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Old 11-16-2012, 01:04 PM   #11
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Regarding the comments of the last two posters, I just want to address the falsity of trub flavor going into your beer if it's left in the primary for 3-5 weeks, and the poor practice of racking as soon as desired FG is reached.

The first situation will not happen unless yeast autolyzation sets in after a period of months. Furthermore, after the yeast use sugar and oxygen to create alcohol and carbon dioxide, their job is still technically not complete. Your beer may very well at target FG, but it will also contain a ton of precursor laden off flavors. These precursors should really be reabsorbed by the yeast if you want a quality beer. This takes time - usually takes 3-4 weeks total in the carboy in the 60's (F). Lastly, I've noticed 17-21 days of bottle conditioning at 72 F is ideal for my ales.
Highly agreed!

Once I started leaving my beers in primary for a minimum of 21 days they have improved greatly! Yeast need time to clean up their fermentation bi-products!
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:21 PM   #12
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Yes,definitly. I let the beer get down to FG,then let it sit another 3-7 days to clean up & settle out clear or slightly misty. Then bottle. They'll nedd time to not only carbonate,but condition as well. I've found conditioning takes about a week longer than carbonating on average. It does depend on the gravity/ABV as well.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:55 PM   #13
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+1 for bob's comments. There's a very strong case to be made for leaving it on the primary for longer than what is strictly needed to bring it down to FG (if Revvy were here, he'd give you many more reasons why). But if it's already been on for three weeks, I'd say extra time in the bottle is probably more beneficial than extra time on the primary, on balance. But leaving the beer on the primary for 4 weeks as opposed to 3 will almost always give you better, clearer, cleaner-tasting beer, as opposed to imparting "trub flavors", whatever that means. And autolysis generally takes WAY longer to become an issue than the time periods you're dealing with here. Don't fear the primary!

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Old 11-16-2012, 01:55 PM   #14
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Being new to this I have put together my own kit which currently doesn't include a hydrometer. I've been meaning to pick one up so maybe this will give me the kick needed to pick one up.
Get either a hydrometer or refractometer ASAP. Having a way to get gravity readings is important. I'd say its even more important (critical) for new brewers. Until you've brewed enough with the same yeast, under a range of conditions, you need a way to KNOW when its actually done. Then you can let taste tell you when its time to move the batch to next steps (bottle, etc.).
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:39 PM   #15
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Check the gravity. If it's terminal, then bottle at the 4 weeks. 1 extra week or so should be good enough for any yeast clean up.

I'd rather have a better chance at proper carbonation than worry about 4 vs 5 weeks primary.

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Old 11-16-2012, 07:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
Regarding the comments of the last two posters, I just want to address the falsity of trub flavor going into your beer if it's left in the primary for 3-5 weeks, and the poor practice of racking as soon as desired FG is reached.

The first situation will not happen unless yeast autolyzation sets in after a period of months. Furthermore, after the yeast use sugar and oxygen to create alcohol and carbon dioxide (which takes a total of 3-7 days) their job is still technically not complete. Your beer may very well at target FG, but it will also contain a ton of precursor laden off flavors. These precursors should really be reabsorbed by the yeast if you want a quality beer. This takes time - usually takes 3-4 weeks total in the carboy in the 60's (F). Lastly, I've noticed 17-21 days of bottle conditioning at 72 F is ideal for my ales.
I'm not arguing, by any means, but hadn't read anywhere about the yeast cleanup. It makes perfect sense, but i've read a couple brewing books & guides and hadn't come across it.

I also agree with your conditioning process. room temps for 2-3 weeks at a start. I usually only put beers in the fridge when i know i'm going to drink them in the next week or so.

A question. would leaving in the primary to let the yeast "clean up" be better than racking to secondary, or are the generally the same process?
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:50 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by matt-tastic

I'm not arguing, by any means, but hadn't read anywhere about the yeast cleanup. It makes perfect sense, but i've read a couple brewing books & guides and hadn't come across it.

I also agree with your conditioning process. room temps for 2-3 weeks at a start. I usually only put beers in the fridge when i know i'm going to drink them in the next week or so.

A question. would leaving in the primary to let the yeast "clean up" be better than racking to secondary, or are the generally the same process?
Leaving the yeast in primary is more beneficial to clean up since its the yeast that does the cleaning up. If you rack to secondary you leave the yeast behind
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:06 PM   #18
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Leaving the yeast in primary is more beneficial to clean up since its the yeast that does the cleaning up. If you rack to secondary you leave the yeast behind
Thanks. I would think that the yeast left in suspension would still get the job done in secondary, but i'll try leaving my next one in primary longer to see if there is a considerable difference.

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Old 11-16-2012, 08:12 PM   #19
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A question. would leaving in the primary to let the yeast "clean up" be better than racking to secondary, or are the generally the same process?
It's not better or worse. Either way, there should still be plenty of live yeast in your beer to ensure proper clean up.

That said, if I were racking to secondary, I wouldn't do it until around week 3 (or when it was time to dryhop). Reason being, I would want as much clarity as possible. Let gravity, patience, and time do 90% of the work for you in that regard.
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