me nervous to just d.o that hydro. If u can see a good yeast cake on bottem, well then you know there doin there thing well.why check out of curiosity? I think im just gonna check at 3 week botteling time instead of the doin the 3 day check before botteling now. I dont see why anyone would rack when its bubbeling and when its not it doesnt mean its done.3 weeks gives me big releif from bottle bomb fear,or it not being fermated yet.And ive never had a problem dry pitching,one less step to worry about- get good yeast-dont worry much.

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Old 12-29-2010, 12:42 AM   #14
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I don't think we're issued a limited number of stupid rookie post, at least I really, really hope we're not!

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Old 12-29-2010, 02:43 AM   #15
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Yes, don't take that kind of reply too seriously, mightynintendo has made probably almost as many noon mistakes as I have made. Airlock activity is definitely not a measure, or lack thereof, of fermentation. You'll be fine though!

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Old 12-29-2010, 03:07 AM   #16
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Yes, don't take that kind of reply too seriously, mightynintendo has made probably almost as many noon mistakes as I have made. Airlock activity is definitely not a measure, or lack thereof, of fermentation. You'll be fine though!
That's interesting - I am just beginning, but the homebrew supply store I just got set up with said to use one bubble every 90 seconds in the airlock as a guide to know when to transfer from the primary to secondary...
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:19 AM   #17
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So what do you do if you never see any airlock activity? It happens all the time. Taking specific gravity readings is the only guaranteed way to ensure you know where fermentation is. Once you get three or more consecutive days without gravity changes, fermentation is basically done.

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Old 12-29-2010, 03:37 AM   #18
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I'm sure he is hearing the same things I am. That doing a secondary around 3/4 of the fermentation is how to do it. Looks like there is either lot of different takes on the subject. You don't think it has something to do with the difference between extracts and ag. Do you???

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Old 12-29-2010, 04:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobita View Post
That's interesting - I am just beginning, but the homebrew supply store I just got set up with said to use one bubble every 90 seconds in the airlock as a guide to know when to transfer from the primary to secondary...
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I'm sure he is hearing the same things I am. That doing a secondary around 3/4 of the fermentation is how to do it. Looks like there is either lot of different takes on the subject. You don't think it has something to do with the difference between extracts and ag. Do you???
When I didn't see any bubbles in my first beer my LHBS guy asked me if I had taken a hydrometer reading, and then suggested I do before doing anything else with my beer.

I spent $6 on a hydrometer and found out I missed all of the "active" part of my fermentation while I was asleep. It had dropped about 0,035 points in about 36 hours. No krausen, no bubbles, but at FG.
If I was counting bubbles I would have pitched two or three more packs of yeast, warmed it, shook it, and dumped it because it "never fermented" (ie never bubbled or developed a thick heavy krausen that I saw)

As far as moving it while the gravity is dropping, I know you need to do this with wines, but they can take MONTHS to primary. And from some of the posts I've seen moving beer while the gravity is dropping seems to lead to high final gravities and poor attenuation.

I don't think this has anything to do with AG vs. Extract. It is a little different I think for really big beers, like +1.090 OG. Then most of the fermentation, like 0.065 points might come off in the first month or two and then it will be racked to a bright tank and drop another 10 points or so. I'm not sure though, because I haven't done anything quite that big yet, besides of ciders and meads. (Biggest yet; Wee Heavy 1.083 OG; partial boil extract w/steep grains)
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:01 PM   #20
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Thanks Doug I really appreciate the help. I probably would of freaked out had I not seen some action in the airlock.

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