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Old 09-13-2009, 01:56 PM   #1
fotomatt1
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Default When should I transfer my pumpkin ale to secondary?

How will I know when it's the right time to transfer my pumpkin ale to a secondary fermenter? I brewed yesterday..hope to see signs of fermentation today. The instructions with my AHS kit said 7 days. Is that too soon?

Also, I need to pick up a carboy for a secondary. Should I get a 5 or 6 gallon?

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Old 09-13-2009, 02:03 PM   #2
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Only your hydrometer can tell you when for sure. You should rack when the fermentation is complete. I brewed my AHS Pumpkin on 9-1 and its still in the primary. I don't usually secondary, but I think with the excessive amount of pumpkin debris and huge amount of trub I will within the next few days. But nothing wrong with leaving it on the trub for a few weeks.

If your buying a new carboy for your secondary I would go 6 gal. That way you have a new primary fermentor and can have 2 going at once with no bottlenecks in the pipeline.

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Old 09-13-2009, 02:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotomatt1 View Post
How will I know when it's the right time to transfer my pumpkin ale to a secondary fermenter? I brewed yesterday..hope to see signs of fermentation today. The instructions with my AHS kit said 7 days. Is that too soon?

Also, I need to pick up a carboy for a secondary. Should I get a 5 or 6 gallon?
First, get a Better Bottle. It's safer than a glass carboy and half the price. AHS has them for $25 for a 5 gal, which I purchased yesterday. From what I read, 5 gal's are usually the way to go for a secondary as it minimizes the amount of air space at the top. In a secondary you really need to make sure that air is mitigated as much as possible, so no oxidation happens. But, even with a 6 gal, there might be enough C02 to push any existing oxygen out.

Now...

I did my AHS Pumpkin Spice kit one week ago yesterday, but does it really need to be transferred to a secondary? There's no dry hopping involved and no flavoring that would occur, and it was my impression that even Palmer himself doesn't transfer to secondary anymore without those two conditions. Won't the beer clear just as well if not better sitting on the trub and yeast cake? I would think that as long as you're careful when transferring to bottling bucket, it's better to keep it in the primary.
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Primary: Centennial Blonde Ale, Deception Cream Stout Secondary: Empty.
Bottle Conditioning / Drinking: Pumpkin Spice Ale, Cherry Wheat Ale, Bee Cave IPA, EdWort's Apfelwein.
R.I.P.: Bee Cave Haus Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Pecan Scottish Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Blonde Ale.


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You definitely win my award for "Most Enthusiastic New Brewer".

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Old 09-13-2009, 03:18 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I'm still going to pick up a 5 gal better bottle...probably good to have, but not sure if I'm going to rack this beer to the secondary. I'm not sure how much pumkin debris I'm going to have...I poured the wort through a strainer when I transferred from the kettle to the primary. Was that a bad thing to do?

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Old 09-13-2009, 03:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotomatt1 View Post
Thanks for the advice. I'm still going to pick up a 5 gal better bottle...probably good to have, but not sure if I'm going to rack this beer to the secondary. I'm not sure how much pumkin debris I'm going to have...I poured the wort through a strainer when I transferred from the kettle to the primary. Was that a bad thing to do?
Probably not bad, no. I didn't strain it because I wanted the debris from the spice pack to flavor it as long as possible (maybe THAT was a bad thing, I don't know!). It should be fine in any case. By the time it's bottled (on the 26'th) there will be a good two months of bottle conditioning that will happen before it's drank, which should get rid of any slight off-tastes.

Anybody else with experience on this kit able to chime in with words of wisdom? To filter the spice debris (orange peels, cinnamon, etc) after the boil, or not? To rack to secondary, or not?
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Justin H.
Brew Blog: Three Taps Brewing
Primary: Centennial Blonde Ale, Deception Cream Stout Secondary: Empty.
Bottle Conditioning / Drinking: Pumpkin Spice Ale, Cherry Wheat Ale, Bee Cave IPA, EdWort's Apfelwein.
R.I.P.: Bee Cave Haus Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Pecan Scottish Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Blonde Ale.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortyjacobs
You definitely win my award for "Most Enthusiastic New Brewer".
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:16 PM   #6
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ok...so I bought a 5gal better bottle. My pumpkin ale has been in the primary for 7 days. I'm probably going to rack to the secondary next week. Just wanted to ask...when is it safe to open my primary to take a SG reading? I try not to disturb my beer and be patient. Also, if I open my primary, to take a sample with a thief, do I need to re-sanitize my bucket lid before replacing it?

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Old 09-19-2009, 07:46 PM   #7
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Ideally, yes. As a general rule, sanitize anything and everything that comes in contact with the beer, at any stage.

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Old 09-19-2009, 08:28 PM   #8
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Ideally, yes. As a general rule, sanitize anything and everything that comes in contact with the beer, at any stage.
Thanks..that's what I figured. So when would be an ideal time to take a first SG reading? After a week? 10 days?
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