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It's been 5 days, should I transfer to secondary?

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Lateraliss

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Well it's been 5 days, and the bubbles stopped at 3. I know that isn't a good way to measure if it's done fermenting, but I decided to quickly get a reading on my hydrometer. I guess I should explain what I'm brewing;

The recipe said Summer Beer, yet no fruit or fruity flavors were added:
4lbs light malt extract (Gold)
2 lbs Rice Syrup Solids
1/2 oz Hallertau hops for first flavoring
1/2 oz Saaz hops for second flavoring
1/4 oz of Saaz hops for aromatic
and I used a package of Coopers Pure Brewery Yeast 15g

This recipe came from Home Beermaking by William Moore, it came with my starter kit form Midwest Supplies.

In the very bad brewing instructions in this book, it says to transfer after 2-3 days, though i thought that was way too early. So now it's day 5, the hydrometer reads 1.10, which is where it's supposed to be I believe.

Should I transfer it and just let it sit in the secondary a little longer, or wait a full week?

On a side note, I noticed there is no foam at the top of the brew, but there seems to be a little crust. Is this normal, or did something go wrong?
 

Hugh_Jass

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Crust is normal for a brew that is finished.
If the hydrometer reads 1.01(not 1.1?) it is finished fermenting.I'd leave it another week then transfer, tho.:mug:
 

Nurmey

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NO! Your yeast is not finished yet. It may have fermented the majority of sugars BUT it needs to take care of the leftovers, clean up its waste (off flavors) and start the clearing process. This process, at minimum, takes about 10 days.

Are you planning on racking to secondary? If so, at 10 days rack and wait another couple weeks. If you plan on going straight to bottle, leave it were it is for at least 3 weeks.
 

ChshreCat

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Many folks here don't even secondary. I go a minimum of 2 weeks in primary and then transfer to secondary. You'll do your beer a favor by letting it sit a bit longer on the yeast cake and let the little guys clean up after themselves.

Krausen (the foam at the top) will rise when fermentation starts (usually) and then falls when it is finishing up (usually) so it's normal for you to not see any now since you're at or near your FG.
 

humann_brewing

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Well it's been 5 days, and the bubbles stopped at 3. I know that isn't a good way to measure if it's done fermenting, but I decided to quickly get a reading on my hydrometer. I guess I should explain what I'm brewing;

The recipe said Summer Beer, yet no fruit or fruity flavors were added:
4lbs light malt extract (Gold)
2 lbs Rice Syrup Solids
1/2 oz Hallertau hops for first flavoring
1/2 oz Saaz hops for second flavoring
1/4 oz of Saaz hops for aromatic
and I used a package of Coopers Pure Brewery Yeast 15g

This recipe came from Home Beermaking by William Moore, it came with my starter kit form Midwest Supplies.

In the very bad brewing instructions in this book, it says to transfer after 2-3 days, though i thought that was way too early. So now it's day 5, the hydrometer reads 1.10, which is where it's supposed to be I believe.

Should I transfer it and just let it sit in the secondary a little longer, or wait a full week?

On a side note, I noticed there is no foam at the top of the brew, but there seems to be a little crust. Is this normal, or did something go wrong?
First question I have is what is your intent for moving to a secondary? If it is because you were told to I don't think that is a good enough reason.

Many people, myself included leave the beer in the primary for both the primary fermentation and cleaning up that the yeasties need to do. This is a pretty light beer and may be done pretty soon, but it needs at least 3 weeks total where ever it resides.

As far as the crust, this is probably just some krausen that made it to the top or side and is caked on there. Your fine
 

LaurieGator

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Keep it in the primary a little longer. Many folks on this board keep our brews in primary for 3 - 4 weeks before bottling. The yeast are done with their fevered pitch but now they are doing the clean up for you. 3 - 4 weeks in primary makes for a much better tasting beer in the bottle. No need to transfer to secondary if you don't want to...

Yup, your crust is normal. That is the remnants of the Krausen that happened when your yeast were working hard the first few days. It comes off easily with some oxyclean in your carboy when you have bottled the beer.

Have fun with brewing and be patient. Good things come to those who wait (especially good beer!)
 

