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Drumm72

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I have wanted to brew for years but have never got around to even attempting it til now ..
What I have done is purchase a one stage kit from "Grape and Granary" http://www.thegrape.net/browse.cfm/4,9465.html
And one of their ingredient packages http://www.thegrape.net/browse.cfm/4,12299.html I also used a liquid yeast instead of the dry yeast supplied .
Now I have everything in the primary (3 to 5 days is what they call for) , but they recommend a secondary for an additional 5 to 7 days . While it is not required to do the secondary , and me not having one anyways , would it benefit me to allow the beer to set in the primary for some additional time ?
Or would there be any adverse effects to doing so ?
As of now it has only been in the primary for 2 days and seems to be fermenting very well ( judging by airlock activity) .
Just kinfd of looking for some more advice from "those in the know"

I am glad I found your forum , Just hope my newby questions arent too ignorant ..
 

guindilla

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Have a look here:
http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter8-2-3.html

"""
There has been a lot of controversy within the homebrewing community on the value of racking beers, particularly ales, to secondary fermentors. Many seasoned homebrewers have declared that there is no real taste benefit and that the dangers of contamination and the cost in additional time are not worth what little benefit there may be. While I will agree that for a new brewer's first, low gravity, pale beer that the risks probably outweigh the benefits; I have always argued that through careful transfer, secondary fermentation is beneficial to nearly all beer styles. But for now, I will advise new brewers to only use a single fermentor until they have gained some experience with racking and sanitation.
"""

So keep with the primary, and give it an additional 1-2 weeks. The rule of thumb is 1-2-3 (1 week in primary, 2 in secondary, 3 in bottles), although I think a 2.5-3 (2-3 weeks in primary, 3 in bottles) is enough.

Good luck.
 

KevinW

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Keep on asking your questions, it helps to search this site but there is a lot of info here and sometimes it can be a bit difficult to find exactly what you need to know.

I agree with guindilla a bit but I usually do a 3 week primary 3 week bottle condition formula. If you can wait longer than 3 weeks once in the bottle it is better but waiting is the hardest thing to learn about home brewing.

Whatever you decide to do I wish you luck and welcome to the obsession!

:mug:
 

guindilla

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I agree with guindilla a bit but I usually do a 3 week primary 3 week bottle condition formula. If you can wait longer than 3 weeks once in the bottle it is better but waiting is the hardest thing to learn about home brewing.
Well... 3 weeks is indeed a minimum (although it is fun for newbies such as myself to open a bottle each of the 3 first weeks to see how the flavour and carbonation evolves, and it helps the wait :mug: )

I've read some beers (such as barley wines or high-alcohol beers) need months, even years to attain peak flavour!
 

SumnerH

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Have a look here:
http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter8-2-3.html

"""
There has been a lot of controversy within the homebrewing community on the value of racking beers, particularly ales, to secondary fermentors. Many seasoned homebrewers have declared that there is no real taste benefit and that the dangers of contamination and the cost in additional time are not worth what little benefit there may be. While I will agree that for a new brewer's first, low gravity, pale beer that the risks probably outweigh the benefits; I have always argued that through careful transfer, secondary fermentation is beneficial to nearly all beer styles. But for now, I will advise new brewers to only use a single fermentor until they have gained some experience with racking and sanitation.
"""
Note that since writing that, John Palmer has moved even more heavily into the "don't use a secondary" camp. See, for instance:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/secondary-not-john-palmer-jamil-zainasheff-weigh-176837/

John: But these days we don't recommend secondary transfer. Leave it in the primary, you know, a month. Today's fermentations are typically healthy enough that you are not going to get autolysis flavors or off-flavors from leaving the beer on the yeast for an extended period of time.
 

Marsdude

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I am still new to brewing myself, just 8 batches so far. I have done secondary's a couple of times but now I just do around three weeks in the primary then bottle. The beer will taste OK in the bottle after a week, really good after two weeks, and great after three.
 
