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Secondary fermentation for American wheat

I am brewing my first batch. American wheat. The recipe does not mention secondary fermentation. Do I bottle it right out of the primary fermentation?

Yup no need to use a secondary, unless you plan on bulk aging.

Wait until you have reached FG. Give the beer a few more days for CO2 to come out of solution. This will allow time for sediment the CO2 is holding in suspension to drop out. Racking to the bottling bucket to soon will put the sediment that is in suspension into your bottled beer.

I do not have a hydrometer yet so won’t be able to measure FG. I’m fermenting in a room that is consistently 70-72 deg. Used dry yeast. Once I no longer see co2 bubbling I’ll give it a couple more days before bottling. Does that sound about right? Any suggestions are welcomed.

Unless you are using a Belgian yeast, your are fermenting to warm. Fermentation produces heat. Depending on the OG, actively fermenting beer will be 3°F to 10°F above ambient temperature. You need to put your beer in a swamp cooler.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/photo/album ... -7991.html

Look up the yeast you are using for the optimum fermentation temperature. Most ale yeast do best near the lower end of the range. There are nuances though. US-05 and WY 1056 will throw a peach flavor below 65°. Optimum for these two yeast is 65° to 68°.

You need a hydrometer to determine when Final Gravity has bee reached or if, egad, your fermentation is stuck at a high FG.

Bottling before fermentation is complete can result in very dangerous bottle bombs as the fermentation finishes inside the bottle.

[quote=“flars”]Unless you are using a Belgian yeast, your are fermenting to warm. Fermentation produces heat. Depending on the OG, actively fermenting beer will be 3°F to 10°F above ambient temperature. You need to put your beer in a swamp cooler.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/photo/album ... -7991.html

Look up the yeast you are using for the optimum fermentation temperature. Most ale yeast do best near the lower end of the range. There are nuances though. US-05 and WY 1056 will throw a peach flavor below 65°. Optimum for these two yeast is 65° to 68°.

You need a hydrometer to determine when Final Gravity has bee reached or if, egad, your fermentation is stuck at a high FG.

Bottling before fermentation is complete can result in very dangerous bottle bombs as the fermentation finishes inside the bottle.[/quote]

Thanks for the advise. I’m trying to cool it down now. It’s been fermenting for about 45 hrs.
I hope that’s not too late to adjust temp???

While it is too late now to adjust temperature (which is most critical during initial, active fermentation) you’ll most likely be fine. The optimum temperature range for US-05 is 59 degrees F - 75 degrees F. Since you don’t have a hydrometer, let if go for two weeks and then bottle. At the fermentation temperature you’ve stated it will most likely be done by then. Extra time, whether in the carboy or in the bottle, will only improve the flavor. In the future invest in a hydrometer and a fermometer if you don’t already have one.

You’re likely fermenting way above temp. The issue is that fermentation creates heat, as mentioned earlier. So although the ambient temperature of the room is 70-72, the actual temp of the beer is quite higher.

Snag one of the fermometer stickers and slap it on your bucket/carboy. Use that to get a good idea of the temperature in the future. At this point, I don’t think there really isn’t much use in changing the temperature, since the majority of the off flavors from high temps are formed in the first stages of fermentation. The swamp cooler method is the most cost effective way of lowering temp in fermenting beer IMO.

It may still taste just fine to you though, so give it a shot in a couple of weeks. Please don’t dump it out like some people might tell you to do. Taste is subjective, and what’s good to you (even if they are technically considered “off flavors” in competition) may not be good to others.

Can you tell us your recipe? Was it the American Wheat kit from Northern Brewer? I did the T-Can & Bearcat’s Wheaten Beatdown kit, used Wyeast 1056, fermented in the low 70’s and it turned out excellent…

Yes it is the northern brewer American wheat. Us-05 yeast. Fermometer was reading 74-76. So I was at the top end of recommended temp for yeast. I have cooled it down some & will try to hold it there for rest of fermentation. Time will tell how it turns out.
I have learned a lot during this first batch. Hopefully uphill from here.

My first two batches ever–Caribou Slobber and American Wheat-- were both fermented too high (room temp about 74-I had no idea about temp control at the time). But they both turned out surprisingly drinkable and WAY better than the commercial lite beer I had been drinking. You’ll probably still end up with something decent to drink. If not, use it to boil bratwurst and make onion ring batter and get to making your second batch! Most of us have been where you are right now.

Best of luck ,

Ron

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