Revvy

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You will find that many of us leave our beers in primary for 3-4 weeks, skip secondary and bottle. Just search for the 10,000 threads under "long Primary" or "no secondary" and you will see all the resaons why we do it, and the explanations behind...There's at least one thread a day on the topic, so it's really not hard to find the discussion pretty much hashed to death.

As much as you are excited you will find that your beer will benefit from time on the yeast in primary...

If anything, if you insist on secondarying, wait till it's been in primary for ath leat 10 days...even better and even 2 weeks then secondary for another 2.

Though if you just go three to four weeks, you can skip secondary entirely and bottle.

You will find that a lot of us subscribe to Palmer's let the yeast clean up after itself" idea.

From How to Brew;
Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur....

...The fermentation of malt sugars into beer is a complicated biochemical process. It is more than just the conversion of sugar to alcohol, which can be regarded as the primary activity. Total fermentation is better defined as three phases, the Adaptation or Lagtime phase, the Primary or Attenuative phase and a Secondary or Conditioning phase. The yeast do not end Phase 2 before beginning Phase 3, the processes occur in parallel, but the conditioning processes occur more slowly. As the majority of simple sugars are consumed, more and more of the yeast will transition to eating the larger, more complex sugars and early yeast by-products. This is why beer (and wine) improves with age to a degree, as long as they are on the yeast. Beer that has been filtered or pasteurized will not benefit from aging.



The conditioning process is a function of the yeast. The vigorous, primary stage is over, the majority of the wort sugars have been converted to alcohol, and a lot of the yeast are going dormant; but there is still yeast activity. During the earlier phases, many different compounds were produced by the yeast in addition to ethanol and CO2, e.g., acetaldehyde, esters, amino acids, ketones- diacetyl, pentanedione, dimethyl sulfide, etc. Once the easy food is gone, the yeast start re-processing these by-products. Diacetyl and pentanedione are two ketones that have buttery and honey-like flavors. These compounds are considered flaws when present in large amounts and can cause flavor stability problems during storage. Acetaldehyde is an aldehyde that has a pronounced green apple smell and taste. It is an intermediate compound in the production of ethanol. The yeast reduce these compounds during the later stages of fermentation.

The yeast also produce an array of fusel alcohols during primary fermentation in addition to ethanol. Fusels are higher molecular weight alcohols that often give harsh solvent-like tastes to beer. During secondary fermentation, the yeast convert these alcohols to more pleasant tasting fruity esters. Warmer temperatures encourage ester production.....
This is NOT about secondary vessels, it's about the secondary phase of fermentation....the clean up phase. People often confuse the two.

I firmly believe that it is negated by rushing a beer from primary to secondary too soon...and it comes from a "fear the yeast" mentality from over 30 years ago, when there were limited amounts of yeast availbale, and it was usually hard crappy already weakened cakes.

Don't rush your beer....it will thank you for it.
 
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Lateraliss

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Ok, I'll hold off on transferring. This is the first batch I've made using extract, my first being an India Pale Ale from The Brew House, it was a kit that everything was already done except adding the yeast.

Actually boiling it yourself is so much more fun. I think I'll use a secondary for the first few batches at least to see how and what it does to the beer first hand and to see how much it clarifies it( also, because my friends have never drank anything other than piss colored, watered down beer their whole lives.)

Thanks for the quick replies, I don't know what I'd do without this place and you experienced brewers to guide me.

Edit: Does the secondary do much besides clarifying? I've never actually seen a beer left in primary compared to transferred. I mainly drink Micro Brews but admittedly know very little about the process. My only concern is that because of the lack of clarity I'll have a hard time getting my friends to drink them with me, cause they honestly think all beer should look like day old piss as well as taste like it.

And again thanks for the help
 

histo320

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I brewed 7 days ago and just checked my gravity. OG was 1.055 and when I just checked the FG was 1.012, my target is 1.010. Eventhough it is mostly done fermenting, I am going to wait until next thursday to transfer to secondary. I am adding apricot extract for a period of 5 days, that is the only reason I am using a secondary.

I've used a secondary jut for clarification reasons and it works quite well.

Brewing is your process, not ours. HbT has really good suggestions but always do what you want.
 

LaurieGator

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I haven't used secondary for clarifying. I have found that 3 weeks in primary made my blonde ale and amber ale crystal clear.

I have used secondary for adding fruit to my beer. It worked very well for that! I have also heard of folks dry hopping in secondary but I haven't tried that one yet...
 

