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What do I do after airlock bubbling stops?

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nymike82

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OK... I started my first brew (Ale) on Saturday, the 13th (Today is the 16th). It had an intial gravity of 1.060. The bubbling has slowed way down, and is now less than 1 bubble/minute. It has been fermenting at 74 degrees.

I just tested the gravity, and it's at ~1.019 which is almost in the acceptable range according to my info. (1.011-1.018).

I have read/heard MANY conflicting arguments as to what to do next, rack into a carboy, leave in the same fermentation bucket, leave in the same one until the gravity is right, leave it in for two weeks.....

I have two conflicting statements in two manuals that came with the equipment:

"Allow the wort to settle for seven days. After seven days, the fermentation should be complete, the beer has settled and will be fairly clear, and you're ready to bottle."

and

"...At that time [after vigerous fermentation] upi must rack the beer into a carboy. Leave carboy in fermentation area for next 14 days."

WHAT is a good next step for a BEGINNER brewer?
 

bikebryan

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nymike82 said:
OK... I started my first brew (Ale) on Saturday, the 13th (Today is the 16th). It had an intial gravity of 1.060. The bubbling has slowed way down, and is now less than 1 bubble/minute. It has been fermenting at 74 degrees.

I just tested the gravity, and it's at ~1.019 which is almost in the acceptable range according to my info. (1.011-1.018).

I have read/heard MANY conflicting arguments as to what to do next, rack into a carboy, leave in the same fermentation bucket, leave in the same one until the gravity is right, leave it in for two weeks.....

I have two conflicting statements in two manuals that came with the equipment:

"Allow the wort to settle for seven days. After seven days, the fermentation should be complete, the beer has settled and will be fairly clear, and you're ready to bottle."

and

"...At that time [after vigerous fermentation] upi must rack the beer into a carboy. Leave carboy in fermentation area for next 14 days."

WHAT is a good next step for a BEGINNER brewer?
My vote is for racking to a secondary for a couple of weeks to age and clarify. Glass is best. This gets the beer off the trub at the bottom of your primary, and lets even more suspended matter settle before you rack to your bottling bucket and bottle a couple of weeks later.
 
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nymike82

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A question would be; Can it be left in the primary? Is this what is called "One-Stage"?
 

homebrewer_99

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It can be left in the primary, but the yeast may change the flavor. It is best (as stated earlier) to rack the beer to a glass carboy so it can age, mellow, and settle out (clear) some more. The gravity will lower a bit more too.:D

If you bottle right now then you will be conducting what's called a single fermentation.

Stages have to do with grain brewing.
 

Sir Sudster

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You can leave it in the primary if that is all you have. Yes , that's one stage.
Bikebryan is trying to help you prevent autolysis of the yeast and help you clarify your beer. If you can, rack to a secondary otherwise bottle and chill promptly.
 

El Pistolero

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Sudster said:
If you can, rack to a secondary otherwise bottle and chill promptly.
He should bottle now, after only three days? :confused: I was under the impression that autolysis took weeks, not days. Dang I wish I would have taken that organic chemisty course (tho bowling was cool too). ;)
 
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nymike82

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So, how long should it stay in the secondary?
 
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nymike82

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The plan was def. until the gravity was right, and then once everything settles, and it clears. Should I cover the carboy, does light have any effect on the process? and should I keep it at the same temp (~74 F)?
 
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nymike82

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So everything is going great.. and it will be time to bottle in about a week. I have the sugar drops to use, but I was considering the corn syrup method that seems to be so popular. Also curious about what temp I should store my bottles at. Any other bottling tips would be appreciated for the first timer.


The plan is also to wait at least 3 weeks, probably about a month, to open my first bottle after it's been bottled.
 

Eskram

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nymike82 said:
The plan is also to wait at least 3 weeks, probably about a month, to open my first bottle after it's been bottled.
Good luck with that. I lasted 3 days. :D
 

SteveM

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Here's what I do - bear in mind that I am a complete noob in brewing but it has alway comes out great (six batches so far).

Let it sit in the brew tank for two weeks. Siphon it off to a second tank that has a tap, boil up my sugar and then immediately bottle.

Drink that last, partially filled, slightly muddy bottle immediately to (harumph) assess the flavor.

Leave them in a dark, cool place. Start drinking them in about a week. My compliments if you can wait a month...but why?

I always have a bit of sediment in the bottom of the bottles - I think this could be eliminated by racking a second time, but it is not objectionable.
 
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