When to call primary done and other questions

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by easypickin, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. easypickin

    easypickin New Member

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    I'm brewing NB's Kama Citra Session IPA extract kit with Safale US-05 Ale Yeast.

    Tomorrow makes two weeks in the primary ranging from 62F at night to 65-66F during the day. I'm not seeing the airlock burp, but I don't watch for very long. But if I press lightly (very lightly) on the bucket's lid, it will bubble and I can press a little more and get the floaty piece to sit on the bottom of the airlock. Within a few minutes the floaty piece moves right back up to the top. When to call it?

    This will be my first kegging operation (woot!) and first brew with dry hopping. Once racked to a carboy for secondary (says for two weeks), do I add the hops at that time or wait a bit?

    I've been reading that folks cold crash to clarify. At what point, for how long and at what temp should that be done?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    good work and welcome to the forums mate. dry hopping is a great way to introduce some aroma into your brew but leaving the hops in too long may lead to the grassy flavour that can be associated with long dry hoo periods.

    so if you do decide to go the secondary fermentor route maybe drop the hoos in for 5 days max.

    to cold crash just wack the ferm vessal in a fridge set as low as you can to around 0c without freezing the beer.
     
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  3. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    If you’re kegging, you don’t have to be as careful about packaging to early, the way you’d be concerned about bottle bombs. That said, when your hydrometer gives to the same reading 3 days in a row, it’s done fermenting.

    I don’t cold crash, so I can’t help you there.

    By the way, you’re doing all the things I did when I started, pressing on the lid, etc. be careful with that. If you press too hard, you’ll suck airlock water into your brew when you let go.
     
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  4. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I've done and really like the all grain version of the Kama Citra kit. It makes a very tasty beverage. Here's how I do mine.
    Wait till fermentation is done and toss the dry hops in the primary. After 5-7 days or so (depending how busy I am) I rack right to my keg. If I'm looking for a bit of clarity, I chill over night, add gelatin, and start carbing. Most times with my pales and ipa's I don't worry about clarity anymore. It'll be just fine to rack right to keg, chill, and start carbing. After your first pour of the gunk, you'll be good to go.
     
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  5. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Brewed the AG of Kama Citra last year ourselves.... great beer! Didn’t have temp control back then, but now that we do, will prolly add it to the brew list this year. Will have to look at my notes to see what tweaks I might make next time. To the OP... if you can cold crash, go for it to settle out and densify the Trub cake. I’ve had hoppy beer clog the popits in the “out/beer” post.
     
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  6. easypickin

    easypickin New Member

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    Thanks everybody for the replies!

    @Mase, you mean cold crash in the primary bucket? I take that's what you meant because you said trub cake, but I guess what remains in a secondary carboy is also a trub cake but just of lesser proportions?

    Seems if I'm going to minimize the chance of clogging I'll need to at least dry hop prior to kegging and also cold crash.

    Just re-read @thunderwagn's post... I may do that... Just dry hop in the primary and also cold crash it--no secondary.

    I had read about folks skipping secondary all together, but have also read about yeast eating it's dead brethren if left in the primary too long, so racking to a clean carboy was the plan (and in the 'structions). If I add the hops today and let it sit for 5, then cold crash for 1, it'll have been in the primary bucket for 20 days.

    My dry hops are pellets and I was planning to add them in a sock. Any issues with that? This was my first brewing where I used socks for hops during the boil, and MAN was there a lot less junk in kettle! And this is by far the hoppiest beer I've made.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Yeah... Secondary is definitely a personal choice as there are arguments for both sides.

    As long as you are keeping the hop debris trapped (cold crashing helps densify the Trub cake in Primary and/or secondary.) sounds like you’re approach is good enough to keep the popits happy. :rolleyes:
     
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  8. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Yes, like @Mase mentioned. You can cold crash also right in your primary. I've done it often. If you chill overnight and add gelatin, everything will settle and pack nicely to the bottom. Even your loose dry hops. When you move your vessel after crashing, it will kind of kick up a bit but just let it sit for an hour or two and rack to keg and you'll be golden.
     
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  9. easypickin

    easypickin New Member

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    Wort Volume:
    5 Gallons
    • Expected 5 Gallons of fermentable wort.
    • Expected OG: 1.052
    • Actual OG: 1.053
    Alcohol and Attenuation:
    ABV: 5.78%
    • Apparent Attenuation: 83%
    • Actual FG: 1.009
    • Calories per 12oz: 173
    Definitely bitter, but still has a bit of sweetness. Dry hopping now without the sock...
     
  10. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Realistically you need to cold crash long enough for the beer to hit the chilling temperature and you can add gelatin in then. From a practical perspective, the longer you leave it cold the more bits of stuff will drop out of it. I do it with most beers and it's usually 24 hours after I put it in the fridge that I'll gelatin it. Then I'll leave it for however long it takes me to remember it's in the fridge, then I keg it.
     
  11. easypickin

    easypickin New Member

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    So does temperature or gelatin affect the dry hopping results? I'm 3 days in with the dry hops, so if I want to cold crash and still keg at day 5 to avoid grassy flavors I'd need to chill it tonight?
     
  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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  13. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Finish out your dry hop length how you want, then cold crash. Dry hop utilization takes much longer at cold temps so I'd suggest getting it hopped how you want before crashing.
     
  14. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I wouldn't necessarily count the cold crash in your equations.
     
  15. easypickin

    easypickin New Member

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    Thanks for all the tips... The gelatin exbeeriment is pretty interesting--goes to show how people's senses and perceptions are all over the place. And how you can make a fine beer that some people will like with or without a certain technique or ingredient.

    Seems that if you can detect that gelatin decreases hop aroma, you could modify the dry hop timing, quantity or both to offset the hit. That would certainly take experience and brewing consistency that I don't have. I'd be guessing at this point. I've yet to firm up my processes enough to pull that off! They are, however, slowly getting better, and so are the beers...
     
  16. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Unless it's important to you (shooting for clarity) you can skip the gelatin altogether, and just chill, and start carb.
     
  17. easypickin

    easypickin New Member

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    #17 easypickin, Feb 15, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
    Yeah, I dunno. I just tried my neighbor's first IPA tonight--he cold crashed with gelatin and it was nice and clear and tasty. I'd just be happy if mine tastes good and is well carbonated. I should at least hit one of those targets with the kegging operation ;)
     
  18. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    The gelatin is honestly about 45 seconds worth of work for some really pretty beer, it's up to you but I just make it part of my cold crashing routine.

    The cold crash helps me drop all the sediment out, so the gelatin is just dialing it up to 11.
     
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  19. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Not much effort at all.

    There is also the option to dry hop right in the keg. That's how I dry hop all my Ipa's and apa's these days.
     
  20. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Never used gelatin, always have very clear beer running. I do a 90 minute, aggressive boil, use whirlfloc and either cold crash or hold for a week or so in the keg at 35 or so and transfer to a second keg for serving. Timing is very yeast dependent, but most beers are clear pretty quickly. Yes, if I need something clear asap for a competition or something, I'd use gelatin, but I'f just never found it necessary.
     

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