Author Topic: Almost done with primary....now what?  (Read 790 times)

Offline turfgrass

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Almost done with primary....now what?
« on: April 24, 2017, 12:48:17 AM »
I started my first brew a week ago tomorrow and it has been a lot of fun.  Activity within the primary seems to have slowed and an airlock will soon replace the blow off tube.  According to the IPA clone recipe that I'm following the dry hop requires two weeks, so I have one week remaining.   I'm looking for advice on what to do after the dry hops have had their two weeks?  Rack to secondary, cold crashs, priming sugar........what are some thoughts on finishing the IPA process.  Thanks so much!

Offline TENNISPROROB

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Re: Almost done with primary....now what?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2017, 01:54:19 AM »
Throw the dry hops in now... I would also not leave them in for 2 weeks. 1 week is plenty! I usually only leave mine on for 3 to 5 days. I also dry hop when there is still active fermentation going on... about day 4.

Offline turfgrass

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Re: Almost done with primary....now what?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2017, 07:47:45 PM »
That basically what I've done.  I'll probably transfer to a secondary soon.   When should the priming sugar be added and how long before bottling?

Offline cdawson

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Re: Almost done with primary....now what?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2017, 09:02:09 PM »
Priming sugar should be added just before putting your beer into bottles and capping. I usually add my priming sugar solution to my bottling bucket and then rack/transfer from my fermentor to my bottling bucket to help mix the sugar solution into the beer. This is quickly followed by bottling and capping. 

Offline TENNISPROROB

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Re: Almost done with primary....now what?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2017, 10:28:56 PM »
You tube has lots of videos on it. Sometimes it was more helpful for me to see it rather than read about it.

Offline Badgerhead

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Re: Almost done with primary....now what?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2017, 10:48:54 PM »
That basically what I've done.  I'll probably transfer to a secondary soon.   When should the priming sugar be added and how long before bottling?

The idea here is that you want the yeast to gobble up all of the available sugar in primary fermentation- as it does this, it is producing alcohol (yay!) and CO2 (bubbles).  Once it has consumed all of the sugar it can, bubbles will stop and the yeast will have nothing much to do.  Once you're sure it's done (best way to know for sure is with a hydrometer - if you get the same reading for a couple days in a row you know it is done) you can bottle.  The priming sugar gives the yeast something else to eat, and since you have it in a sealed bottle at this point, the CO2 can't escape and provides your carbonation.

I'm not big on secondary fermentation, but if you want you can do that after primary finishes.  Cold crashing is also optional and would occur just before bottling- basically with that you are just trying to get a lot of the yeast and other stuff to drop out of solution so you end up with clearer beer - don't worry, there will still be plenty of yeast left in there to carbonate your bottles.




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Offline turfgrass

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Re: Almost done with primary....now what?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2017, 11:07:57 PM »
Thanks for the help.

I think I'll skip the secondary and when ready place my carboy in my refrigerator for cold crash.  Seems like a couple days at 34/35 degrees should clear it up.  Then I'll rack into my bottling bucket.  I'm not exactly sure how much priming sugar to add bc i feel that there is a lot of sediment.   I have corn sugar for priming.  Any recommendations for time left in bottle and stored at a specific temperature before sampling.  Thanks again.

Offline Badgerhead

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Re: Almost done with primary....now what?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2017, 11:19:18 PM »
Thanks for the help.

I think I'll skip the secondary and when ready place my carboy in my refrigerator for cold crash.  Seems like a couple days at 34/35 degrees should clear it up.  Then I'll rack into my bottling bucket.  I'm not exactly sure how much priming sugar to add bc i feel that there is a lot of sediment.   I have corn sugar for priming.  Any recommendations for time left in bottle and stored at a specific temperature before sampling.  Thanks again.

There's lots of calculators around you can use to figure out how much sugar to use - here's one I found:

https://www.brewersfriend.com/beer-priming-calculator/

In general, if you store your bottled beer at room temperature I find it usually takes mine about 3-4 weeks before it is ready, but I'm sure you'll get lots of different opinions on that.  I can never wait, and always start sampling after 2 weeks, though.  Don't store it in the fridge at first or the yeast will stay dormant and it will never get around to carbonating.

Offline santoch

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Re: Almost done with primary....now what?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2017, 04:15:25 AM »
another thing to avoid is putting the bottles on a concrete floor.  The concrete will suck the heat right out of them and they will take forever to carbonate.
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