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Brewing mishap. Thoughts?

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MayBrew

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I do think that that the extra carbonation is mostly due to the short 1F and thats due to the temperature wasn't optimum for a lager, my priming was exact. Leaving in for ferment for 10-days I think will be best, also it doesn't clear all that well even after finings, so leaving it 4 days is much better than the recommended "48 hours" again. I think I will source my own finings (Isinglass) I think the NFP's directions are for our summer season rather than our cold winters especially highveld winters.

Oh if you have any problems with your capper let us know
 
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Brulian

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I do think that that the extra carbonation is mostly due to the short 1F and thats due to the temperature wasn't optimum for a lager, my priming was exact. Leaving in for ferment for 10-days I think will be best, also it doesn't clear all that well even after finings, so leaving it 4 days is much better than the recommended "48 hours" again. I think I will source my own finings (Isinglass) I think the NFP's directions are for our summer season rather than our cold winters especially highveld winters.

Oh if you have any problems with your capper let us know

Yeah i reckon ill leave it for the 14 days, better be safe then sorry.
I have a cap machine which is in good condition but if anything comes up ill let you know. The only thing is im looking for bottles i need about 65 X 330ml bottles or 48 X 440ml bottles but buying them new is pretty expensive, however if i cant organise the used bottles then ill just buy them new its not terribly expensive.
 

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Boiling lower gravity wort also increases hop utilization (bittering reactions), creating the same or higher IBUs at lower hop dosages and/or shorter boil times.
Good info. The first batch in which I did use much less DME at 60 minutes, the hops seemed to be too strong in my Belgian for first month of drinking. Before switching to more/most DME at flameout, I didn't have to be very concerned about an extra half-ounce of hops here or there.
 

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I have a cap machine which is in good condition but if anything comes up ill let you know. The only thing is im looking for bottles i need about 65 X 330ml bottles or 48 X 440ml bottles but buying them new is pretty expensive, however if i cant organise the used bottles then ill just buy them new its not terribly expensive.
Maybe you can get empties from a bar. Or friends. Be resourceful!

If breweries use returnable empties, you may be able to hoard, or buy them for their return deposit. Pick up some crates as well.
Now twist offs are generally not suitable for recapping, although some have claimed it to work.

Once you start making "production," bottling can become a bit of a chore, that's why many of us are kegging, instead.
 
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Maybe you can get empties from a bar. Or friends. Be resourceful!

If breweries use returnable empties, you may be able to hoard, or buy them for their return deposit. Pick up some crates as well.
Now twist offs are generally not suitable for recapping, although some have claimed it to work.

Once you start making "production," bottling can become a bit of a chore, that's why many of us are kegging, instead.
Yeah that was my idea and would be ideal however alcohol in SA has been banned for the past 3 to 4 months so bars, breweries and liquor stores have been closed, friends and family either dont have stock or dont have an abundance because we drink them wisely as "black market" booze is a lot pricer.

So its not as simple as picking them up used at the moment. I have asked friends so ill get a few bottles but ill probably end up buying.
 

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almost time to pull a sample out of there and tell us how it tastes!
Boilovers typically occurs right as you reach a boil and when you add hops. you can mitigate this by reducing heat at those times and keeping a spray bottle of cool water. Spray to keep foam down.
 
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almost time to pull a sample out of there and tell us how it tastes!
Boilovers typically occurs right as you reach a boil and when you add hops. you can mitigate this by reducing heat at those times and keeping a spray bottle of cool water. Spray to keep foam down.
After how many days into the ferment do you reckon i should take a sample?
And the 1st (ive already taken the OG reading) FG hydrometer reading on the 7th day?
 

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I personally wait 2 week before bottling. I take a gravity sample at the same time.
Fermentation could technically complete earlier (some complete after just a couple of days) but I prefer waiting 2 week, be sure and reduce oxygen exposition.
 
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I personally wait 2 week before bottling. I take a gravity sample at the same time.
Fermentation could technically complete earlier (some complete after just a couple of days) but I prefer waiting 2 week, be sure and reduce oxygen exposition.
Ive read that taking a SG reading 3 days in a row without it changing means the fermentation is ready. In that case should i start the readings on day 12 (therefore 12,13,14) ?

And hypothetically if i start the sg readings on day 4 to 7 without the reading changing then is there any point in leaving the fermentation for those 2 weeks or just proceed to bottling after just a few days of fermenting?
 

