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Old 04-27-2009, 08:19 PM   #1
Icewalker
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Default Secondary Fermentation in Bottler?

Hiya folks - I'm sure this has been asked before but the search function didn't yield anything to my search. Is it o.k. to transfer to the bottler and ferment a few more days before bottling? I was going to bottle this week ... but work has got in the way and I have to travel. Also there is definitely some grain sediment still in the bottom of the fermenter and I read that this will cause the beer to have an off taste if left too long.

Oh and it's an imperial stout and the very first time I've brewed.

Thanks

Jeff

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Old 04-27-2009, 08:22 PM   #2
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What is a bottler???? Do you mean Bottling Bucket?

Actually if you cant get to it, just leave it in primary....don't mess with it. You will find that many of us leave our beers in primary for 3-4 weeks, skip secondary and bottle. Just search for the 10,000 threads under "long Primary" or "no secondary" and you will see all the resaons why we do it, and the explanations behind...There's at least one thread a day on the topic, so it's really not hard to find the discussion pretty much hashed to death.

Many of us have expereince that our beer improves by leaving it there.

but if you choose to secondary you should wait til your Hydrometer tells you fermentation is complete.

Usually on the 7th day you take a hydro reading, and again on the 10th day, if the reading is the same, then you can rack it...

If I do secondary (which is only when I am adding fruit or oak) I wait 14 days then rack for another 2 weeks...then I bottle.

But that's only if I am dry hopping or adding oak or fruit, whicnh I rarely do, so for me it's a month than bottle,

Honestly you will find your beer will be the best if you ignore the kit instructions, and don't rush it.

But Even Palmer says you should wait with kits...

Quote:
Originally Posted by How To Brew
Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.
And...

Quote:
As a final note on this subject, I should mention that by brewing with healthy yeast in a well-prepared wort, many experienced brewers, myself included, have been able to leave a beer in the primary fermenter for several months without any evidence of autolysis.
Your beer will thank you for waiting....
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:24 PM   #3
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Just leave it in your primary until you get back...don't rack to a secondary or a bottling bucket until you're sure fermentation has completed. The trub/sediment at the bottom is nothing to worry about, it would take at least a few months for it to become a problem, and probably much longer. My normal routine is four weeks in primary, then straight to the keg or bottles. I've gone as long as nine weeks with no worries. Only big beers go to secondary, and only when I'm sure fermentation is done.

This is one hobby where it's alright to procrastinate. Especially with a big beer like an Imperial Stout, you don't want to rush it!

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Old 04-27-2009, 08:29 PM   #4
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Since you are brewing an imperial stout, we are talking MONTHS before it is going to be drinkable anyway...those things need to age, once they are in the bottles....

What I would do, is month in primary, month (at least, more than likely 2-3) in secondary to bulk age, and then bottle. It still probably won't carb and lose the hot alcohol taste till its been 2-3 months in the bottle, AFTER the two months in primary and secondary.....

If you want something drinkable sooner, I would have chosen a lower grav beer, like a regular stout (mine ave take 4-6 weeks in the bottle) or a pale ale...the higher the grav, the longer it takes before it is really drinkable.

Your imperial stout will probably taste like soysauce for awhile.

Commercial ones are usually aged a year, in barrels.

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Old 04-27-2009, 11:03 PM   #5
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Thanks Guys I'll leave it festering away. One thing I did do was to pop the lid on the fermenting bucket .... it doesn't appear to have any foam on top now Is it possible that the yeast has stopped working? The temp is down to around 62. Is there any way to tell if I need to pitch additional yeast? Or should I just aggitate the bucket and move it to a warmer spot in the house?

Thanks again

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Old 04-27-2009, 11:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icewalker View Post
Thanks Guys I'll leave it festering away. One thing I did do was to pop the lid on the fermenting bucket .... it doesn't appear to have any foam on top now Is it possible that the yeast has stopped working? The temp is down to around 62. Is there any way to tell if I need to pitch additional yeast? Or should I just aggitate the bucket and move it to a warmer spot in the house?

Thanks again
You can use a hydrometer and check the gravity. It's it low, where expected, and it stays the same for at least three days, then it's done. You probably don't need to agitate or move it. It's probably approaching being done.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:14 AM   #7
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You can't get much information from looking at your beer, or your airlock for that matter, a lot of stuff is happenning even though there may not be any krauzen (foam) on your beer.

The hydrometer is really the only gauge of fermentation (not festering )

Read this. http://blogs.homebrewtalk.com/Revvy/Think_evaluation_before_action/

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Old 04-28-2009, 10:46 AM   #8
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Thanks Again. The hydrometer tells me that it stays in there longer which is a good excuse for me to grab a few bottles of St.Pete's Cream Stout tonight and have a relaxing evening.

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