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Old 07-04-2012, 03:35 AM   #1
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I love this forum. I have spent at least 12 hours in the last 3 days reading everything I can. I started a Cooper's english bitter kit 4 days ago. It's my first crack at brewing beer. I've done about five different wines in the past and I don't even really like wine. (my wife does) So what I have learned from this forum doesn't really jive with the kit instructions. I have it in the primary right now at 70 degrees ambient in a closet.I can get it colder very easily but that temp seemed to be what the kit suggested was best and I did use their yeast (that will be the last time from what I've read) I was planning on bottling after 7 days and letting it sit for 3 weeks or so but reading that it is more accepted now to primary for 3 weeks or more. The problem I have with this is my primary is a big plastic (food grade) garbage can looking thing with a lid that is not air tight and no air lock. So do I rack it to a glass carboy at some point to get it to a safer envirement or just bottle it?

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Old 07-04-2012, 03:41 AM   #2
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Really, it's always best to check the gravity 2 or 3 days in a row to see if it changes to be sure fermentation is complete. To bottle too early could lead to bottle bombs.
I usually ferment in a primary for 3 weeks or close but some beers, like wheat or cream ales, may only need 10-14 days. Personally, I think 7 days is way too early and the kits companies sell are geared toward ease and speed which don't always make the best beer.
The fact that you have no lid worries me. While fermentation is going full blast, you may be safe but oxygen and dirties could cause infection. I'm not familiar with any kits that don't come with a lid and airlock.

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Old 07-04-2012, 03:42 AM   #3
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in your particular situation, i'd rack it to a secondary to protect it behind an airlock after a week, leave it there for a week, then bottle

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Old 07-04-2012, 04:12 AM   #4
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Would there be any harm in getting it into the carboy sooner?

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Old 07-04-2012, 04:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Uno View Post
Would there be any harm in getting it into the carboy sooner?
You don't want to take it off the yeast cake until the vigorous fermentation is complete.

Since your primary has a lid that doesn't seal, just leave it alone for a few more days before racking into a carboy.

For your next batch, find a 6 gallon bucket with a gasketed lid (or just buy an 'ale pail') for your primary.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:18 AM   #6
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You don't want to take it off the yeast cake until the vigorous fermentation is complete.
if you rack it too early, you remove the beer from most of the yeast; possibly so much there isn't enough yeast to finish fermenting the beer
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:30 PM   #7
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I agree, rack into a carbon with an airlock after 7 days..... Secondary for 2 weeks minimum. Now go get yourself a decent primary fermenter, 10$ for bottling buckets with a lid at most shops. Next time try a 4 week primary.

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Old 07-04-2012, 02:50 PM   #8
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Not entirely sure how accurate this is but did some research on the Coopers fermentation bucket and the school of thought on it is that there bucket utilizes the "burping" method of fermentation. Because the CO2 is constantly being relieved oxygen cannot come in... Evidently it stays sealed unless there is CO2 coming out...Here is a link of a guy talking about it. Like i said not sure if this is a 100% thing just some food for thought!

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Old 07-04-2012, 05:10 PM   #9
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I know a lot of conventional wisdom on here is to leave the beer in primary or secondary for longer. I primary only and usually package at 2 weeks IF final gravity is stable and my gravity samples taste good but I make sure my temps are in line and pitch the right amount of good, healthy yeast so to each their own. Expiriment and take good notes. Leaving them longer will definitely help them clear and get rid of any off flavors that have developed though so if something tastes "off" I let them sit longer. With your fermentation temp, you may want to leave sit longer before packaging. Fermentation temp is always higher than ambient temps and can be up to 10 degrees higher during active fermentation. Temperature control was one of the best things I ever did for my beer.

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Old 07-06-2012, 10:46 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the great responses, guys. As soon as I get home from work today I'm going to rack to the secondary and before I start my next one I'll find a proper primary.

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