new brewer

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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punkyBREWster
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:12 pm

new brewer

Post by punkyBREWster » Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:19 pm

For years I have dreamt about making my own home brewed beer (http://www.homebrewbeer.net/day1.html). I'm finally making that dream a reality!

I've started off by getting some starter equipment, a simple recipe kit and a copy of home brewing for dummies (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... ewbeern-20). I'm about to bottle my first batch.

Here's my questions.

How long can the beer sit in the fermentor? How long can I keep my beer, once bottled, before it goes bad?

Brewer2001
Double IPA
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Good to hear!

Post by Brewer2001 » Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:09 am

B,

I used, and still do, use that book. It is a good quick reference to use before, during and after your brew sessions.

Your beer should only 'sit' on the yeast for two days after fermentation has stopped. Your gravity reading should stabilize for two days. This period will help reduce the diacetyl (butter/butterscotch flavor.

Depending on the beer/ale you may be able to drink it within a week or two. The general rule is the more complex the beer/ale the longer it will take to mature. I had some bottles celler for two years (that is a little extreme).

The length of time that the beer can be stored depends on several things, most of which are under your control.

Sanitation is the key, if you minimise contaminants your beer will last. Boil all, or as much as you are able, of your wort. Sanitize anything that comes in contact with cool wort and beer (StarSan is very good).

Try not to introduce air/oxygen into your beer during transfers and bottling.

You did not mention a 'secondary', maturation, vessel. Most home brewers, and craft brewers, rack the beer from the primary to a secondary which is cooled and aids in clearing and flavor maturation.

Do some reading and brewing, then do it again.

Good brewing,

Tom F.

punkyBREWster
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:12 pm

Thanks!

Post by punkyBREWster » Thu Apr 15, 2004 6:00 am

I appreciate your quick response.

You said, "The general rule is the more complex the beer/ale the longer it will take to mature. I had some bottles celler for two years..." DOes this mean this maturing process must take place within a bottle?

One last thing, do you recommend "filtering" before bottling? To get rid of any sedement?

Thanks again!

-B

fitz
Strong Ale
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Hi, Welcome

Post by fitz » Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:27 am

Hi, and welcome to the craft.
Tom was referring to the bottle conditioning that some high gravity or like he said complex flavor profile beers need to get to their optimal taste. Similar to wine.
Most pale ales, pilsners, etc. are best within the first six months. So, unless you are getting into barley wines, or belgians, etc. than you don't have to wait that long. 3 to 4 weeks in the bottle is a good starting time to sample the lighter beers.
As far as the aging, some age their wares in a carboy after it has gone through the primary and secondary fermentations. Although, the more you transfer it, the more chances you have for aeration, or airborne bacteria, so many condition it in the bottle.
As far as filtering, you shouldn't if you are naturally carbonating. You'll need the little bit of yeast that you will still have in the beer to eat the priming sugar and carbonate your beer. If you are force carbonating, and have a counter pressure bottle filler, than you can filter it to remove most of the yeast and remaining sediment. The most important thing about the sediment, is not to disturb it on the bottom of your fermentor. The most sediment I normally have in a bottle conditioned beer is no thicker than a sheet of writing paper, and it clings there fairly well, so you can pour it the beer without the yeast coming with it.

punkyBREWster
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:12 pm

Here's my issue

Post by punkyBREWster » Thu Apr 15, 2004 4:25 pm

When the bubbles stopped appearing in my air lock, I didn't pour the beer into the secondary fermenter. I've been so busy with my job and working later hours that it has remained in the primary fermenter for about a week or 2 past the time for the secondary fermenter. Am I up the creek now? Out of luck? Should I scrap this first try, or is it ok to go to the next step of pouring the sugar mix into the secondary and move onto bottling?

Azorean Brewer
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No don't throw it out

Post by Azorean Brewer » Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:48 am

PB, Welcome aboard, and congratulations on starting the brew hobby.

As for your beer, my schedule sometimes gets out of control too ... Go ahead and bottle it, what I would recommend in the future though is to "rack" (transfer) your beer from primary to secondary (like above) 2 days after primary has stopped. I usually brew on a Saturday and rack the following Saturday, then let it sit in the secondary for 2-3 weeks, this has worked like a champ for me for the last 12 years ... Then bottle it (use approx. 3/4 cup corn sugar for 5 gallons) after 2-3 weeks your beer should be "naturally Carbonated". You can start drinking it then.

Good luck, and remember keep asking questions that is how WE all learned OK?

Regards,

Paul.

fitz
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Some off flavors possible

Post by fitz » Fri Apr 16, 2004 7:50 am

Since it has sat on the primary yeast cake longer than recommended, it may have some off flavors, but it will still be better than commercial beer. I don't believe you ever told us the type of beer you brewed. sometimes the style will mask any off flavors you may have.
Try it, if you don't particularly care for that one, cook with it.
I ussually try mine while bottling. If it taste good warm flat, and unconditioned, it will be great when its done.

punkyBREWster
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:12 pm

thanks for the advice

Post by punkyBREWster » Fri Apr 16, 2004 4:49 pm

Well, to answer your question, I used a Brewer's Best, English Brown Ale recipe kit. Which is, according to the label, "Packed with flavor, this medium-bodied brew has a malty character surrounded by a nutty aroma with crystal malts providing good balance." You can see the details of my first brewing adventures on my little web page. (http://www.homebrewbeer.net/day1.html)

I'll bottle it and give it a try. Should I stick with the "2-3 weeks" after bottling?

Thanks again!

-B

punkyBREWster
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:12 pm

also...

Post by punkyBREWster » Fri Apr 16, 2004 5:12 pm

At this point, how long should I keep it in the secondary? "2-3 weeks" also?

fitz
Strong Ale
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Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 8:36 am

Since you let it stay there

Post by fitz » Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:32 am

Since you let it stay in the primary, just transfer into your bottling bucket and bottle it the reason for the secondary is to let the final fermenting yeast to consume the last bits of sugar and to fall out of the mix. You may have a slightly larger sediment in the bottles, but it won't be much more. The darker beer should mask any off flavors you have.

punkyBREWster
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:12 pm

Thanks again!

Post by punkyBREWster » Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:59 pm

Well I followed your advice. I even tried some of the beer while bottling. So far it tastes pretty good, although a wee bit too sweet for me. Probably more of an issue with the recipe and my taste though. All in all, not bad so far. I have it all bottled and my plan is to crack one open in about 2 weeks. Wish me luck!

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