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Hey there. I'm a new brewer as well. Was just reading about your woes with cooling. I can share one fairly primitive method I've used with success so far. I'm assuming you have to top up to reach your final volume in the fermenter? What I do is boil that top up amount the previous day, let it cool, and store it in sealed..and SANITIZED bottles in the fridge to chill. Even better, if you can time it right according to when you need to cool your wort, put it in the freezer till it's just above freezing. Then when your wort is chilling in the ice bath, use this chilled, sterilized water to top up, as well as rapidly cool down the wort. Like I said, primitive, but it's worked for my very basic brew setup!

On that note - to the more experienced brewers out there - you mentioned topping up with extract brews only. I've been topping up even with my all grain brews - is this a no - no?
 

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After how many days into the ferment do you reckon i should take a sample?
And the 1st (ive already taken the OG reading) FG hydrometer reading on the 7th day?
Ale yeast is done in a week or less. the only reason to leave it in any longer is to cold crash the beer a day or two to get it to clear up more. otherwise you are just wasting time. when airlock activity stops (likely day 4 or 5) you can take a sample out to check it. when it hits the number that yeast ferments to, its done. if the beer keeps fermenting way below that, you've got a wild yeast infection.
 
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Ale yeast is done in a week or less. the only reason to leave it in any longer is to cold crash the beer a day or two to get it to clear up more. otherwise you are just wasting time. when airlock activity stops (likely day 4 or 5) you can take a sample out to check it. when it hits the number that yeast ferments to, its done. if the beer keeps fermenting way below that, you've got a wild yeast infection.
Without chilling equipment how would i "cold crash" im not fully aware of this method and what it entails. Cooling the beer down to how much? How quickly? is it super necessary to do this?
 
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almost time to pull a sample out of there and tell us how it tastes!
Boilovers typically occurs right as you reach a boil and when you add hops. you can mitigate this by reducing heat at those times and keeping a spray bottle of cool water. Spray to keep foam down.
Pulled a sample today and actually tastes like beer, well flat lukewarm beer but beer nonetheless. Still needs a little longer got a gravity reading of 1011 but im glad to be able to see process.
 

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After fermentation, Gently place fermenting bucket in a tub of ice water for a day. The Sink might work too. Will cause yeast, hop and other particles to drop to bottom. Clear beer.
 
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...you wouldn’t do this if you plan to naturally carbonate the beer in bottles. If so you’d bottle beer, put in refrigerator and let them condition there for several weeks. And be careful not to disturb sediment at bottom of bottles when pouring in glass .
 
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...you wouldn’t do this if you plan to naturally carbonate the beer in bottles. If so you’d bottle beer, put in refrigerator and let them condition there for several weeks. And be careful not to disturb sediment at bottom of bottles when pouring in glass .
Yeah ill be bottling my beer and storing them for about 2 weeks and then chill them for a few days before drinking.
 
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I can't really give any advise, but it seems like we using the same product from the same seller, luckily I didnt have the same issue but another one. Hope your brew comes out right, I have noticed that the brewers instructions is quiet strict, but from the bat I always used my own common-sense. From the sounds of it, its going ot be all right
Howzit Maybrew,
I was just wondering if you have tried any of the other beer extracts from NFP. I was thinking of trying out the IPA extract, its a more expensive than the other regular extracts but I think it will be great to brew in my next batch or maybe brewing the Real Ale extract.

Any recommendations?
 

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...you wouldn’t do this if you plan to naturally carbonate the beer in bottles. If so you’d bottle beer, put in refrigerator and let them condition there for several weeks. And be careful not to disturb sediment at bottom of bottles when pouring in glass .
So when would you decide to cold crash beer if not when bottling? And if you do cold crash, can you NOT bottle after that? Only keg?
 

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The yeast is needed to Naturally Carbonate in the bottle. Then bottle condition beers in fridge, but you can do whatever you want
 
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Most ale yeast strains will attenuation from 65-80% as an average. To get the specific details, consult the yeast manufacturer's website, which will tell you the average attenuation for the strain you are using.
My OG was 1033 (ideal was 1036) and on the instructions it says that P1 takes 7 days. I took a reading on day 5: 1012; Day 6: 1012 and then technically tomorrow will be my last day so ill pull a reading.
However it says that the Ale FG should reach 1006 so therefore I am still off.
If tomorrow the reading is the same (1012) that means it has been at a constant for 3 days therefore is the fermentation ready even though the FG is higher then it should be?
 
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1.006 is not a realistic FG, so you're fine!
So you reckon if tomorrow the reading is 1.012 then I should proceed to the next step (Adding fining then seal again for 48hrs) or leave it for a few more days?
 

