Sediment questions and how it affects bottling, taste

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cupobrew

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I made my first batch of beer a week ago from a pre-hopped extract kit and now I want to bottle it. The problem is that my brew bucket has this translucent drum tap on the side but the bottom of it was encrusted with a layer of sediment. I opened the tap up and took a sample but it was light brown and mvery hazy. I took a sip and it tasted like some of those prison style brews I made in high school. I ended up opening the lid to make sure the whole batch wasn't like this and saw that it was all nice and dark brown on top. This sediment was clogging my tap, and since it is my only option for bottling (no siphon, no tubing, no local homebrew store, no money, etc.) I thought it was a good idea to sterilize my big plastic spoon and mix it up to remove as much sediment as I could from the tap, then rest the bucket on and angle where the side with the tap is higher. So I did. Now I am wondering how long it will be until this junk is settled enough for me to bottle my brew. I know this beer isn't going to be wonderful, but I would like to get it ASAP to allow me to use the bucket for other things. How long would you wait if you were me, and also how long is the shortest time I should wait before bottling. As I understand it, there will be sediment in the bottles, but it will settle once left in the fridge for a while, right? If I bottled right now would the sediment harm me, or ruin the flavor so much that my beer was undrinkable? Thanks a lot, this forum is great and I look forward to participating in it. This is my first post! :ban:
 

brewmasterpa

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the sediment carrys no flavor, it is mostly yeast cells, they taste like beer once theyve been in beer. several problems with what you said you did.
#1--you havent let it ferment long enough. 14-21 days.
#2--never ever open your lid until fermentation is complete and youre going to the bottle, this prevents bacteria and other microbials from entering and ruining your beer.
#3---NEVER EVER EVER EVER STIR YOUR FERMENTED BEER!!!!! that oxidizes it and then its drain cleaner. dont panic and dump your beer, it might be fine, but dont do that.
#4---before you bottle, run your tap into a glass until the sediment clears, then youre ready to bottle.
#5---once youre all bottled, let it sit in the closet for 4 weeks to condition properly before you refrigerate and drink. your sediment should completely settle out by that time. just remember not to slosh the bottle around much when youre pouring or drinking, not that the trub will hurt you (sediment is trub), or affect flavor.
 

malkore

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This is the reason you can't use buckets with spigots for primary. the yeast cake is almost always too deep.

Yet an auto-siphon and rack the beer to a bottling bucket (i.e. one with a spigot) and bottle that way.

Buckets with spigots are ok for short secondary's or bottling days, but suck for primary because the spigot really can't be used very effectively.
 
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cupobrew

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brewmasterpodunkarizona,
Thanks so much for all the great answers. I guess I figured that when people transfer their beer to a secondary fermentation vessel, there must be some bubbles so it would be alright. I won't make the same mistakes twice. After searching around I found another thread here:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/oxidation-beer-59194/
where someone had bubbles introduced to their brew in the primary to secondary transfer. That thread gave me a little hope, especially the bit about brewing being quite forgiving. I will let it go at least another week before I bottle. Hopefully I will be laughing about this as I drink my beer in a couple of months. By the way, would it be better to add the proper amount of sugar to each bottle at bottling time or try to stir in the dissolved sugar to the full bucket?
 

Yooper

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Ideally, you'd "rack" (siphon) the completed beer out of the primary fermenter and into your bottling bucket- a plastic fermenter with a spigot. That takes the beer off of the trub in the bottom of the fermenter, and then you can bottle only clear beer.

The easiest way to do it is to dissolve 5 ounces of priming sugar in 2 cups boiling water, let it cool, and then pour that into the sanitized bottling bucket. Then, you use the siphon and rack the beer into the priming solution, with the tip of the tubing at the very bottom of the receiving vessel, so that it doesn't splash at all. If you do it right, you put the tubing in a semi-circle around the bottom, so that the beer swirls around as it enters from the bottom, and mixes up the priming sugar and the beer.

Whatever you decide, you don't want to add priming sugar to your fermenter. You'll re-stir up all that sediment and stuff that you just spent time and energy getting to settle out. Most people ferment in a spigot-less fermenter, then siphon to a bottling bucket, for reasons you've already discovered plus to minimize oxidation and to mix up the priming sugar into the finished beer.
 

brewmasterpa

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agreed. ideally, this is the scenario. ferment in a bucket that cant have light shine through (to prevent skunking of the hops), whether it has a spigot or not, use a racking cane to transfer from primary to secondary, then the same to the bottle bucket. keep the bubbles and splash down to nothing if possible, but absolute minimum. before racking to bottling bucket, dissolve 5 oz dextrose into just enough water to cover it in the microwave, cool, then put in bucket, then rack in beer. if you must to be sure, stir extremely gently, ok....swirl extremely gently, do not stir with a sanitized stir spoon. do not aerate. then bottle with a bottling wand to prevent oxidation in the bottle.
 

Kungpaodog

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Another good reason to get another bucket for fermenting is that those spigots can leak. Not that yours will certainly leak, but if you are taking it apart to clean it every time (like you should), you may put it back together loose one day and wake up to five gallons of beer on your floor.:mad:
 

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