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Old 09-29-2010, 06:33 PM   #1
Sep 2010
Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 138
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Hey everyone. I'm new to the forum and new to homebrewing, currently making an IPA from a kit just so I can get used to the process.

I spent some time reading around this forum and I noticed that the general concensus is that a secondary fermenter is not necessary for ales unless you are adding fruit or dry hopping. I saw multiple people say that the general rule of thumb if you choose to not use the secondary is to let it sit 2 weeks in the primary.

So this has been sitting in my closet for around 5 days now. The bubbling has slowed significantly, so it is almost done. My question is, what additional benefit would I get for letting it sit the extra week? It is still very cloudy and has a lot of particles because I did not strain it before putting it in the carboy, but it doesn't seem like it is going to settle out a whole lot more.

Here's an image for reference...there is some hop residue stuck on top but I don't think that would get in my beer if I siphon the liquid.



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Old 09-29-2010, 06:59 PM   #2
Jan 2009
Pea Green, Colorado
Posts: 2,936
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There will be a WORLD of difference if you let it set for another week, at least another week probably two, or three.
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:08 PM   #3
Dec 2007
Bryn Mawr, PA
Posts: 744
Liked 22 Times on 22 Posts

Active fermentation ceases after about 48 hours, but that doesn't mean that the beer is "done." The yeast continues to consume sugars for LONG after the end of their reproduction phase. Then, after they've finished consuming the sugars, they begin to consume some of the byproducts of reproduction which create off-flavors.

Moreover, airlock activity or its absence is not the bellweather of fermentation. Take hydrometer readings for three days to determine whether or not the beer is ACTUALLY done fermenting.
Primary 1: Hasty IPA
Primary 2:
Secondary: Soured Golden
Kegged: American Wheat
Bottled: Belgian Golden Ale.
Planning: American Amber

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Old 09-29-2010, 07:30 PM   #4
Jan 2010
Shenandoah Valley, VA
Posts: 402
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

it will clear up a lot in the coming weeks. i know its tough with the first beer, but give it three weeks in the primary and watch how it changes over that time. basically the 'stuff' floating around in there is yeast in suspension, and since its in suspension, its still doing stuff to make your beer better.
I like to use a secondary, its just a personal thing, doesn't really matter one way or the next, but i try to give it 3 weeks in the primary then rack to secondary until i get around to bottling. 2 weeks primary at a minimum!

bottle - some odds and ends
Primary - Belgian Pale
Secondary - smoked ale, christmas ale
on deck - brrrrr-ley wine

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