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Old 07-22-2013, 03:24 AM   #1
lorne17
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Default How long in Primary with Irish Red?

Hello there,

I brewed an Irish Red ale and it's been in the primary fermentor for 3 weeks and 2 days. I probably wont' bottle it until 4 weeks.

Will that be ok? Will it add any off flavors?

Also most the time fermenting it was at about 76-78 degrees F. Is that bad? I had it to 74ish when it was really going, but been at 76-78 since. Our house is stinking hot and that's the basement. Upstairs it's 86! Dang you old homes in Colorado! haha

Thanks,
Lorne

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Old 07-22-2013, 03:32 AM   #2
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I actually just checked it. It was almost 100F today. The 78 mark on my thermometer on the carboy is just barely blue, so it's probably at ~79F!

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Old 07-22-2013, 03:40 AM   #3
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Dude I hate to say this but autolysis is real, I just had two brews I let go 4 plus weeks turn out bad from it. Get it off the yeast if you can.

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Old 07-22-2013, 03:51 AM   #4
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Crap, I should have bottled it instead of golfing today! How can you tell if it's bad after I bottle it?

Thanks,
Lorne

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Old 07-22-2013, 04:16 AM   #5
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IMO autolysis is not happening at 4 weeks, or 8 weeks. But be concerned if you wish.

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Old 07-22-2013, 12:07 PM   #6
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What about the temperature?

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Old 07-22-2013, 12:50 PM   #7
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what yeast are you using?

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Old 07-22-2013, 12:54 PM   #8
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Autolysis is rare on a homebrew scale. It's kind of a myth or an overblown concern propogated by early homebrewers reading books on large scale brewing. It's really only a concern for breweries with large fermenters that create a lot of pressure on the yeast. It would take a few months to happen on a homebrew setup.

Temperature control, however, is VERY important. Fermenting in the high 70s is pretty bad for almost every yeast. Fermenting too warm will give you a lot of weird unpleasant fruity-type esters along with harsh fusel alcohols. These fusels will not only taste very hot and boozey but will also give you more severe hangovers.

I would go ahead and bottle this one up and see how it turns out, but from now on try to keep the temperature in the mid 60s. I put my fermenter in a large bucket and keep it cool with frozen ice packs/water bottles that I exchange a couple times a day. Temperature contol is most important during the active portion of fermentation so like the first 3-5 days or so. After that you don't have to worry too much about it getting warm.

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Old 07-22-2013, 01:03 PM   #9
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I ferment most of my brews for 3 weeks then package.
4 weeks + is not a problem
Autolysis is not a problem in homebrewing and if it happens at all it would take many months.
The temperature that you did your initial ferment IMO was too high. After fermentation stops it is not much of a problem.

Look into fermentation temperature control.
I agree with proceeding with this one and see how it turns out. If it is off leave the bottles for a couple of months and try one if still off wait longer.

Get the next batch started.

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Old 07-22-2013, 02:18 PM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback guys.

I will bottle this one tomorrow!

As for the yeast, I used: Fermentis Safele US-05.

I will look into getting a large bucket for my carboy. I ferment in a 5 gallon carboy with Fermcap to prevent a lot of beer loss in the blowoff tube. I put a wet towel around it and kept pouring cold water on the towel, but that actually started to mold underneath it (don't worry it wasn't touching the beer). SO I like the idea of a bucket more.

Thanks again!
Lorne

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