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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through June 27, 2005 * Question from a first time brewer < Previous Next >

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Dennis
New Member
Username: Mdbrew

Post Number: 1
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 06:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I recently brewed up my first batch (Annapolis Homebrew English Brown Ale extract kit) this past Sunday 5/12. The initial carboy temperature was 72 F with about 1.5" head and steady bubbles in the airlock. As of yesterday (5/15), the carboy temperature is 68 F with little to no head and about 8 bubbles per minute in the airlock. I have red that you should rack to the secondary fermentor at about 1 to 5 bubbles per minute. I no there's no set time for fermentation to end, but does racking to the secondary when there is 1-5 bubbles per minute seem reasonable? If so, I can see myself racking to the secondary in 5-6 days after the boil.

Thanks,
Dennis
 

Doug Pescatore
Senior Member
Username: Doug_p

Post Number: 1395
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 06:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dennis,
If you are lazy like me and just don't feel like taking a gravity measurement you could just wait a couple of weeks or more until you see absolutely no sign of fermentation. Bubble are either a sign of fermentation or off gassing of CO2 after fermentation. Either way it does not hurt things to just wait until the airlock shows no more activity.

-Doug
 

Paul Erbe
Member
Username: Perbe

Post Number: 250
Registered: 05-2001
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 06:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Time and or bubbles are not really good indicators of a finished beer.

Did Annapolis sell you a hydrometer? If so take a small sample of your beer and test the gravity. For the kit you bought I would guess that the final gravity would be in the 1.008 - 1.014 range. The brewshop should be able to tell you what was intended in the recipe.
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least, you need a beer."
-- Frank Zappa
 

Dave Bossie
Junior Member
Username: Boss_brew

Post Number: 42
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 07:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Dennis,
I usually take a reading or 2 using a sanitized wine thief just to smell + taste the beer. When the gravity hits the target range and levels off for a couple of days, then I rack into kegs or a secondary. I only use a secondary for big beers or lagers. I think you get more benefit by storing your carbonated beer in a cool/cold place than using a secondary on regular ales. Also, don't worry if your final gravity is a little high...I used to get high finals a lot when I first started brewing, and they always tasted good (except 1 or 2!). Have fun!
Dave
 

Richard Nye
Advanced Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 755
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 07:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dennis, if you rack too early, while the yeast is still actively fermenting, you're, in effect, taking the majority of yeast away from the beer. This could lead to an incomplete fermentation. Two successive hydrometer readings a day or two apart is the best way to know if your fermentation is complete or very slow. To be honest, I get lazy and just rack after a week or 10 days (for an average ale) if there's no sign of activity in the airlock.
 

Paul Erbe
Intermediate Member
Username: Perbe

Post Number: 251
Registered: 05-2001
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 07:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dennis - As you can see there are lots of opinions and methods that work. May I suggest checking out John Palmer's excellent on line book located at www.howtobrew.com. This will give you a very good primer on brewing extract/partial mash and all grain beer.
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least, you need a beer."
-- Frank Zappa
 

Dennis
New Member
Username: Mdbrew

Post Number: 2
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 08:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've just about read to entire howtobrew book and it's very informative.

like you said there are many opinions when to rack into 2ndary.

I'll continue to read on. Thanks everyone for you responses thus far. I hope to find valuable information from this forum.
 

Hedgie Bartol
Junior Member
Username: Hedgieb

Post Number: 92
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 01:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dennis, as a relative novice myself, I can tell you what I have experienced as well as learned from this forum. First of all, no two fermentations are the same. What happens to one guy on one batch, with one yeast may be totally different from another guy with the same yeast, etc. My advice on this (and it is just my advice) is that once the foam is gone, you are ready to rack to your secondary. If you wait too long, you will have too much undesirable flavor imparted by the vegetable matter. By racking to the secondary at this point, you can add "polyclar" and help prevent chill haze.

I am sure that someone will disagree, but that is my take.

Hedgie
 

Doug Pescatore
Senior Member
Username: Doug_p

Post Number: 1396
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 01:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Your absolutely right Hedgie!! I completely disagree. I have left ales and lagers on the primary for 1 month plus with no off flavors being added. I have also added gelatin to help prevent chill haze after nice and long primaries and even longer secondaries. By taking the lazy brew approach you remove the doubt. Even with taking the lazy brewers approach I would advise that you take gravity measurements just to make sure while you are still new to the hobby. There is no rush to get a beer off the yeast cake.

-Doug
 

Richard Nye
Advanced Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 757
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 04:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dennis, the hardest thing about starting to brew is being patient. Beer takes time. You run into far less trouble if you let it sit rather than try to speed things up. That's why they say RDWHAHB.
 

Brandon Dachel
Senior Member
Username: Brandon

Post Number: 1548
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 05:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> If you wait too long, you will have too much
> undesirable flavor imparted by the vegetable
> matter.

Yes, this can be a problem...after 6-12 months.
 

don price
Advanced Member
Username: Donzoid

Post Number: 667
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 09:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I suggest that you plan on bottling next weekend. Two weeks for a normal ale is almost idiot proof. Trust me.

Go shopping for your next batch this weekend. Also do a dry run at bottling to see if you are missing anything.

Don
 

Craig Henry
Intermediate Member
Username: Sail

Post Number: 261
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 03:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Uh - yeah 6 months might be pressing your luck a little. When I first started brewing i followed this pamphlet "wait ten days" "if you leave it too long the trub may impart off flavors" well you know what... I have waited well over a month and had no problems.

I can usually tell when it is done because it will start to settle and clear. Ok, I could just do 2 tests a day for a few weeks but I am lazy, a bit foolish and fairly confident that my beer will turn out just fine if I let nature take its course.
 

Hedgie Bartol
Junior Member
Username: Hedgieb

Post Number: 94
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 12:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You guys are right, you can let it sit longer, and for the sake of clarity, and so forth, (especially in a higher gravity beer) it is very important to go the minimum of the two weeks. I am just speaking from my limited experience, and I hesitate to let beer sit too long... but that is only cause I can't keep production up with consumption!
 

Dennis
New Member
Username: Mdbrew

Post Number: 3
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 12:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well I racked to secondary this past saturday (5/18). There was no krausen on top and the bubbles in the airlock where less than 1 per minute. OG was 1.038 and when I racked it, it was 1.007.

I think I might bottle at the end of this week.
 

Richard Nye
Advanced Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 763
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 12:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sounds like the makings of a good beer! It will take about 2-3 weeks for the bottles to get carbonated after you bottle. While you're waiting, brew another batch or two.
 

don price
Advanced Member
Username: Donzoid

Post Number: 668
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 09:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Don't forget to pick up some research brews...
 

Belly Buster Bob
Senior Member
Username: Canman

Post Number: 2368
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 10:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dennis....you done made beer
Bellybuster Bob
www.bellybuster.netfirms.com