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Old 03-24-2009, 12:57 AM   #1
joe6pack
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Default Primary time

How long is too long in the primary? It's a kolsch if that matters.

Production has been exceeding consumption resulting in a bottle shortage.

Guess I need to get more.

This is first time I've used my carboy as a primary. Not the best call in retrospect as now I don't have a secondary to transfer to. I guess I could rack to my ale pail, wash out the carboy, and then transfer back.

Any thoughts?

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Old 03-24-2009, 01:09 AM   #2
Shawn Hargreaves
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Heh, I misread your question and was about to answer as if you'd asked "has it been long enough to be ready yet", which is by far the more common question :-)

How long has it been in there?

I'm currently drinking a Kolsch that I bottled after 4.5 weeks in the primary. That turned out fine: I would have left it a couple more weeks except I wanted to free up the carboy! I wouldn't worry up to at least a couple of months.

Or maybe you just need to drink more :-) Neighbors can also be a good source of bottles: give them a couple of homebrews in exchange for first-dibs on anything they are about to recycle...

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Old 03-24-2009, 01:57 AM   #3
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Yeah after I posted the question, I figured people would think it was another extremely impatient noob wanting to bottle after 10 days.

It's been in there for about 3 weeks now. How long can it sit before developing off flavors from being on the yeast cake? By a couple months, do you mean up to 12 weeks in primary is fine? I should have the bottle stash replenished way before then, just curious I guess.

I was definitely eyeing my neighbors recycling bins while I walked my dogs this afternoon.

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Old 03-24-2009, 02:02 AM   #4
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I'd say anything longer than 2 months, and autolysis becomes a risk. There's a bit of controversy here, and everyone has their own magic number for when to rack out of primary. Really, you're not likely to see much, if any, benefit from leaving your beer in primary longer than ~6 weeks. If it absolutely has to be crystal clear (blonde, kolsch, pale ale, etc...) use fining agents in the boil, gelatin, and/or rack to secondary after a month or so.

FWIW: my magic number is 1 month.

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