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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > third brew and I'm getting fancy
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:56 AM   #1
muthafuggle
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Default third brew and I'm getting fancy

So after a rasp. wheat (turned out okay but not great) and a Kolsch (still carbing up, but tasted great at bottleing) I thought I'd try a high-gravity beer. I brewed a Belgian heavy ale yesterday (1.088 starting gravity) . I am too lazy to make a starter, so I just added two smack packs of yeast It's fermenting along very nicely, and I'ma leave it in primary for 3-4 weeks. I bought a 5 gallon glass carboy for a secondary fermentation because it's a "big" beer and I guess prevailing wisdom is that racking to a secondary for another 2-3 months should help the beer "peak out" before I bottle.

So just a couple of questions: finings. I've never used them before. Should I have added them before I put the beer in secondary? Should I add now or when I rack to secondary? What should I use? Isinglass, Irish Moss, Gelatin?

How warm or cold should the secondary fermentation be? When do I "Cold crash and for how long?

I think the best part of having a secondary might be freeing up the primary for another batch! now what to brew....?

For the record, I am enjoying a home brew as I type Time really helped my second batch, and I am NOT going to rush this beer. -but I AM drinking alot more store beer while I wait for my closet to fill with homebrew.

-Just so I can keep the empties of course.

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Primary:
Secondary: Bwa-Ha-Ha!! we don't need no steenking secondary!!
Bottled: 2tun Scotchpocalypse (12.12.12)
Kegged: LH Milk Stout Clone

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Old 02-16-2010, 01:43 AM   #2
mikebiewer
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Congrats on the brews.

You've got a lot of topics and questions in your post there. I'd recommend doing a little bit of searching on this site for some comprehensive answers.

However, I think I can answer a couple of them quickly and easily for ya.

The "Cold Crash" was done when you brought your wort down to 70 some degrees before pitching the yeast. So you've already done that.

The Irish Moss goes in the last 15 minutes of a boil.

I did a Bourbon Barrel Porter that I've really enjoyed, so if your looking for another brew, this one is a solid option.

Here was my brew day.

http://mikesbrewreview.com/homebrewi...rd-experiment/

Seems like we've done a couple of the same things. I bought a secondary, mainly to free up a primary so I can get into a brew rotation.

I to have also started drinking a lot more store beer just for the bottles, oh, and to try the beer! I've got some reviews of these beers on my site as well if your interested.

Like I said, search the site for the other questions, you should be able to find your answers!

Happy brewing!

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Old 02-16-2010, 02:15 AM   #3
weirdboy
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The "Cold Crash" was done when you brought your wort down to 70 some degrees before pitching the yeast. So you've already done that.
No, he didn't. That's not cold crashing.

Cold crashing is when you take your beer in the fermenter (primary or secondary, doesn't matter) and quickly as possible cool it down to the 30-40F range and keep it there for a few days. This drops particles out of suspension and helps to clarify the beer before packaging. You do it basically when the beer ready to keg/bottle. You crash it for a few days and then if you are bottling, for example, bottle it while it's still cold.

A common follow-up question to cold crashing is, "do I need to pitch more yeast to carbonate"? The answer is usually no.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:22 AM   #4
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I bought a 5 gallon glass carboy for a secondary fermentation because it's a "big" beer and I guess prevailing wisdom is that racking to a secondary for another 2-3 months should help the beer "peak out" before I bottle.
I don't necessarily agree with this wisdom. I think especially for your first beer of this sort, bottling it sooner, and then trying a bottle every week or two and taking copious notes will give you a better idea of how the flavor changes over time. On my last tripel I and others felt it was quite delicious only a few weeks after brewing it. So don't wait just because you want to maximize the flavor or whatever. You have 2 cases of the stuff and you're talking about a 9% ABV beer. I dunno about you but if I waited until the beer that strong peaked, I'd still have a good case of it left once it had started its downhill slide.
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