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Super Moderator
First off, bubble rate means squat WRT fermentation. Trust your hydrometer. For a non-dry hopped ale, I'd say screw the secondary, let it sit in primary for 3 weeks or so, check that everything has attenuated (using a hydrometer, not an airlock :)), prime and bottle. Less chance at infection.

A good number to know is the expected attenuation from your particular yeast strain. The formula is [(OG-FG)/(OG-1)] x 100. Run the numbers on the high and low ends of your yeast's attenuation according to the manufacturer. When the specific gravity of the beer is within that range, give it 3 days to be sure, and then bottle away.
Thanks for the advise. I think I will take the risk and rack to the secondary just to give the beer a little more clarity. I am in no rush to bottle, and my kit came with a secondary carboy anyway. Unfortunately, being so inexperienced, I threw away the Yeast pouch after I pitched it. I am going to give it a couple more days and move to the secondary, then bottle about 5 days later.


Well-Known Member
Super Moderator
Knowing the attenuation info for your yeast is great and all, but if the bubbling stops in the airlock, you're done fermenting. Barring some issue like a stuck ferment, that's good enough for a guy making his first few batches and it's also the benchmark used in several of the "standard" homebrewing texts( <1 bubble every X seconds means rack to secondary). There's no need to nuke it. ;)


Well-Known Member
Just because it came with a secondary doesn't mean you have to use it. The ONLY (and I mean ONLY) time I us a secondary is if I'm dry hopping, adding something for flavor, or am trying to achieve Nirvana.

Brewers make wort. Yeast makes beer. Yeast is much better at the job then us, and when you rack to secondary, you cut some of them out of a job. All my beers stay in Primary for ~4 weeks or more. Again, I only use secondary if I'm trying to accomplish something specific (oak chips, peppers, dry hops, dry hog, etc...). Yeast are REALLY good at cleaning up after themselves.

Problems with clarity? Leave it in Primary longer, don't rack to secondary unless you have a reason. Oh, and there's enough studies out there that say autolysis is of little concern to the homebrewer, that I have NO PROBLEM leaving it in primary for a while...

For the record, the beer that I couldn't keg until six weeks after brewing was the clearest beer I've ever made, and it had no off favors... Yeast are amazing and awesome creatures...

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A recipe I found for the Imperial Bastard Stout, claimed to end up somewhere around 10%abv. The question: use more than one yeast packet, or make a big yeast starter to tackle such a large sugar content?

Recipe Type: Extract
Yeast: White Labs Irish Ale
Yeast Starter: none
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.099
Final Gravity: 1.028
IBU: 25
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 42 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 8-10 days at 65-70
Additional Fermentation: bottle condition for 10-14 days
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 5-7 at same
Tasting Notes: Great Tasting Beer. The brown sugar helps to bring out the chocolate tones.

6.6lbs dark syrup malt
3lbs dark DME
1/4lb black patent
1/2lb crystal
1/4lb chocolate malt
1/2lb roasted barley
1lb Dark Brown Sugar
1oz Challenger hops (60min boil)
1oz Cascade hops (30min boil)
1oz Cascade hops (15min boil)
1/4tsp Irish moss
Irish ale yeast (White Labs) or equivalent

Bring 1.5-2gal water to 150ºF, steep grains (in grain bag) for 15min.
Remove grains and bring water to boil.
Dissolve all malt extract and honey, and return water to rolling boil.
Add hops according to schedule above for total 60min boil time.
Add Irish moss at final 15min.
Pour into fermenter with 3gal cold water (top off to 5gal if necessary) and pitch yeast at approx. 80ºF.

Ferment 8-10 days in primary, then rack and ferment 5-7 days in secondary.
Prime with 3/4 cup priming sugar and bottle.

Age 3-4 weeks in bottles.


Well-Known Member
A recipe I found for the Imperial Bastard Stout, claimed to end up somewhere around 10%abv. The question: use more than one yeast packet, or make a big yeast starter to tackle such a large sugar content?
That almost looks like it came off of homebrewtalk.com... Anywho, there's no "real" answer to that one (too many variables, viability/date of yeast, OG, batch size, type of yeast, etc...), unless you consult the experts. Here's a link to the Mr. Malty's Pitching Rate Calculator. According to it, if you use yeast that was produced last week - you need almost 4 packages without a starter. If you have a stir plate (which I do), you could get away with 1 packet and a 2 liter starter. It's worth fiddling with, and they've got an iPhone app to boot!


Well-Known Member
his article was in our local paper today and I thought some of you might find it interesting. I was amazed at how the industry had grown, even in hard times. Flying Dog Brewery (host of the symposium) is only a few doors down from my office, and they have a free tap-room. If you’re in the area let me know. :)

http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/business/display.htm?StoryID=136719 .

Other unrelated items:

Pugs and his wife like this place here in my area:


I like this “beer joint”:


This is right down the street from my office and is where I buy my beer (Miller Lite;)) but they do carry many micro brews:


(The tee shirts are available at Friscos.;) John, the owner, is a big fan of small wineries and craft beers, click on the beer and wine link. After we leave Flying Dog tap room we can come down the street a few doors to help Friscos with wine and beer tasting. John is always asking for help every time I’m in there.:D)