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Old 10-06-2009, 08:37 PM   #1
job419
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Default How long can can beer stay in the primary fermenter?

About a year ago, I put a batch of ale in a plastic fermenter, and a few days later my father was in a bad motorcycle accident that almost killed him. Finally I'm at the pint where he doesn't need as much help, and I can get back to my beer.

I think I already know the answer, and I'll just have to dump the beer. However, I thought I'd check and see if anyopne has ever salvaged a batch similar to this?

If you think it is possible to save the batch, would you re-pitch it, and let it firment again, or maybe add a small portion of active yeast, and bottle it in a few days?

Any ideas would help, as I won't be out anything but time if I try to save it.


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Old 10-06-2009, 08:43 PM   #2
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I let a batch of Double IPA sit in a fermenter for months on the primary.

When I finally got around to it, I racked it, added some yeast and dry-hopped it with some pellets, let it sit for a week, then racked and bottled it.

It was fantastic, but really, really unique tasting.

I say you should try to save it.


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Old 10-06-2009, 08:45 PM   #3
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Did the airlock dry up?

If not, I bet it's still good. If it did... well give it a shot anyways.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrathbone View Post
Did the airlock dry up?

If not, I bet it's still good. If it did... well give it a shot anyways.
Good point. I think it probably did, but I'll check when I get home.

I think I'll rack it add some yeast and try to bottle it in a week or two as suggested. Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:47 PM   #5
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YOu might as well try bottling it and giving it a chance. Whether it went bad or if it tastes great, you can post and give everyone on here alittle more knowledge. Do it for the greater good!

Hope things turn out ok for your dad.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:13 PM   #6
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I would say after a year, you probably have some autolysis of the yeast going on, this can impart some foul flavors. See Link below:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autolysis_(biology)
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:22 AM   #7
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Autolysis is an issue that is quite controversial in the world of homebrewing. I have read books that say that anything beyond 2 weeks in the primary is too long while other authors have suggested that the issue of autolysis is overblown. It happens but it doesn't happen as rapidly as stated in other books.

From brewer forums, some brewers have swear that they leave the beer in the primary for beyond a month with no issue of autolysis. Some have reported autolysis problems with some strains (Belgian ones for example) and not others.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:55 AM   #8
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You may have suffered some oxidation if you fermented in a bucket. In any case, I'd say check the gravity, taste it and go from there....if it tastes OK, then bottle and press on.
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:05 AM   #9
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Did anyone ever hear how this beer turned out? Just curious.
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairy View Post
Autolysis is an issue that is quite controversial in the world of homebrewing. I have read books that say that anything beyond 2 weeks in the primary is too long while other authors have suggested that the issue of autolysis is overblown. It happens but it doesn't happen as rapidly as stated in other books.

From brewer forums, some brewers have swear that they leave the beer in the primary for beyond a month with no issue of autolysis. Some have reported autolysis problems with some strains (Belgian ones for example) and not others.
The books are out of date, the idea came from back in the day when brewers were afraid of their yeast, and worried about autolysis, and wanted to rush their beers off the yeast asap. We've gone beyond those days of yeast coming in cakes on ships, and sitting on a shelf in some pre-1978 grocery store shelf, or un marked under a can of blue ribbon malt extract.

The consciousness has change, even the very same authors who cautioned against it are changing their tune in the light of the fact that yeast is healthier and better than it used to be.

People have successfully left there beers in primary for 6 months or more with no signs of the dreaded boogeyman.

This is the most discussed topic on here, there's plenty of info. CURRENT INFO

I primary all my beers a minimum of a month.

Read this....

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/sec...-weigh-176837/


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