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Old 11-16-2010, 02:58 PM   #1
jimmythefoot
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Default how long do you let it sit in primary

so i see a lot of people don't even use a secondary. so how long is to long in the primary? how often do you take gravity readings? based upon those readings do then decide to keg/bottle or let it sit longer?

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Old 11-16-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
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just from what I do, and I have only done about 15 batches. I go about 3 weeks in primary in and let the trub really settle on the bottom and allow the yeast to cleanup.
I take gravity at that 3 week mark and if it is where it needs to be it goes in the kegs.
I am never in a rush, so I let it sit in primary and it has always turned out well.

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Old 11-16-2010, 03:21 PM   #3
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+1 3 weeks before I take a gravity reading. I will usually take readings over the next few days and if they are constant, I bottle.

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Old 11-16-2010, 03:23 PM   #4
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I use a secondary, but plenty of people don't. And Plenty of people will leave it in the primary for a month or more. I have not gone over 3 weeks but that is just my preference and I would not hesitate to keep it in longer if the situation called for it or if (God forbid), my carboy broke.

I take my gravity reading when transferring to secondary and right before kegging.

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Old 11-16-2010, 03:44 PM   #5
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I do 2 weeks minimum in the primary. I don't do a secondary for beer. LOL right now I couldn't do a secondary if I had to. I've got wine, 2 diff beers and cider fermenting.

My basement smells like ass from all the cider and wine fermenter farts.

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Old 11-16-2010, 04:25 PM   #6
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4 weeks, automatic, although I have a chocolate cherry stout going now that's only getting 2 weeks because I'm adding cherry puree to secondary. I normally give my beers 7 weeks, 4 primary and 3 in the bottle. If I have to rush a beer to get it ready for something, then I'll play with my schedule, and recipe. I really only do 1.060 to 1.080 beers though, so I wouldn't let one of them sit in primary for only two weeks. If I did a lower gravity beer, maybe, but I haven't done anything under 1.060 in awhile.

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Old 11-16-2010, 04:34 PM   #7
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Typically three weeks in primary for me.

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Old 11-16-2010, 04:42 PM   #8
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It depends on how busy I am, what kind of beer it is and how badly I need the carboy/bucket.

For me, it is a minimum of 3 weeks in primary before bottling. I take a starting OG hydrometer reading and an FG reading as I am bottling. I don't do the "3 day rule" (same gravity for 3 days in a row) since I use a yeast starter, I can tell when my primary fermentation has finished and I am in no hurry to get the beer bottled. I will leave bigger beers in the primary for a longer time since I know they will need more time to become really good and lose the "green, new beer" taste. I try to plan the beers/meads so that I have a 2 - 3 week window in case I am not able to get to bottling it after 3 - 4 weeks...

I am not sure what the answer is to "how long is too long" in the primary. I had a stout and a porter that were in primary for over a year before I was able to bottle them. I used an additional yeast to bottle and both beers came out tasting great. I would try it with a pale ale if I was trying to save the beer but I wouldn't recommend it. I have heard of people leaving beers in primary for months with no adverse problems, your mileage may vary...

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Old 11-16-2010, 04:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurieGator View Post
It depends on how busy I am, what kind of beer it is and how badly I need the carboy/bucket.

For me, it is a minimum of 3 weeks in primary before bottling. I take a starting OG hydrometer reading and an FG reading as I am bottling. I don't do the "3 day rule" (same gravity for 3 days in a row) since I use a yeast starter, I can tell when my primary fermentation has finished and I am in no hurry to get the beer bottled. I will leave bigger beers in the primary for a longer time since I know they will need more time to become really good and lose the "green, new beer" taste. I try to plan the beers/meads so that I have a 2 - 3 week window in case I am not able to get to bottling it after 3 - 4 weeks...

I am not sure what the answer is to "how long is too long" in the primary. I had a stout and a porter that were in primary for over a year before I was able to bottle them. I used an additional yeast to bottle and both beers came out tasting great. I would try it with a pale ale if I was trying to save the beer but I wouldn't recommend it. I have heard of people leaving beers in primary for months with no adverse problems, your mileage may vary...
WOW! a year, that is crazy. here i thought over 4-5 weks was the limit. just goes to show you learn something everyday.

by the way you must be a very patient person to wait that long.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:54 PM   #10
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Depends on the beer.

I use my primary for fermentation. Once the target gravity gets hit or it's sitting for three days at one reading then it gets transferred.

I'll sample it and if it tastes fine then it could potentially go right into the keg or bottle.

If it has a ton of particulates then I might do a quick rack to a secondary and then transfer into a keg a few hours later, that is if it's ready to go.

Otherwise if it needs time to mellow it could go to a secondary for a bit.

I never set hard and fast rules for when things go where except for spending as much of the fermentation in the primary as it needs to stabilize. Sometimes I find beers are just ready to go faster than others. The best batch of Russian Imperial Stout was ready to drink after about two weeks; it never saw a secondary. As much time as it took to carbonate in the bottle was fine for it. Everyone I know says they're aging their forever. I just have never found that to be the case. To the contrary I found that after a significant span of time it didn't taste anywhere near as good as it did originally.

You kind of find your own answers by playing it by ear. Use others suggestions as a guideline but never be afraid to try something different.

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