To bottle or not to bottle

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rakijaipivo

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Hey brains trust,
Recently (after a while not brewing) I decided to get back into my passion - making beer.
I figured I would start back nice and easy with Coopers extract brewing and have found that even though its been some times since I did a brew the "muscle memory" is still there.

to my problem...
I am about a week in on the primary. Pitched the yeast at about 22-23c with a starting gravity of 1.045
Held temp at 22 for the first 3-4 days and over the last 2-3 temp has dropped about 1c per day and is currently sitting at around 16c.
Over the last few days gravity has been stable at about 1.015 (which when the gravity is stable generally I would take as the first indicator that the brew is about ready to bottle/secondary)

A couple observations:
*When I used to brew previously I would generally do a initial ferment for between 7-14 days.
*Over the couple days that I have been sampling to get the gravity, the brew has changed its flavour considerably. From day 5 where it was sweet to day 7 where it tastes like beer.
*Additionally I still get the occasional bubble out of the air lock (which says to me that there is still some activity)

So the question is, do I go early and bottle on day 8 tomorrow, or wait a few more days?
I only ask as previously had inkbirds to control temp whereas this one is done without them. The last thing I want to go early and have popping bottles!! But at the same time am bloody excited to try it!!
 

rakijaipivo

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I was looking at about 1.015 which as mentioned is about where its at. On the one hand I have a stable gravity but still seem to have some yeast activity - hence the question.
It's a simple european lager from coopers - nothing fancy (baby steps haha)
 

Naboo

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Trust the hydrometer 👍🏽 It's the only way to really know where it's up to.
The air lock bubbling could be a number of things - it's not necessarily showing fermentation, just that gas is being released from the fermenter. This could be due to temp or pressure changes.

Having said that, a couple more days will be fine too.

Baby steps are fine. I hope the beer's a good one.
 
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Very likely a few more days will do the trick. If not, cooling may have dropped the yeasts. That is unusual in your temperature range, but depends on the strain, and if you used a kit yeast, who knows?

In general I'd plan on fermenting a minimum of 10 days, no matter what the kit instructions say.
 
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Hi R, I do kits and like the Euro lager. My Fg is usually lower @ around 1.004 -1.007 (using a refractometer and conversion). Activity in the bubbler is only an indicator and shouldn't be trusted. Could just be CO2 escaping. Hydrometer (as mentioned above) is your best shot. a couple of extra days won't hurt and will help the yeast clean up after itself. Better to be safe than get bottle bombs.
M
 

Nick the Knife

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I keep it simple and tend to leave in the primary for minimum 2 weeks under temp control - from what I've read there's only benefits to having in their a lil longer than needed and dire consequences if the other way around (bottling too early) - never had a bottle bomb though I do bulk prime. I know the desire is to get bottled ASAP but you're going to be waiting 2-3 weeks for secondary carbonation anyway so a few extra days won't be noticed.
 

rakijaipivo

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Thanks everyone. As H68 and paddy mentioned normally I would ramp the temp back up however I did this one without temp controls (inkbirds) and kept the temp as stable as I could with jumpers etc (never throw out an old hoodie or tops with a zip at the front - they make great jackets for the primary!!)

I let it go for an extra few days and it made a huge difference. In the test tube/sample the brew cleared up (clarity) as well as the foam/bubbles severely reduced (which I assume is an indicator of fermentation) so fingers crossed it works out.

On a separate note I am planning on doing a stout/Guinness again from the coopers range. Last time I did it, I found that 2 carb tabs/drops per 750ml was too much. So this time around I figured I would only do one tab/drop per 750ml.

Given that, what is everyone's thoughts on time in secondary? i.e. still the normal 2-3 weeks or longer?
 
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Hi R,
My Kit stouts, have been ready after after about 10 days that includes a 2 day cold crash. Cold crash is not really necessary as clarity isn't an issue with a stout.
I don't use a secondary I go from the fermenter directly into a priming bucket (I use a Coopers fermenter for this) priming this way gives a better control for selecting desired carbonation levels. By chance I discovered that leaving the stouts to sit for 1 year they develop into absolute nectar. I know leaving them sit for that long may seem a pipe dream, but believe me it makes them sooooo much nicer. Smoother and richer. P.S. All I do is add 1Kg dark Malt and 2 heaped teaspoons of Cocoa with the Can. After a year the Coopers Irish Stout and the Coopers Stout were both equally as good. I used 150gms dextrose dissolved in 250ml boiled water.
 

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