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Old 12-05-2012, 12:34 AM   #1
res_ipsa_loquitur
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Default New brewer fermentation question

I just started my first batch on Friday night. It is a blonde ale kit from best brewers.

Primary fermentation has been going since Saturday and the bubbles in the air lock are beginning to slow. I have read that secondary fermentation is a good idea for taste and color. My questions are:

1) at what point would I want to move it to the carboy? when i know longer see an bubbles appearing?
2) how long should I leave it in the carboy before bottling? the instructions say 2 weeks but I have read quite a few different suggestions on the boards here.

Thanks for any help you can give "the new guy"


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Old 12-05-2012, 12:42 AM   #2
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Wait until day 10 - 15 then take a gravity reading. Wait 2 more days and take another gravity reading. If they are the same you have choices. Transfer to secondary for a week or two then bottle of just leave it in the primary for 3-4 weeks then bottle.

Ignore the bubbling in the airlock. It only means that there is excess gas that is escaping.

If you don't do a secondary you lessen the chance of infection or oxidating the beer.

After bottling, store them at about 70 degrees for at least 2 weeks then chill one for 2 days and try it. If it is not ready wait another week and try another. I find that some are carbonated at 2 weeks but they all have tasted better after 3 weeks or longer.


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Old 12-05-2012, 12:49 AM   #3
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I rarely secondary and I would definitely not secondary your recipe.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/sec...-weigh-176837/
and
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/pri...tation-285164/

that ought to keep you busy
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:53 AM   #4
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I just leave in primary. The transfer creates an opportunity for introducing oxygen and infection without documented benefit. If you can cold crash before bottling/kegging you will accomplish more for clarity than a secondary
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:01 AM   #5
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Great. Thanks for the advice and the links. Honestly, I would prefer to keep it in the primary. I am gathering that the instructions in the kit are not set in stone by any means.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:16 AM   #6
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Time is you beer's friend... Leave it in primary until the fermentation is done, a couple weeks, then check again in about three days to be sure.

When you are sure, then bottle it for at least three weeks, a month is better.

I have recently learned this lesson by not doing it.

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Old 12-05-2012, 01:27 AM   #7
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So the proper way to tell when the fermenting is complete is to take a gravity reading.... wait 2-3 days and take another... and if they are the same then it is complete?
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:34 AM   #8
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Wait about 10 - 14 days to take your first one.

Compare it to your target fg. If you have hit the number, you are probably there, so wait three days and check again to be sure.

If you haven't hit your number, wait three days and try again.

If your gravity has fallen, wait another three and do it again. If your gravity is the same as the first sample, you are done.

Remember. It does no harm to wait a little longer.

You can't hurry this up. You just have to wait, and we all know how hard it is to do that waiting thing, but that's what you need to do.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by res_ipsa_loquitur View Post
Great. Thanks for the advice and the links. Honestly, I would prefer to keep it in the primary. I am gathering that the instructions in the kit are not set in stone by any means.
The instructions are not "wrong", they are just lacking of all the information needed to make proper decisions. I did my first brew and quickly discovered that I started the fermentation too warm. I then found this site and with the recommendations let the beer ferment longer and started another batch.

With research you will find that there are many acceptable procedures. You have to learn the pros and cons, what will work and what will not, then decide what will work for you. You may try something that you later decide is not best and make adjustments.

In reality it is somewhat difficult to actually "ruin" an beer.

Read up, learn, have fun and enjoy the hobby and the fruits thereof.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:57 AM   #10
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I think moving the beer to secondary gives stuff more chance to settle out and all the motion gets the yeast reinvigorated. I find 2 weeks in primary and one week in secondary is plenty for most beers.


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