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Old 10-27-2008, 09:53 PM   #1
Col224
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Default A week in Ale Pale?

I'm a first time brewer and I'm brewing an American Pale Ale. I've been doing well with leaving the beer alone and just relaxing but its getting to the point where I think it's time to rack over the the secondary. I've been maintaining a good temp(around 65-70) and the bubbles are really starting to slow(1 every minute or so). I was planning on waiting a week to 9 days(its been 5 so far) to move my beer from the primary to my secondary(better bottle). I don't have an original gravity to share because I screwed up when I took one and took one directly from the wort(before I added the other 3 gallons of water) which gave me an extremely high OG.

Should I take a hydrometer reading before moving it? what would be a good value to have it at and how would I know this for beers in the future? or should I just use the 1 - 2 - 3 rule and will 7-9 days be fine?

As a side note... How does one keep the sediment(this is called trub?) from transferring with the beer when racking from the primary to the secondary?

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Old 10-27-2008, 10:00 PM   #2
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As many will tell you, the only way sure way to know if the beer is done is via a hydrometer reading. It's best to test each day for 2-3 days. If the reading is consistent, then its finished and ready to transfer. However, I basically use the 1-2-3 rule every time and have had no problems; but, the hydrometer, again, is the only way to know for sure. Regardless, all in all its a long process from start to finish and there's really no need to rush it. You'll thank yourself later when you don't have bottle bombs to deal with. There are many horror stories on this forum about those.

The FG really depends on the amount of fermentables in your recipe. So its hard to give an accurate possible reading without that info.

As far as racking off a trub, I find a racking cane is best. You can tilt the bucket by putting one side on some books (they make things for this but I can't seem to keep them from slipping out from under by carboys/buckets). Give the trub 15-20 mins to settle. Then when you rack just hold the racking cane/hose slightly above the trub so that it runs clear through the tube. I always leave a bit of beer inside the primary with the trub, as I'd rather do that than have it in my secondary. Regardless, a little bit of trub is natural and it'll settle at the bottom just as it did in the primary. When you bottle you'll rack off into the bottling bucket and leave behind as much of that trub as possible too. All in all, it'll be very clear if you just do your best with it. Don't worry about making it an exact science. It's still great tasting beer!

Most importanly, congrats on making what will most likely be a great beer!!!!

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Old 10-27-2008, 10:01 PM   #3
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From what I have read thus far, You should either #1) Wait 3 weeks or so after you put it into the Primary and then move it to the secondary or bottle it. #2) Go ahead and get it into the secondary, wait a few weeks and then bottle it.

Lots of guys here don't even use a secondary, I am thinking that I might not even do it unless I need to free up a Primary.

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Old 10-27-2008, 10:06 PM   #4
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I'd give it a full 10 days before racking to be sure, since you don't have an estimated FG to shoot for. So far all of my beers have fermented out to FG by 10 days. My pale ales seem to finish at 1.014-1.016 but that can really depend on your recipe. If you post your full recipe and yeast choice someone could probably estimate your FG for you.

Your racking cane should have a plastic tip on the end of it that keeps the trub from getting sucked up into it. The tip is removable for siphoning when there's no sediment to worry about.

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Old 10-27-2008, 10:25 PM   #5
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My Racking cane does have that, and its nice to finally know what its for. Thanks!

My recipe is for an American Plain Pale Ale: 4 lb. Munton’s Connoisseur Export Pilsner hopped can kit, 1 lbs of Light Dried Malt Extract, 1/2 oz. of cascade aroma hops and 6 grams muntons dry yeast.

I also just noted that it lists a final gravity on the top of the recipe...apparently I'm blind.

As a final question: how should I go about taking a sample for the hydrometer? removing the lid, siphoning an amount and then testing that?

what is the best way to avoid contamination during that?

thanks everyone for the replies and the help!

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Old 10-27-2008, 11:07 PM   #6
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Man, I thought that little black tip on the racking cane was for shipping protection. I'm glad I didn't throw it away.

As far as obtaining a sample... A turkey baster works well. Be sure to sanitize it first.

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