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Old 06-21-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
Jobe5217
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May 2013
Puyallup, Washington
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I don't have the gravity tester and I am trying to figure out how much time to allow the beer to ferment. I have a primary and secondary fermenter and I was thinking of two weeks for each plus two weeks in the bottles to condition.

Would it be too short to do one week primary and two week secondary? How is the primary fermentation different from secondary? I had thought that the secondary was more of a "conditioning" time than actual fermenting. That makes me think that I should keep each stage at two weeks.

Any tips on fermenting time?

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
freisste
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Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Just do 3-4 weeks in primary. That is more than enough time for fermentation and clearing. It is also long enough (even for the slowest shipping method) to receive your hydrometer order.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:07 PM   #3
Tapout
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Jun 2013
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I'm brewing some Caribou right now, also. The instructions call for 1-2 weeks in the primary, 1-2 weeks in secondary, and another 1-2 weeks in the bottle.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
Gameface
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobe5217 View Post
I don't have the gravity tester and I am trying to figure out how much time to allow the beer to ferment. I have a primary and secondary fermenter and I was thinking of two weeks for each plus two weeks in the bottles to condition.

Would it be too short to do one week primary and two week secondary? How is the primary fermentation different from secondary? I had thought that the secondary was more of a "conditioning" time than actual fermenting. That makes me think that I should keep each stage at two weeks.

Any tips on fermenting time?
If you can't check gravity I would leave it in the primary for 3 weeks and not do a secondary, but I don't do a secondary for anything anyway. In your case you want to make sure it is completely fermented and the best way to do that is to leave it in the primary.

Your beer won't be completely conditioned in the bottle for at least 3 weeks, or at least according to the standard advice I've seen here.

The difference between a primary and secondary is that fermentation happens in the primary and then you can either allow it to continue to condition in the primary or transfer it to a secondary and allow it to condition there. The secondary is not a fermentation vessel. Some people call the secondary a "bright tank" as it is used to give the beer time to clear before bottling or kegging.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:57 PM   #5
Mordhaus
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Apr 2013
Fort Worth, TX
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I left my Caribou Slobber in primary for two weeks, secondary for four, cold crashed then kegged. It was a fine product for my first beer.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:02 PM   #6
duboman
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Jul 2011
Glenview, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freisste View Post
Just do 3-4 weeks in primary. That is more than enough time for fermentation and clearing. It is also long enough (even for the slowest shipping method) to receive your hydrometer order.
+1
Get a hydrometer
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:42 PM   #7
BigFloyd
 
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3 weeks primary and then to the bottling bucket is perfectly fine for a brown ale like this. No need at all to secondary (and the increased risk of oxidation/infection).

If you are in pursuit of clarity, cold crash it 4-5 days @ 35-40*F after the 3 weeks is done.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:44 PM   #8
grem135
 
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Get a hydrometer and leave in primary for 3 weeks. My secondary carboy has been used once..... as a fermenter.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:10 PM   #9
Jobe5217
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May 2013
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Thanks for the good info guys. I'm hearing a lot of advice to skip the secondary here but elsewhere some say that it is beneficial. I am anxious to try both ways, so far it just seems like personal preference with no clear advantage either way.

So a hydrometer is really worth it? How exactly do you cold crash?

 
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:46 PM   #10
hehawbrew
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Feb 2013
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I skipped secondary, but also left in primary for two months( only bc life got in the way!). Beer turned out great tho!

 
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