How long can the beer stay safely in the secondary? - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > How long can the beer stay safely in the secondary?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-22-2006, 04:57 AM   #1
mezman
Recipes 
 
Jan 2006
Broomfield, CO
Posts: 106


Hi Everyone,

My Bitter has been in the secondary for a little over a week. Airlock activity has pretty much stopped and the beer is clearing.

Left to my own time-table I'd bottle tomorrow, however, that's not gonna be possible. It also might not be possible to bottle Thursday so I may not be able to bottle until Friday. Assuming that my sanitation was good, is that gonna negatively affect the beer? Last beer I left in the secondary for about two weeks (all airlock activity stopped) and it never carbonated well, I assume becasue all the yeast became dormant and drifted to the bottom.

So I guess my question is: Do I need to make time to bottle tomorrow or at the very least Thursday? Or is three more days in the secondary not gonna affect it much? Thanks!


__________________
Bah!! Who said that??

On Deck:
Primary 1: Kennedizzle Seasonal (Irish Red for St. Paddy's Day)
Secondary:
Keg 1: Cascade APA
Keg 2: Munchner Helles
Keg 3: Nada

Shameless Self Promotion:

Kennedy Photography

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2006, 05:06 AM   #2
God Emporer BillyBrew
 
God Emporer BillyBrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2005
Melnibone
Posts: 1,509
Liked 16 Times on 11 Posts


I'm not sure what the upper limit is, but I've left one in there for at least a month at it was fine. I guess your yeast would all die off eventually, but I'm not even sure about that. At any rate, no need to worry about getting to it tomorrow or the next day.


__________________
---------------------------------------------------
Desert Planet Brewing Co.

Primary :Bloody Nose Porter
Primary 2: Bloody Nose Porter
Secondary: Blackberry Melomel
Secondary 2:air
Bottled : 14 Pound Hammer Cider, Punkin Ale, know ale, Domino wheat
Keg 1: **** Inside Her
Keg 2: IPA
Keg 3: one on a weeknight, two on a weekend IIPA
Future : Ginger Cream Ale,

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2006, 05:08 AM   #3
digdan
 
digdan's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2005
Pasadena, CA
Posts: 494
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts


I've seen the basic rule of 1-2-3, One week Primary, Two weeks secondary, and 3 weeks conditioning.

I've also read that you want to avoid keeping your beer on a substantial yeast bed for more than 14 days, and I'm sure the type of yeast being used could complicate things aswell.

So its basicly a personal call, but most people recommand 14 days. If you are using a yeast that ferments at higher temps, I would move it off the yeast bed as soon as possible.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2006, 05:13 AM   #4
rewster451
 
rewster451's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2005
columbia, MO
Posts: 496

I don't think you can harm a beer by leaving it in secondary too long. It just clears out better. The yeast will stop working when it runs out of food and will slowly settle to the bottom, but I think you'd have to leave it a long, long time before it all settled out, if it ever does. I had a beer in secondary for two months once, and some recipes call for as much as six months in secondary. RDWHAHB.
__________________
Up next: Big Brew Off competition between me and Kaptain Karma as one team, and my two roommates as another--We'll be brewing Pale Ales with specifications on malts, hops, and total yeild to see who's version is better (and to end up with ten total gallons of great beer).
Also up soon: Belgian Dubbel
Primary: Grampa's Woodshed Apple Smoked Porter
Secondary: Zombiefoot California Common, Chocolate Strong Porter
Drinking: Seamus O'Drunkagan Irish Red, Humble Pie Imperial Stout, Capricorn IPA

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2006, 05:21 AM   #5
mezman
Recipes 
 
Jan 2006
Broomfield, CO
Posts: 106

Cool, cool. My last beer just ended up kinda flat so I was a little concerned. But I probably shouldn't be. You know what they say about relaxing, not worrying and having a...uh...something, something...
__________________
Bah!! Who said that??

On Deck:
Primary 1: Kennedizzle Seasonal (Irish Red for St. Paddy's Day)
Secondary:
Keg 1: Cascade APA
Keg 2: Munchner Helles
Keg 3: Nada

Shameless Self Promotion:

Kennedy Photography

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2006, 01:41 PM   #6
Catfish
Art by David Shrigley
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Catfish's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2005
Nishinomiya, Japan
Posts: 840
Liked 15 Times on 3 Posts


So long as your sanitation was good and you keep liquid in your airlock you'll be fine indefinately.
__________________
鯰 a.k.a. なまず a.k.a. Catfish

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2006, 04:35 PM   #7
Darth Konvel
 
Darth Konvel's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2005
Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,033
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Yep, as long as your sanitation was good, and your airlock is maintained, you're good to go. I have a feeling that your carbonation issue was unrelated. Under the right conditions, a beer left in secondary even for an extended period of time should have enough yeast left in suspension to carb a beer.
__________________
-LupusUmbrus
Up Next: ???



 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2006, 11:47 PM   #8
homebrewer_99
 
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,792
Liked 131 Times on 98 Posts


What everyone else said...as long as you maintain water in your airlock you're good to go.

I've done 60-100 days lagering in a carboy.


__________________
HB Bill

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How long is too long in a secondary for a wheat beer? newbeerpig Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 15 09-26-2011 05:49 PM
How long can can beer stay in the primary fermenter? job419 Fermentation & Yeast 12 10-19-2010 02:13 PM
Basement temp is 66 F. How long should Mr Beer stay in the brewing keg? msa8967 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 06-02-2009 04:39 AM
Bottles - How long will beer stay fresh? Gammon N Beer Bottling/Kegging 2 06-27-2008 10:38 PM
safely kegging a beer that isn't quite done? scottfro Bottling/Kegging 2 06-07-2008 03:44 PM


Forum Jump