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Old 06-16-2009, 03:39 PM   #1
syd138
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Default How long can I leave my beer in the Primary?

I brewed up a simple Dunkelweissen, a month ago. Instead of using a wheat beer yeast, I used Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong.

So it looks like its still a little cloudy. I know that when using this type of yeast, the longer the better.

I don't want to rack to secondary.. but can I leave it in the primary for a couple more weeks?

How long can I keep it there? When do I know that it is too long?

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Old 06-16-2009, 03:40 PM   #2
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3-4 weeks is perfectly fine for the primary.

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Old 06-16-2009, 03:49 PM   #3
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Well Im wonder if 6 weeks would be too much.

Like I said I don't want to rack to secondary.. too much of a risk of contamination.

But I guess I have no choice.

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Old 06-16-2009, 04:02 PM   #4
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1) Six weeks is fine.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ok-leave-beer-fermenter-extra-long-before-bottling-87752/index2.html

2) You are not going to contaminate your beer by racking to secondary if you choose. The beer in primary now has alcohol, and the chances of contaminating a beer after primary are so ridiculously small, it's not even worth worrying about.

3) You can go either way and be fine.

4) If you have the ability, and want to clear up your beer. Try cold-crashing. Refrigerate for a few days at standard refrigerator temps and that will clear up your beer more.

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Old 06-16-2009, 04:05 PM   #5
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People have left their beers in primary for 6 months to know ill effect...and you will find the many of us leave our beers a month in primary and feel that our beer is improved by doing so...so leaving it alone for 6 weeks will be fine...

Even John Palmer advocates not rushing you beer out of primary...

From How To Brew;

Quote:
Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.

....As a final note on this subject, I should mention that by brewing with healthy yeast in a well-prepared wort, many experienced brewers, myself included, have been able to leave a beer in the primary fermenter for several months without any evidence of autolysis.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:20 PM   #6
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2) You are not going to contaminate your beer by racking to secondary if you choose.
-----------------

Well last time I made this, I racked to secondary after 1 month. Kept it in the secondary for a month. There was a bit of a white film on it.. maybe mold? Not bacteria though cause it tasted ok after I bottled it.

Granted there was a lot of airspace since it was a 5 gallon batch that I kept in a 6 gallon carboy.

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Old 06-16-2009, 04:33 PM   #7
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After reading of how others are leaving their beers in the primary vessel for long periods of time, I did an Irish Red and left it on the primary for five weeks and bottled. Even though I forgot to add a Whirfloc tablet like I normally do, I was pleased at how clear the beer turned out.

I will continue to use carboys for secondary aging and/or dry hopping IPAs, Wee Heavys, and Barleywines, but otherwise, I like the results of just doing a longer primary.

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Old 06-16-2009, 05:17 PM   #8
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I had an Irish Red in the primary for 9 months. (I was away, then just lazy when I returned.)

Kegged it, and found it had a stale bread flavor, but that disappeared after a week, so I'm now thinking it was just some yeast sediment in the first few pints.

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Old 06-16-2009, 10:34 PM   #9
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I had several beers in primary at least 9 months to no ill effect at all.

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