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Old 02-13-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
hopsnhawks
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Default Fermenting/conditioning/bottling timetable

howdy

2nd ever batch is in my secondary (Port O' Palmer) and I had some questions floating around in my head about the timing of these three steps

so far my technique is to keep the beer in the primary/secondary carboys for ~3 weeks, I have waited until all the churning is done in the primary before transfer and both times it has been ~10 days for this to occur (using White Labs California Ale Yeast #WLP001 at around 63 degrees)

that leaves ~10 days in the secondary plus an additional ~2weeks in the bottle, I assume this is an adequate schedule and my first batch turned out great

my question is how much benefit would I gain from increasing the time spent in the carboys by a few weeks, I keep seeing people talk about 3 weeks in primary and maybe another 2 weeks in the secondaries, I am very impatient but if the experts think the final product is significantly improved than of course I can wait it out

I am asking this in regards to typical Ale beer styles (Pale, IPA, brown/stout/porter) with normal alcohol levels, nothing at the imperial level

also, would just leaving it in the bottle for a real long time take care of all these issues or is the secondary carboy conditioning a lot different than conditioning that occurs in the bottle

thanks, new to this and wanted some opinions


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Old 02-13-2013, 12:13 AM   #2
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The people who are saying three weeks in the primary are not using a secondary at all. I am one of those that have converted to this way. The only need for a secondary is if you are racking on fruit or oak or something. Three weeks primary then straight to the bottle or keg.


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Old 02-13-2013, 12:23 AM   #3
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KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. 3 weeks in primary then bottle. Works great for me.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:30 AM   #4
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Would this be true if you wanted to dry hop the beer? I currently have one, a Citra pale ale that I wane to dry hop over about a 2 week time table. In this case is it better to move the beer to a secondary to separate it from the trub. I also forgot to add the irish moss to help w/ clarification.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:48 AM   #5
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3 weeks primary then bottle is working for me great only time i will use a secondary now is to dry hop or add fruit etc... I used
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:32 AM   #6
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You can dry hop in primary. Wait for active fermentation to subside after 4-5 days, then add the hops. 3-4 weeks you're all good, then bottle.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:09 AM   #7
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3 weeks ferment/secondary. 3 weeks MINIMUM in the bottle. Like a lot of people throughout the forums have said, the longer in the bottle the better the beer.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:21 AM   #8
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I'm converted to 3 weeks primary too. When I dry hop I do it in the primary 3 or 4 days before bottling.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:24 PM   #9
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thanks for the info, so far in my online searching it seems a large percentage of folks feel that 3wks in primary produces a similar product than switching over to a secondary, and that the transfer itself poses unnecessary risks

i will probably continue to transfer to a secondary mostly because it seems like getting it off that yeast cake would only be beneficial (is there any evidence that it is) but most importantly because it then frees up my primary for a new batch

final question, if bottle conditioning for >2 weeks improves the beer so dramatically what happens when you go to a keg? does it not go through this process or does it condition in the keg?
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopsnhawks View Post
thanks for the info, so far in my online searching it seems a large percentage of folks feel that 3wks in primary produces a similar product than switching over to a secondary, and that the transfer itself poses unnecessary risks

i will probably continue to transfer to a secondary mostly because it seems like getting it off that yeast cake would only be beneficial (is there any evidence that it is) but most importantly because it then frees up my primary for a new batch

final question, if bottle conditioning for >2 weeks improves the beer so dramatically what happens when you go to a keg? does it not go through this process or does it condition in the keg?
Getting the fermented beer off of the yeast cake after a week or two was a factor in the old days when modern yeasts were not available to us. That has all changed and the yeasts that we use do not pose a problem for many, many weeks.

All beers improve with age. Expert brewers can get to good beers in substantially less time than the average home brewer. From what I gather in many threads on the topic, kegging appears to be quicker. But since the storage principles are very much the same, it must be that brewers with kegs fall into the expert brewer category.


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