Should I move to a 2nd Fermentor

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Should I move to a 2nd Fermentor

Postby StrangeBrew2 » Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:18 pm

I just started brewing for the first time and I am making a Maple Brown Ale. Once it hits midnight tonight it will be the 6th day in the fermentor. My recipe is as follows:

7 lb Malt Extract
1 lb Crystal Malt
1/8 lb Chocolate Malt
1/8 lb Special Roast
1/4 lb Honey Malt
1oz Progress Hops Pellets @ Boil
1oz Fuggles 30 min into boil
English Ale Yeast from White Labs
1 lb Grade A Pure Amber Maple Syrup

When I bought the grains the guy at the store didnt tell me to wash the grains before steeping, and I didn't think about it until I put them in the pot before starting to work up the boil. Instantly there was tons of grain dust and the water turned a caramel color. It fermented great and around the 5th day or slightly before (lets call it 4) there was no more action evident in the airlock. I have about an inch of sediment on the bottom and some yeast cultures breaking apart and sinking from the top. That being said, with the grain dust and addition of maple syrup should i be adding this to a second fermentor? When should I bottle this?
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not yet

Postby slothrob » Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:47 am

I doubt that grain dust is really an issue. No one washes their grain.

What you probably saw was protein, extracted from the grain during the steep, precipitating out during the boil. This is typical and one of the reasons we boil.

If you still have yeast at the top of your fermentor you are probably not ready to transfer. If you move the beer too early, you risk interupting the fermentation, which can lead to overly sweet beer or bursting bottles, or off flavors from not allowing the beer to clean-up after itself.

When I transfer, I use a rule of thumb of finished fermentation plus a day or two. You'll know when the beer is done when the specific gravity of the beer is stable for about 3 days, which will also give you the 1 0r 2 days extra. If you do not yet have a hydrometer, I'd let the beer complete fermentation as evident by bubbling, then wait a week, or even more, to be safe. The yeast has usually dropped to the bottom by then, especially most English Ale yeasts.

2 weeks isn't a bad target for time in a primary fermentor, as long as the beer seems to have well finished. You can give it 2 weeks in primary and a week or 2 in secondary, or simply leave the beer in primary for 3 weeks and skip the secondary. Few ales fermented above 62
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Postby StrangeBrew2 » Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:15 pm

Thanks for the Info, Slothrob.

I do have a hydrometer so I'll wait a few days and take some readings. Ill wait it out. Its just gotta be newbie jitters.
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Postby slothrob » Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:55 pm

We all go through that.
Patience can prevent many problems when it comes to beer, though.
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A word of advise

Postby brewmeisterintng » Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:27 pm

Keep your recipes and processes simple at first until you get the hang of what is actually happening with your brew. There are things that you can do to ensure success i.e. may a yeast starter ensuring that you have enough viable yeast to do the job. I usually give my ales one week in the primary and two weeks in the secondary. Above all, read as much as you can on the subject. You will find variances in brewing practices but the general processes are the same.
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