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Old 07-26-2014, 02:02 PM   #1
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Default Dryest Ale in History?

I've had 5.5 gallons of a 1.055 American Pale Ale in the chest cooler for 3 weeks now. Pitched a 2-liter Wyeast 1056 starter. Dry hopping schedule ends tomorrow, then cold crash.

I've never gone 3 weeks with my fermentation (including dry hop week) unless I've had to re-pitch. And with it being a fairly low gravity beer, I definitely did not have to do that.

Last sample (a week ago) was 1.012–good. I hate wasting so much beer with samples. I'll take a final (obviously).

So far, the samples have had a nice finish, but will this last week push it too far, leaning on super-dry?

How long have you guys had a batch fermenting for, including dry hop time? Is 3 weeks a good average?

I have no patience, but I don't like a sweet beer either, so I don't mind letting the yeast do it's work if it's going to take a while longer.

I've had big beers that were just too sweet. Obviously didn't let it go long enough, or I didn't pitch enough yeast to begin with.


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Old 07-26-2014, 03:50 PM   #2
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Letting it sit in the fermenter from week 2 to week 3 will not necessarily change the gravity at all.... in fact, I would be somewhat surprised if it did. Generally, yeast are done with the vast majority of their work (on an average ale) by day 7-10. So, letting them sit there a third week is unlikely to do much in the way of gravity.
I think it is good to let the beer go 10-14 days total for sure. this ensures a good fermentation, lets the yeast finish, lets the yeast continue to clean up off flavors that may still be in the beer, etc. Going 3 weeks will not hurt it, and if you are dry hopping at day 14 or something, you want a few days for the dry hops to do their job and also fall out. So, 3 weeks is fine. However, most average beers don't necessarily "need" 3 weeks. Most average beers probably benefit from 2 weeks though (in my experience).

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Old 07-26-2014, 05:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Braufessor View Post
Letting it sit in the fermenter from week 2 to week 3 will not necessarily change the gravity at all.... in fact, I would be somewhat surprised if it did. Generally, yeast are done with the vast majority of their work (on an average ale) by day 7-10. So, letting them sit there a third week is unlikely to do much in the way of gravity.

I think it is good to let the beer go 10-14 days total for sure. this ensures a good fermentation, lets the yeast finish, lets the yeast continue to clean up off flavors that may still be in the beer, etc. Going 3 weeks will not hurt it, and if you are dry hopping at day 14 or something, you want a few days for the dry hops to do their job and also fall out. So, 3 weeks is fine. However, most average beers don't necessarily "need" 3 weeks. Most average beers probably benefit from 2 weeks though (in my experience).

+1
I doubt it will drop any lower as well, 1.012 is a nice spot for an ale


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Old 07-26-2014, 05:25 PM   #4
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It sounds like you're trying to adjust your FG by pulling it from the fermenter before it's finished. IMO, it will just continue fermenting after being packaged anyway. And if you bottle, it would overcarb - possibly making bottle bombs.

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Old 07-26-2014, 09:26 PM   #5
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No, definitely not trying to pull too early. I've bottled (with some luck) after only 7 days of fermenting.

I took a gravity sample again today and it seems the yeast cleaned up nicely. Taste is wonderful, and gravity didn't change.

I think I'll be going two solid weeks fermenting from now on!


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Old 07-27-2014, 02:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ncbrewer View Post
It sounds like you're trying to adjust your FG by pulling it from the fermenter before it's finished. IMO, it will just continue fermenting after being packaged anyway. And if you bottle, it would overcarb - possibly making bottle bombs.
This is why I moved to a 3-week primary fermentation cycle before thinking or racking to a keg or bottling.
3-weeks gives the beer time to ferment out and the yeast to clean up after itself which is a good thing.
Patience is key with beer along with checking gravity a few days to be sure fermentation is indeed complete.
Bottle bombs or having a keg fermentation happening due to not enough time in primary is not what you want.
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:44 AM   #7
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I love Dry-PAs. I wish I could achieve a nice dry beer just by leaving it sit. Instead I have to use low mash temps, cane sugars, and amylase enzyme to get to where I want. I agree with the previous posters, leaving it 3 weeks should not in itself dry out a beer.

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Old 07-28-2014, 12:50 AM   #8
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I love Dry-PAs. I wish I could achieve a nice dry beer just by leaving it sit. Instead I have to use low mash temps, cane sugars, and amylase enzyme to get to where I want. I agree with the previous posters, leaving it 3 weeks should not in itself dry out a beer.
How dry are you trying to get to have to use amylase? Mashing at 148-150 for 60+ minutes, and 1 pound or less of crystal malt get me down to 1.010 to 1.012 consistently with a dry finish.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:07 PM   #9
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How dry are you trying to get to have to use amylase? Mashing at 148-150 for 60+ minutes, and 1 pound or less of crystal malt get me down to 1.010 to 1.012 consistently with a dry finish.
The amylase I don't use all the time, but I do use it most time if I have added adjunts like rice or corn, or if I am using some 6 row. I rarely use any crystal. 1.010 and below make me happy.
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:40 AM   #10
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The amylase I don't use all the time, but I do use it most time if I have added adjunts like rice or corn, or if I am using some 6 row. I rarely use any crystal. 1.010 and below make me happy.
Interesting. I thought rice and corn are "supposed" to ferment out cleanly when you do a cereal mash then add them to the mash, and that 6 row is used with adjuncts specifically because it has so much diastatic power. I guess everyone's experiences are different. Haven't used any of those, so no personal experience. I'll be reluctant to use them now. I like 1.010 and below myself, but get it with a little crystal and low mash temps in a 60-90 minute mash. Thanks for the info
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