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Old 12-11-2009, 10:41 PM   #1
RickyBobby
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Default Just a few questions...

I'll begin this post (being my first) stating that yes, I'm possibly a n00b (I guess no 'possibly' in that last statement though...) and know how to rtfm, but some questions still elude me.

As a precursor to this, I've brewed probably 7 or 8 extracts since the beginning of summer, some which came out 'ok', nothing came out 'really good' or something I said 'damn, that's good!' On the plus side, only one really came out undrinkable, which was my very first brew.

1. Fermentation Times - I've had anywhere from 2 days to 5-6 days fermentation in my primary. As much as I've tried to read up on this, I guess I haven't found a great answer for this, so I figured I would ask here. How long is a 'normal' fermentation time? I know it depends on the beer, but when I make two IPA's using generally the same ingredients (maybe some different hops) one fermented for two days, one for 5 days. I've kept the temperature around 68 degrees on both of them.

2. Partial boil vs. Full Boil - I currently have a 5 gallon pot that I use on my stove (which puts out a good amount of heat). Some recipes (and books) I've read said to use 1 1/2 - 2 gallons of water for the boil, other's say 3 for a partial. I'm figuring the more the merrier and hope I am answering my question here by stating that doing 3 gallons would be best. As a side note, since this is still extract brewing, I've also read that if doing a 3 gallon boil, only half of the malt extract should be put for the boil, then the rest after the boil to let it temper, suggestions?

3. How much Water - This goes with my last question. I would boil 3 gallons, add two and a half afterwards to get close to 5 gallons. I checked my carboy's (6.5 gallon) and know where the 5 gallon mark is, which I'm almost always spot on. Should I be adding more water post-boil to make up for the loss after transferring to a secondary or bottling?

4. When to bottle - So, now I've checked my beer now every day for three days and there is no change in gravity. I made this batch last week, so it's been 10 days. What are the pluses/minuses to bottling now, leaving it in the primary for x days (if so how long), or moving to a secondary (again for how long). I know this can vary differently between different types of beers, right now I have two Pale ale's fermenting.

Sorry for the long post, I'm sure I have other questions which will pop up from time to time. In time hopefully I'll be the one aiding in the answering!

If I'm going to do something I want to do it right, and there is nothing more saddening than having to throw away beer!

Cheers!


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Old 12-11-2009, 10:55 PM   #2
Hugh_Jass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyBobby View Post
I'll begin this post (being my first) stating that yes, I'm possibly a n00b (I guess no 'possibly' in that last statement though...) and know how to rtfm, but some questions still elude me.

As a precursor to this, I've brewed probably 7 or 8 extracts since the beginning of summer, some which came out 'ok', nothing came out 'really good' or something I said 'damn, that's good!' On the plus side, only one really came out undrinkable, which was my very first brew.

1. Fermentation Times - I've had anywhere from 2 days to 5-6 days fermentation in my primary. As much as I've tried to read up on this, I guess I haven't found a great answer for this, so I figured I would ask here. How long is a 'normal' fermentation time? I know it depends on the beer, but when I make two IPA's using generally the same ingredients (maybe some different hops) one fermented for two days, one for 5 days. I've kept the temperature around 68 degrees on both of them.

2. Partial boil vs. Full Boil - I currently have a 5 gallon pot that I use on my stove (which puts out a good amount of heat). Some recipes (and books) I've read said to use 1 1/2 - 2 gallons of water for the boil, other's say 3 for a partial. I'm figuring the more the merrier and hope I am answering my question here by stating that doing 3 gallons would be best. As a side note, since this is still extract brewing, I've also read that if doing a 3 gallon boil, only half of the malt extract should be put for the boil, then the rest after the boil to let it temper, suggestions?

3. How much Water - This goes with my last question. I would boil 3 gallons, add two and a half afterwards to get close to 5 gallons. I checked my carboy's (6.5 gallon) and know where the 5 gallon mark is, which I'm almost always spot on. Should I be adding more water post-boil to make up for the loss after transferring to a secondary or bottling?

4. When to bottle - So, now I've checked my beer now every day for three days and there is no change in gravity. I made this batch last week, so it's been 10 days. What are the pluses/minuses to bottling now, leaving it in the primary for x days (if so how long), or moving to a secondary (again for how long). I know this can vary differently between different types of beers, right now I have two Pale ale's fermenting.

Sorry for the long post, I'm sure I have other questions which will pop up from time to time. In time hopefully I'll be the one aiding in the answering!

If I'm going to do something I want to do it right, and there is nothing more saddening than having to throw away beer!

Cheers!
1) Fermentation depends on the yeast you've pitched. Understand that once you've pitched the yeast, they're in charge. It's their timetable, not yours.

2) The closer to a full boil the better.

3) If I want 5 gallon in a keg, I'll shoot for 5.5 in primary.

4) Many on here ignore the 1-2-3 method and use as least 3 weeks in primary and three weeks to bottle condition.

Welcome!
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