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Old 12-04-2007, 08:52 PM   #1
Winesburg Ale
Nov 2007
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What do you think is the maximum time you can safely leave your brew in the primary fermenter? I brewed 5 gallons of pretty heavy Scottish Ale last Thursday. I was planning to leave it in the primary for 2 weeks, and then bottle. Unfortunately, looking at my schedule, I don't think I'll be able to bottle it at two weeks. It would be more like three weeks. Is there much risk of autolysis and off-flavors?


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Old 12-04-2007, 08:58 PM   #2
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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I think the current board record is 8 months in the fermenter and two years in the clearing tank. I keg directly and will let the brew ferment and then settle for 3-4 weeks before kegging.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:05 PM   #3
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Apr 2007
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I regularly leave brew in the primary for 2 months with no problems what so ever.

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Old 12-04-2007, 09:06 PM   #4
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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Ideally, I'd probably shoot for no more than a month, depending on the temperature. As others mentioned, though, longer appears to be fine.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:32 PM   #5
Jul 2007
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I always go three weeks in the primary. In my opinion the beer tastes a little bit better.

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Old 12-04-2007, 09:40 PM   #6
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Nov 2007
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I have a couple in the primary right now that are still bubbling the airlock and the krausen just dropped and its been 2.5 weeks. I have left brews in the primary as long as 5-6 weeks without ill effects.

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Old 12-04-2007, 11:29 PM   #7
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Feb 2007
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Longer appears to be fine but I try to limit mine to 4-5 weeks in the primary. I have switched most of my ales to primary only and leave them 3-5 weeks.

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Old 12-05-2007, 12:23 AM   #8
Oct 2007
Northern NJ, USA
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When I use a bucket (as opposed to glass) I now leave it for at Least three + weeks- because I have opened a bucket up at 20 days- and still had things floating that needed to settle.
Some one stated that all of this is temp. dependent- which makes some sense to me- because in the dog days of summer- when the basement is like 71'- turnaround seemed to be faster- and now that its so much cooler- I'm noticing a slower process. This is with ale yeast- and just what I have observed personally.

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Old 12-05-2007, 01:12 AM   #9
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Feb 2006
Corrales, New Mexico
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If you leave your break (hot and cold) behind (whirlpool) you don't need to secondary.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:22 AM   #10
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Apr 2007
West Palm, FL
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Originally Posted by david_42
I think the current board record is 8 months in the fermenter and two years in the clearing tank.
Whoever has that record needs to start brewing sour beers immediately, that's the kind of patience I like to see!
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