should I take gravity reading?

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Drewd004

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im brand new to this site. just started my 2nd batch of beer, 1st batch was a Mr beer so some would say this is technically my first. brewing an amber ale from brewers best. brew day was sunday and everything went great. My airlock was bubbling great all monday and just as much when i went to work this morning. when i got back, there was no more bubbling. My first question 1) should i open the fermenter to check the gravity? My 2nd question is should i still wait a couple more days to move to the secondary fermenter? Cant wait to hear your responses! thank you!
 

krduckman

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Be patient and let it sit. You have at least another 2 weeks for the yeast to do its job and clean up. Take a gravity read at the end of the 2 week period for 3 days in a row and if it is the same reading then it is done if not, then let it sit longer. It's not unusual to give it 3-4 weeks.
 

brettg20

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If you saw that fermentation was going great then I would wait a week or so until you take a reading. Just because it isn't bubbling doesn't mean it isn't fermenting.

I would wait around 2 weeks at least before transferring to secondary. You want to give the yeast time to clean up after themselves before transferring. Are you using a secondary to cold crash or dry hop?
 

Brewsit

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A lack of airlock activity doesn't necessarily mean anything. The yeast has probably just slowed its activity. I wouldn't open it for a few more days. I recently brewed a batch that I never saw any activity on (I was gone for the first two days of fermentation), but it fermented completely nonetheless. If you brewed on Sunday, I would wait until at least Friday to check it, and depending on the brew, maybe longer. It won't hurt to wait, but it will hurt if you play with it too much and it gets infected.
 

eric19312

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My vote is to leave it alone. Don't open it as you have a nice protective co2 blanket now. Wait till 2 weeks from when you brewed it and go ahead and bottle it.

I don't think secondary will make it better.

I don't think it will need more than 2 weeks, probably would be fine after 1 week but won't get worse between 1 week and 2-4 weeks and might get somewhat better as the yeast cleans up its waste products. DO Take a gravity reading when you open it to bottle. If it is in the expected range for the kit (assuming your OG was in expected range) then go ahead and bottle.

When you bottle don't use the whole 5 oz priming sugar. Find a calculator online (I like the one at northernbrewer), rack your beer into a measured bottling bucket, and prime with the right amount of sugar. You probably want something like 2.2 volumes of co2 for amber ale, might be as little as 3.5 oz sugar depending on the volume of beer you get into your bottling bucket.

Good luck!
 
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Drewd004

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If you saw that fermentation was going great then I would wait a week or so until you take a reading. Just because it isn't bubbling doesn't mean it isn't fermenting.

I would wait around 2 weeks at least before transferring to secondary. You want to give the yeast time to clean up after themselves before transferring. Are you using a secondary to cold crash or dry hop?
I'm using a secondary for a couple reasons (not sure if they're the right ones yet ha) First off is because the brewers best directions highly recommend moving to a secondary fermenter around 5-7 days "to have more clarity and overall better, purer flavor" I also called the brewshop i got everything from and the guy there said the same thing, he also mentioned something about producing off flavors if it's left in the primary too long.
 

brettg20

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I'm using a secondary for a couple reasons (not sure if they're the right ones yet ha) First off is because the brewers best directions highly recommend moving to a secondary fermenter around 5-7 days "to have more clarity and overall better, purer flavor" I also called the brewshop i got everything from and the guy there said the same thing, he also mentioned something about producing off flavors if it's left in the primary too long.
DO NOT MOVE TO A SECONDARY AFTER 5-7 DAYS!!!!!!!!!
Don't do this for 3 reasons:

1. Your beer most likely won't be done fermenting after 5-7 days. If you transfer too early you won't hit your final gravity.

2. To get rid of off flavors you need to leave it IN the primary for longer than 5-7 days rather than move it after this timeframe. Leave it in for 2 weeks at least.

3. Repeat reasons 1 and 2 about 10 more times haha. I'm sure there are other reasons but seriously leave it in the primary for 2 weeks. You will learn a lot as you go but use 2 weeks as a standard for primary fermentation.
 
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Drewd004

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I really appreciate all the feedback. So i'm definitely NOT going to take a gravity reading for probably another week and a half. When 2 weeks hits, it sounds like if i'm within my desired FG i should bottle. If im not within my FG at this time, is it beneficial to secondary ferment then? Thanks again
 

brettg20

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The only reasons really to use a secondary is to dry hop, cold crash (for clarity) or lagering. Once you move it to a secondary it won't really ferment anymore because you are removing the beer from the yeast that have dropped in suspension.

