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Old 12-12-2012, 03:22 AM   #31
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There is no way this beer will be ready for Christmas. Do yourself a favor and go buy some beer to serve. You do not want your friends and family to think you brew Shi**y beer. Let it finish and serve it at another time.

A beer like that takes at least 3 weeks in the fermenter and then at least another 3 weeks in the bottle. That is really rushing it so it really should take longer.

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:29 AM   #32
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If you want a clearer beer, cold crash before transferring to the bottling bucket.

What cold crashing does is basically put the yeast into hibernation. The downside to this is that they may not want to come back out of hibernation immediately. So there's an off chance that you will have some trouble getting your beer to carb in time. I don't really consider that likely, but it is possible.

Since the yeast will have mostly shut down metabolicly, they aren't going to be doing much about cleanup either.

For my money, I'd leave them active until just before your xmas party. 3 days in the fridge would be good, but even overnight is usually ok.

One reason you get so many contradictory opinions here is that everybody likes things a little different. Some people like to taste yeast, so they don't secondary or clear. Some people hate it. So they go to a lot of trouble to get as much yeast out of solution as possible. In the end, your methodology is a product of what you want to produce.

Remember, there are 9 and 16 ways of singing tribal lays...

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Old 12-12-2012, 07:02 AM   #33
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A beer like that takes at least 3 weeks in the fermenter and then at least another 3 weeks in the bottle. That is really rushing it so it really should take longer.
Now I understand why it should be in the bottle for 3 weeks to properly carbonate, but why does it necessarily have to be 3 weeks in the fermenter, if I can just cold crash it when the gravity stops changing?
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:55 PM   #34
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Now I understand why it should be in the bottle for 3 weeks to properly carbonate, but why does it necessarily have to be 3 weeks in the fermenter, if I can just cold crash it when the gravity stops changing?
The idea is that the yeast 'clean up after themselves' by converting unpleasant fusel alcohols into pleasant fruity esters after primary fermentation has completed. Personally i find the science of what happens during this time a little scarce and the popular support somewhat hysterical.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:56 PM   #35
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Now I understand why it should be in the bottle for 3 weeks to properly carbonate, but why does it necessarily have to be 3 weeks in the fermenter, if I can just cold crash it when the gravity stops changing?
Ideally you don't want to cold crash or bottle it right when the gravity stops changing. When the gravity stops changing, the bulk of fermentation is done but you really want the yeast to stay active for a while longer so that they will cleanup all of the off flavors and undesirable byproducts they produced in the mad rush of fermentation. This could be as short as 2 weeks with lower gravity beers, or as long as a few months to a year with higher gravity beers. This conditioning is done best when all of the beer is together, with a lot of yeast in suspension, i.e. in the fermentor.

Personally, I have never cold crashed a beer before bottling because I don't have the capability, and all my beers have turned out just fine.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:37 PM   #36
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Every time I've rushed a beer for an event it hasn't been ready in time, with young green apple flavors and I've been uncomfortable serving it. I've learned to brew 2-3 months ahead of time for things like these. Brewing is a Long term hobby there will be plenty of time to wow people in the future will beer that has been properly aged.

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Old 12-12-2012, 09:51 PM   #37
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I just talked to my local home brewer store, and was told that leaving beer in your primary fermenter after the gravity has stopped changing will actually PRODUCE off flavors instead of eliminating them.. the manual that came with my kit also recommended 5-7 days. Seems like everybody's dead-set on their opinions! We'll see how this turns out..

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Old 12-12-2012, 11:38 PM   #38
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I just talked to my local home brewer store, and was told that leaving beer in your primary fermenter after the gravity has stopped changing will actually PRODUCE off flavors instead of eliminating them.. the manual that came with my kit also recommended 5-7 days. Seems like everybody's dead-set on their opinions! We'll see how this turns out..
You won't have to worry about off flavors in the primary fermenter unless you leave your beer in there for more than a month.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:26 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by welker85 View Post
I just talked to my local home brewer store, and was told that leaving beer in your primary fermenter after the gravity has stopped changing will actually PRODUCE off flavors instead of eliminating them.. the manual that came with my kit also recommended 5-7 days. Seems like everybody's dead-set on their opinions! We'll see how this turns out..
That is possible. Though in beer it isn't horribly likely. Occasionally the yeast will run out of some key nutrient during the cleanup phase and release an enzyme that breaks down dead yeast cells and releases the nutrients in them. That produces a lot of unwanted compounds in addition to the nutrients that are needed by the yeast. Most notably H2S, which smells pretty much like rotten eggs. Many people don't realize this can happen anytime you have live and dead yeast cells in the same solution, not just during the actual fermentation.

The thing is, I would be gobsmacked if this happened to somebody brewing a normal gravity beer. The wort of a typical beer is so loaded with nutrients that are inadvertently extracted along with the malt sugars that this is extremely unlikely.

To be frank, this is only a problem I've ever had with certain types of fruit based wines. Usually with ones that do not contain much in the way of yeast friendly nutrients, and have high abv targets. IE: Peach, lime, blueberry, or strawberry. That's one reason why it's more common for wine to be racked to secondary.

If, on the off chance, you do get the problem you would want to move your beer to another container and leave the yeast cake behind. That way you won't have as much material to break down. If it happens after fermentation your probably to late to add nutrients and address it that way. Once your off the yeast cake, I would advise adding 1 old penny per gallon of beer to the brew. That needs to be a 1981 penny or earlier, or it isn't copper and won't work. Though anything that is uncoated copper will work. Then stir/shake the living **** out of it. That will release most of the H2S from solution in the liquid. Small amounts of copper oxide will form on the outside of the penny and have a little party with the H2S. The result is a form of H2S that isn't water soluble and will settle out of solution fairly quickly.

If you get a rotten egg smell during primary, then you would want to add yeast nutrient, then rack to secondary and do the copper and shake thing. You would need the nutrient to keep the new yeast growing from doing the same thing as the old ones.

If you did leave in primary for more then 3 weeks you might get some breakdown of yeast cells without the need for the enzyme. It's more typical for that kind of thing to start 4-6 weeks after fermentation is complete though. At lower temps this can even take 2-3 months.

EDIT: I'll say it again in case I forgot. Chill. Beer isn't that hard to make. You might not have exactly what you wanted, but it will still be beer. Plus it will almost certainly be better then your typical macro brew.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:56 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welker85 View Post
I just talked to my local home brewer store, and was told that leaving beer in your primary fermenter after the gravity has stopped changing will actually PRODUCE off flavors instead of eliminating them.. the manual that came with my kit also recommended 5-7 days. Seems like everybody's dead-set on their opinions! We'll see how this turns out..
that is an old school myth that has been debunked
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