Originally Posted by Pelican521
Thx mcbaumanner, the yeast is wyeast 1968 London ESB ale and the temp range is 64-72 degrees. But since I'm a cheapo I keep my heat at 62 degrees...
I'm using the same yeast but I pitched at a little warmer temp (65F) and kept the temp between 64 and 66F for the first 3 days. It took about 13 hours for fermentation to start and the airlock was bubbling merrily another 12 hours after that. From what I've gathered here so far, it seems to be better to ferment at too cool of a temperature rather than too hot, but this is just an impression I've gotten, not an absolute thing (another impression I've gotten, and more strongly, is that there are no absolutes in beer... errr... besides that one).
Originally Posted by Pelican521
The recipe calls to put it in the secondary in 1 week, do u think a day or two longer would be better to make sure all the yeast is used?
Another couple of things I've gathered here are that it doesn't hurt - and and often helps - to leave your beer in the fermenter well after fermentation seems to have stopped (ie - longer than 1 week) and that you shouldn't bother with transferring the beer (called "racking") to a secondary fermenter unless you plan on dry-hopping or lagering it, and/or for the best reason of all: you want to start another batch of beer!
Indeed, I intended to bottle my ESB after 7-10 days in the primary but I ended up racking it to a secondary fermenter because, as I mentioned above, the malt and hops weren't balanced as they should be in an ESB so I dry-hopped it. This freed up up my primary fermenter for making a clone of Bell's Two-Hearted Ale (which smells exactly right, but has a reddish tint, rather than a golden one, which I am given to understand comes from boiling the malt extract for too long).
Anyway, I'd like to see your Fuller's ESB clone recipe. Here's mine, with the mistakes I made included:
3lb. Briess Sparkling Amber Dry Malt Extract (DME)
3.3lb. Briess Golden Light Liquid Malt Extract (LME)
12oz. Caramel 20L
8oz. Munton's Crystal 77L
The last two specialty grains were supposed to be steeped (in a muslin "sock") at 155F for 30 minutes, but I made the mistake of trying to maintain that temperature for the entire time by turning down the burner on the turkey fryer, but even with the burner just barely going it brought the temperature up to 170F. It took several long nail-biting minutes for it to cool back down to 155F! Oh well, I cracked open a Widmer Bros. Falconer's IPA and stopped worrying.
After steeping I added the malt extract along with another 1gal. of water to bring the volume in the kettle up to maybe 3-3.5gal total then I kicked the burner back on full blast to bring everything to a boil in less than 10 minute. Deciding to use a turkey fryer speeds the boiling process up considerably - it used to take 2 hours to bring 3gals. of water to a boil on my stove!
During the first few minutes of boiling, until the "hot break" occurs, the wort has a tendency to foam up a lot and boil-over. Whenever it threatened to do so I knocked it back down by spraying it with water from a spray bottle (an ingenious tip I picked up from here, btw).
I used the following hop schedule, except with the mistake that I added the bittering hops as soon as the wort started boiling, rather than waiting for the hot break first:
2oz. Fuggle (bittering, for the full 60 minutes)
1oz. Fuggle (aroma, for the last 5 minutes)
1oz. E.K. Goldings (same as above)
After boiling for 1 hour I chilled the wort down to pitching temp (65-70F was my target) by first adding bottled spring water (to bring the total volume up to 5 gals) then placing the aluminum brew kettle ("BK") into a tub of cold water. I had to replace the tub water couple of times to keep bringing the temperature down, and I needed to add about 5lbs of ice to get down those last few degrees, but all in all this decidedly low-tech way of cooling only took about 15-20 minutes. Using an aluminum BK really helps in this respect.
Once the wort was at pitching temp (65-70F) I aerated it for 5 minutes with filtered, compressed air through an aeration stone, then I added 1 smack pack of Wyeast 1968. I made the mistake of only letting the yeast sit out for about 2 hours after smacking it, rather than the recommended minimum time of 3 hours, but fermentation started around 12 hours later so that obviously wasn't a critical error. I should also note that I forgot to take a gravity reading before pitching the yeast, but did so the next morning when fermentation was just getting started (the actual gravity was 1.050 and the predicted value was 1.052, so I chalk that up as a win). It was rather chilly here in Florida when I started this batch, so it was easy to keep the temperature of the primary fermenter at 64-66F, but by the time I racked to the secondary for dry hopping the temp had warmed back up into the mid 70s... More nail-biting ensued. The gravity had dropped to 1.016 after just 3 days (!) then 1.014 on day 4, 1.012 on day 5 and 1.012 on day 7, so I racked to secondary with 1oz. of E.K. Goldings for dry-hopping.
After 1 week in the secondary (at 70-72F), I added 4oz. of corn sugar to prime for bottling, trying for a little less carbonation as is appropriate for an English bitter. Unfortunately, I forgot to take into account the volume loss from all those gravity samples (I have since purchased a refractometer to read gravity, which only needs a drop or two to work!) and I ended up with 42 12oz bottles, or just under 4 gals. So, I primed more or less at exactly the same rate as the generic recommendation of 1oz per gal.
Hmmm... this post is a bit long now that I've previewed it and I don't mean to hijack your thread...
Oh well, RDWHAHB, right?