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momodig

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I just purchased a beer kit and a recipe... I mixed it according to instructions, it was fairly clear but I'm stuck at a certain part....

Right now, I've mixed all the correct ingrediants and poured them according to instructions into a primary container (plastic pale, with increments on the sides). I have 5 gallons of wort in the pale and sprinkled the yeast and covered with a plastic sheet and I have secruely tied down with an elastic.

Right now my hydrometer is reading at about 1.03... (which is a good reading according to my instructions)

This is part I don't really understand.

The instructions say to keep the wort in the pale for 5 days or when the SG is 1.010... But it's hard to read the meter, it's close to that now (the wort has been in the pale for about 2 hours). Anyway once the meter reads 1.010 SG... it says to syphon the liquid into my secondary container (carboy).
So do I just wait five days before putting it into the carboy?

The instructions also state I should add 4tsp of yeast nutrient... my kit did not come with that... I added the yeast to the pale like the instructions said

Also the instructions say that the liquid should be in the carboy for about 14 days, then I syphon it back into the plastic pale, then syphon from the pale to the bottles.... can't I just syphon right from the carboy?

Thanks
 

BreckBastion

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I'm pretty sure the instructions didn't say to add the yeast when you were boiling the wort. If you did that, you're yeast is DEAD.
 
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momodig

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It was a typo... I added the yest to the the 5 gallon mixture in the plastic pale... I just corrected it now.
 
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MOMODIG
Is your Hydrometer floating in your pail??
You will notice when fermentation kicks off. You will get a big thick Kraussen (FOAM) on top. Let that come and settle back down and then give it another few days after that. Then check you Gravity again.
Also just because it has reach FG (1.010 in your case here) doesn't mean it couldn't benefit from more time. After yeast does it's main job of converting sugar to alcohol, it goes in cleans up after itself, polishing a lot of off flavors and smells it created during fermentation. You want to give it it's time to do that. I would say 2 weeks in primary before worrying about a reading. then if it's good you can use a secondary for another week or 2 if you'd like of leave it where it is. A lot of us, me included, don't bother with secondaries anymore. You'll want to rack it do a separate container to bottle from with leaving as much of the settlement (TRUB) behind in the first container. Then let it settle in the bottling bucket (covered again) while you sanitize your bottles. Add your priming sugar solution to the bottling bucket and THEN rack the beer on top of that. This helps it get mixed in with minimal aeration. Aerating after fermentation = bad.

Obligatory first post suggestion = Check out John Palmer's "How to Brew" and Charlie Papazian's "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing.
These book should be in every brewers library.

And welcome to the obsession
RDWHAHB (Relax Don,t Worry, Have a Home Brew) With proper sanitation, It's very difficult to mess up beer.
 

rsmith179

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Keep the beer in the primary anywhere from 7-14 days. After that time, the fermenation will have subsided. You can then transfer over to your secondary for an additional 14 days for further clarification. Once that time is up, transfer back to your bottling bucket to bottle. Did your kit come with a bucket with a spigot at the bottom? If so, that's the one you'll want to end up transferring into before bottling.

You can bottle directly from the secondary, however, you'll need to use a siphon in order to bottle. The whole point of transferring one more time to the bottling bucket is to ensure that you are not getting trub or yeast sediment in the bottles. Obviously, there will be yeast still in your beer, but you're basically trying not to get those huge clumps of yeast.

Homebrewing is all about patience. If you can wait 1 week for primary fermentation to be over, another 2 in secondary, and another 3 weeks after bottling, you'll be drinking some damn fine beer. Good luck and don't hesitate to ask more questions in the future.
 

foxual

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You should take a sample out of the pail with a sanitized wine thief or turkey baster, add it to a test tube, and take your hydrometer reading in that.

However, in addition to that... ignore your instructions and leave it in the pail for 2 weeks (or more, some say 3 weeks, some say 4, I say at least 2), and then rack to secondary.
 

JLem

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There is no need to move the wort to the carboy - many folks just leave it in the primary container for a couple-few weeks and then bottle (though most will transfer to a bottling container to avoid bottling any of the trub that has settled to the bottom).

Regardless of what you do, number of days is not a good metric to use - use your hydrometer. When it reads the same number over the course of 3 days or so, fermentation is done. It may or not be 1.010 - in fact, I would doubt it will hit that low on this particular batch. It might finish as high as 1.020. You should/could leave it in the bucket longer, just don't bottle it before fermentation is done - no matter how many days the instructions tell you to wait.
 

ChshreCat

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I would wait at LEAST 5 days before even taking a hyrdometer reading. Odds are your wort and your top up water weren't mixed well and you got a sample of the thin stuff floating on the top. There's no need to check it after 2 hours. Leave it for a week before checking again.

Did your equipment kit not come with a lid and airlock for your pail? The plastic will probably work, but it's a bit odd. Where did you get this kit from?

It'll be MUCH easier to bottle if you get a bottling bucket and wand rather than siphoning.

Do you have a home brew shop near enough that you can stop by?
 

BreckBastion

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Ok that's better. The easiest way that I found to get a hydrometer reading is using a graduated cylinder for accuracy. Sometimes I just spin it right into the fermenter. The difference between 1.03 and 1.01 should be fairly far apart on the hydrometer.

Remember that instructions are just a guidelline. You should have your beer in the primary fermenter until it has the same gravity reading for about 3 days straight. Then, it should be considered done and ready to transfer to the secondary if you are using one.

