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Old 04-09-2007, 03:50 PM   #1
Georgian Novice
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Default Over Aging Secondary?

Interesting question here (well, maybe not).

I think we all agree that if we age the beer longer it will taste better. If we follow the 1 week primary, 2 week secondary, 3 week bottle, we have a decent tasting brew.

What if we go longer in the secondary? What if we go 4 - 6 weeks (which I know whe have done on occasion).? Does this effect the "carbonation" of the bottling process? Do we need to reintroduce yeast back into the mix for proper carbing? Will the beer taste appreciably better?

I understand all this is moot for those who keg and can introduce carbonation that way. This would be more for those that bottle and just an overall question on aging beer. Thanks.



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Old 04-09-2007, 05:25 PM   #2
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You'll have no problems with 4-6 weeks in secondary. Its off the yeast cake, so its really no different than if the beer was in bottles. There's still enough yeast in suspension to carbonate in bottles...it may just take a few more days to complete.



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Old 04-09-2007, 05:53 PM   #3
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Actually, some styles require/benifit from longer than normal secondary fermentation stages. For example, an Oktoberfest has a secondary stage of over 6 months.

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Old 04-09-2007, 06:17 PM   #4
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So, maybe, if we all had the patience, maybe all beers would do better with a. . .say. . .month to 2 months aging in the secondary. Or maybe it is better just to bottle (or keg) them after 2 weeks and put them in a closet and forget about them for a couple of months. The problem is that once they are in the bottles it is a lot easier for them to be drunk. I am finding that with my wine. I am bulk aging some pinot noir and purposely going to do that for 6 months to 1 year and not bottle so that I don't drink it.

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Old 04-09-2007, 06:21 PM   #5
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well... once you acquire a bunch of kegs it becomes easy to brew up tons of beer and stash it away in a corner somewhere. Bottling beer makes it too easy to get at... you end up drinking half (or all) before its really peaked. Kegging and stashing is effectively a big secondary/tertiary.

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~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
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~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:24 PM   #6
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It is all about what you are going for. Some styles actually benifit from a regular 2 week fermentation, then a quick (young) drinking state. With everything associated with brewing, you need to find the right mix for you. I like to do a 30 day ferment for my pils, a 15 day ferment for my pale ale, and a 20+ day ferment for my stout.

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Old 04-09-2007, 06:29 PM   #7
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IPA's are pretty damn good right from the get go... my belgian wits are best a couple weeks after secondary...



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~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
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~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~|___|___|___/_| |___________________________|~~~~~~~~~~
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