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Old 07-20-2009, 10:43 PM   #1
Dylock
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Default First Brew Concerns

Howdy,

So I made my first batch of Amber ale from an extract/grain kit with a full 5 gallon boil. Things were going along great; was getting airlock activity after 12 hours and it was going strong for a good 24 hours. However over the last 24 hours there seems to be no airlock activity. I will be transferring to secondary tomorrow and I will take a gravity reading, but is it possible it fermented that fast? Or could it have stalled?

Concerned,
~Dy


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Old 07-20-2009, 10:49 PM   #2
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I have a similar situation, after I put the yeast in (about 90 degrees) and sealed everything up, about 6 hrs later, I had good bubbling, 24 hours later, I have none. I read the posts that say everything is probably ok. But here's the other thing, I lost about 2 cups of liquid from a boilover... Did this hurt anything?
One last thing, My kit was a True brew Nut brown ale. It says to bottle after 7 days. I've read several posts here that say leave primary 2 full weeks. Do you recommend that for my situation? Thank you so much for your help, I love beer and am so excited about doing home brew!!!!


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Old 07-20-2009, 11:01 PM   #3
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Well, bubbling (or not bubbling) isn't really a sign that no fermentation is taking place but it's not uncommon for beers to ferment out in 24-36 hours, particularly if it's in a warm place. Ideally, the beer would be under 70 degrees or so, but that is hard to do in the summer time. If your fermentation was hotter than that, it can be very explosive and finish up extraordinarily fast.

Usually, once visible signs of fermentation are done the yeast are still working. After the yeast run out of fermentable sugars to eat, they go back and "clean up" after themselves, even digesting their own waste products (like diacetyl). So, even if fermentation is nearly done, the yeast are still busy. I would suggest keeping the beer in the primary for at least a week or two to allow that process to happen. If you're not using a secondary, even three weeks would be better than bottling after only 7 days.

Homebrew beer that is bottle conditioned will always have some sediment in it, but bottling early will cause even more sediment to be in the bottles. I like to wait until the beer is clear, and more "stuff" will fall as trub to the bottom of the fermenter. You can rack (siphon) the clear beer off of the yeasty trub when you're ready to go to bottle.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:12 PM   #4
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Ditto. Three weeks in primary (or primary + secondary) is a good rule of thumb, then I do 8 weeks in the bottle. The number one thing you can do to get great beer is WAIT. Number two is WAIT MORE.

Mparmer, you're fine with the boilover, that doesn't change anything. If you lost a half gallon, you'd want to adjust how much priming sugar you use when you bottle, but a pint isn't enough to worry about.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:54 PM   #5
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24+24+12 = 60 hours.

Is that all it's been since you pitched the yeast? If so there is NO WAY you should be thinking about transferring it to secondary tomorrow.

+1 on what yoop said.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:58 PM   #6
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And when you do transfer to secondary, it should only be AFTER you take SG readings to verify that it has completed fermentation. And then you should still consider keeping it in primary longer still.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
And when you do transfer to secondary, it should only be AFTER you take SG readings to verify that it has completed fermentation. And then you should still consider keeping it in primary longer still.
Save yourself some aggrivation (and save your beer from possible contamination) and leave it in your primary for 3-4 weeks, then bottle it. A lot of homebrewers (including myself) almost never use a secondary.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:25 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice. I will keep it in primary a lot longer then I anticipated.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:30 AM   #9
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For the most part, the longer you keep it in the primary, the better it will taste. And let's face it... the longer you can't taste it, the "sweeter" it will taste when you take the first sip.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:05 AM   #10
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Strangely enough, these instructions say to go to secondary after 3 days. Probably not very reliable directions.


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