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Old 03-07-2012, 03:02 AM   #1
jh2os
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Default Beginner Advice - Imperial Stout & Brown Ale

On my 3rd day of my first 2 batches, I want to make sure I don't screw them up so I'm looking for some advice.

Brown Ale - OG: 1.072
Imperial Stout - OG: 1.091

1. Is 75 F an issue with either of these brews during primary or secondary?

2. If considering to do a secondary on the imperial to clear it a bit and add some coffee and chocolate, how long should I leave it in the primary and in the secondary before bottling?

3. What's average time for a brown estimated around 7% to be ready to drink after bottling?

4. Should I take another SG reading if I decide to rack into secondary?

Thanks in advance !!!


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Old 03-07-2012, 04:23 AM   #2
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1. Yes, 75* is too warm for anything but Belgian ales and Saison. During secondary it'd be fine but that's too warm for good fermentation (as in, flavor-wise. I'm sure it'd take off like a rocket).
2. Leave in primary for 3-4 wks, secondary for a month or three. Not sure how to best add the coffee/chocolate as I've never done, but you might consider adding cold-steeped coffee for the coffee bit. I've heard that works really well.
3. 6-8 wks, give or take. Could be longer if you ferment warmer or have other problems that create off-flavors.
4. when - when you first rack to secondary, or after it's been there awhile? Cause I would do the latter but not the former.


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Old 03-07-2012, 05:11 PM   #3
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Nice thank you !!!

Update: Just stopped home for lunch and checked the temp. again (Day 4), it is now reading 73 F.

Question: what is the ideal temp. to be fermenting the brown and imperial at?

Problem: In a small apartment (2nd floor) with limited space and a girlfriend that is always cold. Built a small shelf in the hallway to keep 2 Primaries, 2 Secondaries, and cases of bottles which are covered by a towel to dampen the blowoff bubbling noise and to keep it dark.

Question: Could this be making it too warm and any idea on how to keep it cooler?
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:16 PM   #4
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What yeast are you using? If you are looking to minimize/eliminate fusel alcohols and minimize ester production you'd want to be in the low to mid 60's for most yeast strains. Especially during the first 48-72 hours. If you're on day 4, not sure cooling it down will help much. I think you will have some fusels with both of those brews, but could be okay depending on yeast strain.

Swamp coolers work to help bring the temps down. Basically you put the bucket into a rubbermaid container and fill about halfway up the bucket with cold water. Keep cycling frozen water bottles in. That can reduce the temps by anywhere between 2 and 6 deg F. Maybe more if you use more bottles.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:21 PM   #5
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If you have no way of controlling the temp, you can always wrap the fermenter in a damp towel. Having a fan blowing on the towel will cool it down even more.

75 is just too warm unless it's a Belgian. Make sure you leave them in primary for at least 4 weeks so the yeast have a chance to clean up any off flavors.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:45 PM   #6
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Attached is a picture of the ingredients I used.

So basically, they are going to have a strong alcohol like taste because of the high temp, and keeping it in the primary for at least 3 weeks should help?

I was planning on letting this age for at least 3 months before bottling. Is this also a good idea?
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:21 AM   #7
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The taste will probably be a bit 'hot,' yes. There may also be other kind of fruity or tangy flavors. US-05 is a pretty versatile strain so it could be worse.

It's not a bad idea, so long as you have good sanitation and keep it well protected from oxygen.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:37 AM   #8
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You should be ok, but it will take quite a bit of aging.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:20 PM   #9
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Thanks to all for the advice !!!!

Cheers...
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:38 PM   #10
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Just thought of some more questions...

1. Are there any ingredients that I could add into the secondary to help decrease the off favors while letting it age for months (4-6)?

2. Should I expect continued fermentation in the secondary?

3. What is considered "quality sanitation" for aging, to avoid oxygen contamination?

4. Did I just end up brewing (2) batches that are going to light me up like moonshine?

Dogfish Head World Wide Stoudt is one of my top 5 favorites because of the high a.b.v. So I don't mind drinking a normal pint while sipping on my Imperial Stout Whiskey Brew that I just made. Lol....

You guys are helping me a ton and I appreciate it. This app is F$&@ing awesome !!! Thanks again in advance...


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