Posted by: b44hanson | February 23, 2009

Trophy Girl Pale Ale Stage 1 Complete

There are four basic steps to brewing. Starting the batch and moving it into primary fermentation. This is the biggest time sink of the four steps. The second is “racking” the beer or moving it from primary to secondary fermentation. This involves moving the beer from your primary fermentation carboy to secondary carboy and pulling roughly five gallons of beer to move forward in your process. Secondary fermentation is mainly focused on the beer settling down. The third step is bottling. A little sugar is added back into the beer, so that after bottling the dormant yeast will reactivate a bit and carbonate your beer in the bottle. The last and most important step is to drink your beer!

This last Saturday, I finished my first batch of beer and moved it into primary fermentation. On Sunday morning, I saw the tell tale signs of fermentation as the air lock on top of the carboy was bubbling. I removed the paper bag that covers the carboy (light is bad for beer, which is why most bottles for beer are dark) and the batch had a healthy head of foam which is a by-product of fermentation as the yeast eats the sugars. The beer will stay in primary fermentation until the yeast goes dormant which typically takes about a week.




  1. You could try just leaving the beer in primary for 3 weeks. It’s what I’ve been doing for over a year now. Beer falls clear where it is and it’s less work for me. Also, less chance of picking up a contaminant. After 3 weeks (or so) go straight to bottles or keg.

    • AB,

      Thanks for the tip. I hadn’t heard of that process before. I will probably go with what I know on this first batch, but I will check into the no secondary approach for a future batch.


  2. Bill,

    If you check the forums you will find people on both sides of the ‘debate’. Certainly stick with what you know. I hope to hear how Trophy Girl turns out.
    Good luck and happy brewing!

    The Adequate Brewer

    • AB,

      I will certianly keep you posted on the progress. I will probably rack this Sunday. One thing the recipe calls for is a dry hopping and I checked up on it a bit and since I am doing my secondary in a carboy, I think I am just going to add the hops loose to a clean and sanitized carboy and then rack my beer from primary into it. This will be my first time dry hopping.


  3. When I dry hop, that is how I do it, especially if I’m using whole hops. Although, I have been known to open the carboy and just dump a pack or two of pellet hops down the neck. 🙂

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