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Old 12-27-2009, 07:51 PM   #1
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Default Denny's quick and dirty FAQ

Some of this can be argued to death but generally the following is true (real world experience vs theory). Also, the point of these answers is to dispel the inaccurate "You can NOT" myths. There can be arguments for which is better but the following are true IME.

I think we need a simplified FAQ for this time of year. Something like:

Question: Can I use Twist off bottles?
Answer: YES. But only if you use a Bench Capper. A hand capper will not work well for this.

You can use bleach as a sanitizer, but it is hard to rinse, can mess up your clothing and there are better alternatives out there. (Star san, iodopher, etc/)
(Arguably oxiclean will also sanitize as well if you use 1/2 scoop per gallon and soak for a few hours).

You can use aluminum for brewing. Make sure you oxidize (cure) the inside of the pot by boiling water in it for 20(?) minutes.

You can use plastic for a secondary. You can also use a blue polycarbonite 5g water bottle, though they may or my not contain bip-B (which would also be an issue when drinking water).
Oxygen transference is pretty much non-issue.

A secondary is not necessary, but often recommended. There is no such thing as "secondary fermentation", it is a clearing and aging vessel/process (also known as a bright tank, and often aged cold).

Autolysis is a much over exaggerated problem. If the yeast (beer) is kept at cool temps (cellar or below) it will not be an issue. Especially when aging for less than 3 months. I have aged beer in the primary for over a year with no problems.

Three weeks fermenting is the recommended minimum fermentation time. 3 weeks before bottling or kegging. And that is a minimum. Use you hydrometer to see if fermentation is done but leave at least 3 weeks regardless to ensure the yeast have time to enter there bi-product clean up stage.

Once bottled, 3 weeks is about what it takes in order to have fully carbed beer that is not green. There are different stratagems regarding how much time in the primary and secondary but over all 3 weeks is the minimum. If you are using a secondary, leave it in the primary at least 1 week!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_IPA View Post
your yeasties will be happier and your beer will taste cleaner and usually better if you ferment at the lower end of the temperature range for the yeast.

And keep in mind that ambient temperature and fermentation temperature can be two different things.

If your ambient temperature (room temp) is 68, your fermentation temperature may be up to 8-10 degrees higher because your yeast gives off a ton of heat during a fermentation which will raise the temperature of your beer.

a starter is not needed for dry yeast. Follow the instructions on the package for best results

a starter is encouraged for liquid yeast (and a "starter" is not just smaking the Wyeast smack pack - a starter is made from water and DME to make a "mini-beer" to help get your yeast count up to where it should be for proper pitching rates: see:http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html for further information.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
If you are brewing extract your original gravity reading may NOT match what your recipe says it should be. If you have the correct final volume, don't worry. It is nearly impossible short of stirring for over 5 minutes, to really integrate the heavier wort with the top of water. It WILL HAPPEN AUTOMATICALLY once fermentation begins. But don't sweat that initial reading. It happens all the time.

It often takes up to 72 hours after yeast pitching for the yeast to start working on your beer, it is called lag time, and it is the time that they are reproducing enough cells to being working on your beer.

Don't go by airlock bubbling as a sign of anything. Some beers ferment without a bubble, some airlocks bubble in the beginning but slow down or actually stop, while fermentation is still continuing, the airlock is a vent for excess co2, and if it's not bubbling it just means there is not an over abundance of co2. Nothing more.

The 1-2-3 rule is really silly. It doesn't take into account the afore mentioned lag time. If you count your one week at yeast pitch, have a lagtime of 3 days, and arbitrarily move your beer after a week, you may be interrupting the actual fermentation time. If you do decide to adhere to the 1-2-3 rule, don't start counting the week until you actually see a krausen or yeast activity.




What else am I missing?


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Old 12-27-2009, 07:57 PM   #2
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the fermentation time in the directions for kits varies widely.

Some use the 1-2-3 rule (1 week primary, 2 weeks secondary, 3 weeks in the bottles).

You will make better beer (IMO) if you do at least 2-2-3; though many skip the secondary tank and just leave in the primary for at least 3 weeks.


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Old 12-27-2009, 07:59 PM   #3
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If you are brewing extract your original gravity reading may NOT match what your recipe says it should be. If you have the correct final volume, don't worry. It is nearly impossible short of stirring for over 5 minutes, to really integrate the heavier wort with the top of water. It WILL HAPPEN AUTOMATICALLY once fermentation begins. But don't sweat that initial reading. It happens all the time.

It often takes up to 72 hours after yeast pitching for the yeast to start working on your beer, it is called lag time, and it is the time that they are reproducing enough cells to being working on your beer.

Don't go by airlock bubbling as a sign of anything. Some beers ferment without a bubble, some airlocks bubble in the beginning but slow down or actually stop, while fermentation is still continuing, the airlock is a vent for excess co2, and if it's not bubbling it just means there is not an over abundance of co2. Nothing more.

The 1-2-3 rule is really silly. It doesn't take into account the afore mentioned lag time. If you count your one week at yeast pitch, have a lagtime of 3 days, and arbitrarily move your beer after a week, you may be interrupting the actual fermentation time. If you do decide to adhere to the 1-2-3 rule, don't start counting the week until you actually see a krausen or yeast activity.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:59 PM   #4
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your yeasties will be happier and your beer will taste cleaner and usually better if you ferment at the lower end of the temperature range for the yeast.

And keep in mind that ambient temperature and fermentation temperature can be two different things.

If your ambient temperature (room temp) is 68, your fermentation temperature may be up to 8-10 degrees higher because your yeast gives off a ton of heat during a fermentation which will raise the temperature of your beer.
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:03 PM   #5
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a starter is not needed for dry yeast. Follow the instructions on the package for best results

a starter is encouraged for liquid yeast (and a "starter" is not just smaking the Wyeast smack pack - a starter is made from water and DME to make a "mini-beer" to help get your yeast count up to where it should be for proper pitching rates: see:http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html for further information.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:37 AM   #6
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Bumoing this to keep it on top of the newb pile.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:37 PM   #7
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bump123456789
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Old 12-30-2009, 03:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny's Evil Concoctions View Post
bump123456789
I see what you just did there!
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:29 PM   #9
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If you're going for facts, I think it's misleading to say that 3 weeks is the minimum recommended fermenting time. I would switch that to opinion and replace it with hydrometer readings are the only way to know how the fermentation is going.
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:30 AM   #10
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bump
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