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Im a little confused

Hey everyone, 100% new brewer here…

I ordered the glass carboy starter kit with the Fresh Squished IPA extract recipe…

A few questions here:

1: The kit mentions a “6-week” brew. That said, the instructions within, say to ferment for 7-days, then add hops (dry hop) ferment for another 7 days. Bottle, 2-weeks at room temp, then drink. I may not be a math genius but thats 4-weeks. What am I missing??

2: The kit came with a 6 (6.5?) gal carboy and a 5-gal carboy. Nowhere in this recipe directions does it mention using both. I dry hopped in the original fermentor. Is that right? Should I transfer it at some point to the 5-gal? For what reason (other than opening up my larger for a new batch)?

Thanks y’all. Looking forward to my first batch!

The 5 gallon carboy is for a secondary fermentation/conditioning. Lots of debate on this topic deciding on whether or not it’s necessary. For me, it depends on the type of beer I am brewing. For a basic ale I wouldn’t bother and would just leave in the 6.5 (primary) carboy for three weeks and then bottle or keg. If you were adding fruit or some type of flavor agent, then a secondary is a good option. When I got this exact starter kit a few years ago, the instructions were to primary ferment in the 6.5 gallon carboy for two weeks, then transfer to the 5 gallon carboy for an additional two weeks and then bottle and let carbonate for two more weeks. That’s where the six weeks comes in. I would just leave it in the 6.5 primary for three weeks and then bottle, making sure that fermentation is complete using a hydrometer to avoid bottle bombs. After bottling, keep them around 70 degrees for at least another 3 weeks to obtain carbonation. Two weeks in the bottle has never worked for me and they only get better with more time.

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Like what grandmesteven. Is saying. Its up to you if you want to. Move your brew to secondary. I transfer my brew to secondary. When i dry hop or add fruit. To the brew. But the key word. Be paitience. Its confusing. When they say. 6 weeks. They got to mention. From. Boil kettle to bottle or keg. 6 weeks. I do leave my brew in fermentor. For 3 weeks. Before i start doing. Fg. Testing and sample. Taste

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Thank you for that. Very helpful. So I dry hopped right into the fermentor after 7-days, so at this point it looks like Im leaving it in the 6.5. That said, I dont mind the idea of having a roation going so next time I may make the transition. I guess my initial hesitation was fear of contamination since this was my first go. I have no idea how sensitive that really can be. Just dry hopping made me paranoid.

As for timing, I think I will take your advice and leave it one more week in the fermentor, then 3 weeks in the bottles as well for a total of 6. The blowoff has slowed down considerably even after a day or two of light action post dry hops. I guess I was confused bc after reading the directions like 10x I still could only come up with 4-weeks and the box says 6. So, Im taking your tips on this one.

Thank you!

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Thanks, and I am going to do that as well. 3 weeks in ferment and 3 in bottles. Odd that the directions dont mention it at all.

About testing…I do have a herculometer but no idea why/how to use it during the process, vs, after to figure out abv. Any insights into what I should know about this thing? I saw some people even test the wort but I really dont know the purpose of it all yet. Cool to begin learning. Thanks all.

To be safe I would leave it in the fermenter 4 weeks total. I think you should learn to use your hydrometer. If you want to, take a reading at 3 weeks then wait 3 additional days and take another reading. If after 3 days the hydrometer reads exactly the same then chance are you are done fermenting. But double check what the anticipated FG (Final Gravity) of your recipe should be for comparison to what your hydrometer says the gravity is.

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Thanks for the tip. So I have a “thief” and a hydrometer…assuming all of my equip is sterilized, am I pouring that back into my fermentor after I test it or is it waste? Recipe states: OG 1.064 but I can not find anything else.

I found a second set of directions for the same brew, that seem to be a little diffeent that the set that came with the kit. This set actually says, 2 weeks in primary, 2 weeks in secondary, 2 weeks in bottles. It also says not to dry hop until 5-7 days before bottling. Guess we will see. I am going to check the gravity and see where its at as well.

No you drink the sample and savor the fresh beer flavor. Take the time to try and identify the individual components of the recipe. Never return the sample. Sanitize your thief with some Starsan
Recent thought on Dry-hopping would say 5-7 days is too long (That was last’s year’s technique lol). Here is some new thoughts. I cannot do cool dry-hopping because of my apartment lifestyle but I do shortcut long

http://scottjanish.com/a-case-for-short-and-cool-dry-hopping/

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Thanks for sharing. Yea, Im really not sure what to do at this point.

I dry hopped after 7-days (as per instructions). Tomorrow marks 14-days from brew day. According to direction set #1, I should bottle. According to direction set #2 and opinions of yall, I still should not have even yet dry hopped.

What is the negative to having dry hopped for 3 weeks rather than 1 week? What would you do?

Just relax and don’t worry about it. You’ll make a great beer following the instructions. With time you will tweak stuff and get what work best for you down pat. Dry-hop aromas are hard to maintain even for the best brewers. So worst case scenario you don’t have as strong an aroma.

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Haha thanks. I think I’ll transfer it tomorrow to my secondary, check gravity (and taste) and let it go for at least 1 more week, if not two before bottling. Its still bubbling every 4-5 minutes or so.

Appreciate the insights!

Haha. Had to look up herculometer. Bassicly same thing. Like a hydrometer. Like what. Other reply. Do mention. Take a few sample. With your. Wine thief. And use your hydrometer. So after. Few sample a period. Of. 4 to 5 days. And grav the same. You ready. To. Either. Move to secondary. And dryhop. Or. Dry hop in your primary. Me do like to use. A secondary. Fermentor. For dryhop. But it all how you would like to. Create your. Brewing. System

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The “hydrometer” is a great tool to learn to use…
On brew day, once the wort is cooled, you pull a sample and check the “original gravity” … This tells you how much sugar is in the water…
Sometimes, I would just put the hydrometer in the carboy… And leave it there…
I didn’t like pulling samples out (either lazy or fear of infecting the new brew)… The final reading have been explained above as to why we check…
Then, you can figure out the ABV also.
Sneezles61

thanks for the replies everyone. I checked in this morning on the ferment and for whatever reason the foam layer is more prominent on top. It looks like its at 72 deg now vs the 70/68 ish Ive had it going at. The foam had mostly dropped to the bottom over the past week. Interesting to see it back.

What kind of fermenter do you have?

6.5 gal glass carboy

Oh right you said that already.

I siphoned into my secondary today and tested the gravity (and the beer).

I got a reading of 1.010 at a temp of 73f

I really donno what what means, if its good or bad or on track. This tool has a conversion table, and it says to add 0.002 when testing at 72.4. So that would put me right around 1.012 I guess…box says OG should have been 1.064 so I donno. I didn’t check the wort originally.

edit: after some more reading…I used the OG listed on the box comined with the attentuation of 81% from the yeast I used to figure out the FG should be near 1.0122…maybe im there…

Thoughts?

Yeh it’s pretty close to done. After using certain yeasts multiple times you’ll be able to get a rough idea. I just wait at least 3 weeks and it’s always good to go into packaging. I will check it if I’m bottling. If you’re a gizmo type of person, look into the tilt hydrometer. Lots of guys here use and love them. It’s on my list as a next to purchase item.

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awesome, ill check that out…yeah, as yo umay have seen I had 2 sets of directions on this one, so I decided not to bottle today, and Ill give it at least 1 more week. Tasted really nice so far.

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