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Old 04-21-2009, 04:30 AM   #1
daveooph131
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I have done a few batches, but my only way I know when to keg my batch is hopping on this forum.

What are the guidlines for length of time in primary and secondary for various styles of beers?

 
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:42 AM   #2
histo320
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First, you have to make sure your fermentation has completely run it's course. The best way to do this is to check your Final Gravity (FG). Depending on the style of beer and the recipe, this number will vary. It is best to use a brewing software such as Beersmith or ask someone here on HbT, and they will give you an estimation.

For most styles, 3 weeks in a primary is fine or 2 weeks if I am adding a flavoring agent in a secondary. Bigger beers might take a little longer but for most beers 3 weeks is plenty, at least in my experience.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:49 AM   #3
daveooph131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by histo320 View Post
First, you have to make sure your fermentation has completely run it's course. The best way to do this is to check your Final Gravity (FG). Depending on the style of beer and the recipe, this number will vary. It is best to use a brewing software such as Beersmith or ask someone here on HbT, and they will give you an estimation.

For most styles, 3 weeks in a primary is fine or 2 weeks if I am adding a flavoring agent in a secondary. Bigger beers might take a little longer but for most beers 3 weeks is plenty, at least in my experience.
I've got the gravity part down, my main question is how long after fermentation has completed. I am kegging, so how long would you say it should stay in primary or secondary after fermentation before kegging/carbing/drinking?

 
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:34 AM   #4
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveooph131 View Post
I've got the gravity part down, my main question is how long after fermentation has completed. I am kegging, so how long would you say it should stay in primary or secondary after fermentation before kegging/carbing/drinking?
Technically, you could keg or bottle it the day it's finished fermenting. But waiting a bit gives the yeast a chance to clean up its own waste products and the beer can condition a bit. It will also clear up quite a bit with a little time.

How much time is desirable really depends on the beer. A low ABV beer without much bitterness (like a British mild) can taste really good in 10 days, while a Belgian triple might take a couple of months, and a barleywine might need a year. So, consider the OG and the ingredients. A big IPA might need a couple of weeks for the alcohol hotness to lessen a bit, but you don't want to age it too long because the fresh hoppiness will also fade.

For most of my ales, I keg after 3 weeks in the fermenter. I leave the keg at room temperature a week or two, until there is an opening in the kegerator. About a week or so after that, I start sampling. I usually start drinking regular ales at 6-7 weeks after brew day. Higher alcohol beers, and of course lagers, can be much longer.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:49 AM   #5
JesseRC
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Yooper,

WHen you wait 3 weeks, is your beer clear. I used to keg after 2 weeks, however lately I've been wanting to keg after it clears which could be 3-6weeks. I still check the gravity , but I seem to be more partial to making sure its clear. Then I start thinking maybe it doesnt matter since its gonna get some chill haze anyway.

So the real question is should we just keg after it has reached final gravity regardless of clarity, then let it clear in the keg? I dont want to do a secondary.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:57 AM   #6
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Yooper,

WHen you wait 3 weeks, is your beer clear. I used to keg after 2 weeks, however lately I've been wanting to keg after it clears which could be 3-6weeks. I still check the gravity , but I seem to be more partial to making sure its clear. Then I start thinking maybe it doesnt matter since its gonna get some chill haze anyway.

So the real question is should we just keg after it has reached final gravity regardless of clarity, then let it clear in the keg? I dont want to do a secondary.
The beer I kegged last weekend was about 3 weeks old, and perfectly clear. I never get chill haze, though, and my beers are crystal clear unless I use an ingredient that can cause haze (like wheat). To my mind, that's more a product of my good hot break and cold break. My immersion chiller works great in the winter (very cold tap water!) so I think that's why. I also tend to use more flocculant yeast, which settle out fairly quickly. If I use a yeast like German ale yeast (#1007), I may have to cold crash before kegging.

If you keg a cloudy beer, you might get a clear beer after time in the kegerator. But you might not. Better to have it clear before you keg it.
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
The beer I kegged last weekend was about 3 weeks old, and perfectly clear. I never get chill haze, though, and my beers are crystal clear unless I use an ingredient that can cause haze (like wheat). To my mind, that's more a product of my good hot break and cold break. My immersion chiller works great in the winter (very cold tap water!) so I think that's why. I also tend to use more flocculant yeast, which settle out fairly quickly. If I use a yeast like German ale yeast (#1007), I may have to cold crash before kegging.

If you keg a cloudy beer, you might get a clear beer after time in the kegerator. But you might not. Better to have it clear before you keg it.
Thanks for the response. So my take on things is that clarity usually comes after final gravity is reached. So if its in a clear carboy, I'll just wait till it clear before I even mess with gravity readings.
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