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Old 03-15-2012, 04:31 PM   #11
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There are threads on threads about the benefits and costs of using or not using secondary. The general consensus seems to be "do what you want."


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Old 03-15-2012, 07:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jjrandall View Post
The california common form the TRUE BREW GOLD KIT is still in its primary bucket, on day two of fermenting.. Now the guy at the store told me after a few days it should stop bubbling, and then I can switch it to the secondary (glass carboy), but on here everyone is writing that you ferment it in the primary for a few weeks. THis guy only said a couple days.. So what do you think? How long do I keep it in the primary or how do I tell when its done? By the airlock? And then what about the secondary? How do I tell when its done in the secondary ? (I want a more refined brew so thats why I am using a secondary).. Thanks
Transferring your beer to secondary after a few days is WAY too soon. Even if active fermentation finishes after a couple days (and it's not always done even if the airlock doesn't show activity), there's still byproducts created by the yeast that need to get cleaned up, and prematurely transferring to secondary can inhibit that cleanup. I would recommend skipping the secondary entirely. If you do opt to secondary it, as long as you do so after fermentation is fully completed, then it's up to you how long you leave it. For a Cal Common, I'd only secondary if I were going to dry hop (and then I'd just dry hop in primary) or lager it.

Also, airlock bubbling means next to nothing. It's probably the least reliable indicator of fermentation activity. If your fermenter has a poor seal, you might never see bubbles and still have a healthy fermentation. You could also have bubbles from release of CO2 even if there's no fermentation. And just because bubbles stop doesn't mean fermentation has stopped. The only, ONLY way to tell if your beer is truly done is with a hydrometer. Consistent gravity readings over a span of 3 days means it's done. If it changes over three days, it's still going. And even if it's done, I'd give it another week after that (see point in first paragraph).


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Old 03-15-2012, 09:50 PM   #13
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Definitely more than a couple of days. I just did one too. Primary at 64 degrees for 19 days. Then Into secondary going on 7 days now. I will probably bottle it next week some time. You need a hydrometer to truly know when it is done fermenting. You can get by without one but then you will have to error on the side of longer and be patient, hard to do when you are newer at brewing and just want to get a beer to drink.....

Cheers and stuff!!!
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by urbanmyth View Post
There are threads on threads about the benefits and costs of using or not using secondary. The general consensus seems to be "do what you want."
I wasn't asking about using a secondary fermenter or not, I said I was going to because I wanted a more refined brew.. my question is, I DO HAVE a hydrometer and I used it in my wort before the yeast, and it read about 5.5 on the alcohol % level. My question is, at what point should I switch it from primary to secondary? WHat should my hydrometer read? And is it bad to open the lid off your primary or should it be a quick thing? I am using a california common .
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:24 PM   #15
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CORRECTION * Gravity reading was at 1.040 not 5.5
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjrandall View Post
I wasn't asking about using a secondary fermenter or not, I said I was going to because I wanted a more refined brew.. my question is, I DO HAVE a hydrometer and I used it in my wort before the yeast, and it read about 5.5 on the alcohol % level. My question is, at what point should I switch it from primary to secondary? WHat should my hydrometer read? And is it bad to open the lid off your primary or should it be a quick thing? I am using a california common .
and most of us are going to tell you that "a more refined brew" and "secondary" have nothing to do with one another. Don't waste your time with a secondary. no it's not bad to open the lid on your primary. you have to do it if your going to take gravity readings. just make sure everything is sanitized and don't leave the top off for long periods.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two_one_seven
this is a steam beer. It is meant to be fermented at ale temperatures. So mind 60's is perfect. It's not a lager even though it uses lager yeast which is the point it's a hybrid style. I prefer mine like this, if i want a lager i will make a lager.........
+1
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by CPFITNESS View Post
and most of us are going to tell you that "a more refined brew" and "secondary" have nothing to do with one another. Don't waste your time with a secondary. no it's not bad to open the lid on your primary. you have to do it if your going to take gravity readings. just make sure everything is sanitized and don't leave the top off for long periods.
+1 to this. Using a secondary in this case doesn't get you a more refined beer. Let it ferment in the right temp range, with enough time and the right amount of yeast pitched and you'll get the refined beer you are wanting.

These guys are trying to help you out here. It's akin to somebody asking how to shoot up with heroin and nobody stopping to say "that's bad for you, dude".

Secondary buckets or carboys seem to be standard in most homebrew kits but they aren't necessary or even recommended anymore by the majority of homebrewers. I know it feels like you SHOULD use it because you have it and the guy (or the instructions) said to, but don't. Let the yeast do their thing in the primary for 2-3 weeks and you'll be golden without the risk of oxidation or infection that comes with any transfer.

If you're really dead set on transferring, wait 2 weeks.
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:06 PM   #19
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Thanks. Will do and I will let you know how it turns out.


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