Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Primary ferment length vs autolysis questions
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-25-2008, 07:32 PM   #1
JGlove
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gainesville, Florida
Posts: 10
Default Primary ferment length vs autolysis questions

Hey all,

I am on batch 6 right now, and have a wheat beer in my primary. I have a general feel for how to do all grain techniques, but there are some finer points of beermaking that escape me. I asked a question to someone that knows something, and he described it as "primary length and danger of autolysis." argument.

The homebrew shop I buy from kinda stresses a 7-10 day primary cycle, and a longer secondary if needed.

Combine that information with the fact that I had a bad experience with the yeast autolyzing back into my first batch of beer because I left it in the primary for 12-13 days. Because of that, I usually never go over 7 days for fermenting.

Now, I am doing this wheat beer (like I said above) and in a different thread, I had people saying that they never Primary ferment for LESS than 14 days, 7 days is too short, etc etc..

Now i am all confused as to what I should be doing with this hefe im brewing, and all future batches of beer. Granted, the hefeweizen yeast is supposed to be prevalent in the style, but what about some of the (my personal example) sour tasting english ale yeasts all nastifying my irish red ale.

Where is that tradeoff, and is it relatively scientific? or is it just one of those things that you only learn by making batches of nasty beer.
long story short, what are the general rules of thumb for fermentation time, accounting for styles of beer, yeast type, etc.

Any information on this would be awesome, because right now, im feeling confused to all hell on the subject, and I have a sad and lonely batch of beer sitting next to my bed

__________________
JGlove is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-25-2008, 07:47 PM   #2
NitrouStang96
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
NitrouStang96's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 591
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

I'm still rather green (though I did just graduate to kegging, woohoo!), but my last batch was in Primary for about 8 weeks or so. It's delicious.

__________________
NitrouStang96 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-25-2008, 07:51 PM   #3
BarleyWater
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
BarleyWater's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Armpit of Dallas (Irving), TX
Posts: 2,211
Liked 20 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Wheats typically go for 14 days in primary and straight to bottle.

As far as autolysis goes, all the text that I have read says that it is going to take MUCH MUCH longer than a week or two for autolysis to start happening, and when it does you are going to want to run for the hills because the stinch will be so god-awful.

People brewing big beers leave them in primary for a month or two sometimes with no ill effects. Taking the beer off of the yeast bed too early is actually bad for your brew. They are still cleaning up fermentation by pruducts and things even if not actively fermenting, so if it needs more than a week in primary, you should always let it saty. Remember, 3 days of the same FG readings and you will be good to transfer, and you should have no risk of autolysis. I'm thinking your problem wasn't autolysis or you wouldn't have even been able to get close enough to bottle that batch of beer.

__________________

Fermenting: Nada
On Tap:Cran Wit, Dr Pepper Dubbel, Cascadian Pale Ale, Dark Chocolate Stout, Imperial Stout, Brown Mild, Schwarzbier
On Board: IIPA


www.franconiabrewing.com
BarleyWater is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-25-2008, 08:03 PM   #4
PseudoChef
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
PseudoChef's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: West Chicago 'Burbs, IL
Posts: 3,424
Liked 102 Times on 75 Posts
Likes Given: 39

Default

What is your "fact" that you had autolysis in your first batch? I always primary for a month then straight to bottles.

Keep your beer on the yeast for at least 10 days in order to have the yeast clean up their natural by-products after the fermentation is complete.

In addition, I have had multiple batches that don't finish fermenting in under 7 days. In fact, my Belgian Strong Dark took 18 days before I back calculated that fermentation was complete (e.g., reading at day 21 was the same as reading at day 18).

__________________
PseudoChef is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-25-2008, 08:06 PM   #5
DeathBrewer
Maniacally Malty
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
DeathBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 21,899
Liked 214 Times on 119 Posts

Default

i've left stuff sit in the primary for a couple months without any problems. i've made it kind of a rule to transfer a beer to secondary no later than a month AFTER FERMENTATION HAS COMPLETED but not always stuck to it. I transfer sooner if i'm in a bucket instead of a carboy.

I think it would be difficult to make autolysis a problem. You'd have to have it in plastic and leave it for months. a few weeks wouldn't do it.

__________________
Easy Partial Mash Brewing - Stovetop All-Grain Brewing

"Death is always with us." - Brewpastor

Quote:
DIAICYLF
We will remember...
DeathBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-25-2008, 08:15 PM   #6
Dr_Deathweed
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Dr_Deathweed's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bryan, Texas
Posts: 2,407
Liked 27 Times on 21 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

+1 to all above, I am guessing that your "autolysis" problem was actually something else for all the reasons stated above. I typically keep my beers in the primary for 3-4 weeks and have never had a problem. I have also had big beers stay in the primary for 2-3 months before I racked them. Now there are some beers that I will rack earlier, wheats and now kolshes, but thats mostly because they tend to go straight to tap...

__________________

"Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence." - Napoleon Bonaparte
“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.” - Ernest Hemingway

Fermentation CabinetAdding Faucets to a TowerDIY HopbackPortable Kegerator

Dr_Deathweed is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-25-2008, 08:15 PM   #7
ArcaneXor
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,474
Liked 91 Times on 84 Posts
Likes Given: 17

Default

My beer sits on the yeast for three-four weeks before bottling (I rarely use secondaries), and there hasn't been even a hint of autolysis.

__________________
ArcaneXor is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-25-2008, 08:15 PM   #8
Brewsmith
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Brewsmith's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 6,259
Liked 31 Times on 29 Posts

Default

I doubt you had autosysis in your first batch. It could have been some other contamination, or any number of things. Two weeks in the primary are not going to hurt the yeast. You would need a couple months. Just leave the beer until it's done, no matter how long it takes. I routinely leave my fermenters for two weeks without thinking about racking. Sometimes it's three weeks by the time I get around to it.

__________________
Fermenting:#160 Apollo/Calypso Pale Ale
Kegged:#153 Old Helicon Barleywine 2013, #157 Irish Red, #158 Mosaic IPA, #159 Bravo/Delta ESB
Up Next:Brown Porter, American Stout, Imperial Stout
My Recipes
Tuba Sonata

Smith & Co. Custom Tap Handles
Brewsmith is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-25-2008, 08:32 PM   #9
blacklab
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
blacklab's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Portland, ME
Posts: 2,395
Liked 38 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Autolysis is the sasquatch of homebrewing. My opinion is that you had some other infection or contamination. Many on this forum leave their beers sitting on yeast for a long time with no ill effects.

I think the best thing you can do to assure yourself is to use your hydrometer to determine when to transfer your beers, there is no set span of time. When your gravity is stable for two days, your fermentation is complete.

__________________
blacklab is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-25-2008, 08:48 PM   #10
mr x
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Mainly Halifax
Posts: 1,589
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklab
sasquatch
I laugh everytime I see that word:

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...deoID=18414158
__________________

This place really went to hell. Follow the OF standard stout. Bye.

mr x is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Length of time for California Lager yeast to ferment in Primary? Beavdowg General Techniques 10 06-30-2009 08:08 PM
Does Length of primary fermentation affect flavor dinich Mead Forum 6 06-23-2009 06:35 PM
length in primary telebrewer Bottling/Kegging 2 01-11-2009 11:07 PM
Non Starting Primary Ferment kdsarch All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 9 03-15-2007 03:27 AM
Primary ferment chrmanotb Mead Forum 10 03-31-2005 05:00 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS