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Old 02-05-2010, 04:22 PM   #1
chug187
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Default Belgian Golden Strong Ale - how long to ferment?

I've got a Belgian Golden Strong Ale - Jamil Z's recipe - sitting in primary right now. I brewed it on 1/10, so that's about four weeks ago. How long should I ferment it for? Should I secondary this beer?

I know it'll take some time, but should it be in the bottle or carboy?

Thanks,
Matt

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Old 02-05-2010, 04:32 PM   #2
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Start taking gravity readings. I ended up leaving my golden strong with the 1388 yeast in the primary for roughly eight weeks. It was amazingly perfect, no hot alcohol, the yeast had dropped nicely and it was way, way too smooth for a 9% beer.

The reason I left it so long is that my volume was off (that one bucket is different), and I had 7 gallons, so I wanted to keg and bottle, which would take longer than just kegging, and I didn't have time. I kegged 5 gallons, then racked the last two into the bottling bucket, and added the right amount of sugar, and a bit of fresh yeast. No secondary at all, and it was fantastic coming out of the primary. If you need the primary, and want to have it clear/age more, make sure it's done, then go ahead and move it. 1388 is notorious for not clearing at a reasonable pace, which is part of why I just ignored mine.

I also have five primaries, so giving one up wasn't TOO bad.

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Old 02-05-2010, 04:38 PM   #3
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I think how long it ferments is the yeasts' decision, not yours

How long to leave it in the primary though? That's up to you! Give it enough time to finish and clean up a bit. What is the OG and yeast strain?

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Old 02-05-2010, 05:23 PM   #4
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I also left mine in primary for about 8 weeks, using the duvel strain (wlp570). turned out great, I've only got 6 of them left though

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Old 02-05-2010, 08:07 PM   #5
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what was your OG? I left a quad that was 1.100 in primary for about 6 or 7 weeks, then bottle conditioned it for 6 months, ended up great. Now that i have more primaries/carboy's i'd probably do 4 weeks in primary, then another 4 or 5 in secondary, then bottle for a few months, but i'm no expert

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Old 02-05-2010, 08:42 PM   #6
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It's WLP570.

Alas, I forgot to take an SG reading so I don't know exactly, but the estimated OG for the recipe is 1.082.

Quote:
I think how long it ferments is the yeasts' decision, not yours
Haha, true! Maybe I should ask the yeast how long they'd like to stay...

Thanks for the suggestions - I'll give it another couple of weeks before bottling. Just enough time to figure out what's next.

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:54 PM   #7
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I don't get why everybody leaves the beer in the fermenter so long. 2 weeks does it for most any ale, even the strong ones. Once the ending gravity is reached and the yeast flocculate I don't think there is anything to gain from leaving it in the fermenter. I do my aging in the keg.

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Old 02-05-2010, 08:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7 View Post
I don't get why everybody leaves the beer in the fermenter so long. 2 weeks does it for most any ale, even the strong ones. Once the ending gravity is reached and the yeast flocculate I don't think there is anything to gain from leaving it in the fermenter. I do my aging in the keg.
A lot of us beg to differ. we've had different experiences with leaving our beers longer. And there's tons of threads discussing it, so there's no need to re-invent the wheel here.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:27 PM   #9
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I've done both with results that seemed no different. Now I pretty much bottle when the SG is the same for 4 days and I happen have time to bottle/keg that weekend. Sometimes work doesn't allow me time to do so and I will leave in primary or secondary for weeks or months with no apparrent off flavors or problems.

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Old 02-06-2010, 05:40 PM   #10
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Ive did a BSA (Westy 12 clone) (hopefully) on 1/25/10. I plan on leaving it in primary for 4 to 6 weeks and then letting it "age" in a secondary for a few months. Have you considered this for yours? Ive heard that these big beers need bulk aging. Im gonna give it a try and prob bottle condition a while too.

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