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Old 01-16-2013, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default Too long in primary?

I have read over the forums and seen that the majority of people prefer to keep their batch in the primary for about a month. I had planned on racking my beer onto some scotch soaked oak chips/cubes and dry hop some fuggle and millenium hops as well. Should i rack to secondary before 1 month's time or should i just wait the full month then rack?

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Old 01-16-2013, 05:55 PM   #2
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Many of the lengths of time thrown about are arbitrary. If you are going to secondary for the purpose of oaking or dry hoping, it is best to wait until primary fermentation is completely finished...ie. stable gravity readings. If you leave it longer in primary the yeast can clean up some by-products of fermentation and settle out, but you can achieve some of that clean up in secondary.

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Old 01-16-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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If the ABV is above 6% there will be significant cell death in a months time (60% viability, 40% dead cells) which could lead to autolysis flavor. For details I have a blog post coming on 1/21.

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Old 01-16-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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I have left many big beers in primary for >1 month, some 6 months or more. The madfermentationist (in addition to many people here) agrees that autolysis is not a concern on the homebrewing scale. This thread has some discussion:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/wha...e-like-292416/

Many yeast will die, poor bastards donated their bodies to our hobby, but whether or not they will impart off-flavors on our scale is unlikely.

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Old 01-16-2013, 06:23 PM   #5
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if it was me, i'd transfer to the secondary a few days after stable gravity, do the oaking and dry hopping and then age longer in bottles, if it needed it.

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Old 01-16-2013, 06:23 PM   #6
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Good point. I'll have to add a lysis cell plot to my post. It's much smaller than the 40% that are dead.

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Old 01-16-2013, 08:10 PM   #7
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I was planning on leaving in secondary for about 2 months( removing hops after about 12-14 days) time to soak up the oak flavour and the bottling for a few months. It is meant to be an autumn oak ale but because i dont have a grain mill yet im using a kit and then tweaking it, so by doing this it gives me enough time to critique and make my all grain batch in time for autumn.

So i should leave it about a month and then transfer to secondary for flavouring essentially?

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Old 01-16-2013, 08:25 PM   #8
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If you want fresh hop aroma I'd recommend adding the hops for the last 12 days of the two month age. The freshness will dissipate if you dry hop the first 12 days of a 2 month age. But yeah a month in primary then racking will be great.

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Old 01-16-2013, 08:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SloppyGriffin View Post
So i should leave it about a month and then transfer to secondary for flavouring essentially?
Sounds like a plan. Additionally, be careful with oak. There are a bunch of threads about chips vs. cubes, french vs. american, toasted vs. untoasted, (etc) and the length of time to use them. You should post your decisions and your results.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:30 PM   #10
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I actually don't think "most" brewers leave their beer in the primary for a month. I think many of the most vocal ones do. I've never done that, and I've brewed a fair number of beers.

Normally, for a "regular" ale, with an OG under about 1.075 or so, two weeks in the fermenter is about right for me.

I rack to another vessel only when adding fruit, or oak or something like that. I even dryhop in the fermenter.

If I was oaking, I'd let the beer sit until fair clear, then rack onto the oak. I'd add the dryhops about 5-7 days before packaging. If "time", that might be 10-14 days in the primary, depending on how long it took to reach FG and to start to clear.

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