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Old 02-18-2013, 07:18 PM   #1
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Default fermenter conditioning length of time for small fermenters

Hello , I searched for similar forums but had no luck finding one. Anyways Im wondering if Im fermenting in a small carboy or fermenter, say a 1 gal or 2 gallon size, would that mean it doesnt take as long for the yeast to condition and clean up the beer ? Im talking about after the fermentation is done and the yeast do there clean up duty. I know that everyone says to wait atleast 2 weeks for a 5 gallon batch to condition but what about smaller sizes?



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Old 02-18-2013, 07:30 PM   #2
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Bur wouldn't the amount of yeast decrease proportionally with the volume of beer to clean up, and thus have no effect on time?



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Old 02-18-2013, 07:32 PM   #3
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It's done when it's done. There's no other way to say it. Each brew is different.

Your primary fermentation could take three days, or could take months for a quad or lager beer. The only way to know for certain is to measure the gravity and when it's identical for 2-3 days in a row, the primary fermentation is complete. At that point, there is still residual yeast activity, cleaning up fusel alcohols, converting acetylaldehyde and diacetyl.

Just because the scale of the batch changes, doesn't speed up or slow down the fermenting process.

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Old 02-18-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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Kurzschluss1 is right. With a smaller batch you pitch a smaller amount of yeast and they act the same way as more yeast in a bigger fermenter.

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Old 02-18-2013, 07:38 PM   #5
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:40 PM   #6
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The "clean up" phase of the yeast isn't really all that long. It happens at the same time as other processes, when fermentation is slowing down.

Most of the time, the "clean up" process takes 24-48 hours or so after active fermentation is finished.

I don't know of any rule that says this takes two weeks for 5 gallon batches- I never heard that before.

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Old 02-18-2013, 09:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurzschluss1 View Post
Bur wouldn't the amount of yeast decrease proportionally with the volume of beer to clean up, and thus have no effect on time?
I dont know. Thats a good question. I guess i was looking at this in terms of volume, and since I have less volume i thought it should clean up better, but your right there is less yeast to assist cleaning up. i do know that yeast multiply based on the sugar amount in the wort. so i guess more yeast would be in a higher gravity wort. like they would be more condensed in a higher sugar wort and cover more surface area. So my next questions would be, what determines the yeast to do a quality and steady clean up?
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
The "clean up" phase of the yeast isn't really all that long. It happens at the same time as other processes, when fermentation is slowing down.

Most of the time, the "clean up" process takes 24-48 hours or so after active fermentation is finished.

I don't know of any rule that says this takes two weeks for 5 gallon batches- I never heard that before.
really???! thats news to me, when i first started out on this website I was reading the various threads on ferment conditioning and one of my questions was the same as many ppl's " how long after fermentation do I have to wait to bottle?" Everyone that had a time frame to offer said ATLEAST 2 weeks! ppl were talking about waiting months for it to clean up well.

But your saying this takes place in 24-48 hours? Can i ask where you got this info from? I would love to read more about it. After fermentation and clean up Is there any other reason you can think of to leave the beer in the fermenter for longer? it sounds to me like as soon as the beers cleaned up then its time to bottle.
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Last edited by shanek17; 02-18-2013 at 11:09 PM. Reason: i had some thoughts to add
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanek17 View Post
really???! thats news to me, when i first started out on this website I was reading the various threads on ferment conditioning and one of my questions was the same as many ppl's " how long after fermentation do I have to wait to bottle?" Everyone that had a time frame to offer said ATLEAST 2 weeks! ppl were talking about waiting months for it to clean up well.

But your saying this takes place in 24-48 hours? Can i ask where you got this info from? I would love to read more about it. After fermentation and clean up Is there any other reason you can think of to leave the beer in the fermenter for longer? it sounds to me like as soon as the beers cleaned up then its time to bottle.
Yeah, I see a few people talking about weeks and weeks in the fermenter and I don't understand it. It may not harm the beer, but it's certainly not necessary!

A well made beer is "done" by about three days after reaching FG. Letting it sit a bit longer to clear is a good practice. I normally package my beers around day 10-14, depending on what I'm making.

The life cycle of yeast is probably better covered in the Brew Science forum, so feel free to start a topic about the "whys" and "hows" of fermentation there if you're interested.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:55 AM   #10
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Whenever I hear pronouncements about what is or isn't the required time in the fermenter I just laugh. Yeast is a living organism that is influenced by hundreds of factors. It is done when it is done. Letting it sit longer may not hurt but really can't help--if the yeast is done. For me, each phase of fermentation has a purpose. When the purpose is done move on to the next phase. Primary is for active fermentation. When it's done it's time to clarify or adjust with other things (dry hop, etc.). After that package and/or bulk age according to the needs of the beer/yeast. The beer tells you when it is ready for what, not the calendar. The schedules of kits and recipes are mostly needed until we learn to tell what the beer/yeast is ready for.



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