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Old 02-05-2008, 04:16 AM   #1
nostradamus
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Feb 2008
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Just got a Pale Ale into the primary fermenter earlier today,
and i have two questions. First how long should i leave it in the primary before switching it over to the secondary fermenter, I have read any where from 3 days to little over a week.
And secondly what is the ideal temperature i should be aiming for during fermentation ? Also this is my first try at homebrewing if you cant tell

 
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:25 AM   #2
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Well, we've had quite a few discussions about the primary/secondary debate, and most of it is in this thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=43014

The ideal temperature depends on the yeast you're using- you should have a range on the package. Generally for ales, the mid 60s is ideal.

And welcome to HBT!
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:26 AM   #3
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Well you going to have to learn patience which is difficult on first brews.

Do not be in a hurry to move your brew to a secondary but measure the gravity and use that as your indicator whether the beer has fermented to completion. If you have a hydrometer measure the gravity about 7-10 days into the process and if your FG is where it should be then you can transfer to a secondary although this is not entirely necessary.

Fermentation temperature is usually between 62-70 for most ale yeasts. I like to keep them at 65-68.

 
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:36 AM   #4
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The correct answer is, when your beer is done fermenting (as verified by your hydrometer) rack to a secondary for two more weeks of finishing and clearing.

If you didn't take hydrometer readings, and you got a good fermentation, you could rack to secondary in a week. Most people recomend 1-2-3. One week in primary, two weeks in secondary, and three weeks in bottle. I like 2-1-2 and try one. Two weeks in primary, one week to clear in secondary, and try a 12oz in two weeks, but the 22oz bottles age longer, because I have a bunch.

I guess you really should learn to use a hydrometer to know when your beer has reached it's final gravity. Some people don't even use a secondary, and just leave it in the primary for two or three weeks.

Like I said, most people on here recomend 1-2-3, but I like 2-1-2. It is still 3 weeks from brew day to bottle day either way.

 
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:49 AM   #5
nostradamus
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Feb 2008
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Firstly,
thanks for the replies, very helpful information. But now i have one more question, I'am going to go the kegging route for this brew ( have the resources available so i figured why not ) How long should i let it sit in the keg before its drinkable ?

 
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Old 02-05-2008, 01:46 PM   #6
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Well, about the same length of time as in bottles. It will carbonate quickly for you if you force carb it, but green beer is green beer and it will be better after about three weeks in the keg.

Generally, most beers are starting to be good at about 6 weeks from brewing. Some beers (like wheat beers) can be tasty sooner, some beers (higher ABV beers or "heavier" beers) need more time. So, a very general assumption is about 6 weeks.
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