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Old 01-06-2010, 06:32 PM   #1
psychedelic_brew
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Default Should I bottle? Too soon?

First of all, I brewed my first beer on December 26th. About 4 days ago my krausen fell. 2 days ago the airlock had no activity, so last night i took a hydrometer reading. 1.010, right on target. I prepared everything for bottling. I woke up this morning and noticed my airlock is bubbling again! I see the airlock move once every minute or so.

I'm curious as to why this happened. Is it possible that my fermentation was stuck and taking the hydrometer reading started it up again by moving the beer around a little?

I know that in homebrewing patience is a virtue, and I would just let it finish until there is no more activity in the airlock for several days. However, my dilemma is that I am moving across the state for university in 2 days and I don't trust anyone at this house to bottle for me!

My FG is right on target, but I'm worried about bottle bombs..

So I guess my questions are as follows..

Is it too early to bottle?
If so, does anyone have experience travelling w/ a full carboy? (don't want to introduce oxygen...)
Also, I sampled my beer and it has a hot feeling in my mouth. Is this a sign of anything, or will it just pass with time?

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Old 01-06-2010, 06:33 PM   #2
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SG the same for 3 days is the standard.

I just wait 3 weeks past any activity whatsoever and bottle.

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Old 01-06-2010, 06:34 PM   #3
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take another reading and if it reads the same then primary fermentation is complete but you still need to wait for secondary to be complete. Those bubbles you are noticing are probably just co2 escaping from the beer

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Old 01-06-2010, 06:40 PM   #4
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I'm not using a secondary this time. The recipe didn't call for it and I don't have the equipment anyway.

The beer is tasty, can't wait to get it bottled and carbed!

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Old 01-06-2010, 06:42 PM   #5
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hi! i'm new too, you should definitely wait even though its so tempting for a beer lover to want it fast, but i think my whole process for my first one was too short resulting in a thinner beer. id say wait at least another week or two

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Old 01-06-2010, 06:43 PM   #6
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secondary fermentation is when the yeast clean up the bad stuff i.e aging the beer. Which doesn't mean racking to a secondary, you can leave it in the primary for primary and secondary fermentation

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Old 01-06-2010, 06:50 PM   #7
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So I guess the lesson to be learned is to not ferment anything when you know you'll be leaving town, even if the recipe says a week in the carboy should suffice

I guess I should have known to ignore the instructions and just listen to Papazian..

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Old 01-06-2010, 06:54 PM   #8
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regardless if it's done. 5 days is too soon.
My beers all sittin primary for one month, the cold crash 2 days Gelatin 2 days then keg.

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Old 01-06-2010, 06:58 PM   #9
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If you're ABSOLUTELY positive you are at terminal gravity, and therefore not going to have bottle bombs, then, since you are moving in two days, I guess you could bottle. It's probably going to be easier for you to transfer two cases of beer than a secondary, and prolly better for the beer as well, getting sloshed inside sealed bottles rather than a secondary where you could airlock failure and end up oxygenating your beer for several hours of travel.

But my concern is whether or not you truly are at terminal gravity or not. I would hate to have very active potential bombs joshing around for a journey as well.

If you took a reading a couple days ago and took one today and they are the same, I would go ahead and bottle TONIGHT, so that they have at least a day or so to acclimate before moving them.

Obviously you know that patience is a virtue, and that your beer is vastly improved by taking it slow, and I'm sure in the future you'll leave the beer longer, but it does seem like your back is against the wall on this matter.

Good Luck

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Old 01-06-2010, 07:27 PM   #10
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my instructions with my kit said ten days in the primary would be fine also.. however after reading everything on here I am going to wait the suggested 3-4 weeks before bottling. i understand the anxiety!!

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