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Hi,
Thank you IslandLizard for your input.
Do you think a regular stove will be an appropriate heat source for a larger pot?

And to get the wort temp down to 20C I used ice, placing the pot in the sink with ice & water and I put about 2kg of Ice in the fermentation bucket which I poured my wort over to cool it down even more. I got to 20C in less then 10minutes however do you think that technique will work for a larger pot? Maybe just increasing the volume of ice in relation to the volume of hot wort.
Another trick to keep wort from boiling over that a chef friend taught me: Leave a wooden spoon sitting across the top of the kettle.

Cooling trick:
1. Get a large funnel (for example: Anti Splash Funnel - Home Brewing Co)
2. Get a bag of ice from the liquor store. The ones I use are 7 pounds ±3 kilos.
3. Fill the funnel with ice
4. Slowly and carefully pour your wort into the funnel.
5. Replenish ice as needed

Now you're aerating, adding some of your topping up water, and cooling all at the same time.

In my experience, 7 lbs of ice melted into 3 gallons of extract wort will cool you to 20-3ºC for a 5 gallon (±20 liter)batch of beer no problem.
 

Cro Magnon

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Another trick to keep wort from boiling over that a chef friend taught me: Leave a wooden spoon sitting across the top of the kettle.

Cooling trick:
1. Get a large funnel (for example: Anti Splash Funnel - Home Brewing Co)
2. Get a bag of ice from the liquor store. The ones I use are 7 pounds ±3 kilos.
3. Fill the funnel with ice
4. Slowly and carefully pour your wort into the funnel.
5. Replenish ice as needed

Now you're aerating, adding some of your topping up water, and cooling all at the same time.

In my experience, 7 lbs of ice melted into 3 gallons of extract wort will cool you to 20-3ºC for a 5 gallon (±20 liter)batch of beer no problem.
Nice hack. I'm concerned about the store bought ice though..what about sanitization? If we boiled water, and set ice with it at home, would this be better? Also I'm guessing, the funnel and the vessel we are pouring into would have to be sanitized..?
 

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Nice hack. I'm concerned about the store bought ice though..what about sanitization? If we boiled water, and set ice with it at home, would this be better? Also I'm guessing, the funnel and the vessel we are pouring into would have to be sanitized..?
Yes, everything should be sanitized. And using your own ice is recommended if you're doing that.
 

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Nice hack. I'm concerned about the store bought ice though..what about sanitization? If we boiled water, and set ice with it at home, would this be better? Also I'm guessing, the funnel and the vessel we are pouring into would have to be sanitized..?
The funnel/ice combo is basically the same thing as your ice in the bucket idea but it aerates the wort and adds a little more control over volume.

Sanitization: Yes, it's a good idea to make sure everything is sanitized. That being said, keep in mind that at this point you're still dealing with boiling liquid. Sanitize everything on the hot side, but anything you use after wort has cooled should be obsessively sanitized.

Ice water: Not sure what the situation is for you. The company that makes the ice they sell at my local liquor store uses RO (reverse osmosis) which they claim makes the ice clearer.
 
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My instructions say that after 7 days I should add the fining to my brew, 1 packet of dry fining's to 150ml of boiling water, stir and then add to the brew.
To be able to to add the 150ml of water mixed with fining to the brew I would need to open the fermentation seal and pour the hot liquid to the brew.
Firstly is adding hot liquid to the brew okay? And wouldn't opening the seal introduce oxygen to my brew, iv'e read and heard countless times that that's a no-no.
 

Cro Magnon

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The funnel/ice combo is basically the same thing as your ice in the bucket idea but it aerates the wort and adds a little more control over volume.

Sanitization: Yes, it's a good idea to make sure everything is sanitized. That being said, keep in mind that at this point you're still dealing with boiling liquid. Sanitize everything on the hot side, but anything you use after wort has cooled should be obsessively sanitized.

Ice water: Not sure what the situation is for you. The company that makes the ice they sell at my local liquor store uses RO (reverse osmosis) which they claim makes the ice clearer.
Thanks, yes indeed I think sanitization would be prudent. (maybe it was an obvious inference and I didn't even need to state it but I'm still a n00b).

I guess you are confident about the source of ice, which over there may very well be trustworty. Here in India, however, there is no way I would use purchased ice directly in my wort. I will definitely have to boil and set my own ice. Which brings me to another question - Even after boiling, cooling and setting ice....the ice is sitting uncovered in the ice tray in the freezer. Isn't there still a risk of infection? I mean I have used it twice before with no problems but I still don't know if it's safe....thoughts?
 

