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Old 04-19-2011, 01:09 PM   #1
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Default Fast fermentation

Hi guys,

I'm brewing a beer for a friend, 5gallons, strawberry/pineapple ale (my own recipe).

I need this ready by May 11th, and my ingredients (due to backed up shipping), won't be at my house to brew until Friday April 22. Can it be done?

-J

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Old 04-19-2011, 01:18 PM   #2
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You could definitely have it fermented out in time, but if you are naturally carbing it, you will run into time issues.

However, if you plan to force carb in a keg, then you should have no problems.

What type of yeast do you plan to use?

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Old 04-19-2011, 01:21 PM   #3
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Sure. You have a week to ferment, a week to clear, and about four or five days to carb. You'll need a co2 tank and a corny keg for this of course. Your beer may not be the best beer in the world. It may need more time for the yeast to clean up any off flavors, and it may not be fully carbed at that point, but you'll definitely have beer.

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Old 04-19-2011, 01:22 PM   #4
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Not kegging, they are taking it on a road trip. It's just a simple ale wyeast. I imagine if I had a yeast enhancer it would work faster

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Old 04-19-2011, 01:23 PM   #5
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If you're bottling, then no, it won't be ready for drinking by then (~3 weeks from the boil)... If you're kegging, it might be, but it won't be as good as it can be giving more time.

Many of us are giving ales (and brews using ale yeast) at least 2-4 weeks on the yeast before considering it 'done' and ready for bottle/keg. When bottling, you need to figure on 3+ weeks at 70F for carbonation/bottle conditioning. With kegging, even if you rapid force carbonate, you'll want to give it more than a few days to stabilize. Better to use the 2 weeks at serving CO2 volumes level (or at PSI to get your CO2 volumes), when kegging. Either of those blow your time frame out of the water.

Since you'll only have ~2.5 weeks from when your ingredients arrive, until 5/11, IMO, it's not going to happen. Even if you have a very low OG (under 1.050), have a fermentation chamber to give the yeast exactly the temp it needs, you won't have any bottle carbonating/conditioning time left, and barely enough time to rapid force carbonate in keg. BTW, the rapid forced method has been known to give brews off flavors until it stabilizes (several days typically)...

IMO, if you brew this coming weekend (4/23-4/24) most likely it will be ready for bottles (depends on the brew, yeast, environmental conditions, etc.) between 5/21 and 6/5 (roughly), then needing another 3+ weeks to carbonate, pushing the "ready to drink" window to 6/11-6/26...

Even micro-breweries with temperature control fermenters, and everything nailed give brews 10-14 days in primary (no secondary) before kegging... They ferment under pressure to shorten the time it takes to carbonate in keg. So, unless you have that kind of setup, I would forget about having the brew ready to drink my May 11... To hit the May 11th 'ready' date, I would have brewed the batch no later than March 19th...

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Old 04-19-2011, 01:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinskor View Post
Not kegging, they are taking it on a road trip. It's just a simple ale wyeast. I imagine if I had a yeast enhancer it would work faster
if you do have a keg then you could force carb in the keg and bottle from the tap. otherwise there is a very slim chance it will be carbed enough
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I'm getting ingredients in the mail today, and I can't even taste my beer yet. What should I do?
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I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinskor View Post
Not kegging, they are taking it on a road trip. It's just a simple ale wyeast. I imagine if I had a yeast enhancer it would work faster
It's not the fermentation time that is pushing you up against a wall, it's the carbonation/conditioning time in the bottle which is at least 2 weeks. To meet the two week time frame, you'd be giving yourself a 4 day fermentation window. While the beer could feasibly finish fermenting in that time frame, you are really rushing it and potentially risking bottle bombs.

Next time plan ahead so that this doesn't happen.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:39 PM   #8
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Yeah he asked me about it 2 weeks ago and I ordered ingredients right away but it took the company 11 days to process so I basically got effed over.

Thanks for the advice tho

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Old 04-19-2011, 01:39 PM   #9
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BTW, for a 'road trip' you probably don't want to give someone bottle conditioned/carbonated home brew. The trub will be all mixed up into the brew during the day, and probably not have enough time to settle again before they start opening them up. It would be better if you filtered/cold crashed the brew, carbonated on gas, and then bottled from the keg. Since it sounds like you don't have any kegging gear yet, that's not an option.

Even giving a brew just 2 weeks (if kegging) to ferment, IMO (and many others) is just too fast unless you have things NAILED for your processes. So, if you did, you'd be better off figuring on a solid month to brew, keg carbonate, and then be ready for drinking/serving...

Personally, I hope to have a fermentation chamber setup before the end of this year. Of course, I'll need to move to a new place before that can happen, but it's on the plan... After that, a keezer and keg setup for the next major item for brewing... There's always more things you can get to help move your brewing forward in both time frame, and improving the end product...

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