Revvy

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Edit: Does the secondary do much besides clarifying? I've never actually seen a beer left in primary compared to transferred. I mainly drink Micro Brews but admittedly know very little about the process. My only concern is that because of the lack of clarity I'll have a hard time getting my friends to drink them with me, cause they honestly think all beer should look like day old piss as well as taste like it.

And again thanks for the help
Leaving my beers in primary for a month leads to extremely clear beer, with a very tight little bit of yeast at the bottom of the bottle, which when I pour to the shoulder, doesn't end up in the glass.

I have had Bjcp judges describe one of my month long primary beers as "Jewell Like."

That's the main impetus for opting for a long primary raher than a secondary...Many of us have noticed that those batches are much clearer and crisper tasting than when we rushed it off the yeast cake.


I hardly think your friends would turn this glass of clear homebrew away...

 

smizak

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Other than bulk aging, I can find no reason to secondary. I can achieve clear beer, dry-hopping, etc. in the primary. It just seems to be a sanitation and oxidation risk.

*Disclaimer*
I am in no way discrediting or dagging on brewers who do secondary(in spite of my sig ;)). I just have no reason to do so and believe it to be unnecessary.
 
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Lateraliss

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Ok, after seeing the replies and reading that section by Palmer, I think I'll keep it in the primary this time around and see how it goes, I can always go back to secondary with my next batch.

While we're on the topic, so as I don't have to make a new thread, would you recommend using the plastic "ale pale" or the glass carboy for primary fermenting, or does it not matter?

I ask because I'm very curious to see the fermenting process while it happens and I can't do that using the plastic pale.
 

LaurieGator

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I think we all use all sorts of different ones. I like the carboy so I can see what is going on (both plastic and glass). I know folks here use the plastic ale pales also. Some use the frosting buckets you can get from your local bakery.
 

Revvy

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Ok, after seeing the replies and reading that section by Palmer, I think I'll keep it in the primary this time around and see how it goes, I can always go back to secondary with my next batch.

While we're on the topic, so as I don't have to make a new thread, would you recommend using the plastic "ale pale" or the glass carboy for primary fermenting, or does it not matter?

I ask because I'm very curious to see the fermenting process while it happens and I can't do that using the plastic pale.
There is probably close to a million glass-vs-plastic, bucket-vs-Carboy threads on here already..you'll find that it is all a matter of personal opinion..you can either search for those existing threads and read the re-hased discussion, or just do what you want to do..'casue it really doesn't matter....whatever you choose will make beer.
 

humann_brewing

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Ok, after seeing the replies and reading that section by Palmer, I think I'll keep it in the primary this time around and see how it goes, I can always go back to secondary with my next batch.

While we're on the topic, so as I don't have to make a new thread, would you recommend using the plastic "ale pale" or the glass carboy for primary fermenting, or does it not matter?

I ask because I'm very curious to see the fermenting process while it happens and I can't do that using the plastic pale.
The fermenting vessel comes down to what you prefer. I like glass carboys, but that is just me.

Check this thread out:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/vs-pro-con-analysis-109318/
 

humann_brewing

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In fact, you can find a summary fo ALL the discussions, of anything that ever would have a -vs_ thread summed up in the pro-con analysis sticky at the top of this forum..

Here's the summary of the glass vs plastic/bucket vs carboy...

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/1204657-post1.html
Your too late Revy.... it looks like it is going to be another "is my beer done?" or "is it time to move yet?" day.
 
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Lateraliss

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Thanks a lot guys for everything, I'll keep reading through this vast forum of information, and I'm waiting on my copies of How to Brew and Homebrewers Companion being shipped, so I'll have plenty of stuff to read while waiting for my beer to finish up.

I think the hardest thing just starting out for me is the waiting. I'm a little impatient to begin with, and I'm really excited to try out my beer. I'm gonna have to learn the value of patience, and know it will be rewarded.

Again and again thanks to everyone for the help and suggestions.

And thanks guys for the link to the comparison, that is going to help me out a lot.
 

humann_brewing

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Thanks a lot guys for everything, I'll keep reading through this vast forum of information, and I'm waiting on my copies of How to Brew and Homebrewers Companion being shipped, so I'll have plenty of stuff to read while waiting for my beer to finish up.