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My instructions say that after 7 days I should add the fining to my brew, 1 packet of dry fining's to 150ml of boiling water, stir and then add to the brew.
To be able to to add the 150ml of water mixed with fining to the brew I would need to open the fermentation seal and pour the hot liquid to the brew.
Firstly is adding hot liquid to the brew okay? And wouldn't opening the seal introduce oxygen to my brew, iv'e read and heard countless times that that's a no-no.
That doesn't sound right.
What kind of finings are they?

What kind of fermenter are you using?
 
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That doesn't sound right.
What kind of finings are they?

What kind of fermenter are you using?
On the fining packet it just says 'beer fining 22L' so it doesnt say what type it specifically is.

Im using a simple plastic 22L fermenting bucket.
 

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I think those are gelatine finings, I use them sometimes and you have to dissolve it in hot water before adding it in. You just have to open the lid just enough to pour it in. I agree with the others that 7 days is too short to be certain that the fermentation has completed. I've currently got an amber ale in the fermenter that started at 1.039 last Sunday and has only reached 1.019 today and is still dropping. That's with a fermenter temp of 18 degrees and ambient of 20 after a very cold week last week.

Fining won't affect the fermentation too much, so you could go ahead and do it already and then check the gravity after 2 days. But be prepared to wait another two days if the gravity reading shifts.

Regarding bottles, Bottles, Growlers, Crown Corks - Beer Bottles - Bottles has glass bottles in 340ml. 500ml and 660ml in stock and prices might be better. They are working and shipping at the moment. Just had an order of kit shipped Friday from them. Unlike the other online retailers, they will send you a quote including shipping after you submit the cart checkout and payment is via EFT.
 

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On the fining packet it just says 'beer fining 22L' so it doesnt say what type it specifically is.

Im using a simple plastic 22L fermenting bucket.
Finings are not always necessary, and sometimes even unwanted. Cold crashing/cold storage for a few days to several weeks or even months (Lagering) can be sufficient.

Finings can be added to beer to help precipitate suspended yeast and haze causing proteins, speeding up the clearing of the beer. They are usually used in combination with cold crashing/cold storage.

(Unflavored) gelatin (a whitish powder) is one of those finings often used, but some brewers use Isinglass (a liquid in a small plastic baggie), a product derived from a certain species of fish's swim bladders.

If deciding to add finings to the fermenter, it's typically added after fermentation has completed and the yeast has gone through her conditioning phase. Not after xx days, because yeast... is on her own time schedule. IOW, yeast should determine our timing of actions, not the clock or calendar.
 

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Hey
Finings are not always necessary, and sometimes even unwanted. Cold crashing/cold storage for a few days to several weeks or even months (Lagering) can be sufficient.

Finings can be added to beer to help precipitate suspended yeast and haze causing proteins, speeding up the clearing of the beer. They are usually used in combination with cold crashing/cold storage.

(Unflavored) gelatin (a whitish powder) is one of those finings often used, but some brewers use Isinglass (a liquid in a small plastic baggie), a product derived from a certain species of fish's swim bladders.

If deciding to add finings to the fermenter, it's typically added after fermentation has completed and the yeast has gone through her conditioning phase. Not after xx days, because yeast... is on her own time schedule. IOW, yeast should determine our timing of actions, not the clock or calendar.
Hey Island...Everywhere I've read about cold crashing and lagering , always assumes the reader is familiar with the process...for eg....'ferment at 22C, the cold crash and lager for xxx'...but I still have no idea how to actually cold crash OR lager, and what the lagering process involves...can you point me in the right direction? A good thread or article DETAILING the process of both cold crashing and lagering? (I know the two are not connected, but just saying I don't know about either)
 

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Hey

Hey Island...Everywhere I've read about cold crashing and lagering , always assumes the reader is familiar with the process...for eg....'ferment at 22C, the cold crash and lager for xxx'...but I still have no idea how to actually cold crash OR lager, and what the lagering process involves...can you point me in the right direction? A good thread or article DETAILING the process of both cold crashing and lagering? (I know the two are not connected, but just saying I don't know about either)
You simply need a refrigerator or a temp controlled freezer, or for larger volumes, a cold room. You want to keep the beer at 30-34F (-1C to +1C) ideally, but anything under, say ~40F (5C), works well. The colder the better and faster it works, but with diminishing returns. Same for time, the difference between 3 days and 6 days can be substantial. But 2 weeks vs. 4 weeks, or 2 months vs. 4 months can very subtle.

