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Old 09-26-2012, 01:32 PM   #1
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Default What should I do???

Here is the short version:
Brewed first ever batch of NB Irish Red on Sat. 9/22
Pitched Nottingham yeast (that stuff is a BEAST!)

Fermentation took off within 12 hours and was furious between 24 and 36 hours. (temp. was at the upper end of the spectrum around 70 degrees, so I am told to possibly expect fruity taste, but we will see)

Fermentation slowed and temp dropped into mid to high 60's and now bubbling has slowed to maybe 1 to 2 bubbles per minute.

Instructions say primary ferment for 1-2 wks and I understand that the longer that I leave it, the yeast will alter the taste (in a good way).

But, other threads that I have read and literature (Palmer's How to Brew) seem to lean towards "if the bubbling has slowed, then it is safe to rack to secondary."

I realize that this is only day 4, and I am not thinking of racking to secondary until this Sat or Sun, as that would make 1 week in primary.

What advantage is there in leaving in primary for a second week if most active fermentation is over?
TASTE?

I will leave it at that for now, as I have other questions that need to have this answered first.

Input please......

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PRIMARY: Dirty Blonde
SECONDARY-Dry-hopping: Regal Pale Ale
SECONDARY-Dry-hopping: SNPA Clone
SECONDARY: Unknown Ale (Partigyle from RPA and SNPA)
BOTTLED / CONDITIONING: Bass Ale Clone
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Fuggle SMaSH
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Willamette
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:38 PM   #2
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Well, for one thing, bubbling is not an accurate indicator of fermentation activity. The best way is through gravity readings with a hydrometer. Failing that, leave it in the primary fermenter for the recommended period.

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Old 09-26-2012, 01:39 PM   #3
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For most things the secondary is now deemed not needed. Leave it in the primary for two weeks and test, if your reading stay the same for 2 or 3 days bottles it. If I remember right, even Palmer has backtracked on the need for secondary. You would still want it for certain things but for a normal beer you don't need it.

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Old 09-26-2012, 01:41 PM   #4
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I'd leave it in the primary for at least two weeks.

While you're waiting, here a thread you might find interesting.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/secondary-fermentation-rack-not-rack-155255/

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Old 09-26-2012, 01:47 PM   #5
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I don't bother with a secondary, but you can if you want. I just find it unnecessary. There's plenty of threads on this forum about the topic.

If I were to secondary, I wouldn't do so until fermentation stopped. A secondary is transferring the beer to another vessel and leaving the majority of the yeast behind. If you transfer the beer too early, you're not going to have enough yeast remaining to finish fermentation. My advice would be patience, let primary fermentation run its course. I typically leave my beer on the yeast, in the primary for about 3 weeks, then bottle. It seems like your beer is still fermenting, so I'd let the yeast do there thing. You can take a gravity reading if you like, but I don't typically fool around with my beer this early in the process. Primary fermentation is complete when the gravity reading is stable over a 2-3 day period.

I hope this helps, good luck.

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Old 09-26-2012, 03:52 PM   #6
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Soooo......

Thank you to everyone for getting me realigned.

hotspur: that link was very helpful (LONG, but very helpful and got a little heated there for a few posts)

Things that I remembered and learned from all of this:

1) I need to cough up the dough and get a current edition of Palmer (the free PDF version was cool, but obviously a lot has changed)
2) This brewing thing is part "true" science, part "mad" scientist, and part sheer luck.
3) Good record keeping is a MUST!! If you try something and it works, you can do it again if you took the time to chronicle it.

Thanks again to all (the list from that other post included)

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Blackbird Brewing

PRIMARY: Dirty Blonde
SECONDARY-Dry-hopping: Regal Pale Ale
SECONDARY-Dry-hopping: SNPA Clone
SECONDARY: Unknown Ale (Partigyle from RPA and SNPA)
BOTTLED / CONDITIONING: Bass Ale Clone
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Fuggle SMaSH
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Willamette
Do not mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you will remember about me.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewkinger View Post
this brewing thing is part "true" science, part "mad" scientist, and part sheer luck.
qft
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...it's fine if it's fermenting.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:06 PM   #8
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I made that same beer. I gave it 2 weeks primary and then 1 week seconday and it was a great beer. It was also the first and last time I used a secondary fermenter. I now allow my beers 3 weeks in the primary and then bottle. I only use secondary for dry hopping and adding flavoring. Some people even dry hop in the primary. Irish Red from Northern Brewer was a very good beer. It took only 2 weeks to carb but was a great beer at 4 plus weeks in the bottle. enjoy.

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Old 09-26-2012, 04:30 PM   #9
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acronym help... what is "qft"??

If I venture a guess, I would say Quite F$%^ing True

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Blackbird Brewing

PRIMARY: Dirty Blonde
SECONDARY-Dry-hopping: Regal Pale Ale
SECONDARY-Dry-hopping: SNPA Clone
SECONDARY: Unknown Ale (Partigyle from RPA and SNPA)
BOTTLED / CONDITIONING: Bass Ale Clone
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Fuggle SMaSH
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Willamette
Do not mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you will remember about me.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:43 PM   #10
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Quoted for truth.
Same sentiment.

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