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Old 07-26-2013, 10:40 PM   #1
Tobiasosir
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Default Newb question: enough yeast for priming?

Hello everyone!

I've just started homebrewing, after having wanted to try it for quite a while. My wife must have gotten tired of me saying "Hmm, I should try making my own beer," and gave me the equipment for my birthday--wife of the year! I racked me brew into the secondary yesterday so it can sit comfortably while I'm away on business; when I get back it should be ready to bottle.

So here's a newbie question: as I understand it, using a secondary isn't necessary except to clarify the beer, as it allows time for stuff to settle out. It's working--my secondary already has a gorgeous clear chestnut colour at the top.
But it things are settling out, will there be enough yeast in suspension to eat the sugar and produce carbonation when I bottle? It seems that after taking it off the yeast cake and letting things settle further, there won't be much left...but I've seen nothing about it on forums or in other research, so i'm guessing it's not a problem.

Really, I just want to know what's going on. Thanks!

*Note: : I'm brewing a basic pale ale from a pre-made wort kit by Baron's. I've read here that this isn't the best way to go, but I want to get this process down before moving on to extracts. I've got dozens of potential recipes dancing around my head, but don't want to get ahead of myself!


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Old 07-26-2013, 10:45 PM   #2
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You will have plenty of yeast to bottle carb. Congrats in the first brew and welcome to the hobby/site!

I think you are wise to start simple and get your process down. Biggest piece of advice I would give is be patient and give each step the time it deserves, and control your fermentation temperatures. These will lead to better beer!


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Old 07-26-2013, 10:45 PM   #3
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Yes there is enough yeast for priming and bottling
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:56 PM   #4
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There will be plenty of yeast. As you view this site you will find a lot of info regarding using the secondary or not. Take it all in and try them both. You will find what works best for you.
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:33 AM   #5
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I cold crash all of my batches in the primary 5-7 days @35-36*F. A bunch of the suspended yeast drops like a rock to the bottom of the bucket and gives me clear beer. I normally skip the secondary.

Even after that, there's still enough left in the beer to bottle ferment if I want to.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:09 PM   #6
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I'll pile on with what others have said...

Made a lager a while back and that, of course, was lagered which is basically extended cold crashing; about 9 weeks at around 34F. The beer carbed up just fine.
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:17 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses, everyone. It's as I'd thought--but I'm new enough at this I wanted to be sure!

I've seen a lot about whether or not to use a secondary on this forum...I'm undecided. From what I understand it's really only used for clarifying the beer--why wouldn't you want that? I guess some styles are suppose to be cloudy, which is fine...but personally, I like a nice clear beer.
After only a few days, I'm getting an almost transparent brew; by the time I'm ready to bottle, it should be really nice.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:16 PM   #8
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Secondaries are not necessary for most beers. In a lot of ways, they are simply a holdover to an older way of doing things (back when the advice was to get the beer off the yeast as soon as possible).

Secondaries are still very useful if you are dry hopping, adding fruit, adding wood, or bulk aging. They also provide a safety net against getting a lot of trub in your bottling bucket.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:59 AM   #9
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Funny you mention that--I'd called my home brew store the other day to ask an unrelated question--I had floatie things that turned out to be undissolved hops--and mentioned that I'd been in the primary for eleven days. He told me to get it off the yeast cake immediately--shouldn't be there more than a couple days.

This is "by the book" from the instructions in the kit, but after perusing these forums I decided to leave it longer so I could better time bottling with a business trip (so as to not leave my wife with possible bottle bombs, call me paranoid). Every time I tasted it it's been just fine...
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobiasosir View Post
Funny you mention that--I'd called my home brew store the other day to ask an unrelated question--I had floatie things that turned out to be undissolved hops--and mentioned that I'd been in the primary for eleven days. He told me to get it off the yeast cake immediately--shouldn't be there more than a couple days.
Don't forget that if you get it out of your primary and on to your secondary you now have a free primary to do a new batch in! I imagine that this is in large part why most suppliers tell you to go to secondary....they wanna sell more kits!


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