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Old 10-18-2007, 04:21 AM   #21
Oct 2007
Posts: 3

Im on my first brew and the kit I got suggested the following:

ferment for 3-8 days (whenever bubbling stops in the airlock)
bottle it, and wait another 3 weeks.

This is for a belgian wheat ale...

does that sound right?

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Old 10-18-2007, 04:56 AM   #22
Apr 2007
Posts: 935
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Originally Posted by BrianG
Im on my first brew and the kit I got suggested the following:

ferment for 3-8 days (whenever bubbling stops in the airlock)
bottle it, and wait another 3 weeks.

This is for a belgian wheat ale...

does that sound right?
Well with wheat ales you should drink them pretty young, but 3-8 days is still pretty damn short...
Calamitous Brewing Company's Beers
On deck: Alt-Wit (wheatless wit) and Punch a Nazi IPA (IPA with continental hops)
Primary: Dead Celebrity Old Ale (split batch with American and English yeast)
Bottled: Trump Ale (hoppy porter), Brexit Ale (brett pale ale), Canadian Exile Maple Ale

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Old 10-18-2007, 01:57 PM   #23
May 2007
Cary, NC
Posts: 2,176
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All my beers stay in the primary for 2-4 weeks before bottling. I only secondary if I need to free up a primary. My secondary carboys get used mostly for Apfelwein and cider.

Its important to understand that fermentation involves more than just converting sugar to alcohol. Yeast produce a lot of by-products that they later reabsorb or otherwise clean up. This process is aided by leaving the beer in contact with the yeast cake.

Autolysis seems to be going the way of hot side aeration - urban myth. If you pitch with clean, healthy yeast and keep the beer in the proper temp range, a month or more in primary is perfectly safe.

Like Bobby_M, I've listened to many of the Jamil shows. Jamil is adamant that he gets consistently better results using primary only. He's winning all kinds of awards, year after year, and nothing speaks as loudly as success.

Primary/Secondary: #133 Scottish 80/-
Kegged: #132 American Wheat
Planned: IPA, Brown, Pale Ale

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Old 10-18-2007, 02:09 PM   #24
Aug 2007
Muskegon, Michigan
Posts: 242
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The only time I use the secondarys is when I'm adding junk which isn't very often or when I need the yeast cake the beer is sitting on. The later is usually the case.

I like Cake!
1st Primary:Cacade/Orange Pale
2nd Primary:Wild Hop Pale
secondary: Inspired Clone

Kegged: Edwort's House Pale, Honey Porter, BierMuncher's Black Pearl Porter

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Old 10-18-2007, 02:11 PM   #25
uglygoat's Avatar
Jan 2005
Clebland, OH
Posts: 2,765
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mine have been in primary three to six weeks lately. i've cut out secondary, unless it's a big big beer that's gonna bulk age for months.

i've not noticed anything out of the ordinary, except i've got less carboys to clean now
A barrel of malt, a bushel of hops, you stir it around with a stick
The kind of lubrication to make your engine tick

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Old 10-18-2007, 02:16 PM   #26
Mar 2007
madison, wi
Posts: 300
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A thought,

when doing a long primary, are people using glass, better bottles or plastic food grade buckets?

Just wondering cuz i've read everywhere that plastic "breathes" or allows for oxygen transfer into the beer, and everybody knows o2 and alcohol are to be avoided. It maybe that 4 weeks in plastic just isn't long enough to affect the beer with o2.

I'll do a poll, if I can.

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." Lincoln's First Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1861.

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Old 10-18-2007, 02:22 PM   #27
delboy's Avatar
Jan 2007
Belfast N.Ireland
Posts: 320
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Put me down for extended primary fermentation and no secondary (can't be bothered with the whole secondary process).
My best beers to date have always been ones that have sat in the primary for ages.

Did two almost identical brown ales (just a slight diff in the amount of choc malt used) with just a few days between them, the first was dragged of the yeast cake and kegged after about 12 days, the other sat on the yeast cake for ages, months down the line the one that had sat in the primary for longer was still the far superior brew.
As far as im concerned the extended conditioning on the primary yeast cake made a huge difference.

Edit: BTW my primary is a good old fashioned plastic bucket.

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Old 10-18-2007, 02:58 PM   #28
Aug 2007
Posts: 118

I use glass and plastic interchangeably as primaries or secondaries. It depends on what I am making and what I have available. I try to do the 3 gallon wine kits in my 5 gallon glass to reduce head space, but thats' about it.


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Old 10-18-2007, 03:19 PM   #29
c.n.budz's Avatar
Feb 2007
Pistol Wavin' New Haven, for now...
Posts: 3,093
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I only use glass carboys(until I get my conicals) and I've left beers in primary for a month with no adverse effects. IMHO, fermentation temp is WAY more important that time in primary
Knucklehead Brewery, Est. 2007

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Old 10-18-2007, 03:32 PM   #30
PseudoChef's Avatar
Apr 2007
West Chicago 'Burbs, IL
Posts: 3,406
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I take it from the consensus here that even extended periods in the primary are not affecting the clearing of the beer (speaking from a bottling perspective)?

I think I'm going to try this with my pale next week. 4 weeks primary and then into bottles for another 4 weeks or so.

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