For my second batch...

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JeffPorter
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For my second batch...

Postby JeffPorter » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:19 pm

I gotta say, I'm still a little confused about how many fermentations I need.

Say, I'm doing just a plain brown or pale ale...

1)should I just do one fermentation?

2)Should I do it in the carboy?

3) Should I start out in my bucket and then rack to the carboy?

4) Does it even matter?

Also, I don't quite get when I'm supposed to aerate...

5) Right after I pitch the yeast?

6) Should I aerate at any other times? And also,

7) is aeration easier in a carboy or bucket? And finally,

8) Why is brewing beer so much damn fun???
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grub
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Re: For my second batch...

Postby grub » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:39 pm

JeffPorter wrote:I gotta say, I'm still a little confused about how many fermentations I need.

Say, I'm doing just a plain brown or pale ale...

1)should I just do one fermentation?


i'll give both a yes and a no to that. yes, you should do just one "fermentation" - ie: your beer should be completely done fermenting by the time it leaves your primary vessel. i feel "secondary" is a bit of a misnomer as people begin to expect more fermentation there, when really, if the beer isn't done you're shooting yourself in the foot by throwing away most of the yeast during your transfer. hit final gravity in secondary, then go on from there.

now, i think what you were really asking is whether or not you should use a secondary vessel or just a primary. in that case, i'll say no, you should do more than just a primary. sure, some styles can be rushed straight from primary to packaging, but i've yet to meet a beer that didn't benefit from at least a short secondary. gives it time to clean up, drop clear, etc. also a great time for dry hops (10-14 days, so add later if you plan to secondary longer than that).

JeffPorter wrote:2)Should I do it in the carboy?


ferment in whatever vessel makes you happy. i've used buckets, carboys, corny kegs, converted commercial kegs, etc. they all do basically the same thing.

JeffPorter wrote:3) Should I start out in my bucket and then rack to the carboy?


sure, if that's the vessels you have on hand, that works. i prefer NOT to use plastic for long-term fermentation/aging, but it's fine for primary.

JeffPorter wrote:4) Does it even matter?


nope, not really!

JeffPorter wrote:Also, I don't quite get when I'm supposed to aerate...

5) Right after I pitch the yeast?


yes.

JeffPorter wrote:6) Should I aerate at any other times? And also,


no. well, if you're making a big beer it can be beneficial to aerate more than once over the first 24-48 hours (depending who you talk to), but you should never beyond that, and never before the wort is cool.

JeffPorter wrote:7) is aeration easier in a carboy or bucket? And finally,


depends what your aeration method is. if you're doing something like shaking. both work (but glass would make me nervous). if you're vigorously dumping between vessels, buckets are easier due to the larger target to pour into. but your best bet is to skip all that and get yourself a 0.5 micron diffusion stone and a small oxygen tank. the $10 tanks from your local hardware store last a while. 60-90 seconds is enough for most brews and will put more oxygen into your wort than tens of minutes of shaking/pouring/etc.

JeffPorter wrote:8) Why is brewing beer so much damn fun???


obviously, because you get to drink the delicious results!
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markaberrant
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Postby markaberrant » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:19 pm

Good advice from Grub, and while his methods speak for themselves (kudos on the BoS at TBW), I would dispute 2 things:

- Most styles don't require a secondary in my opinion, it is a wasted step that provides little to no benefit. Leave it in primary until it is done fermenting and cleared. 2 weeks is a decent ballpark time for session ales, up to 4 weeks for really big beers. You basically end up doing the primary and "secondary" in a single vessel.

- Aerate before pitching the yeast, not after. You want the yeast to hit as perfect an environment as possible (the right temp with lots of O2), so as to cause as little stress as possible.
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Postby JeffPorter » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:48 am

markaberrant wrote:Good advice from Grub, and while his methods speak for themselves (kudos on the BoS at TBW), I would dispute 2 things:

- Most styles don't require a secondary in my opinion, it is a wasted step that provides little to no benefit. Leave it in primary until it is done fermenting and cleared. 2 weeks is a decent ballpark time for session ales, up to 4 weeks for really big beers. You basically end up doing the primary and "secondary" in a single vessel.
.


I've heard this, but I'm wondering about the soapy taste that happens if you leave it on the trub for too long...Its what I've read about in John Palmer.
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Postby Bonesey » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:15 am

JeffPorter wrote:
markaberrant wrote:Good advice from Grub, and while his methods speak for themselves (kudos on the BoS at TBW), I would dispute 2 things:

- Most styles don't require a secondary in my opinion, it is a wasted step that provides little to no benefit. Leave it in primary until it is done fermenting and cleared. 2 weeks is a decent ballpark time for session ales, up to 4 weeks for really big beers. You basically end up doing the primary and "secondary" in a single vessel.
.


I've heard this, but I'm wondering about the soapy taste that happens if you leave it on the trub for too long...Its what I've read about in John Palmer.



Palmer is a beer god, but this is one area that he's caused HBers to be nervous nellies about. Autolysis will not occur in 3 weeks. I usually only secondary if I'm dry hopping or say want to reuse the yeast slurry to make another beer 10d after the first one. It makes for a fast pipeline.

I always secondary with big beers With Secondary you run the risk of infection and oxidation. It shouldn't happen if you're careful with sanitation and siphoning technique, but less fussing with the beer the better. RDWHAHB
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ritzkiss
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Postby ritzkiss » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:35 am

Even in Palmer's book he says, and I quote,

"many experienced brewers, myself included, have been able to leave a beer in the primary fermenter for several months without any evidence of autolysis. Autolysis is not inevitable, but it is lurking."
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Postby Tapsucker » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:57 am

One possible contradiction. Some dry yeast instructions recommend pitching right onto the wort, waiting for re hydration and then aerating. I've used this method successfully.

On a related note, I hear a lot of no-nos about 'hot side' aeration, but I haven't seen the science behind this? I have had plenty of batches where there has been splashing between lautering and the kettle. Even draining the mash tun via tubing sucks air into the 'beerstream'. I don't think I have had any ill effects. What should I look for?
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markaberrant
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Postby markaberrant » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:31 pm

Tapsucker wrote:One possible contradiction. Some dry yeast instructions recommend pitching right onto the wort, waiting for re hydration and then aerating. I've used this method successfully.

On a related note, I hear a lot of no-nos about 'hot side' aeration, but I haven't seen the science behind this? I have had plenty of batches where there has been splashing between lautering and the kettle. Even draining the mash tun via tubing sucks air into the 'beerstream'. I don't think I have had any ill effects. What should I look for?


Most yeast instructions are meant to make things as simple as possible for the brewer, NOT to produce the best results.

Based on the science I had explained to me, hot side aeration can reduce shelf life, it basically messes with free radicals. On the homebrew scale, it really isn't an issue, but for large scale brewing (we are talking very large), it becomes very important.

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