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Old 03-11-2007, 11:03 PM   #1
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Default How long is too long in a secondary

Well here goes. I made a honey cherry wheat beer about 2 1/2 weeks ago ( 6 gallons). It was a modification of a wheat beer. It stayed in the primary for about 5 days and then was racked into the secondary. It has been in the secondary for 2 weeks now. I know that wheat beer is supposed to be cloudy. But I was hoping for a little bit of clearing by now. Just wondering how long I can keep it in the secondary (carboy), or should I just bottle it and wait for about 6 months till it clarifies. I know, I know, wheat beers are supposed to be cloudy. Any info is appreciated.

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Old 03-11-2007, 11:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FNnewguy
Well here goes. I made a honey cherry wheat beer about 2 1/2 weeks ago ( 6 gallons). It was a modification of a wheat beer. It stayed in the primary for about 5 days and then was racked into the secondary. It has been in the secondary for 2 weeks now. I know that wheat beer is supposed to be cloudy. But I was hoping for a little bit of clearing by now. Just wondering how long I can keep it in the secondary (carboy), or should I just bottle it and wait for about 6 months till it clarifies. I know, I know, wheat beers are supposed to be cloudy. Any info is appreciated.
If you can drop the temp to 50-60.
You dont want to keep it too long in the secondary unless its a really big beer. Beer is very perishable, once its bottled it will store for a while in the fridge.
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Old 03-12-2007, 12:10 AM   #3
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it's been in secondary for 2 weeks? Your fine to keep it there for another week or so...or maybe consider a tetriary in a week or so

Some people don't even use a secondary and leave it in primary for 3-4 weeks so I think you're ok


Good luck and tell us how it goes!

A Honey Cherry Wheat sounds really good...

Take it easy!

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Old 03-12-2007, 12:13 AM   #4
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Back to basics. Your wheat has probably cleared as much as it will. Short of cold filtering, it won't clear. You probably want to drink it within 3-4 months, max.

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Old 03-12-2007, 03:35 AM   #5
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Use some gelatin for clearing. I've had lagers in a carboy (secondary) for 100 days. Nothing to worry about except light and temps.

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Old 03-12-2007, 05:30 AM   #6
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My caramel cream with about 50% wheat extract sat in my secondary for nearly a month. It came out fine and suprisingly clear.

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Old 03-12-2007, 01:57 PM   #7
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Default Where to go from here

Thanks for the input gents. From what I can gather I should probably add a fining agent and then cool it down to refrigeration temp so as to keep it fresh. Hopefully it will be okay for atleast another week without any major changes. After the clarifiaction I will bottle it and wait (according to my original recipe directions) for about 6 months. I probably should have stated about the latter in my original post. My recipe calls for letting the batch meld for about 6 months after bottling. Anyway thanks again and any more input is greatly appreciated.

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Old 03-12-2007, 03:51 PM   #8
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I just racked my wheat beer into the secondary after fermenting for a week. The yeast (WLP320) that I'm using didn't seem to settled out as much as other ale yeast but the cloudy appearance is one of the things that makes wheat beer unique. I will probably age in the secondary for 3-4 weeks as the yeast still seem to be very slowly fermenting. By the way the smell is phenomenal. Mmmm...bananas.

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Old 03-12-2007, 03:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Lendl
If you can drop the temp to 50-60.
You dont want to keep it too long in the secondary unless its a really big beer. Beer is very perishable, once its bottled it will store for a while in the fridge.
There is more than one person on this board who would disagree with this statement. I recall at least one instance in which someone (was it david42?) who 'found' a 2ndary that had been misplaced for some months before being bottled.

As for beer being 'very perishible'-- old beer is not bad beer. There are flavors that can fade somewhat and new flavors that can appear but the idea that beer 'gets old' rapidly is a falsehood perpetuated by BMC marketing folks and taverns with crappy product handling/storage practices.

Don't believe me? Maybe you'll believe Palmer: "Two common questions are, "How long will a homebrewed beer keep?" and "Will it spoil?" The answer is that homebrewed beer has a fairly long storage life. Depending on the style and original gravity, the beer will keep for more than a year. I occasionally come across a year-old six pack of pale ale that I had forgotten about and it tastes great! Of course, there are other cases when that year-old six pack has gotten very oxidized in that time, tasting of cardboard or cooking sherry. It really depends on how careful you were with the bottling - Quality in, Quality out." http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter11-8.html
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Lendl
You dont want to keep it too long in the secondary unless its a really big beer. Beer is very perishable, once its bottled it will store for a while in the fridge.
Wow--I really disagree with this.

Historically, one of the main purposes of beer and other alcoholic beverages was to make water potable and storable. The alcohol (and later hops) act as a preservative.

Beer is not very perishable, IMHO. Virtually any beer brewed and bottled under sanitary conditions and stored at, say, 65°F or less in a dark place, will still be good a year later. Depending on the style, it may well be past its prime, but it won't have gone bad.

I routinely keep at least a few bottles from each batch 6 months (unrefridgerated)--much longer than that in some cases. I've yet to encounter a bottle that has gone bad.
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