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Old 12-07-2010, 03:31 PM   #1
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Default Irish Stout - How long is too long in fermenter?

So I made an Irish Stout it's been in primary for a month now.

We had a friends Thanksgiving Sunday. Basically a potluck with a Thanksgiving theme. It went so well we are going to do monthly "theme" dinners where everyone brings some food or drink for the "potluck".

Like Italian, French, German etc. We talked of doing an Irish one for March in honor of St. Patrick's day.

So since I happened to have made an Irish Stout a month ago I thought it quite lucky.

My thought now is that I just keep it in primary till Feb 1st or so then keg and carb it for the dinner.

That would be about 3 months in primary. I am pretty sure this is OK and actually desirable for a stout but i just wanted to double check.

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Old 12-07-2010, 03:49 PM   #2
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3 months should be fine. Or just keg what you have now and brew another one?

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Old 12-07-2010, 06:23 PM   #3
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I am just curious as to why you think it's desirable to leave it the fermentor for a total of four months. I am not saying it will harm the beer. I am just wondering what you hope to gain by doing this? Four months in the primary seems a bit excessive. Two or three weeks should be plenty of time for a stout to ferment out and be ready to drink.
If it's just a matter of saving it I understand, but I still think racking it to a keg for storage would be a better option.

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Old 12-07-2010, 06:26 PM   #4
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I bottled a porter that was 5.5 months in primary...it was fine. Amazingly clear. And still maintained the chilli pepper flavor added during the boil.

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Old 12-07-2010, 06:30 PM   #5
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I know people have said they've done it, but I wouldn't. A couple of reasons- one is I can't see why you'd want to keep it on the trub that long. I'd either put it in secondary, keg it, or bottle it. I can't see any benefit to risking oxidation (if there is headspace- I always have headspace in primary) or risking autolysis.

Sure, if it was necessary because you were deployed or something, but why not rack it to the keg and age it that way? It just seems really silly to even consider leaving that long on purpose.

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Old 12-07-2010, 06:41 PM   #6
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Just so it's not taking up a keg when I don't really want to drink it till march.

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Old 12-07-2010, 09:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akthor View Post
Just so it's not taking up a keg when I don't really want to drink it till march.
But, now it's "taking up" a fermenter, and the beer won't be better for it.

It's your beer, you can do whatever you want. I just always want to make the best beer I can, and I can see no benefit to keeping in the primary. I'd at least put it in secondary, and top up with some co2 to prevent a risk of oxidation.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:54 PM   #8
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Sorry if I'm hijacking the thread, but is there a difference between the aging process when you bottle vs. kegging? I've heard people say that beer tastes better if left in the bottle a few weeks or months.. Same goes for kegs, then?

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Old 12-07-2010, 10:56 PM   #9
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Sorry if I'm hijacking the thread, but is there a difference between the aging process when you bottle vs. kegging? I've heard people say that beer tastes better if left in the bottle a few weeks or months.. Same goes for kegs, then?
Yes, if it's a beer that can benefit from some aging. Beer ages faster at room temperature, so for a beer that needs some time keeping it at room temperature (bottle or keg, or even a carboy) helps it along. Once it's aged, it's good to keep it at cellar (or fridge) temps to keep it from getting too aged.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:14 PM   #10
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Rack it to a carboy for peace of mind until you want to keg.

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