The reason it is telling you to siphon from carboy back to the pale is to get rid of the sediment that fell out during secondary (conditioning). you can bottle straight from that, but that sediment doesn't compact as well as the sediment from primary so it's better to siphon (rack) to the bucket and bottle from there.
 

G_Brew

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The instructions say to keep the wort in the pale for 5 days or when the SG is 1.010... But it's hard to read the meter
To answer your main question, 5 days in primary, 14 days in secondary will work fine, most people on this site will tell you to do 1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary. If it's your first batch, don't worry about taking hydrometer readings to know when to rack, that is getting into further detail then you need to. Make sure you fill the carboy almost to the top (that's the whole point of using a carboy instead of a secondary bucket).

I added the yeast when I was boiling the malt, like the instructions indicated..
you added the yeast to boiling wort?? surely you'll have killed the yeast.. your wort should have been cooled before adding the yeast

Also the instructions say that the liquid should be in the carboy for about 14 days, then I syphon it back into the plastic pale, then syphon from the pale to the bottles.... can't I just syphon right from the carboy?
You have to add more sugar before bottling.. that makes it ferment a second time and create carbon dioxide which cannot escape since the bottles are sealed, and will carbonate your beer, you can do this by adding sugar to each bottle: then you could go straight from the carboy yes. But the easier way to do it is to add a cup or so of sugar to the bucket and syphon the beer into the bucket, this way every bottle will have the same level of carbonation.
 

HughBrooks

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i would just rack the beer after five days into your carboy. As far as the yeast nutrient that is just kind of an insurance policy for your yeast. It is not totally necessary. I would also rack back into the bucket before I bottle because you will not have as much debris as you would bottleing from the carboy because you get all of your beer off of that old yeast and you have to add priming sugars to the beer before it is bottled so the yeast that is still in suspension to carbonate the beer. I was wondering what type oc beer are you making?
 
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You can also cold condition (refrigerate) for a few days before transferring. This helps clear the beer a little and compact that yeast cake even more.

Here's a time line of my latest brew for an example:

6/07 - Brew, place in fermentation fridge set to 65°F
7/05 - Turned temperature in Fermentation fridge to 38°
7/23 - Racked to kegs
Took my first hydrometer reading as it was siphoning to keg (filled the hydrometer tube between kegs). Hit 1.020. Was thoroughly disappointed. Had I know this before cooling I would have roused it up and turned temp up to 67°F for a few more days before chilling. But oh well. Still tasted mighty fine. You can be as anal as you want with brewing. You'll still have beer.

I would suggest being as anal as you can your first 5 batches or so, then you'll start seeing where you can relax if you want to.
 
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If it's your first batch, don't worry about taking hydrometer readings to know when to rack, that is getting into further detail then you need to.
I can't disagree with this anymore. You hear stories about Homebrewing and exploding bottles in grand pappy's day? THIS IS WHY. No hydrometer to tell them when it's done fermenting. This is the only way to know what your beer is doing. bottling a stalled fermentation only to have it start again in the bottles with added priming sugar......Well there goes your first batch, and all the bottles you've collected...All over your floor and walls. Use your hydrometer or don't expect help when you ask about fermentation.
 
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momodig

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Wow thanks for all the fast replies... the kit came with a plastic bucket and a glass carboy.... no sponge for the bottem. I noticed some kits just use the plastic pale and have a fermentation lock... my plastic pale does not have that... it only has a fermentation lock for the carboy. If you folks don't use secondary's I don't need the carboy anymore? But I don't have fermentation lock for the pale... it's simply covered with plastic and an elastic.

The kit didn't come with a spiget, it came with a tube and some type of nipple end that is inserted into pale (to fill the bottles)

I'm making Muntons-Canadian Style Ale.
 
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momodig

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Aslo in the carboy stage it says.

Add finings accroding to directions:

1/2 tsp of gelatine (came with the kit) 3 tbsp cold water, soften 15 minutes (soften 15 minutes, what does this mean?). Add 1/2 cup boiling water to clear and add hot gelatine to beer using a funnel to prevent hot mixture from touching the glass.. (not sure what that is trying to get me to do)

Thanks for the help :)
 
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momodig

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I don't have a digi cam... but my carboy can hold atleast 23 litres..... probably a bit more.
 
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The gelatin is for clearing the beer. NOT important especially for your first beer. Doesn't effect taste, just the look of it. I'd definitely leave this step out to simplify your first beer. I'm just now going to use gelatin for the first time this week and have been brewing almost 2 years.
I can't tell if that's 6.5G Carboy or a 5G. If 5, it's used for secondary, if 6.5 it's used to Primary
You want headspace during primary for the kraussen to expand without spewing out, you want NO head space in secondary because oxygen casuse oxidation and wet cardboard flavors.

If your kit didn't come with teh bottling wond on the right in the Northern Brewer link, pick one up. They're great in conjunction with an autosiphon for bottling!
 
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momodig

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Didn't come with a wand or autosiphon... I'm guessing I'll have to suck on the hose? to siphon the fluid to the bottle? that's not the exact kit I got, I got a it a local place.
 
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momodig

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Now some observations (primary 24 hours)...

I really like the smell.... yeast, bread, with a hint of beer... Is this smell normal?

What should I be observing at the stage?

I see a thick layer about 1/4 of inch (brown foam) on top.... I see no bubbles, perhaps because the pale isn't clear?

Thanks...

I'm also a little worried... I added to much corn suggar so I had to add an extra 1-2 gallons to bring it down... will that affect anything? My recipe called for 18-20 litres, but I'm around the 22 litre mark (though the recipe that came with the Munton's said 23 litres)... yet the recipe the store gave me said 18.
 
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