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Old 10-01-2009, 03:55 PM   #1
skyzo
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Default 2 weeks in primary vs 1

OK so I am still a newbie brewer, but I've been reading a ton on here, and searched quite a few threads, and saw that quite a few of you let the brew sit in the primary fermenter for 2 weeks, and others go 1 or so in the primary and then a 2 in the secondary. I was thinking about letting my cream ale go 2 in the primary and straight to bottling and letting the bottles age for 2-3 weeks. Would that be OK?
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:02 PM   #2
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Yes, should be fine.


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Old 10-01-2009, 04:05 PM   #3
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You will be fine. Go longer if you want. If you search for extended primary you will find that many people here will leave a beer in primary for much longer than 2 weeks. I currently have an IPA that has been in primary for over 5 weeks and I might finally bottle it tonight.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:06 PM   #4
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Number of days are arbitrary when it comes to fermenting/conditioning. As you move on in beer making you will start to learn that you go by feel and looks and of course your hydrometer. Typically 1-2 weeks is far less that what is needed for a beer to clear.

The word secondary is kinda mis-leading too, you basically want to clear your beer as much as possible before putting it in your serving container whether that is bottles or a keg.

With your cream ale that may be a standard one, I would say go 3-4 weeks in the primary and then crash cool it for several days by putting it into a fridge or something, then transfer to a bottling bucket trying to leave as much trub behind as possible, then leave that in the fridge for a couple of hours to let anything else settle then bottle. You can put your priming sugar in your bottling bucket before transferring so it mixes well too.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:07 PM   #5
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i prefer to let my primaries go for at least 2 weeks. i have yet to brew a recipe where the final gravity is achieved in a week (not to say it can't be done). it's always close, but i find a second week usually drops the gravity a few more points. giving the yeast time to do their thing is vital to developing the flavor of the beer.

back when i bottled, 2-3 weeks in primary followed by bottle conditioning always worked for me.

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Old 10-01-2009, 04:09 PM   #6
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Don't let time itself be your indicator though. Be sure to take a hydrometer sample to be sure it's done.

That said, I let mine sit in the primary for 3-4 weeks normally. I don't see the benefit of secondary (not trying to start a debate lol). You should give each method a try eventually and decide what you like best.

You should be fine with 2 weeks...but I think it'd taste better if you gave it 3.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:10 PM   #7
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But, if you are just starting out, I wouldn't wait months before bottling the beer. You'll be anxious to try it. . . there will be plenty of time later for letting other beers sit forever.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:12 PM   #8
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Just adding (because it hasn't been said...) it really depends on your gravity readings. Make sure the brew is done fermenting before bottling.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:19 PM   #9
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Rely on your gravity readings. Every beer will progress at it's own rate. Some can take two weeks, some can take two months.

I take gravity readings once a week. When I get the same reading two weeks in a row, I call it done. That also gives the yeast plenty of time to clean up and settle down.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:58 PM   #10
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Alright thanks guys , i think ill be patient and let it go 3 weeks in primary. Thanks again for the advice.


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