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Old 05-04-2007, 05:40 AM   #1
Bosh
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Default How long should I leave a beer in the primary fermenter if I'm not using a secondary?

I don't have a secondary so I've been using primary only. The first beer I brewed I had it in the primary for two weeks (virtually no bubbles at all of the second week) and its been in bottles for two weeks and is tasting fairly nasty (think it might be still green so I'm going to have it sit for a few more weeks).

My second beer has now been in the primary for five days now and the bubbles have almost stoped (maybe one per 90 seconds) and the OG has falled a lot, but its still cloudy/yeasty as all hell.

I don't want this beer to be too green in the bottles like the first one so I'm thinking I should keep it in the primary for a while (especially since its got honey and a lot of hops in it).

How long would it be safe to leave it in the primary after the fermenting stops? Will leaving it in a long time clarify it or just give it wierd tastes from the lees?


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Old 05-04-2007, 05:44 AM   #2
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it'll clarify fine..

I've been leaving my beers in primary for 3weeks (according to the 1-2-3rule 1wk primary 2wks secondary so 1+2=....)

and they've come out fine

longer than that is possible I'm sure but I haven't pushed it

good luck!


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Old 05-04-2007, 05:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhornet
it'll clarify fine..

I've been leaving my beers in primary for 3weeks (according to the 1-2-3rule 1wk primary 2wks secondary so 1+2=....)

and they've come out fine

longer than that is possible I'm sure but I haven't pushed it

good luck!
Hmmm, so three weeks will get more of the crap out than two weeks without any wierd flavors? If that works for you I think I'll try it, a lot of crap got into the bottles of my first beer...

Maybe I'll try to fit my fermenter in my fridge for a day or two before bottling to get more crap to drop out
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Old 05-04-2007, 05:51 AM   #4
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yeah cold conditioning should work....maybe do it for a few more days though

i think the only things (outside of finings) that'll clear up a beer is age and cold conditioning

let me know how it works for you...
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:22 PM   #5
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A lot of this depends on style and yeast.

For example, we're just starting to drink a Mild that was in primary for 13 days and bottled without secondary. Used Windsor yeast, which according to Danstar is "non-flocculant", but this beer is as clear as any beer I've ever brewed. It's been in bottles for only a week so the hops are still a bit much.

In this case we made the descision not to use a secondary, since we actually wanted a bit more suspended yeast than we got (not like a hefe or anything, though, just a bit). We did use Irish Moss though.

In general, I'd say that if you don't have a secondary, leaving a beer in primary for 1 to 3 weeks is fine, and for any style where you really want clarity, 2 to 3 weeks is probably preferable. That said, a secondary will help it clear out a bit better and free up your primary for the all-important next batch!

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Old 05-04-2007, 01:31 PM   #6
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I go from the fermenter to kegs, so it's important that the brew clears first. I give it two weeks after the fermentation has stopped and never less than three weeks. The same would apply to bottling.
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:44 PM   #7
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Carboys/buckets are pretty cheap in the grand scheme. I'd get a few more as soon as possible. It will make your life much easier.


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