I think the hardest thing just starting out for me is the waiting. I'm a little impatient to begin with, and I'm really excited to try out my beer. I'm gonna have to learn the value of patience, and know it will be rewarded.

Again and again thanks to everyone for the help and suggestions.

And thanks guys for the link to the comparison, that is going to help me out a lot.
You probably know this but you can read the 1st edition of the book online at How to Brew - By John Palmer - Introduction

I bought the book too as I don't want to have to get onto the computer just to read the book.

Also the patience on the first batch is the worst but the best thing you could do is get another batch started so you will have have a never ending cycle going.
 

LaurieGator

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Your too late Revy.... it looks like it is going to be another "is my beer done?" or "is it time to move yet?" day.
Is my beer done yet?
No!
Is my beer done yet?
NO!
Is my beer done yet?
DON'T MAKE ME STOP THIS CAR AND TURN AROUND!

LOL!

I can totally understand! No beer pipeline started and we all want to drink our beer NOW! It's hard to RDWHAHB when it is calling your name but it is too young to drink.
 

Revvy

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I think the hardest thing just starting out for me is the waiting. I'm a little impatient to begin with, and I'm really excited to try out my beer. I'm gonna have to learn the value of patience, and know it will be rewarded.
Well, you're not making koolaid...when you are playing with living micro-organisms (yeast) you have to realize, you are not in charge, they are, and they have their own agendas...whether it's when a beer is finished fermenting or when it's drinkable in the bottle, it's best to just wait...you will be richly rewarded.

Believe it or not, once you get a pipeline going, you will not worry that it often takes a minimum of three weeks for it to carb, or that you leave your beers in primary for a month..

It really is a new brewer issue.

Once you have 2-3 batches going at various stages, you will be finfishing drinking a batch just when another one is at a peak.


I wrote this the last time a noob wanted to know how to push the clock forward.

For Example, I brewed my Pumpkin Ale for Thanksgiving on Labor Day...figuring at 8 weeks, I MIGHT have some ready for Holloween...But they were still green, so I only brought a couple to my annuual Halloween thingy, along with a sampler of commercial pumpkins...BUT come Turkey Day the beer was fantastic, and was a hit at the holiday.

Right now this is my current inventory...

Drinking....IPA, various bottles of Oaked Smoked Brown Ale, Smoked brown ale, Poor Richard's Ale, Biermuncher's Centennial Blonde (but as a Lager,)
Avoiding....Marris Otter/Argentinian Cascade SMaSH (It sucks)
Bottle Conditioning..... Chocolate Mole Porter, Belgian Dark Strong Ale, Peach Mead
In Primary.....Schwartzbier, Vienna Lager
Bulk Aging....Mead
Lagering....Dead Guy Clone Lager

Pretty much anything still in Primary or Lagering I will not be drinking til the end of March, but more than likely April....The Mole Porter needs a minimum several more weeks as well....but the Belgian Strong is prolly going to need 3-6 months to be ready...

The Swartzbier has 3 weeks more in primary, then another month lagering, THEN 3 weeks at least in the bottles...

Some weeks I take a break from my own beers to drink a couple sixers of samplers, so I don't drink ALL my current and other ready beers before the others comes online....Plus I'm craving a couple of styles that I don't have ready (like Vienna Lager) so I will make a bottle run....I also get to try new styles to come up with new ones to brew down the line.

And I'm also probably going to brew something this weekend...don't know what yet...maybe a low abv mild that I would only leave in primary till fermentation is stopped then bottled..so hopefully in a month they will drinkable.....
But do you see...you too one day will have a pipleine....and the wait will be nothing...you will have things at various stages...

This quote from one of my friends sums it up....

The nice thing is to get to a point in your pipeline where you are glancing through your BeerSmith brew log and realize that you have a beer that you have not even tried yet and it has been in bottle over 6 weeks. This happened to me this weekend. The beer was farging delicious.
Patience is a virtue, Padwan.



:mug:
 

humann_brewing

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Is my beer done yet?
No!
Is my beer done yet?
NO!
Is my beer done yet?
DON'T MAKE ME STOP THIS CAR AND TURN AROUND!

LOL!

I can totally understand! No beer pipeline started and we all want to drink our beer NOW! It's hard to RDWHAHB when it is calling your name but it is too young to drink.
You sound like you have experience louring young ones in :)
 
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