Just wait two weeks and you should be close to your FG.
 

eastoak

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I'm using a secondary for a couple reasons (not sure if they're the right ones yet ha) First off is because the brewers best directions highly recommend moving to a secondary fermenter around 5-7 days "to have more clarity and overall better, purer flavor" I also called the brewshop i got everything from and the guy there said the same thing, he also mentioned something about producing off flavors if it's left in the primary too long.
pure bunk. if i had a penny for all of the times i've heard "the guy at the brewshop said....."
 
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Drewd004

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Great info here. This recipe was an extract with steeping grains. How many batches do most people here recommend before going to an all grain?
 

BobbiLynn

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If the kit you bought says 5-7 days, that means 10-14 days in the real world.

No gravity reading now!!! It's okay to follow the instructions from a kit to a tee... except... always at least double the times it says!!!

And stop looking at your airlock!! That means nothing!!! Well, actually it means fermentation has slowed down... doesn't mean it stopped!!!
 

steber

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Great info here. This recipe was an extract with steeping grains. How many batches do most people here recommend before going to an all grain?
When you're confident you're hooked on the hobby. Ag takes more of an investment of time and money. For me, it was after 5 batches. Don't make the jump thinking you'll make better beer either, both ag and extract make good beers. So no need to rush unless you're read up on the processes and ready to make the jump.
 

BobbiLynn

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Great info here. This recipe was an extract with steeping grains. How many batches do most people here recommend before going to an all grain?
Took me over 4 years to make the switch. By then AG was a breeze, like mini mashes I had already perfected, but bigger equipment, more grain. I now have 2 AG batches under my belt, and well over 100 extract brews.
 

eric19312

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Drewd004 said:
Great info here. This recipe was an extract with steeping grains. How many batches do most people here recommend before going to an all grain?
My journey to AG was not a jump, it was a series of unplanned steps.

I started with 3 Brewers Best kits. Then I made 9 partial mash recipes using ingredients from LHBS. My partial mash recipes were better than my kits which gave me the confidence to continue the process.

My LHBS sells a 33 lb LME carboy at a decent price. Think less than $50. My PM recipes used about 7 lbs LME, 2 or 3 lbs 2-row base malt, and 1-2 lbs specialty malts (total 4 lbs grain) for my self designed partial mash recipes. Picked out hops and used software to figure out schedules. I mashed (true mash not steeping grains as i had to convert the 2-row) in a big enameled cast iron stew pot and "batch sparged" using a colander.

Was having a lot of fun so I started to acquire gear. First my giant kitchen strainer used for both lautering ( just held 4 lbs grain, worked better than the colander) and then my grain mill as my LBHS didn't crush at the time. Then my 10 gal pot. Incorporated each piece into a couple batches before adding next piece. Finally after all that was working on partial mash recipes I built my mash/lauter tun and bought a couple 50 lb sacks of grain...presto I'm an AG brewer. Still have about 5 lbs LME left from my second carboy, am using that for yeast starters.

I now have 5 AG batches done but still waiting to taste first, rest haven't gotten into bottles yet.

Am sure your journey will also be fun, whether you jump immediately to AG or continue with extract for 100 batches like poster above. If you are posting in here I'm guessing you already know you are hooked!
 

eastoak

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Great info here. This recipe was an extract with steeping grains. How many batches do most people here recommend before going to an all grain?
i made 2 extract batches then went all grain, if had to do it again i would go all grain right away and it's what i tell friends to do who are interested in brewing.
 

Caveman3141

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Don't worry about moving to a secondary but I'm doing to dissent here and say go ahead and pop it open and take a gravity reading. It's only a 1.050 amber so it's perfectly possible this beer could've completely fermented in 3-5 days.

Take one now and take one 2-3 days from now.
 

cluckk

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I tell friends if you are the person who only wants to make something you like to drink and share will little interest in fine-tuning then start with extract and see what happens from there. If they are the kind who.must tweak and fiddle with stuff always wanting to outdone the last time, then jump right into all grain.

Even then the learning curve can be made less severe, and the investment in equipment spread out with a few extract batches followed by a few partial mash batches.
 
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