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Old 11-08-2008, 07:34 AM   #1
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Default Is it ok to leave beer in the fermenter extra long before bottling?

Me and my roommate have an overhopped Belgian Triple (Belgian Pale?) fermenting in our primary fermenter, it's been about 2 weeks. I'm about to leave the area for a while and don't necessarily want to make my friend do the bottling by himself (obviously more fun to do together while drinking homebrew). Most of the krausen is still up top, and since this is a pretty big beer, would it actually help to give it extra time before bottling? We have no intentions of using a secondary as we're gunna be getting an imperial stout going tomorrow. Is there any reason that leaving it be for a while would be a bad idea?

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Old 11-08-2008, 07:45 AM   #2
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If your not doing a secondary, and doing a Belgium (lazy yeast) I would leave it in primary for one and half months to let the yeast do their thing. Any more and you want to go to secondary if your worried about auto-blahhh-blah. (Really does not kick in for another month or so).
If your leaving for 2 months or more, then you want to move to secondary but do not bottle, otherwise just leave it alone.

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Old 11-08-2008, 07:46 AM   #3
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Define "a while" 4 weeks, 4 months, 4 years?? How long are we talking about?

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Old 11-08-2008, 07:46 AM   #4
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It's a good idea to leave it longer. I usually leave it 3 - 4 weeks whether I'm using a secondary or not. Leaving it longer allows the yeast to clean up the beer both in flavor and in clarity. Once you see how good it comes out after a few weeks, you'll be leaving all your beers to improve in the primary.

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Old 11-08-2008, 07:49 AM   #5
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Leave it in there, it will be fine. Unless you're leaving the area for several months, you've nothing to worry about. Many prominent brewers feel leaving it on the yeast cake is beneficial. Actually, you shouldn't be thinking about bottling or even racking to secondary if there is still krausen.

My normal operating procedure is 3-5 weeks in primary, and right to the keg for long-term aging. I've gone over two months in primary with no problems.

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Old 11-08-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
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whoops, I'll just be gone a week and a half.
Thanks guys, we'll leave it in the primary for longer and it'll be delicious!

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Old 11-08-2008, 10:23 PM   #7
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First, i dont mean to jack ya thread bro. Secondly, I am not going to contradict these veterans, so I will ask. Isnt it true that leaving the beer on the yeast cake and trub for too long will cause off flavors. Won't the yeast start to die and breakdown if there for an extended period (after 2 months and more)? Temp would have to be pretty low if leaving for 2 and 3 months huh???? Peace

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Old 11-09-2008, 03:44 AM   #8
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Not a hijack, a related question, no problem!

I am interested to hear the answer, although there is no way I would end up leaving a beer that long in a primary.

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Old 11-09-2008, 04:32 AM   #9
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cool ! and yeah, i had been doing some reading a while back and read that even after 3 weeks to a month, yeast and trub can start to break down and cause rubbery off flavors. no personal experience, but i read it. i think it was Ole' J Palmer HOW TO BREW! i am just guessing though, if you are to leave it for too long watch your temperature! good luck chief! -Lee

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Old 11-09-2008, 04:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WheaYaAt View Post
cool ! and yeah, i had been doing some reading a while back and read that even after 3 weeks to a month, yeast and trub can start to break down and cause rubbery off flavors. no personal experience, but i read it. i think it was Ole' J Palmer HOW TO BREW! i am just guessing though, if you are to leave it for too long watch your temperature! good luck chief! -Lee
Not really. Many big name homebrewers (including palmer if i'm not mistaken) are advocating leaving beer on the yeast cake longer. Many have dropped doing a secondary altogether.

Personally, I don't like to leave a beer on the original cake more than 2 months, but even at 2 months, I have never had an autolysis- caused off flavor.
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