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MightyTaco

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Well, my first brew has been in the fermenter for a week as of yesterday. I realized i accidentily used the botteling bucket (one with the spigot) as my fermenter. :drunk: Well i drew off a sample and tested it with the hydrometer. I measured 1.016 (66 deg temp) and the extract kit notes 1.008 to 1.014 as the FG. Almost there! My only concern was the beer was not very clear at this point. I know the best thing to do is use a secondary fermenter, but can i leave the beer in the primary for another week and achive decent results?
 

Baron von BeeGee

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I use a bottling bucket as my primary fermenter...it's better than a regular bucket because you have the option of using the tap to rack to a secondary instead of a siphon.

FG's are just guidelines, but having said that I imagine yours will drop a bit more with another week. Depending on what temperature your hydrometer is calibrated for you're pretty dang close now.

Leaving it there for another week won't hurt anything if you don't have a secondary fermenter. But it sounds like you have another bucket so you could rack to that for an additional 2 weeks.

I wouldn't be too concerned about clarity...placing it in a secondary for a few weeks in a cold place will help, as will placing the bottles in the fridge for a few weeks after they have achieved carbonation.
 

loopmd

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BeeGee's got a good idea. If you have another bucket, transfer(rack) it to there. Otherwise you will be fine with just leaving it as it. For the first couple of years, I only used a primary fermentor. I left it in there for another 2 weeks after the bubbling had stopped. (essentially what you do in a secondary) Beer turned out great and I drank every bit of it. After I got a carboy and started racking to it after initial fermentation, I could tell a big differance in taste and clarity. Sooooo, to answer your question, yes, you can leave it and I am sure you will enjoy it or you can transfer it to your other bucket and you will enjoy it after it is done in there too.


loop
 

BlightyBrewer

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It will be okay for up to three weeks in the primary. After that it can begin to pick up off flavours from the spent yeast etc at the bottom (trub).
 
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MightyTaco

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So using a bucket for a seconday fermenter would be ok? I was under the impression the carboy was the only way to go as far as secondarys go.

For simplicity's sake i may still leave it in the primary for another week and put the bottles in the fridge as you guys reccomended to get it a little clearer before drinking. As long as i dont have to use a tooth pick after each beer, ill be happy. :D
 

Baron von BeeGee

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A bucket will work fine...I'd definitely use glass for long-term aging (and it's pretty to look at). I occasionally use a bucket for a secondary when I'm adding an ingredient to the secondary that won't really fit through a carboy neck.

As long as you don't get any trub when you bottle then the toothpicks will stay in the box. A cloudy homebrew is more of an aesthetic issue than flavor/mouthfeel. Good luck giving them time in the fridge...hope the force is powerful with you!
 

evans5150

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That's great information guys. I currently have my first batch in the primary bucket. Both of the buckets I bought have spickets (sp?) for bottling so they are interchangable. Tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 7th) will be 7 days of fermenting. I was going to leave it in there for another 7 days and bottle on the 14th of January. Would it be wise to transfer to the other bucket tomorrow and put it out in the garage for another week? I am in Reno, NV and currently the garage temp gets no higher than 60 degrees and at night drops down to the mid 30's. I was just curious if this would change the "clarity" of the beer. I know there is no difference in mouthfeel and taste.

I have made a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone for my first batch.

Thanks guys,

evans5150
 

indian09

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I was just wondering out of curiosity for the guys who use a bucket as a primary, do you guys use an airlock or have any problem with foam or blowups.
 

evans5150

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indian09 said:
I was just wondering out of curiosity for the guys who use a bucket as a primary, do you guys use an airlock or have any problem with foam or blowups.
I use a 3 piece airlock with a rubber stopper. I so far (one batch) have not had any problems with blow-ups.
 

BlightyBrewer

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evans5150 said:
I am in Reno, NV and currently the garage temp gets no higher than 60 degrees and at night drops down to the mid 30's. I was just curious if this would change the "clarity" of the beer. I know there is no difference in mouthfeel and taste.
I wouldn't recommend leaving it to condition with such variations in temperature. I may be wrong on this, but it would probably be better for the beer if the temperature is more constant, cool but constant.
 

SwAMi75

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indian09 said:
I was just wondering out of curiosity for the guys who use a bucket as a primary, do you guys use an airlock or have any problem with foam or blowups.
It can be a problem if you've got a really vigorous ferment. The foam can climb up into your airlock, clog it up, and blow the lid off.

You can insert a piece of tubing that fits tightly into the lid as a blowoff to prevent this. I only had one beer blow the lid off, but I haven't fermented in the bucket very much.
 

Beer Snob

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evans5150 said:
I am in Reno, NV and currently the garage temp gets no higher than 60 degrees and at night drops down to the mid 30's.
That's a pretty big drop. And everyday too. Somewhere on this board very recently someone made this chiller:
http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com/FermentationChiller.html

You would certainly not need the chiller part, but I wonder if the shell would help you keep the beer at a constant temperature?

Anyone have thoughts on this?

What is the temperature indoors... like in a closet or something?
 

evans5150

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Michael_Schaap said:
That's a pretty big drop. And everyday too. Somewhere on this board very recently someone made this chiller:
http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com/FermentationChiller.html

You would certainly not need the chiller part, but I wonder if the shell would help you keep the beer at a constant temperature?

Anyone have thoughts on this?

What is the temperature indoors... like in a closet or something?
Thanks for the info. The temperature that it is currently fermenting at is anywhere between 60 and 70 degrees. It's inside a closet right now...am I better off just keeping it inside the house for another week then? Also...will the temperature fluctuation in the garage be okay while it is bottle conditioning?

Thanks,

evans5150
 
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You can leave it in the closest for a while, I'd stick it in the garage for a week before bottling, the cold will help clear the beer somewhat. When you bottle, store the bottles for a week to 10 days in the closet. Once carbonated, put them in the garage.

I take it your garage is not insualted? Mine is and the temp only varies a few degrees over night. The temp here outside varies from 30 - 50F. My garage is around 50F at night, but my beer is close to the door to the house so maybe that's keeping it warmer?

Just make sure your beer doesn't freeze!
You can buy an electric carboy warmer at your LHBS.
 
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