Question about first 5 gal brew

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Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2009
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I have brewed a Mild Ale from NB and I have a question or two.

1. It has been fermenting for a week now in the primary, Should I transfer it to a secondary to finish the fermentation?

2. The instructions say this should be ready to drink in 4 weeks. Should I just follow the directions and let it ferment for 2 weeks then bottle/carb for two weeks then drink?

I would really love for this to turn out to be very drinkable.

thanks in advance for any advice given.


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
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Dec 11, 2007
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"Detroitish" Michigan
Generally speaking kit manufacturers, especially kit an kilo manufacturers, are concerned with selling more and more kits NOT with the brewer making the best beer possible. They no that if they say in the instructions to wait, they may loose some people to hobbies that have more instant gratification.

They also know that the time that a homebrewer will remain buying kits is relatively short...they know that after a few kits, the brewer will either give up, start brewing extract batches from recipes in books and places like this, formulate their own recipes, or go all they want to sell as many kits as possible to the new brewer before he moves on to bigger and better things.

SO they no that even their beer will taste better if you leave it longer...but they know that in the time you wait you will be reading and learning and be less likely to buy another kit...They can sell three or four kits to you if you follow their directions in the same time frame that listening to us and waiting a month and bottle conditioning for another 3-4 weeks.

Most of us wait 3-4 weeks and skip secondary...but if you choose to secondary you should wait til your Hydrometer tells you fermentation is complete.

Usually on the 7th day you take a hydro reading, and again on the 10th day, if the reading is the same, then you can rack it...

If I do secondary (which is only when I am adding fruit or oak) I wait 14 days then rack for another 2 weeks...

But honestly you will find your beer will be the best if you ignore the kit instructions, and don't rush it.

But Even Palmer says you should wait with kits...

How To Brew said:
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.
In terms of bottling, the rule of thumb is an average gravity beer will tale about 3 weeks at 70 degrees to carb and condition some take longer, I have had stouts and porters take up til 8 weeks to carb up....just because a beer is "fizzy" doesn't meant it still isn't green and tastes like a$$.

Read this. Revvy's Blog, "Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning."

So if indeed as you say,

I would really love for this to turn out to be very drinkable.
The best advice I can give you is to wait it out....this is a game pf patience, and you will be rewarded with great beer if you don't rush it.