Couple more questions...

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burton178

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So... I've had my first brew in bottles for about 2 weeks. I tasted one and it is really good! I felt so proud! It definitely needs more time to get better, but the carbonation was good and it was definitely worth drinking.

1. My first question: There is definitely a lot of "stuff" in the bottom of the bottles... Do I just pour everything except the last little bit, and that's it? Would a secondary make it clearer?

I also have an American Wheat that has been in the primary for 2 weeks.

2. My second question: Can I do a secondary in an "Ale pail"?? People talk about the plastic letting in too much air... Is this really a concern or not something to worry about. I would secondary for 2 more weeks, then bottle.
3. People talk about cooling the brew sometime before bottling. What is this process like.. When? How Long? What temp? How long out of fridge before bottling??


I know this is a lot.... Thanks for any help! :mug:
 

cd2448

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at the risk of over-stepping my experience, as i'm only a beginner too, i'll take a stab at those questions.

1. just leave the bottom 1/4-1/2 inch in the bottles. it's a shame, but it won't taste good and also can give you more reason to go to the bathroom than you would like

2. i'll leave this to the experts, but i think the general recommendation is no - but it depends how long you are leaving it in secondary (because of oxidation). to be honest, with a wheat, i'd bottle it straight from primary after 2 weeks (assuming final gravity has been reached). that's what i did with my second batch and the taste and carbonation are really good - give it 2-3 weeks in bottles should be very good

3. i didn't do that cooling before bottling thing - i think the idea is that the secondary has essentially finished fermenting, and you want to get more of the waste products to settle out and cooling aids this process. i don't know if you want to go fridge cold with this, i'm sure someone will help you on that. i didn't do this with either of my batches so far, and both have been very clear without doing it
 

EdWort

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1. That's the yeast the replicated during the carbonating of you bottled beer. If you don't like the sediement, then pour it carefully like you have been doing.

2. I would not recommend using a bucket as a secondary as the head space (wide open space compared to a narrow carboy neck) would contribute to oxidation of your beer.

3. Cooling the brew is crash cooling, which helps flocculate the yeast. It helps in kegging, but I don't know if you would want to chill your beer before bottling, then warm it back up to condition. I crash cool at 39 degrees in my freezer for a couple days to 2 weeks depending on when I get around to cleaning kegs.
 

buraglio

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EdWort said:
2. I would not recommend using a bucket as a secondary as the head space (wide open space compared to a narrow carboy neck) would contribute to oxidation of your beer.
So, would moving to a 6gal carboy be less desirable than a 5 for secondary because of headspace? I was planning to move my vanilla porter to secondary this week (assuming hydrometer says it's ready) but I can do straight to bottle if the 6gal I have could cause oxidation. Basically I just don't want to taint this beer 'cause a vanilla porter is one of my favorite beverages. =)
 

Yooper

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It should be just fine in a 6 gallon carboy because the transfer does displace some co2 to provide a co2 blanket over the beer, even with the headspace. Ideally, you'd have very little headspace but in this case it would be fine. I didn't have a method to crash cool before, so I just let it sit in the carboy for 2-4 weeks before bottling and then let it sit about 3 weeks after bottling before refrigerating. My beer was very clear and it carbed well. Sometimes all the beer needs is a little time.
 

malkore

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didn't see this part answered in #1.

Yes, a secondary will help remove some of that sediment. bottle conditioned beer always has sediment due to the yeast eating the priming sugar.
but a secondary allows more yeast to fall out of suspension, so you get less yeast sediment in the bottle.
I barely have to leave 1/4" of beer in the bottle to avoid any sediment. I know other members complain about losing almost an inch of beer to avoid pouring any.

it does matter what yeast you use though. highly flocculent yeast sticks to the bottom better than other strains...like hefeweizen yeast (since hefe's are supposed to be a cloudy beer due to plenty of yeast being in suspension).
 
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