Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Confused about fermentation times..
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-19-2012, 01:07 AM   #1
ExtremeWade
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Herndon, Virginia
Posts: 10
Likes Given: 5

Default Confused about fermentation times..

I have jumped right into AG brewing and have bought my first two batches of grain from mid west supplies and upon coming home after a wedding this weekend I went to test my gravities of my Big Ben Pale and and Seasonal "Happy Ale" I brewed last Saturday, (8 days now) and just wanted to see where my gravities were in reference to their PDF instructions.

I gathered my readings and that was cool to see that I was within my gravity readings and will soon be ready to bottle my ales.

One thing that confused me was that on both PDF instructional documents they said to ferment the beer in a primary for 5-7 days and then transfer to secondary carboy. If using only one bucket, it recommended that it ferment in there for no more than 2 weeks.

So, my question is, when one beer says on the box it will be "ready" in 5 weeks, the Big Ben Pale Ale and the Seasonal says "2 months" how much time do I know or need to allow for primary fermentation time in bucket and then when I rack to secondary carboy, how muck time in that one should I go for, when one says 5 weeks and the other says 2 months? I know eavy beer is different so I was assuming that most all the beer spend about the same time in the primary, about a good week, and then the rest of the time it will spend in the secondary for the rest of the time until it reaches the time amounts recommended by the beer?

Am I on the right track? Below are the link to the PDF's if any of you all want to glance at them and see what I am referencing officially.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/media...structions.pdf

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/media...structions.pdf

__________________
ExtremeWade is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2012, 02:34 AM   #2
Chamuco
Beer Bender
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Chamuco's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: San Rafael, CA
Posts: 388
Liked 160 Times on 81 Posts
Likes Given: 97

Default

When they say it will take Big Ben 5 weeks, I am sure they mean from brew to glass. This beer could be ready in half that time, but there are many factors in play. For this round, you should leave that one in the primary fermenter for two weeks. If it has reached its fg, go ahead and bottle or keg. Let the beer condition in the bottle or keg for 3 weeks and enjoy.

__________________

Beer, beer, good for the heart.

Chamuco is offline
ExtremeWade Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2012, 01:58 PM   #3
Homercidal
Moderator
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Homercidal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Reed City, MI
Posts: 23,577
Liked 2147 Times on 1536 Posts
Likes Given: 1179

Default

First, you don't want to rush it. You'll be far better off taking a bit more time and letting everything take it's natural course.

In general the primary portion of the fermentation, meaning when the yeast is actively converting the sugars into alcohol and CO2, is done in 1-2 weeks. This could be as short as a few days, or a bit longer than 2 weeks, but those are rare cases and your particular grain bill, yeast strain, temperature, etc. all play a part.

IF you use a secondary (many do, many do not) you can rack from the primary into the secondary after this initial fermentation is complete. You can test by taking a gravity reading. If it's reached the expected FG, then it's a good time to rack.

If you want to skip the secondary, then let the beer go for 2-3 weeks and check the gravity. If you are bottling right away, then do gravity checks over 3 days and make sure there is no change (also make sure the temperature isn't changing during this period or it will throw off the readings to a certain degree..) At bottling time you REALLY want to make sure that the fermentation is complete, as having extra sugar in the beer can make the total sugar at bottling time more than desired, causing bottle bombs.

The secondary is good for clearing the beer and allowing the yeast to do a bit of cleaning up. This cleaning up can happen in the bottle and it's not a bad thing. However, the clearing up in the bottle can mean extra gunk at the bottom of the bottle. Just be aware if you decide to rush the beer into the bottle.

Now that you have bottled it will take about 3 weeks for the priming sugar that you added at bottling time to do it's thing and carbonate the beer.

So, if you do 3 weeks in primary and 3 weeks in bottle, you are looking at 6 weeks, or a month and a half.

If you do 2 weeks primary, 2 weeks secondary, and 3 weeks in bottle you are looking at 7 weeks, or almost 2 months.

Some people set a schedule and do their thing according to that schedule. Some people adjust their schedule around what the yeast are doing. At any rate, in most cases you will be fine as long as you make sure the yeast have eaten all of the sugars they can before moving the beer from primary, be it 5 days, or 2 weeks.

My personal preference is to go 3 weeks in primary, but since I keg, I can afford to pull it off at 2 weeks or maybe even sooner, depending on the recipe. I don't have to worry about bottle bombs. Quite often the beer is still better after 2-4 weeks in the keg.

__________________
Homercidal is offline
ExtremeWade Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2012, 02:08 PM   #4
ExtremeWade
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Herndon, Virginia
Posts: 10
Likes Given: 5

Default

Thanks guys!! Those were some very comprehensive and thorough responses. I like it. Thanks so much.

__________________
ExtremeWade is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2012, 05:32 PM   #5
bierandbikes
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Stewart's Run Farm, near Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 182
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

One other piece of info, don't worry about time in the bottling bucket. After many questions and answers from this forum, the general consensus was less than 1 month in the bucket is okay. Longer than that, rack into a carboy. I personnally made one of my best beers (Rye IPA) by letting it stay in the primary fermenter (bucket) for over three weeks, then racked to a secondary and dry hopped for another week. After bottling, I started drinking them at two weeks. The IPA may be a bit different because you want to drink them fresh. However, extra time in the fermenter is generally a good thing. Aging in the secondary is great...and you are not tempted to drink it all if you are trying to age it in bottles. It will also clear the beer really nicely, just be careful not to get any oxygen in the beer during the transfer. That is generally the argument against the secondary.

__________________
bierandbikes is offline
ExtremeWade Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-20-2012, 03:16 PM   #6
ExtremeWade
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Herndon, Virginia
Posts: 10
Likes Given: 5

Default

bierandbikes,

Thanks so much for the reply! I see now that really, even though Mid-West may have recommendations about "how long it takes until ready" I see that really, in general, aging the brew in both primary and secondary for "longer" periods than short is just more measures taken to produce better, cleaner and conditioned beer before it gets bottled...

/w

__________________
ExtremeWade 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
Really confused by this stuck fermentation othellomcbane Fermentation & Yeast 5 05-29-2012 02:19 PM
Confused... Stuck fermentation, or ??? stratslinger Fermentation & Yeast 10 12-13-2011 01:01 PM
Confused by Fermentation Illini17 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 19 11-08-2011 04:15 PM
Confused on Fermentation Temperature zachary80 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 02-18-2011 04:07 PM
Fermentation temps...I'm confused daveooph131 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 11-16-2009 04:17 PM