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Once bitten twice shy ..

SleepySamSlim

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Ok - Our first batch of Alaskan Amber went like clock work in all areas and tasted very good.
Batch #2 a Nut Brown Ale will go down the sink next week .. I believe a victim of incomplete fermentation. SG at bottling was 1.020 (that was after 5 days in primary and 2+ weeks in secondary) -- after four weeks in the bottle and testing several bottles - tastes like soap. And at bottling it looked good - smelled ok - but tasted not too good and had a lemony front end and was generally not good.

So we are now a bit spooked.

Batch 3 is a Fat Tire clone just finishing 2 weeks in secondary  Final SG 1.014 its color is right on and very good clarity. And sampling is good in that it tastes like beer - smells like beer - but certainly is rough --- so we are going to bottle today. I think this batch will be ok but not great. Which is fine as we're still learning.

Batch 4 is my current concern -- its is a slight tweak of batch #1 (less hops for lower IBU - very slight) and is in primary fermentation. Batch 1 was done in the warmer Fall temperatures ripped through primary in 4 days - Secondary 2 weeks FG was 1.015. The current batch had an ok fermentation and at day 4 was at 1.020  with no real signs of bubbling at all for a day. So I added a 1/2 packet of yeast and gave it a good stirring. Much bubbling ensued for a couple of days. SG is now at 1.018 ... and taste test is very positive ... its beer - taste is good. 

So my question to the peanut gallery is as we are reaching day 7 in the primary and at 1.018 -- should I rack it or give it a few more days in the Primary ? I believe we are getting back on track - but pouring beer down the drain will be a scarring experience ... I'll have a couple of good beers before proceeding.

What say yea ....
 

Wildrover

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I'd say give it a few more days based on the premises that there is nothing to lose and something to gain.  It shouldn't hurt the beer by leaving it be a few more days but moving it early can have negative results.  Why not leave it be till you know everything that could happen has, then move it? 

$.02
 

MaltLicker

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Ditto.  Active airlock activity does not equal fermentation.  The complete fermentation cycle is a multi-stage event, and those stages overlap somewhat in ways that are invisible to us.  The yeast perform quite a bit of clean-up after they finish eating, unlike my kids. 

I leave all styles on primary a minimum of ten days.  Every day beyond that depends on style, gravity, need for secondary, brewer laziness, etc.
 

SOGOAK

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I think waiting is good for almost all brews.  I used to rush rush rush everything when I only had 2 carboys.  I wanted to get my beer out of primary into secondary (Which I skip now on basic ales) in a week.  I'd just count bubbles.

Then I had a real problem with an IPA.  It was loaded with malt anyway and I moved it through the paces too quickly that left it under attenuated.  So you'd sip, get the IPA bite, some malty goodness, then be stuck with a sugarly finnish.

My mentor and a few other knowledgable brewers in my club all gave me a beatdown for not waiting enough.

I did the ultra lazy 5-6 weeks then bottle on the nutbrown kit beer and it is great.  My Lager is on the primary trub too.  based on the taste I got from the hydrometer flask, good things are coming in about 5 weeks.

Of course my belgian has been moved thrice now.

 
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