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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Stuff floating on top of beer
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:54 PM   #1
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Default Stuff floating on top of beer

Greetings. My american pale ale will have been in the primary for 3 weeks on this upcoming Monday. I was hoping to bottle/pig this weekend if I get time.

The beer has clarified, and lots of stuff has settled out to the bottom of the carboy. But there are still a few bunches of what appears to be caked up residual foam sitting on top of the beer which doesn't seem to want to settle out.

I didn't want to transfer to secondary on the theory that the less I touch the beer, the better (less chance to contaminate, oxidize, etc). I was planning on siphoning half of this directly into a Party pig and priming in there and then moving the other half directly into 22 ounce bottles and using Carb Tabs to bottle prime.

Should I move this to a secondary instead to further clarify? Or perhaps I should batch prime in a 5 gallon pot I have (I don't have a bottling bucket at the moment) to try to get away from some of the floating stuff and then pig/bottle from there?

Thanks for any help. I will snap a picture when I get home if I get a chance....

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Old 05-08-2008, 03:00 PM   #2
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Yeah, snap a picture just so we can make sure everything looks alright. It sounds like you are sitting pretty though. If you have left it in the primary for 3 weeks then I wouldn't bother racking to a secondary and risk mixing up some of the settled sediment. I would assume that after 3 weeks your gravity should have steadied down to a constant and you can either let it sit for another week or go ahead and bottle. Also, are you dry hopping or planning to?

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Old 05-08-2008, 03:19 PM   #3
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OK - I will snap a picture when I get home. Not planning on dry hopping. I guess my biggest question is should I take that intermediate step of batch-priming by siphoning this into a 5 gallon pot with the boiled priming sugar, which would give me one extra shot of leaving stuff behind rather than going directly from primary into bottles/pig. Or do I just carefully siphon directly to bottles/pig and prime in those?

Direct to bottles/pig:
Pro - least total mucking with beer
Con - fair chance of "stuff" accidentally being siphoned into some bottles/pig

Batch prime in large vessel:
Pro - one more shot at leaving crud behind in primary
Con - chance of oxidizing? or otherwise messing up by moving the beer around?

I think I need a homebrew or two to clarify this situation Sadly, I don't have any on hand, but I do have a couple Magic Hats in the fridge, and an Imperial Stout from a brand I can't recall at the moment but which was hugely recommended to me when I bought it last week... Hmmmm.....

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Old 05-08-2008, 03:50 PM   #4
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I would siphon to a bottling bucket, and then bottle and party-pig it from there. It would be easier, since you can use both hands to bottle rather than trying to hold your siphon above the trub, and it will help you have less "stuff" in your beer.

When you siphon, just hold the end under the floaties and above the trub. No problem!

I've always used a bottling bucket, and never had any oxidation issues. I like bulk priming instead of carb tabs (it seems like those carb tabs leave more floaties than corn sugar does) and using the spigot and bottling wand is a piece of cake, compared to trying to maintain a siphon while bottling.

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Old 05-08-2008, 04:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
I would siphon to a bottling bucket, and then bottle and party-pig it from there. It would be easier, since you can use both hands to bottle rather than trying to hold your siphon above the trub, and it will help you have less "stuff" in your beer.

When you siphon, just hold the end under the floaties and above the trub. No problem!

I've always used a bottling bucket, and never had any oxidation issues. I like bulk priming instead of carb tabs (it seems like those carb tabs leave more floaties than corn sugar does) and using the spigot and bottling wand is a piece of cake, compared to trying to maintain a siphon while bottling.
What she said.

Just minimize any splashing of the beer as you transfer and you should be good.
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:18 PM   #6
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Yeah sorry for not making that clear. Rack it to a bottling bucket first, then go nuts.

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Old 05-09-2008, 12:42 AM   #7
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Here are some pics. I guess there's more in here than I thought. Also, the pics are poor quality and make the beer look darker than it is.

Should I be frightened? Taking a look, it almost looks like unmixed DME, though that makes no sense.

Stuff on beer 1
Stuff on beer 2
Stuff on beer 3

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Old 05-09-2008, 01:08 AM   #8
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Oh, that's fine- just remants of krausen. Sometimes I get little balls of the same thing that I just call "yeast clumpies". It's fine. If it was white and fuzzy (mold), then I'd worry. It's fine.

It's a bit warm, though, according to your thermometer. It might have been even warmer during active fermentation. I'd keep it at 66-68 degrees, depending on which yeast you used. Otherwise, no criticism from me!

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Old 05-09-2008, 01:12 AM   #9
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Thanks!

Looking at that stuff makes me want to add a couple eggs, beat thoroughly, and bake a cake

Yes, it is a bit warm in there. If you remember, this one started out way too hot before I realized that was important. I then did the water bath and towel trick suggested here and got down to just under 70. I haven't been adding as much ice or paying as close attention since it stopped fermenting.

For my next batch, I'm going to be more aggressive and try to keep the temp in the mid 60s if possible. I also may have my central air on by that time, which should make that easier...

Thanks again!!

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Old 05-09-2008, 05:12 PM   #10
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Not sure if you have used the party pig before, but i am having trouble with the carbonation in mine. I siphoned into the pig, then primed with the amount it recommended, then i bottle the rest. The bottles primed within 2 weeks, but the pig is on its 5th week, and still is flat. I haven't checked it in about a week, so I am hoping it is done by now, but it is making me worried about using the pig for future batches. Does it just take longer in the pig due to the volume? What i was thinking about doing, is racking to a bottling bucket, add the 4.5-5 oz of priming sugar, THEN split it up between the pig and bottles. According to the instructions it is too much priming sugar, but it seems by following the directions it is taking forever to enjoy the beer. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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