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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Fermenting in Plastic pails for months - how long?
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:21 PM   #11
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I got lazy (ok, REALLY lazy) and left two beers in plastic buckets on the yeast from the end of April until August. I am still drinking them and they both taste great, a Oatmeal stout and Wee Heavy.

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Old 11-11-2011, 09:21 PM   #12
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Revvy, I'm all for you're preaching regarding autolysis, but it does become a problem at a certain point in primaries for extended periods of time. I wouldn't want to leave my beer on a yeast cake for any more than 6 months at room temperature, especially if it was a higher gravity beer. I've had harvested yeast start to smell funky after 6 months in the fridge, I wouldn't want my beer on top of that, especially not at room temp.

Just because something usually isn't an issue doesn't mean that it doesn't ever happen. That's all i'm trying to get at. =)
I agree. I have tasted some beers that had some autolysis flavor- usually like hot dogs believe it or not. It's entirely possible that a little autolysis wouldn't really be tasted as a flaw, but there are degrees. It goes from "meaty" to "fecal", and they are all degrees of autolysis.

I WOULD consider a far bigger risk to be oxidation. Oxidation is a pretty common flaw, and I often taste it in homebrews, even that didn't sit with a lot of headspace for a long time. It also is in degrees- a slight "sherry" taste might be pleasant in a barley wine. It's still oxidation, but in a nice pleasant flavor. But it can get worse and go from a hint of sherry to severe oxidation (like the classic "wet cardboard") flavor.

I don't think much harm will come from a month, but why would you WANT to age a 1.060 beer anyway? If you want to age a beer that needs aging, invest in a carboy. Or age it in the bottle. No need to risk anything at all that way.

I wouldn't even consider aging an IPA. I'd bottle that baby in three weeks and drink ASAP!
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:29 PM   #13
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I agree with almost all of that. I am not disputing that there will most likely be no issues after 4 months. Yeast are hardy little creatures and autolysis is very rare.

I would not however *recommend* you to let it sit for 4 months. If you have good reason to let it sit that long, by all means go on and do it. If you don't have good reason, I certainly wouldn't *recommend* it. Does it not seem foolish to plan to test the limits of the theory? Does anybody recommend a 4 month primary?

There are other things that can go wrong in 4 months as well(infections, temperature control issues, etc).

On a side note, have you read Jamil's new yeast book? It is really a good read, a little too technical in the last 1/3, but I learned a LOT I didn't know before about yeast and really enjoyed it.

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Old 11-12-2011, 12:51 PM   #14
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I agree with Yooper.
The first thing I thought when I read this was ,"WHY?"

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Old 11-29-2011, 01:41 PM   #15
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The reason I like to age beer is I think that in general, it improves the taste.
I will try and see how the hops flavor deteriorates though, and going forward, I will try IPAs much sooner.

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Old 11-29-2011, 02:46 PM   #16
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I use buckets almost exclusively. The longest I've had beer in it was about 1.5 months for both a barleywine and a belgian dubbel. I haven't tasted the final product of either since they're aging in kegs now, but the samples I took when I kegged them were awesome.

Personally, I don't see the point in leaving it in there for 6 months, but it probably wouldn't hurt anything if you did.

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Old 11-29-2011, 02:51 PM   #17
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Personally, I don't see the point in leaving it in there for 6 months, but it probably wouldn't hurt anything if you did.
It's called "Life getting in the way of brewing."

The point being is, if someone DOES have something come up where they don't get around to bottling/kegging, which has happened to me twice 1) Recovering from open heart surger 2)Remoddling and moving into my new place, one shouldn't automatically assume that the beer, left that long in the bucket is AUTOMATICALLY going to be bad, either autolysied or oxidated.....

You don't have to go "Oh my god I might just as well dump this out," like so many people are wont to do.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:21 PM   #18
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I guess I should've said "I don't see the point on intentionally leaving it in there for 6 months" as that's what I meant.

And as I said "it probably wouldn't hurt anything" implying that you should just dump it.

Chill out, dude. You don't need to jump on people because of a slight miss-wording.

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Old 11-29-2011, 03:28 PM   #19
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I guess I should've said "I don't see the point on intentionally leaving it in there for 6 months" as that's what I meant.

And as I said "it probably wouldn't hurt anything" implying that you should just dump it.

Chill out, dude. You don't need to jump on people because of a slight miss-wording.
Who's jumping on who? I wasn't jumping on you. I was just pointing out how 1) sometimes our beer gets left behind in life, and 2) if you hang around here any length of time you see daily, if not weekly threads with titles like "OHMYGODILEFTMYBEERINPRIMARYFORXMONTHSISITRUINED?? ???" All the time on here, it's one of the most common noob panic themes on here. The tendency for new brewers is to panic about stuff like that. The point being, it's NOT usually intentional, it just happens.

So tell me how I was jumping on you? I was just using what you said as a jumping off point, you know, like it normal conversation. You know, someone says something, then someone else says something, usually based on what the other person says. That's jumping on someone? Methinks you're the one who is a little touchy.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:30 PM   #20
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So...




Anyone see the latest episode of Castle? Not last night's. That was a rerun.

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