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Old 11-21-2005, 05:41 AM   #1
Thor
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Default Does this summarize the fermentation schedule?

In your view, does this adequately summarize fermentation for ales (vs. lagers)? I realize this is simplistic, and volumes can be written about this depending on the variety of ale, etc, but I wanted to sanity check my generalizations (is it sane to check one's generalizations? hmmm...)

This comes from lots of reading on these boards, plus the bibles (Palmer, Papazian) and my own modest brew experience to date.

FERMENTATION IN...

- Primary: Until the krausen begins to subside or when bubbling slows to more than once a minute. Generally a week or so, sometimes less.

- Secondary: Two weeks, to help clear and condition the beer. Also helps to remove certain off-flavors (e.g. banana flavor).

- Bottling: Two to four weeks, longer is better (relative to taste). Carbonation generally in about a week or so.

- Comments: Some believe fermentation in a primary with a blowoff tube helps remove impurities and, thus, off tastes from a brew. Some prefer glass to plastic (buckets), but there are mixed views. Splashing or otherwise oxidizing after yeast is added is detrimental to taste.


- Exceptions: darker, higher SG worts such as certain stouts, porters, etc. benefit from longer secondary fermentations. Barley wines can/should be aged far longer (months, years). Shorter fermentations can still yield satisfactory ale, but they would likely taste better with more conditioning.

Appreciate the feedback. Happy Thanksgiving, all!

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Old 11-21-2005, 06:37 AM   #2
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That's the way I see it. (I'm a noob)

The only thing that I'd add to the list is that longer fermentation will do no harm to the beer but will not necessarily add anything to it.

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Old 11-21-2005, 06:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor
In your view, does this adequately summarize fermentation for ales (vs. lagers)? I realize this is simplistic, and volumes can be written about this depending on the variety of ale, etc, but I wanted to sanity check my generalizations (is it sane to check one's generalizations? hmmm...)

This comes from lots of reading on these boards, plus the bibles (Palmer, Papazian) and my own modest brew experience to date.

FERMENTATION IN...

- Primary: Until the krausen begins to subside or when bubbling slows to more than once a minute. Generally a week or so, sometimes less.

- Secondary: Two weeks, to help clear and condition the beer. Also helps to remove certain off-flavors (e.g. banana flavor).

- Bottling: Two to four weeks, longer is better (relative to taste). Carbonation generally in about a week or so.

- Comments: Some believe fermentation in a primary with a blowoff tube helps remove impurities and, thus, off tastes from a brew. Some prefer glass to plastic (buckets), but there are mixed views. Splashing or otherwise oxidizing after yeast is added is detrimental to taste.


- Exceptions: darker, higher SG worts such as certain stouts, porters, etc. benefit from longer secondary fermentations. Barley wines can/should be aged far longer (months, years). Shorter fermentations can still yield satisfactory ale, but they would likely taste better with more conditioning.

Appreciate the feedback. Happy Thanksgiving, all!

"Carbonation generally in about a week or so." 2 weeks or so.
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Old 11-21-2005, 07:00 AM   #4
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So far all my bottles have been carbonated at about a week but they are still a bit sweet, from the priming sugar I'd imagine. I'm impatient and always crack one early. In fact working on a Pliny the Elder recipe that's been in the bottle for a week, pretty damn good. Is it possible to leave you beer in the primary too long? I've been told that autolysis can occur which can cause off flavors but the discussion got too technical for my noob self and I could never decipher when it was too long. Has anyone ever used a plastic conical fermenter? I was given one and there is a collection ball at the base that you are supposed to be able to remove after a week, dispose of the trub, and reattach so it's kind of like a primary and a secondary fermentation in one fermenter. The guy I got it from said that the collection ball never filled and he didn't care for it. I haven't used it yet and I was wondering if anyone had any experience with it.

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Old 11-21-2005, 12:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnwongfat
Is it possible to leave you beer in the primary too long? I've been told that autolysis can occur which can cause off flavors but the discussion got too technical
Yes you can leave it in primary too long, but I believe the consensus is that it's 4 or 5 weeks before it really becomes an issue.
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