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Old 09-19-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
SKYY
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Default Beer Emergency--deploying for 7 months in less than 5 days

Well it wouldn't be an emergency, but I have 2 x 5-gallon batches in secondaries right now, and a 5-gal in primary.

My problem is time. I don't have enough time to let these awesome beers sit through the normal fermentation process. The ones I racked to secondaries were near their projected final gravities, but still a bit high. They've been racked for over 7 days, so they'll *almost* be ready for bottling by the time I'm supposed to leave.

So, what's the best thing to do with these beers? Should I try to accelerate the process with artificial heat and bottle them at the last minute, or just relax and let them sit in carboys for the 7 months I'll be away?

I've heard different things about letting beers sit in secondaries for extended times--supposedly, you can let a beer sit indefinitely in a carboy. If that's true, let me know!


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Old 09-19-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
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FWIW these are all ales...

I have my Oktoberfest beers (the standard ofest and a dopplebock) as well as my St. Pats beers (Irish red and stout) that will remain in the primary fermenters for nearly 6 months, on the yeast and everything.

If these are wheat beers or light beers I would wait as long as possible then bottle if it was even a pale ale or heavier/darker beer I would leave it for when you return. Besides it will give you something to think about and look forward to.


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Old 09-19-2012, 12:38 PM   #3
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If you want them to age/mature while you're gone, rack off the yeast into a secondary and let them sit at room temp. There will still be enough yeast to finish up any fermentation and clean up during the next 7 months. If you want them fresh, get them in bottles and refrigerate them the whole time.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:00 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I'm thinking let them all sit in secondaries for eternity, while I do the Good Lord's Work, and then when I return to civilization, I'll bottle them and age them further.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:07 PM   #5
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This'll be interesting.....

General consensus says that there will be enough yeast left after many, many months.. enough to get your bottles to carb up.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you next Spring, when they're bottled up and hopefully carbonated

Stay safe
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:55 PM   #6
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Thank you for serving our country and stay safe.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:58 PM   #7
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Bottle the two in secondary, and quickly mix up some apfelwein into the carboys
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:37 PM   #8
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SKYY, what beer styles are they? Curious more than anything. Some styles age a lot better than others (dark stuff, high gravity), while some are better as fresh and green as you can get them (hoppy stuff).

Also, I wouldn't worry about having enough yeast to carbonate after you bottle them in 7 months. Unless you're filtering your beer to remove the yeast, there will certainly be enough yeast left in suspension to carb up just fine. If you're really worried about it you could always add a quarter of a package of US-05 at bottling to guarantee that you've got fresh yeast to bottle condition.

The other thing you need to think about is oxygen exposure. If you've got glass carboys, nothing to worry about. If the beers are in ale pales they may pick up oxygen if they're in there for that long. Same thing for Better Bottles, though they claim that they are impervious to oxygen. Lots of different opinions about this, but something for you to think about if you're bulk aging beers.

Thanks for your service. Stay safe.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wittmania

The other thing you need to think about is oxygen exposure. If you've got glass carboys, nothing to worry about. If the beers are in ale pales they may pick up oxygen if they're in there for that long.
Have you ever experienced this? I've had beer in a bucket for a year and not noticed any sign of oxidation.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wittmania View Post
The other thing you need to think about is oxygen exposure. If you've got glass carboys, nothing to worry about. If the beers are in ale pales they may pick up oxygen if they're in there for that long. Same thing for Better Bottles, though they claim that they are impervious to oxygen. Lots of different opinions about this, but something for you to think about if you're bulk aging beers.
If the buckets remain closed there's not much risk of that. And what evidence do you have to counter BB's claims that they are impervious to oxygen? Statements like that without actual evidence are part of the problem on this forum. It confuses and worries new members needlessly.


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