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Old 01-15-2013, 05:46 PM   #1
rayfound
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Default Finishing up 1st Brew

My 1st Brew is an Irish Red Extract kit from MoreBeer. I input it into hopville: http://hopville.com/recipe/1672038

Brew day was smooth and everything went fine.

Fermentation was good, and after about a week it had dropped from 1.058 to 1.022. I left it in the primary, and will continue to do so.

That being said, at now 16 days in I took another gravity, and it has barely moved: 1.021 now. I have checked the hydrometer and it reads 1.000 on RO Water.

I came in higher on OG than the kit suggested (1.046-1.050 on the instructions, 1.056 according to hopville). EDIT: Kit does not give a FG target, but has a 4.5% ABV, which I am already significantly over. Hopville says 1.014-1.017.



OK, so that aside - I want to brew again Saturday, which means I will need my carboy back. So I would like to get my Irish red bottled off on Thursday/Friday (EDIT:assuming Gravity stays steady), which is a couple days earlier than the "3-weeks", but I also would like to cold-crash before bottling.

How long do I need to have the carboy in the fridge (33-35 F) for it to get down to temp and show some benefit from the cold crash?

How much different on the beer is the bulk aging vs bottled aging? (ie: if instead of 3 weeks+3 weeks I end up with 2.5 + 3.5 - is there a noticeable difference?)

Thanks,
Ray


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Old 01-15-2013, 05:55 PM   #2
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First you need to make sure it is done fermenting or you're going to have a lotion bottle bombs, what does the fg say on the recipe?


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Old 01-15-2013, 06:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RUNningonbrew View Post
First you need to make sure it is done fermenting or you're going to have a lotion bottle bombs, what does the fg say on the recipe?
I added this info to my OP:

EDIT: Kit does not give a FG target, but has a 4.5% ABV, which I am already significantly over. Hopville says 1.014-1.017.


I'm not bottling if the gravity is still moving. Should have said that.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:20 PM   #4
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I've been brewing less than 1 year. I started out with 1 carboy and quickly got to 2. I now have 4 and could use more. Sounds like u need more also. Trust me u will use them.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:25 PM   #5
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I've been brewing less than 1 year. I started out with 1 carboy and quickly got to 2. I now have 4 and could use more. Sounds like u need more also. Trust me u will use them.
Definitely agree... but budget is really tight right now and available monies are going to improve beer quality rather than quantity. (Stir plate and temperature control in process)
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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I don't cold crash, but I've read recommendations of doing it for up to a week. You should notice the beer is clearer when it's done. You may need to take a sample in a glass to observe it.

You want to have 3 weeks in bottles at room temperature to carbonate. Some beers take more time, some take less. A lot of people on this board just wait for 3 weeks after bottling for just about every beer. For bigger beers, they wait a bit longer.

If you really want to brew and you have a few dollars to spare, you can get a food grade bucket, lid, and blowoff tubing for under $10 at Home Depot. Drill a hole in the lid to fit the tubing and run it to a pail of starsan and you have a brand new fermenter.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
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Definitely agree... but budget is really tight right now and available monies are going to improve beer quality rather than quantity. (Stir plate and temperature control in process)
I like that approach - quality first.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:29 PM   #8
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If you really want to brew and you have a few dollars to spare, you can get a food grade bucket, lid, and blowoff tubing for under $10 at Home Depot. Drill a hole in the lid to fit the tubing and run it to a pail of starsan and you have a brand new fermenter.
It is a bit more complicated than that - Since my siphon setup is designed for Carboys (I use the PET Carboy from MoreBeer - my local LHBS). I've been trying to decide about getting buckets and an autosiphon, but I think I like being able to have a look at what is going on, the seal seems simple and works great on the carboy, and frankly, i think they look way cooler.

That being said, if I intend to brew this week, I think I will be buying another carboy.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:04 PM   #9
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What has your ferment temp been? Sounds like it's getting ready to stall. After 16 days it should be a bit closer to FG than that.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:25 PM   #10
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What has your ferment temp been? Sounds like it's getting ready to stall. After 16 days it should be a bit closer to FG than that.
Was at about 64-67 until active phase died out. then it dropped down to 61-62, so I moved the fermenter to a warmer room and it has stayed 66-67 for the remaining time.


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