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First Batch Questions

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BLaps

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New to this forum, but have been reading and learning lots from it, so thanks.

Anyway, on my first batch, an IPA, and have a few questions. I've read a lot after i followed the instructions for my brew and think i may have done a transfer too early. I read that fermenting times in the primary should or can be upwards of two weeks or more. My instructions told me to rack after 3-5 days. I did after 4 days when activity in the airlock settled down; one bubble every 8 seconds. There was some crazy activity on the second day, foam in airlock, which i cleaned and replaced. I'm now in the secondary and the instructions say to leave for about a week. Is this way too short of a time? If so how long should I leave it? There is still some activity in the secondary...

I also didn't take an OG reading. Is the FG reading then useless?

I am using dextrose to carbonate, how long will it take to carbonate? Once bottled, should I chill them right away? How long should I leave in bottles before drinking?

Thanks a lot for the help!
 

Tinga

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most people on this site advocate for a longer primary and not doing secondaries unless you're dry hopping or adding other things. When I say longer primaries I mean like two weeks at the shortest. I usually let mine go for a full month. when it comes time to bottle add your sugar and then bottle. after the beer has been bottled the beer goes through another fermentation. it's almost the same as primary fermentation but this is under pressure and in a smaller quantity. the CO2 that is produced during this fermentation in the bottle need to be reabsorbed so it takes a while. I would say the minimum for leaving it in bottles before you chill them is about three weeks.
 

ScotBrew

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You don't need to secondary. So for future reference, just primary for around 3 weeks, or until the readings settle down and then bottle. As you've already transferred it to secondary I'd leave it at least a couple of weeks before taking a reading and then take other readings for the next couple of days to figure out if it's stopped fermenting.

Should take around 3 weeks to carbonate. Leave them in a dark place not in the fridge. Then chill for a week and voilà, BEER!
 
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BLaps

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I did dry hop so the transfer to secondary wasn't a total waste I guess. When leaving it in the primary the whole time do you transfer to a different bucket for bottling? Is there any downside of leaving it too long before bottling?

Thanks for the replies.
 

diS

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Do you have rough idea what is OG?
Fermentation time depends on OG: higher OG means longer fermentation and vice verse. I don't use secondary, just primary for at least 2 weeks for lower OG beers.
Just to put you in ball park: if this is standard OG beer (<1.050) I would leave it 2 weeks in secondary, <1.060 3 weeks etc..
 
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