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Old 05-31-2012, 02:33 AM   #1
JDSanders
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Default how long is too long for fermenting a stout

I brewed a milk stout on 4/8/12 and I ended up leaving town about three weeks ago without bottling. Is it going to still be OK to bottle. I assume it will but just checking.

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Old 05-31-2012, 02:35 AM   #2
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You will be fine.

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Old 05-31-2012, 02:37 AM   #3
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We need to clarify something for you...Your beer doesn't ferment for x number of weeks. Beer only ferments for as long as the yeast takes, which is usually about a week. And you determine that with 2 consecutive hydro readings.

The rest of the time a beer is left alone is for conditioning whether in extended primary OR a secondary.

You don't CHOOSE how long a beer ferments for.....you let the yeast do it's job...you want a beer to finish fermenting.

Now as to how long after fermentation is complete you want to leave your beer for, This is the most discussed topic on here, it has been readily covered. I suggest you read THIS thread, it's become the "uber discussion" on this topic thread.

To Secondary or Not? John Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff Weigh In .

Many of us leave our beer in primary for a month minimum then bottle.....We find out beers to be clearer and better tasting.

I suggest you read that thread, and experiment for yourself, and make up your own mind.

There's thousands of threads where folks have ventured their opinions, and argued incessantly, but it ultimately comes down to what works for you......me, it's a minimum one month before I bottle.

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Old 05-31-2012, 03:28 AM   #4
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I've read the article on racking to secondary and have one question... if you are fermenting in a bucket fermenter/bottle bucket how do you avoid the trub and yeast when you do go to bottle? In this scenario is it better to rack to the carboy after primary fermentation to allow the beer to clarify further and the yeast to flocculate? My carboy is only a 5 gal so to use as primary i would need a larger carboy.

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Old 05-31-2012, 07:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottab View Post
I've read the article on racking to secondary and have one question... if you are fermenting in a bucket fermenter/bottle bucket how do you avoid the trub and yeast when you do go to bottle? In this scenario is it better to rack to the carboy after primary fermentation to allow the beer to clarify further and the yeast to flocculate? My carboy is only a 5 gal so to use as primary i would need a larger carboy.
Syphons tend to have very simple bits for the end that act like U-bends to draw beer from above rather than below, i.e. not draw in trub. If you leave it in primary to clear for several weeks and don't disturb the trub too much it'll be pretty clear when you rack it. Any remaining yeast settles at the bottom of your bottle.

I've seen people saying that racking to secondary results in less sediment in the bottles but I'd advise you listen to this episode of Basic Brewing Radio:
http://hw.libsyn.com/p/6/a/4/6a49bb0...aca6193666df34
where they actually test primary vs. secondary, before making more work for yourself.

P.S. I just re-read your question and understand what you were asking a bit better now. No you don't have to rack in order to bottle, previous comments still apply about trub staying behind. But most brewers on here would call it good practice to rack, especially since you can mix in your priming solution as you do it. I didn't rack my first (and only, I'll admit) batch and all it means is you have a slightly thicker layer of sediment in the bottle after a few days (and potentially less even carbonation).
I hope to get a bottling bucket one day but for the mean time a single bucket is all you need :-)
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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My beer is clearer because I leave it for an extended time in primary, then when I used to use a secondary. Left alone long enough the yeast cake compresses, and you even get some of the beer normally lost to trub back.

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