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Old 07-11-2009, 01:38 AM   #1
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Default How long is too long too leave in fermenter??

I moved a 5 gal batch from primary to secondary..... nearly 5 months ago. Not sure the reason, perhaps I wasn't looking forward to bottling, but my question is.... long fermenation period = nice good aged brew or long fermentation period = dump it out and fire up another batch.

further details... it has been downstairs in the 2ndary fermetner at a 67-70 degree temp.... cap has remained on the glass carboy / 2ndary fermenter since i put in there.

help me out... ill either be bottling tomorrow or boiling up a new batch....



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Old 07-11-2009, 01:43 AM   #2
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Probably fine. I would taste it, then bottle it assuming it tastes OK.



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Old 07-11-2009, 01:59 AM   #3
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I've had one in the fermenter for 6 months now and might leave it a little longer. So long as you've got it sealed up, you're fine.

Lambics may age years (of course, they're fermenting a bit differently than with just sacc. yeast, but still...) and other styles often age months. Wines and meads often age for extended periods, as well.

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Old 07-11-2009, 02:15 AM   #4
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The best way to decide is it to try it. If it tastes good enough, bottle. If it's not, don't. Unless of course it's been infected and is souring, then give it another 6+ months.

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Old 07-11-2009, 05:20 AM   #5
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A taste will tell. Most likely, it is just fine. Some styles of beer actually need this kind of aging.

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Old 07-11-2009, 07:44 PM   #6
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I had a 3.5% abv beer left in the fermenter for 7 months, and by the 5th month a small white film developed over the top, like a mold (but maybe something that seperated out from the cake?). The beer tasted fine while I was dumping it, with no trace of mold or funny business. If it weren't watery and flavorless from beginning, I would have bottled it.

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Old 07-11-2009, 07:51 PM   #7
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Anything over 1.060OG I would just be thinking about maybe bottling this month anyway.

Something around 1.040 might be a little past peak depending, but it probably won't suck if your sanitation was good.

I specifically made a midweight and heavyweight ale alreadythis summer, both are overhopped intentionally to see how many months out it takes the hops to come into balance with the malt.

This all started fopr me because my 888RIS was perfect at bottling in APR08 but underhopped when the bottles were opened in August 08. It is still good beer, but...

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Old 07-11-2009, 07:54 PM   #8
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thanks for the responses. i took a read of the final gravity and found it to be right around 1.02 which is were I would expect it. Tasted it during bottling and seemed fine. I did have a slight white film on top but I just chalked that up as normal for sitting around all that time. seemed to settle to the bottom once i moved it around, started removing from the 2ndary fermenter.

i don't see why this won't be a nice quality beer. will keep ya posted.

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Old 07-11-2009, 08:53 PM   #9
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Real simple, if it tastes bad, you left it too long. If it tastes good, then it wasn't too long. Sounds like it wasn't too long.



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