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Drumm72

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Okay , another question .. When does the bubbling in the airlock slow or stop ? Will it continue to bubble regularly through the three weeks in the primary ? Does that even have anything to do with it ?
Right now it is going pretty decent with the bubbling frequency being about 12 to 15 seconds at the most , but more frequent for the most part .. The original instructions said when it got down to once a minute it was either ready to move to a secondary or bottle ..
If i am understanding correctly by leaving it in the primary longer , I "should" get a cleaner/clearer beer .. But do I have to worry about my yeast "taking a crap" on me ?
Is there anything I should be watching for ? Or should I just relax and leave everything alone ? lol
 

rcreveli

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The only thing a bubbling airlock tells you is that air is leaving the airlock :). I know that sounds snarky but like many people will tell you the airlock is not a sign of fermentation. If the seal around your bucket lid or Carboy bung is not intact then the airlock may never bubble. Air like electricity follows the path of least resistance.

The reasons to go for three weeks in primary are

1. Beer tastes better with age. If you taste your beer at 1 week it will be blah, after 3 weeks you'll be amazed how much fuller even a pale ale is compared to week 1.
2. the yeast are not going to crap out, rarely do the little guys fail to do there duty. They will also clean up a lot of by products of fermentation Improving the flavor of you beer.

You'll still have plenty of yeast for bottling so don't worry about them all being dead after 3 weeks. If you treat them well, they'll treat you well.

The only way to be sure fermentation is done is with a hydrometer reading a do yourself a favor and wait the 3 weeks to take one.
 

KevinW

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Well... 3 weeks is indeed a minimum (although it is fun for newbies such as myself to open a bottle each of the 3 first weeks to see how the flavour and carbonation evolves, and it helps the wait :mug: )

I've read some beers (such as barley wines or high-alcohol beers) need months, even years to attain peak flavour!
I know what you mean about waiting, I usually open up a bottle(or 2) early just to see how things are going. I always tell my self to just wait but I cannot. I am not ready for barley wines yet, they take just too long for me!

Of course it all boils down to what each of us likes to do as well. I have read a lot of brewers here that wait just a week or so to condition in the bottle and they seem happy.

Oh well, as long as we are brewing and we like our beers, what else matters? :D
 

Homercidal

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Generally speaking, a Pale Ale will bubble for a few days, maybe a week or two. It depends on the yeast strain in particular and the temperature that the fermentation is kept at.

If you have a hydrometer use it to check the gravity. This will tell you have much of the sugar is left in the beer. If not, let it sit for 3 weeks. It ought to be done by then, but I recommend picking up a hydrometer during that 3 weeks so you know for sure.

I don't secondary unless I'm making a very strong beer, or unless I want to dry-hop or add fruit. It's just an unnecessary step IMO.

And as other may have mentioned, the airlock should not be counted on to indicate whether the beer is done or not. It's nice to see and can tell you how much fermentation is going on, but there are lots of times where my airlock barely moved and fermentation was going good. Just didn't get a good seal on the bucket. Or the bubbling may stop, but the yeast is taking it's time or stalled. Bottling at that point might create bottle bombs. Use the hydrometer.
 

guindilla

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I don't secondary unless I'm making a very strong beer, or unless I want to dry-hop or add fruit. It's just an unnecessary step IMO.
My turn to ask a question. Why do you need a secondary for dry-hopping? I just tossed the hop (in a bag) in the primary and it seemed to work well. Is there something I am missing?

Cheers.
 

Homercidal

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My turn to ask a question. Why do you need a secondary for dry-hopping? I just tossed the hop (in a bag) in the primary and it seemed to work well. Is there something I am missing?

Cheers.
Some people do. I've even dry hopped in the serving keg and it's been ok. Sometimes I want to open up the primary for a new brew, although now I have a few of them, so it's not a big deal. But you will want to wait until the active fermentation has stopped. The fermentation process can strip the aroma out of the beer.
 
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Drumm72

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Okay just for giggles I checked it with the hydrometer .. Its at 1.017 .. When I put it in the primary it was about 1.050 . and i used wyeast1056 . So does this mean it is progressing well ?
 

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