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Old 03-25-2011, 07:34 AM   #1
notnilc20
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Default What's the deal with the long fermentation times??

Hey everyone....I've done about 5 batches of ale that I just buy from a kit like True Brew or something like that...and in the instructions it says that after about 5-7 days your beer should be ready to bottle....I've always just followed these teim frames and never had problems..but I read alot of posts here and some of you are waiting like 3 weeks in the Primary....Am I missing something here?? Is it because it's not ale you're brewing?? Thanks.

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Old 03-25-2011, 07:58 AM   #2
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The wort will turn into beer in the shorter time indicated in the instructions. The longer time recommended gives the yeast opportunity to clean up off-flavors. There are a million threads on this topic, if you use the google search function, you'll find them.

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Old 03-25-2011, 10:04 AM   #3
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notnilc20 View Post
Hey everyone....I've done about 5 batches of ale that I just buy from a kit like True Brew or something like that...and in the instructions it says that after about 5-7 days your beer should be ready to bottle....I've always just followed these time frames and never had problems..but I read alot of posts here and some of you are waiting like 3 weeks in the Primary....Am I missing something here?? Is it because it's not ale you're brewing?? Thanks.
there are a lot of benefits to running longer fermentation times. for one if you just go by airlock activity, your yeast may not have finished fermenting (I have had some run longer than 18 days just to hit the end of fermentation), you will have beer and probably drinkable and not completely horrible beer, but if you let it go longer it could be better. I have brewed some really good beer based from those true brew kits, but not in 5-7 days.

once the yeast finishes fermentation it starts to clean up after themselves, kind of a post fermentation round up of all the little off flavors that prevent a lot of beers from going beyond just drinkable.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:03 PM   #5
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there are a lot of benefits to running longer fermentation times. For one if you just go by airlock activity, your yeast may not have finished fermenting (i have had some run longer than 18 days just to hit the end of fermentation), you will have beer and probably drinkable and not completely horrible beer, but if you let it go longer it could be better. I have brewed some really good beer based from those true brew kits, but not in 5-7 days.

Once the yeast finishes fermentation it starts to clean up after themselves, kind of a post fermentation round up of all the little off flavors that prevent a lot of beers from going beyond just drinkable.
+1
with the longer fermentation times you also get much clearer beer
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:09 PM   #6
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Default One week and then into the bottle

I donot mention this because I know there are many that let their beer spend weeks in the primary fermenter. But my beer is done working in about three days. After a week I bottle it. Then "in the bottle" where it is safe I let it age. I age it 8 or more weeks. My beer is very clear and has no off flavor I can detect.

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Old 03-25-2011, 12:16 PM   #7
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I donot mention this because I know there are many that let their beer spend weeks in the primary fermenter. But my beer is done working in about three days. After a week I bottle it. Then "in the bottle" where it is safe I let it age. I age it 8 or more weeks. My beer is very clear and has no off flavor I can detect.
Bulk ageing is usually better in that it results in less yeast on the bottom of your bottle as well as letting the yeast clean up after themselves in the week or so after fermentation. You really will get a better brew.
But if you say you are satisified with your results, who am I to say you're wrong.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:20 PM   #8
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This is a taste factor, one persons good beer is another persons nasty swill, it all depends on what you like.

In my experience it depends on the beer being brewed, lower gravity simple brews (Not lagers) can take very little time to complete the primary phase of fermentation, higher gravity brews take longer, add some adjuncts to that and it takes even longer.

To answer one of your questions: What you are missing? . . . great beer. But brew what you like

Edit: If you are brewing on a timeline based on something written, you are asking for trouble. Do yourself a favor and start taking gravity readings, the yeast have their own timeline and every fermentation can take a different amount of time. There are too many variables to track that concern fermentation for ANYONE to have the same fermentation every time.

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Old 03-25-2011, 02:56 PM   #9
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I've been leaving my beer in the primary much longer over the past several years and have enjoyed the benefits. I've done wits for 3 weeks and kegged and they still tasted better after another 2 weeks.

Light beers and wheats are generally best consumed young, but for me that's still 3-4 weeks minimum. Letting them sit in the primary, and then cold crashing them before bottling, can give much less yeast in the bottle and a better-looking pour if you are not careful.

I think that if you ferment warmer your yeast will be done faster. If you ferment cooler, the yeast will take more time but your beer will likely be much better in the end.

My advice is to read the posts here and then if you are still not convinced, brew a batch one way, and brew a batch the other way and see which one you like better.

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Old 03-25-2011, 03:11 PM   #10
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One thing you have to realize in the fallacy of your statememt, "What's the deal with the long fermentation times??" is that we're not talking about talking about fermentation times fermentation time is over when it's over, and that is generally a week or so, though with higher grav beers it will take longer. What we're talking is conditioning time, letting the yeast clean up the by products of fermentation which leads to off flavor, and letting our beer clear.

Many of us have found that longer time on the yeast leads to clearer, crisper and better tasting beer, with little or no sediment in the bottle.

This is my yeastcake for my Sri Lankin Stout that sat in primary for 5 weeks. Notice how tight the yeast cake is? None of that got racked over to my bottling bucket. And the beer is extremely clear.



That little bit of beer to the right is all of the 5 gallons that DIDN'T get vaccumed off the surface of the tight trub. When I put 5 gallons in my fermenter, I tend to get 5 gallons into bottles. The cake itself is like cement, it's about an inch thick and very, very dense, you can't just tilt your bucket and have it fall out. I had to use water pressure to get it to come out.



This is the last little bit of the same beer in the bottling bucket, this is the only sediment that made it though and that was done on purpose, when I rack I always make sure to rub the autosiphon across the bottom of the primary to make sure there's plenty of yeast in suspension to carb the beer, but my bottles are all crystal clear and have little sediment in them.

Half the time I forget to use moss, and you can't tell the difference in clarity.


THIS is where the latest discussion and all your questions answered.
We have multiple threads about this all over the place, like this one,so we really don't need to go over it again, all the info you need is here;

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/secondary-not-john-palmer-jamil-zainasheff-weigh-176837/

You'll find that more and more recipes these days do not advocate moving to a secondary at all, but mention primary for a month, which is starting to reflect the shift in brewing culture that has occurred in the last 4 years, MOSTLY because of many of us on here, skipping secondary, opting for longer primaries, and writing about it. Recipes in BYO have begun stating that in their magazine. I remember the "scandal" it caused i the letters to the editor's section a month later, it was just like how it was here when we began discussing it, except a lot more civil than it was here. But after the Byo/Basic brewing experiment, they started reflecting it in their recipes.

But rather than re-invent like other's have said, there are thousands of threads on this, many of us have been doing it for 5 or more years, and talking about it on here, and the thread I linked above had just about every bit of info and answered question anyone could think of on it, so anything else is pretty redundant.

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