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Old 06-22-2011, 02:33 AM   #1
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Default How long is too long -- two weeks and still fermenting?

Howdy, all;

I've got a Belgian Dubbel still in primary, and it'll be two weeks, tomorrow. It's hit the expected final gravity, but that was a few days ago.... and there's still plenty of activity in the wort. Of course there's activity in the airlock, too, but everyone knows that is no indication of anything, right?

I've left it alone even though I hit my expected FG, because, hey, the yeast knows what it's doing. Besides, with the activity in the wort, it's not clearing, and I don't want an overload of sediment in the bottles.

But, jeepers -- at what point do I say enough is enough, and bottle?

Thanks in advance for suggestions/advice.

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Old 06-22-2011, 02:35 AM   #2
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Many of us leave our beers alone in primary for a month, then bottle. THe longer you go the clearer it gets and the better it will taste.

But in your case since it's a dubble after a month I would rack it to secondary and let it bulk age for 2-3 months, then bottle.

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Old 06-22-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
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I'd say let it ride for a few weeks.

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Old 06-22-2011, 02:35 AM   #4
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last belgian double i did, i left it in the fermenter 5 weeks

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Old 06-22-2011, 03:37 AM   #5
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Thanks for your input, Revvy; it's really appreciated.

What is it that the yeast is doing, then, if they've finished consuming the sugars? Why the activity in the wort?

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Old 06-22-2011, 08:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fionnbharr
Thanks for your input, Revvy; it's really appreciated.

What is it that the yeast is doing, then, if they've finished consuming the sugars? Why the activity in the wort?
Lots of very good things. I've seen the yeast continue to clean up after themselves months after gravity stabilizes.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:38 AM   #7
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Here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Once fermentation is complete, the yeast will still work a bit. Once the fermentable sugars are gone, the yeast will start to digest other things including their own waste products like diacetyl. After that, they will fall out and the beer will begin to clear.

so not only is it not harmful to leave it for a week after fermentation is finished, it's actually beneficial.

I leave all of my beers in the fermenter for two weeks, sometimes three if I'm dryhopping. The beer is better for it.
They basically clean up after themselves, giving you a cleaner, crisper, tastier beer.
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