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Old 05-19-2010, 03:00 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Six_O_Turbo View Post
IIRC, John and Jamil also spoke about leaving in the primary. Stating it was not necessary to leave beer in the primary more than 2 weeks, then bottling (as opposed to 4 weeks which has been a standard line here). May have even been on the same podcast. I believe it was the most recent one on bottling and kegging.
Glad you mentioned this! I'm new, hooked, and impatient I need those buckets back so I can make more!

I heard / read somewhere:
**1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary, 3 weeks in the bottle, then into the fridge. If you don't secondary, then 2 weeks in the secondary and 3 weeks in the bottle.

Then I start reading more and it seems people are going 4 weeks in primary on average. So, here's the question: What is the minimum time in the bucket if you don't secondary? I know that the real answer is, "the beer will tell you". But I don't know my beer well enough yet. In general, I bottle when the hydrometer reading is steady for several days. What else do you take into account when you bottle - for example - bottle when the hydrometer reading is steady, the beer is clear, and it is a full moon on Thursday?

Thanks for your thoughts! I'm learning a lot here just lurking around.


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Old 05-19-2010, 03:10 PM   #62
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Glad you mentioned this! I'm new, hooked, and impatient I need those buckets back so I can make more!

I heard / read somewhere:
**1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary, 3 weeks in the bottle, then into the fridge. If you don't secondary, then 2 weeks in the secondary and 3 weeks in the bottle.
That doesn't factor in the lag time that often happens to our yeast (as illustrated by the "Fermentation can take 72 hours...." thread. )

If you have a 3 day lag time while the yeast is reproducing, and then arbitrarily decide to rack your beer on the 7th day, you are racking with only 4 days or so of fermentation and more than likely racking way too soon.

You see many threads were new brewers who do that panic becausue suddenly they see this ugly growth on top of their beer after a couple days in secondary. That growth we end up telling them after they post a picture is a krausen and it's because it wasn't finished fermenting to begin with, and got kicked up agin by racking.

OR they post after a week or two in secondary that their beer is stuck somewhere between 1.030 and 1.020....and we tell them that happened because they again racked too soon. and left the yeast they needed to finish the beer behind....

Or they rack over when there is still even a krauzen on top.

So I don't believe in using the 1-2-3 method unless you are counting 1 on the day you actually see a krauzened formed on top of their beer.

In Mr Wizard's colum in BYO awhile back he made an interesting analogy about brewing and baking....He said that egg timers are all well and good in the baking process but they only provide a "rule of thumb" as to when something is ready...recipes, oven types, heck even atmospheric conditions, STILL have more bearing on when a cake is ready than the time it says it will be done in the cook book. You STILL have to stick a toothpick in the center and pull it out to see if truly the cake is ready.....otherwise you may end up with a raw cake....

Not too different from our beers....We can have a rough idea when our beer is ready (or use the 1-2-3 rule which, like I said, doesn't factor in things like yeast lag time or even ambient temp during fermentation and do things to our beer willy nilly, like moving it too early, or thinking our beer is going to be drinkable at 3 weeks....but unless we actually stick "our toothpick" (the hydrometer) in and let it tell us when the yeasties are finished...we too can "f" our beer up.

You can't really do something arbitrarily, you have to learn to "read" your beers, the hydrometer is the best way to do that.

For me, the earliest I would leave my beer in primary is 14 days, but that's to rack to secondary for another two weeks or more if I'm adding something.

My aim is to make the best beer possible, so I am not trying to rush my beers through. I brew enough to have a huge pipeline, so if my beers average 2 months from grain to glass, and win me medals, I'm not going to change.

My answer to those folks who say they want to free up their primaries so they rush their beer through, I say, get more primaries. Buckets are cheap.


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Old 05-19-2010, 03:30 PM   #63
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My answer to those folks who say they want to free up their primaries so they rush their beer through, I say, get more primaries. Buckets are cheap.


My wife asked if I wanted another carboy for Xmas; I said "Hell no woman! Get me more buckets!"
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:40 PM   #64
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I've not heard that four weeks is standard here. I've heard minimum 10-11 days, preferably three weeks. I think the commentary has also said if you leave it up to four weeks nor worries about autolysis.
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:46 PM   #65
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My wife asked if I wanted another carboy for Xmas; I said "Hell no woman! Get me more buckets!"
You have a helluvawoman there!

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I've not heard that four weeks is standard here. I've heard minimum 10-11 days, preferably three weeks. I think the commentary has also said if you leave it up to four weeks nor worries about autolysis.
You must not have been reading too many of the discussions about it then. 3-4 weeks is pretty much the standard around here for those who don't primary. Though few do 2-3 months as well.
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:58 PM   #66
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You have a helluvawoman there!



You must not have been reading too many of the discussions about it then. 3-4 weeks is pretty much the standard around here for those who don't primary. Though few do 2-3 months as well.
I assume you mean those who don't secondary. Yes, four on the outside, but generally what I've seen is three, including posts from you.
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:58 PM   #67
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On average for me 10 days primary, 5 days cold crash primary, into serving keg and 2 weeks on CO2. Then start tasting and usually it's pretty good at that point but gets better 6-8 weeks in total. Then the second 5 gallons which has been waiting patiently for me several more months gets dry hop if needed and is as good as anything you would want to drink.
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:20 PM   #68
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Having read a lot on this forum I'm increasing to 3 week primaries. My fermenter is a bucket with a non-airtight lid (i.e. no airlocks, blow-off tubes etc), is oxygen contamination likely to be a problem in this set up given the low yeast activity after 3 weeks?
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:23 PM   #69
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I've been going 3 weeks all in primary, dry hopping the last week before a cold crash. I think I'm going to change it up a bit and dry hop at the end of week one, then two more weeks on the hops before the cold crash.

I'm still trying to refine my process.
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:35 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by dndlyon View Post
I heard / read somewhere:
**1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary, 3 weeks in the bottle, then into the fridge. If you don't secondary, then 2 weeks in the secondary and 3 weeks in the bottle.
Let the beer make the schedule, not the calendar.


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