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Old 06-13-2009, 03:19 PM   #1
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Default Settling question?

First of all I have been lurking on the board for a while and enjoy all the help and antics of this group.

I said I would wait until I had something meaningful to say before posting but alas I am a noob and must ask the obligatory dumb noob question.

I have made several all extract batches but my last batch was a kit from my LHBS, an American Pale ale with some specialty grains 6.6 lbs lme, hop pelets added to the boil, a Whirlfloc tab, and I added 1lb of rice sugar solids to boost the abv.

My problem is the brew has been in primary for over 3 weeks and is still very cloudy. I have never used a secondary and usually by this time it has settled to almost clear. should I breakdown and invest in a secondary? or with the amount of extract and adjuncts am I not being paitent enough and just need to RDWHHB?

I know the fermentation has completed as I have checked the Hrydrometer and have had stable reading for some time (4 checks over the last 2 weeks)

Thanks in advance
Doug G



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Old 06-13-2009, 03:24 PM   #2
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Hmmm...

What yeast are you using? I'm surprised it hasn't flocculated down yet...
You have a few options....since ferm is finished, you could rack to a secondary....

You could teempt to add gelatin either to the primary or in the secondary...Just get a packet of knox unflavored gelatin from the grocery store and

use a tablespoon per five gallon batch.

Mix it with hot tap water in a sauce pot, about 1 cup of water per tablespoon.

Stir it up and let it sit for 20-30 minutes to hydrate and bloom.

Put the pot on the stove and heat until it looks like it’s about to start boiling…don’t boil.

Cool slightly (I put my pot in a cold water bath).

Add it (gently) to the secondary

Or you could try crash cooling it if you can get your primary (or secondary) into a fridge....

Any of those options would work....



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Old 06-13-2009, 03:53 PM   #3
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Man You are quick thanks for the reply. The kit contained a US 05 american ale yeast. I have been considering getting another bucket to use as a secondary anyway, as my next attempt is going to be a strawberry ale and I think i would rather add the fruit during the settling stage.

I like the gelitin Idea and I can get the bucket in my garage (beer) fridge, which would be more effective? or should I double up methods? I am a belt and suspenders kind of guy. Could there be more accumilation near the spout and the rest of the brew be clearer?

and the flood of noob questions continue.
Revvy U are the MAN

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Old 06-13-2009, 04:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdug View Post
Man You are quick thanks for the reply. The kit contained a US 05 american ale yeast. I have been considering getting another bucket to use as a secondary anyway, as my next attempt is going to be a strawberry ale and I think i would rather add the fruit during the settling stage.

I like the gelitin Idea and I can get the bucket in my garage (beer) fridge, which would be more effective? or should I double up methods? I am a belt and suspenders kind of guy. Could there be more accumilation near the spout and the rest of the brew be clearer?

and the flood of noob questions continue.
Revvy U are the MAN
Don't use a bucket as a secondary, they are permeable to oxygen

the 5 gallon better bottles work great and you can even get them with a spout if you want
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:46 PM   #5
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Don't use a bucket as a secondary, they are permeable to oxygen
That's a myth, most likely perpetuated by the Glass carboy industry....and repeated over and over as "canon" by new berwers when in reality the amount of "Permeability" is really negligable, and not much more than the BB or a plastic water bottle....

The only REAL issue with using a bucket as secondary is too much headspace, that is a greater risk to oxygenation, though even that is probably negligable...But if you had a smaller bucket than your ale pail (which IIRC actually holds 6.5-7 gallons) with a tight lid, you COULD use that as a secondary, provide you had little headspace between the beer and the lid.....

Besides oxygenation worrys are really a bogeyman for MOST of the beers we brew...because we tend to drink them LONG before they would show the effects of oxygenation.....That's different of course if you are planning a beer for long term storage...but for the batches that ae gonna be gone a couple months after you pitched the yeast? Nah...things like that aren't worth sweating...

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Old 06-13-2009, 07:51 PM   #6
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I work in plastics, and I'm telling you that HDPE is permeable to oxygen unless they include a special layer in the extrusion process

But I do get what you are saying about it being negligible

Usually when a customer needs the special layer it is because their product sits around for a year or more and would spoil in a normal HDPE container

I still like the better bottles over the plastic buckets

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Old 06-13-2009, 08:38 PM   #7
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I work in plastics, and I'm telling you that HDPE is permeable to oxygen unless they include a special layer in the extrusion process

But I do get what you are saying about it being negligible

Usually when a customer needs the special layer it is because their product sits around for a year or more and would spoil in a normal HDPE container

I still like the better bottles over the plastic buckets
Besides what I already stated (negligable amount, which you agreed with, amount of time before oxygenation occurs) another thing people forget to take into the whole "oxygen permeability" issue that gets bandied about in homebrewing, is the fact that CO2 is being generated and is permeating the beer, and pushing outward...even though the plastic may be permeable...the co2 is pushing outward...and if it's pushing outward NOTHING can get in, including the dreaded O2.

Since most people only secondary for 2 weeks, I still maintain the the effect would be too negligable to worry about, providing you had a bucket that had very little headspace left once the beer was racked to it...like a 5.5 or 6 gallon food grade frosting or soysauce bucket with a tight lid....If someone is bulk aging for several months, I too would and have opted for a BB or glass carboy..But for a standard 2 week secondary...I again wouldn't sweat it....

But I also maintian that if the brewer is going to only secondary for 2 weeks to clear the beer NOT to bulk age, they could also just as easily skip the step, forgo secondary in favor of a month long primary, like many of us opt for.....
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
But I also maintian that if the brewer is going to only secondary for 2 weeks to clear the beer NOT to bulk age, they could also just as easily skip the step, forgo secondary in favor of a month long primary, like many of us opt for.....
I agree on that, I've tried it a couple of times and didn't see any of the dreaded autolysis off flavors that everyone worries about

and the truth is if the yeast was going to die in four weeks then wyeast and white labs couldn't keep homebrew store supplied with fresh yeast


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