2.5 Pilot Brewing Question

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2.5 Pilot Brewing Question

Postby lgtg » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:39 pm

I used the term "Pilot Brewing" as a better polished way of saying Mr Beer or Beer Machine brewing. Having said, I am courageous enough to admit that as I start out, I am in no rush to move to upgraded systems. This is a perfect way to experiment and to be totally honest, can't really say what I would do with five gallons at this point (especially if I make "just drinkable" beer)

Anyway, thinking about buying a spare Mr Beer fermenter (at $10 for just the fermenter) I figure with my Beer Machine I can primary in the Mr Beer and rack secondary to the Beer Machine. Is anyone positive that the fluid volumes match each product (2.5 gls)?

My questions is this, if I primary in the Mr Beer for seven days, and then rack to the Beer Machine, how long do I allow the second fermentation? Can I just leave it in the same environment as the primary? (68
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No takers huh?

Postby lgtg » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:00 pm

Just think of it as explaining what the process is with 2 carboys. I just need to understand length of secondary fermentation, environment of it and how does cold conditioning fit into the equation.

Thanks everyone.
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RE: 2.5 Brewing Question

Postby wottaguy » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:32 pm

Hi lgtg...

Primary and Secondary fermentation times really do depend on what style of beer your are brewing. If you were brewing for instance a med-to med high gravity Belguim Ale, then your Primary fermentation times could last about 10 to 15 days and your secondary would last up to 3 months or longer! If you could give us an idea of what style of brew you want to create, then we could get more specific information. As I have never used any kind of Mr Beer kit or anything like it, I have no idea of what your recipe details are. I do partial mashes and all grain mashes and I can say that for a normal 1.050 to 1.060 Ale, I primary for no longer than 10 days...then rack to secondary and hold at normal fermentation temps for a period of 14 to 21 days. I lean towards 21 days for most of these ales. After secondary i usually keg in cornies and force carbonate to acheive a carbonation level of 2.5 volumes of Co2. Usually to get this I drop the temp to 35-40 degreesF and apply 12-15 lbs of pressure to the keg for about 7 to 10 days.
If you could supply us with more information then we can try to steer you in the right direction. Have you read Charlie Papazian's "The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing"? If not, I would recommend that you get this book and check it out. It is probably the best book you can get about home Brewing and is geared for the new brewer as well as the experienced brewer. I still dig it out on occaison to look something up, and I have had this book with me for the last 20+ years. I actually have the original first printing of this book!

Hope this helps!
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Re: No takers huh?

Postby Speyedr » Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:59 pm

lgtg wrote:Just think of it as explaining what the process is with 2 carboys. I just need to understand length of secondary fermentation, environment of it and how does cold conditioning fit into the equation.

Thanks everyone.


Wottaguy has a LOT of good points, BUT you're just starting out and I assume looking for WHERE to start. You're also using those pre-hopped kits I assume so the quality won't be there yet. For that reason I'll recommend primary for 10 days. Once that's done transfer to secondary for 2-3 weeks. After one week in the secondary you can "cold condition" if you want. Just move it to the fridge. This will help the yeast drop out more quickly and allow the flavors to meld together. After the conditioning is done just move it out the fridge CAREFULLY so as not to disturb the yeast at the bottom. If you do, just let it sit out for 24hrs bfore you bottle.

Good luck with that!

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Postby slothrob » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:38 pm

Lots of great advice.

You can consider a 3-3.5 gallon fermentor bucket or carboy (they have them at homebrew.com), as well, but the Mr. Beer might fit better into your fridge, allowing you to even make lagers.

I think you can do the same thing with a 2.5 gallon batch as a 5 gallon batch, just twice as often.

There are people that do this over at brewboard.com. No reason it won't work, as far as I can tell. I wouldn't use the prehopped kits, myself. I'd look at Listermann.com for his 2.5 gallon kit. I'm sure he'd put any of his recipes together as a 2.5 gallon, if you asked.

The nice thing about a 2.5 gallon system, is that you can convert to all-grain with equipment that will fit in your kitchen and a volume that you can boil on your kitchen stove. Consider that option.
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Thanks guys!

Postby lgtg » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:53 pm

Awsome guidance. Thanks. I will note all that has been offered. I will learn the basics while in the 2.5gl pilot brewer. You all have given me some good direction. I will stop back by to update you.

Larry
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