Depending on the residual gravity and alcohol content of the beer and your chilling system (undershooting set temps), be careful going much below 30F/-1C, the beer may start to become slushy or freeze under those ranges, and may crack or damage your lagering vessels. I prefer to use kegs for long term lagering, but will use my fermenters for routine cold crashing.

It's best to prevent air from entering your vessels while it chills, as the oxygen can and will oxidize your beer. Some beers are more sensitive/reactive to oxidation than others, but they all suffer, and it cannot be reversed.

Lagering (stored cold) is the same as extended cold crashing. Maybe it becomes "Lagering" after 2 weeks, and it probably has to be a Lager. ;)

Hope someone can post some good, informative links.
 

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You simply need a refrigerator or a temp controlled freezer, or for larger volumes, a cold room. You want to keep the beer at 30-34F (-1C to +1C) ideally, but anything under, say ~40F (5C), works well. The colder the better and faster it works, but with diminishing returns. Same for time, the difference between 3 days and 6 days can be substantial. But 2 weeks vs. 4 weeks, or 2 months vs. 4 months can very subtle.

Depending on the residual gravity and alcohol content of the beer and your chilling system (undershooting set temps), be careful going much below 30F/-1C, the beer may start to become slushy or freeze under those ranges, and may crack or damage your lagering vessels. I prefer to use kegs for long term lagering, but will use my fermenters for routine cold crashing.

It's best to prevent air from entering your vessels while it chills, as the oxygen can and will oxidize your beer. Some beers are more sensitive/reactive to oxidation than others, but they all suffer, and it cannot be reversed.

Lagering (stored cold) is the same as extended cold crashing. Maybe it becomes "Lagering" after 2 weeks, and it probably has to be a Lager. ;)

Hope someone can post some good, informative links.
Thank you for that very detailed reply! So basically, cold crashing is nothing but bring down the temp rapidly (done in order to 'clear' the beer), and lagering is nothing but storing it at lower temperatures for an extended period of time? Is lagering done before the priming and carbonation? So for eg, if we prime, carbonate at room temp, and then condition in the fridge....this doesn't count as lagering does it? I'm assuming lagering is still fermentation but at a controlled, much slower rate? What is the purpose of this and what does it contribute to the overall flavour, clarity etc of a lager? And umm....is there any primitive way to do this..like if you don't have a dedicated fridge/freezer? :p 😅
 

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If you are bottling, and carbonating in the bottle, I think your cold crashing and lagering has to be done after the yeast has carbonated the beer in the bottle. I wouldn't worry too much about cold crashing and lagering. Main thing is to get the sugar (or malt extract, or whatever) dose right so your beer ends up carbonated but not sweet. It sounds like you are mostly there! Good luck!
 

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Thank you for that very detailed reply! So basically, cold crashing is nothing but bring down the temp rapidly (done in order to 'clear' the beer), and lagering is nothing but storing it at lower temperatures for an extended period of time? Is lagering done before the priming and carbonation? So for eg, if we prime, carbonate at room temp, and then condition in the fridge....this doesn't count as lagering does it? I'm assuming lagering is still fermentation but at a controlled, much slower rate? What is the purpose of this and what does it contribute to the overall flavour, clarity etc of a lager? And umm....is there any primitive way to do this..like if you don't have a dedicated fridge/freezer? :p 😅
Lagering in bottles is done after priming and carbonation.

Although you could bulk lager for a month or longer to clarify, then fill bottles to prime and carbonate. You do need to add new (bottling) yeast with the priming sugar, as there won't be enough left after lagering for that long.

There's NO fermentation during lagering, yeast won't be active at those low temps. Lagering is purely for clarifying the beer, removing the yeast, improving the flavor. Lager yeasts are notoriously powdery, staying in suspension for weeks, months if not lagered. (Cold) lagering will precipitate them faster.
 
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If you are bottling, and carbonating in the bottle, I think your cold crashing and lagering has to be done after the yeast has carbonated the beer in the bottle. I wouldn't worry too much about cold crashing and lagering. Main thing is to get the sugar (or malt extract, or whatever) dose right so your beer ends up carbonated but not sweet. It sounds like you are mostly there! Good luck!
Yup, I think it will be done soon. Im leaving it to ferment for a few more days until friday then it would of been around 2 weeks of fermenting and then ill proceed to bottling and priming.

Almost there, its exciting stuff.
 
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