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Old 12-05-2009, 11:56 PM   #1
ksavitsk
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Mar 2008
Williamstown, MA
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I'm brewing my 3rd batch ever (first two were successes!), this time following a recipe for a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone. As instructed, I transfered to a secondary fermenter today (after a week in the primary) and added an ounce of Cascades hops. (Is that "dry hopping"?) I just dumped the hops in the carboy after the beer was in there...is that right? I've read some posts that talk about stockings and cheese cloth and such; is it a problem that I just added it straight? I'm OK with a very hoppy brew. Right now, though, it's all still sort of floating on top. Should it sink over the course of the week it will spend on the secondary fermenter? And should I filter it when I bottle it? Thanks.

By the way, the directions say it needs one week in the secondary fermenter and two more in the bottle before it's ready. That puts the drinking date on December 26, the day after Christmas -- just when one might WANT a beer! My wife suggested I put a picture of Scrooge on the label and call this batch "Bah, Hum-brew."

 
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:01 AM   #2
Gritsak
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Aug 2009
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You will be fine. Some dry hop in a bag to reduce hop particles floating around, but either way it gets the job done. I've read that it's better to put the hops in first, then rack the beer on top of them, but again, I'm sure it doesn't really make a difference.

I would definitely cold crash for at least a couple days and very carefully rack the beer into your bottling bucket for two reasons. 1) it will help bring stuff out of suspension and result in a clearer beer, and 2) with only one week in the primary, one week in the secondary, it's quite possible that fermentation might not be completely done. You don't want to end up with bottle bombs.

 
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:26 AM   #3
Baldy_Beer_Brewery
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Oct 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gritsak View Post
2) with only one week in the primary, one week in the secondary, it's quite possible that fermentation might not be completely done. You don't want to end up with bottle bombs.
Cold crashing won't help that. Using a hydrometer is going to be the best way to avoid bottle bombs.

 
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:39 AM   #4
android
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Jan 2009
Ames, Iowa
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bah-humbrew, i like the sound of that. what kind of yeast did you use? there's a good chance that your fermentation will be done after one week in each vessel (likely done after the first week, but it depends on a lot of factors). you can go 10 days-2 weeks in the secondary with dry hops if you want more flavor, but one week will be good too.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:44 AM   #5
ksavitsk
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Mar 2008
Williamstown, MA
Posts: 4

Can either of you explain (1) what cold-crashing is, and (2) how I can use a hydrometer to avoid bottle bombs? I did take a hydrometer reading just prior to the beginning of fermentation (1.050), but unlike some previous kits I've used, this one doesn't specify what the final reading is likely to be. Alternatively, should I leave it in the (secondary) fermenter a bit longer than a week? It seemed fast to me too. I noticed with my last batch that the beer (an IPA) seemed to get a little better with some time in the bottle. I'd hate to give this out as gifts, instruct everyone to drink it on December 26, and have it not be quite ready yet. Thanks!

 
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:22 AM   #6
bjzelectric
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Feb 2009
Hillsborough, North Carolina
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Cold crashing means to refrigerate or bring the temp of your brew down to refrigerating temps quickly. If you have a fridge w/ extra space for a carboy or if you can somehow submerge your carboy in a tub of ice water for a few days thats how. This is a way to help particulates settle to the bottom and help to clear the beer. I do not do this. I put a mesh bag over my racking cane before racking into the bottling bucket which acts as a filter to keep particles out. Works like a charm. To avoid B.B.s, You check the gravity of your brew. If your reading stays the same for a day or two, you can assume fermentation is done and its safe to bottle. If you get different readings, your fermentation isnt through which could lead to fermenting in the bottles resulting in bottle bombs.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:22 AM   #7
DRoyLenz
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Jun 2009
Chicago
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Post up the recipe here. Some of us with brewing software will be able to find out what the FG should be.

Alternatively, what you can do is take 2-3 hydrometer readings over a couple of days. If the gravity remains the same over that time period, fermentation is probably done. It's best to do this in conjunction with the known FG. You know if you're close to your calculated FG over a few days, you can say with confidence that primary has been completed.

 
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:23 AM   #8
bjzelectric
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Feb 2009
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By the way, I prime with corn sugar and my brews usually take 2 to 3 weeks to fully carbonate FWIW.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:28 AM   #9
Gritsak
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Aug 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldy_Beer_Brewery View Post
Cold crashing won't help that. Using a hydrometer is going to be the best way to avoid bottle bombs.
Agreed, but won't cold crashing essentially put dormant and settle anything that is/was active, allowing one to rack off only the beer?

 
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:03 PM   #10
ksavitsk
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Mar 2008
Williamstown, MA
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Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful replies. Ah yes, I remember reading that now -- watching for the hydrometer reading to stay the same over several consecutive readings. (Do I really have to discard the beer I use to take each reading? What a tragedy.) The mesh bag over the racking cane is clever; I'll try it!

Here is the recipe I followed. I got the kit at the Hennessy Homebrew Emporium in Albany, NY. It's pretty simple.

1 lb crystal malt in 1 gal water; boil and remove grains.
6.6 lbs light malt extract; boil.
2 oz. Perle hops; boil 30 min.
1 oz. Cascades hops; boil 30 min.
Transfer to fermenter and add water up to 5 gal.
Pitch Windsor yeast at 75 degrees and 1 week in primary.
1 oz. Cascades hops; 1 week in secondary.
.75 to 1 C priming sugar and bottle. Wait to 2 week and have a homebrew!

 
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