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Old 03-08-2010, 05:50 PM   #1
mgurf1
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I just started fermenting my first beer last night! It was awesome. Just wondering, I read a little further on fermenting today, and realized that I had made a pretty big error. When I had cooled the wort and was pouring it into my fermentor, instead of straining off all the gunk left over from the hot break and the other assorted sediment, I actually scooped it all into the fermentor to brew. Then I read today that that's pretty bad. SOOOOOOOO....

I wasn't planning on doing two stage, but would I be able to salvage this beer if I strain out that gunk during secondary? I only have a plastic bottling bucket to use as a secondary.

Anyone out there know or can help me? Sure would love to have good beer the first time out!!! Thanks.

Mike

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Old 03-08-2010, 06:00 PM   #2
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Leave it alone, it will be fine. In a perfect world you would like to leave your hot and cold break behind but your beer will be alright.

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Old 03-08-2010, 06:12 PM   #3
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Thanks. So don't even bother with secondary?

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Old 03-08-2010, 06:12 PM   #4
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Guess I'm just worried about "off-flavors" in the beer... been reading John Palmer...

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Old 03-08-2010, 06:13 PM   #5
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The only time I will secondary is if I'm doing a fruit beer or dry hopping a ton, like 4 ounces). Many will have differing opinions.

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Old 03-08-2010, 06:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgurf1 View Post
Guess I'm just worried about "off-flavors" in the beer... been reading John Palmer...
There are many many variables in brewing. The biggest thing in my opinion is to create your baseline and adjust from there on. When I make adjustments, I make one change at a time only and see how the beer is changed by that one thing. If you do multiple things, from suggestions you get in the forums, you don't really know which of the things you did, made your beer better or even worse.

In regards to your dilema, if it were me, I would leave it as is and use that as your baseline sample, knowing that it femented with hot and cold break. Then you can start making adjustments with future batches and dial in your process.

I personally don't think you will have a problem with yeast autolysis if they were healthy to begin with.
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:22 PM   #7
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I did the same thing with my first batch and it was fine. It may not have been the best that it could have been, but everyone who tried it agreed that it was good beer.

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Old 03-08-2010, 06:45 PM   #8
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Thanks both of you. I guess also the chances of me accidentally oxidizing the beer when I transfer it to secondary is probably worse anyways. And I'm attempting to make a British bitter ale, so I guess if it comes out a little bitter, that's cool too...

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Old 03-08-2010, 07:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Thanks both of you. I guess also the chances of me accidentally oxidizing the beer when I transfer it to secondary is probably worse anyways. And I'm attempting to make a British bitter ale, so I guess if it comes out a little bitter, that's cool too...
I'm pretty sure your beer is completely ruined.
You should proceed with fermentation and bottling and send results to me.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:09 PM   #10
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Guess I'm just worried about "off-flavors" in the beer... been reading John Palmer...
You need to read a little deeper into Palmer.

Rather than the yeast being the cause of off flavors, it is now looked at by many of us, that they will if left alone actually remove those off flavors, and make for clearer and cleaner tasting beers.

You'll find that a great many folks, maybe even the majority on here these days, leave their beers in primary for 3-4 weeks, skipping secondary. Many of us even dry hop in primary, and only rack to secondary if we are adding oak or fruit, or had fruit in the boil or primary and left lots of trub behind.

John Palmer talks about this in How To Brew;

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 this;

Quote:
John Palmer

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.
People have left it as much as six months.

This is where the most up to date brewing wisdom and ideas can be found...In fact a lot of stuff has been started on here, and made it into byo or zymurgy or podcasts...in fact BYO DID a piece on no secondary/long primary, along with the BASIC BREWING PODCAST and even they said that there were no issues/harm with doing it and in some beers it did actually improve the flavor and clarity. And I believe that really WAS influenced by the discussion we have had for the last couple years on here.

Your beer should be crystal clear, very clean and crisp tasting. And when you rack to bottle you leave behind a really dense yeast/trub cake.


Believe me, after three years of doing the long primary/ no secondary I find no need to go back to doing it any other way. The quality of my beers has upped 10 ten fold.


As have my judging scores in contests. There's at least one beer among the 3-4 different one's I enter in contests where a judge notes the clarity and crisp taste of my beers- One was even described as "Jewell like in appearance." I just got a Bronze in the World Expo of Beer contest for one of my month in primary, no secondary beers.
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