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Old 11-21-2012, 10:42 PM   #1
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Default Beer that needs to sit, and whether to secondary?

I know I've asked the "do you secondary" question before, but I keep on bumping into reasons why I could imagine one might... and I'll be brewing one of them on Friday.

I'm doing a relatively high gravity barleywine. I have expectations that this beer will want to sit for 6-9 months before being ready to rock and roll. In such a case, would you move to secondary, or would you transfer to a keg after 4-6 weeks in lieu of secondary... or would you just leave it on the yeast cake for the whole 6-9 months and do a vodka airlock, etc?

I already have an olde ale that I made earlier this fall, and I did move it to secondary... but I don't mind the idea of tying up vessels at all... it's more whether there's a benefit to the quality of the brew. If there's no reason to secondary this beer (there will be no dry hop) then ... but I was thinking that by the time this yeast is near completion, this will be like a pretty brutal environment for what's trying to live in my beer.

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Old 11-21-2012, 10:46 PM   #2
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I vote for racking it to the keg and calling the keg your secondary.

You do not want to leave it on the yeast cake for that long.

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Old 11-22-2012, 01:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfonnes
I vote for racking it to the keg and calling the keg your secondary.

You do not want to leave it on the yeast cake for that long.
I agree, primary around 4 weeks and then let it condition in the keg.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:53 AM   #4
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Yeah, I agree with these guys. Never leave "old beers" or lagers resting on a yeast bed after primary fermentation. At least that's been my experience. Most of the "no secondary" crowd are drinking their beers within four to six weeks, so decaying yeast and trub has little effect.

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Old 11-22-2012, 02:14 AM   #5
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I've got brett/Cuvee dregs sour that's been happily sitting in the primary for over a year now (and tasting better every day). To each his own.....

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Old 11-22-2012, 02:24 AM   #6
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Well brett/Cuvee sour dregs are one thing, a barley wine that I don't expect to actually taste like wine is another. It's not that the environment in the primary will be fatal to potential contaminants, for me it is that I don't have a way to effectively remove all the cold break and I don't want any potential off-flavors developing from that, or from too much spent yeast. I would be ok with flushing a keg with CO2 and storing it in that as a secondary for 6 to 9 months or so, but not in the primary.

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Old 11-23-2012, 09:08 PM   #7
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I've got brett/Cuvee dregs sour that's been happily sitting in the primary for over a year now (and tasting better every day). To each his own.....
Brett will eat autolyzed yeast, so this is not that big of a deal.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:08 PM   #8
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I like the 4-6 week and then rack plan.
I think the long term troubles would arise more from the various breaks and hop bits than yeast. I've got bottle conditioned RIS that I'm just now starting to get to. It's been in the bottle since April on the yeast. I know that's a smaller contact area than in a carboy but like I said before I doubt the yeasts would contribute to off flavors.
It all comes down to what you're comfortable with since it's your time and resources that are on the line.

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