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Dead Ringer fermentation question

This is my first 5 gallon batch, and this day 16 in the primary fermenter. There is still a yeast cap on it, and bits of what I’m guess is trub particals dancing up and down. The temperature has been a constant 65 to 68 F reaching 65 only at night, and during the weekdays when we’re at work. Is it a good thing for the cap to be present for so long? So, after 2 to 3 days if and when the cap drops down, how long should it be in the secondary fermenter? The total 2 week span? Many thanks to all who may reply…

I’d give it a good swirl, chances are the floaties are just little islands of trub/yeast that have caught some gas. They’ll drop if you knock the bubbles off them.

I am in the camp that an ale needs no secondary, and at 16 days of primary at 65F your beer is probably ready to bottle right now. You can leave it a few more days though.

It won’t hurt it to leave it in a bit longer. I’m with tom sawyer about ales, in general. Dead Ringer has the 1oz Centennial dry hop stage so I would at least have it in secondary for 5-7 days after dropping in the pack of pellets.

The biggest thing to watch right now is the specific gravity of the beer. If it hasn’t completely fermented, you’ll get a sweet taste in the beer and the ABV won’t be as high as it should be (I’ve had this happen with the dead ringer kit). If your kit came with a beer thief (it did if it’s from NB), you can use it to check the specific gravity to see if it’s changing over a 2-3 day period.

Hope that helps a bit.

Thanks Tom and O’Yeller… the “good swirl” worked. I overnighted a refractometer overnight, but it may not get here till Thursday. Should I wait and test once then again in two days before transferring to secondary? I’m just afraid of getting trub if I bottle it from the prime. I bought a cool siphon that’s made to fit a carboy with the bottling attachment. Unfiltered beer does not scare me. Some of my favorite craft brews unfiltered, and I believe that’s where most of the taste is from… could be wrong though. In keeping with the primary or moving to the secondary, when should I throw the remaining hops in? O’Yeller, what part of Ohio are at?

A refractometer will not give you a FG as the alcohol skews the results and will not give you the correct FG. Your refractometer will be perfect for SG.

I have never made the dead ringer kit but I do secondary most beers. You can dry hop in your primary. I dry hop in secondary to help clear. In addition, I will cold crash it and add gelatin to clear. If it were me, I would throw your dry hops in secondary and rack your beer into it, allow it to sit for the recommended time, cold crash for 24 hrs., add gelatin and let sit for 3 days then bottle.

I’ve got this extract kit going as well. It’s my third batch of homebrew and a gift for my brother-in-law so I don’t want to screw it up (dumped my first batch after a slew of problems, second batch is good except I think fermentation temps were too high). I use a bucket for primary, so I can’t comment as to how it looks. It’s been 17 days in primary @ 63*. I haven’t taken a gravity reading yet, but was thinking of sticking it in the garage tomorrow night (my form of cold-crashing) and racking to secondary on Thursday provided FG is right. After that two weeks conditioning, followed by a week of dry-hopping then off to the keg. Pretty much as close to the instructions as possible.

[quote=“Loopie Beer”]A refractometer will not give you a FG as the alcohol skews the results and will not give you the correct FG. Your refractometer will be perfect for SG.[/quote]You just use a correction formula for the FG reading with a refractometer - I can take a reading with just a few drops of beer.

Isn’t there a refractometer calculated located here on NB? Is SG starting gravity?

Shade, I could be incorrect but my understanding is even with the correction formula it is close, but not exact.

Yes, SG is starting gravity.

Well, last evening I went ahead and transferred it to the secondary, and prior I dumped the last of the hops in first. This morning I checked the carboy, and there seems to be on top of the beer a layer of perhaps hops that floated up… I don’t know, I’m only guessing cause there seems to be a green tint to it slightly. How long do you all think it should stay in secondary before bottling? I was thinking about when I transfer it to the bottling rack( another carboy), that I would use a strainer to clean up the flecks of trub and hops that may float through… Any thoughts?

[quote=“Loopie Beer”]Shade, I could be incorrect but my understanding is even with the correction formula it is close, but not exact.[/quote]The difference is within the margin of error reading a standard-scale hydrometer. I check my refractometer FG reading against a low-scale hydrometer (0.990-1.020) and it’s consistently within two points.

Steve, the hops will settle out. I would wait at least a week, probably 2 before racking off. If you cold crash it and add gelatin the hops and trub will really settle out.

Loopie, you said “Steve, the hops will settle out. I would wait at least a week, probably 2 before racking off. If you cold crash it and add gelatin the hops and trub will really settle out.”

I was thinking perhaps 10 days making not this weekend, but the following which would give me more time to prepare, etc… I have been investigating Cold Crashing, but for how long should one be for? The only place I can do it is outside… at night. And what type gelaton do you use, and when do you at add it?

The instructions say a week or two before, I think, but that’s overkill. I generally go with 5 days for dry hopping. Another rule of thumb for beer flavor is that hop flavor and aroma will go away over time. It doesn’t go away really quickly but the point is, hopping over 5 days doesn’t add much flavor in my opinion (and the opinions of a lot of forums I’ve read). I make a Dead Ringer brew every ~2 months and I do primary for ~12 days, secondary for ~10 days, and dry hop for 5 days (I also add a second oz of centennial hops to the dry hop).

I’m on the north side of Columbus. You from the area?

On a side note, I use a sifter/filter I bought from Walmart for around $5. It will get all the unfolded/hydrated hops out. You’ll be left with some floaties but you’re going to have that in homebrews that use hops (especially dry hops). I have gelatin but I’ve never used it yet. The instructions vary a lot and it’s never been that important to me to test it out.

Olyeller, I actually am from north side as well. Live in Woodward park.

That’s cool. I’ve got a buddy that lives right by there.

You might be interested in this:

http://www.columbusunderground.com/bru- ... o-columbus

This past Wednesday I went ahead and moved the ale to clean sanitized carboy only because the hops looked like they were beginning to break down. Today is Friday and I’m planning to bottle tomorrow. I didn’t put an airlock on it, but a sanitized plug instead.

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