If real Trappists use primary for 5-7 days, why should I use 3 weeks - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > If real Trappists use primary for 5-7 days, why should I use 3 weeks

Thread Tools
Old 08-09-2008, 09:00 PM   #1
Feb 2008
Posts: 55

I've been reading Stan Hieronymous' "Brew Like a Monk". I was surprised to see that all of the abbeys leave all their beers in primary for only 5-7 days. There's a lot of variation in secondary, 2 days - 6 months depending on filtering, etc. etc., but the primary period is remarkably consistent. Yet all the advice I read here says to leave a biggish beer like a dubbel in primary for 10 days to 3 weeks. I brewed a dubbel last Sunday at it looks finished. If, after a couple days of hydrometer tests, that proves to be true, shouldn't I follow the monks and move it to secondary? If not, why not?

Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2008, 09:08 PM   #2
Feb 2007
Posts: 193

Originally Posted by bearymore View Post
shouldn't I follow the monks and move it to secondary? If not, why not?
not too many Monks actively involved anymore.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2008, 09:10 PM   #3
We get it, you hate BMC.
Coastarine's Avatar
Apr 2008
New Bern, NC
Posts: 2,516
Liked 27 Times on 22 Posts

Diacetyl? Not sure. Do you follow the same pitching rate that they do? My memory of this is a little hazy but I seem to recall listening to a basic brewing podcast and hearing something about the trappist breweries using pretty crazy pitching rates.
SEMPER FIDELIS ET SEMPER PARATUS Bringin' the 'pane...the propane.Coming Up:..[Hefewiezen][BCS Robust Porter][EdWort's Haus Pale Ale][Peated Ale]
Conditioning:[Oaked Cider][ESB]
On Tap.........[The Munchner][Spiced Cider][English Cider][Simcoe IPA][Triple Hops Grooved][Cider'n 'gnac]

Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2008, 09:22 PM   #4
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
Liked 158 Times on 148 Posts

1. Pitching rate.
2. If it's done, it's done.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2008, 09:41 PM   #5
zoebisch01's Avatar
Nov 2006
Central PA
Posts: 5,182
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts

To add to what David_42 mentions, there is a podcast by Stan and in there he talks about the amounts of yeast they pitch in many of those breweries. That is a huge factor. Additionally, it's like anything; if you follow the golden rule it usually helps guarantee success, but that doesn't mean your beer can't be done fermenting in three days. It simply means 10 days is a highly accepted, tested and good amount of time for most Ales. So that is why most people go by that.
Event Horizon ~ A tribute to the miracle of fermentation.

Brew what you like. Do this, and you will find your inner brewer.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2008, 10:01 PM   #6
Jul 2008
Jacksonville, FL.
Posts: 154

People that brew beer professionally go to a lot of trouble to control the environement and conditions under which they brew. This creates consistancy and they can judge exactly when a beer is done. At home we usually have to work with the conditions we have and those can vary greatly from brew to brew. In order to make sure the beer is done, many choose to leave it longer then may be absolutley needed just to be sure since it can't hurt and may help in the long run. If you're absolutely sure its done then move it. If not, some extra time sure can't hurt anything.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2008, 08:40 PM   #7
Feb 2008
Posts: 55

It's now been 8 days for my Westmalle Dubbel clone. OG was 1.072 and SG is now 1.016, so it's been about 76% apparent attenuation. I used White Labs WLP500 and made a 1.75 quart starter. I pitched at about 75 degrees. 4 1/2 hours later was the first time I checked the beer and it was already fermenting vigorously with a fully formed krauesen -- surprised me. Vigorous fermentation lasted only about 2 days (at 70 degrees) and intermittent bubbling for another 3, so that is consistent with the 5 days cited in the book. Being more conservative than my first post sounds, I waited until today (8 days) before taking the first SG reading.

Very tasty...

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2 weeks primary 2 weeks secondary? justin22 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 07-06-2009 12:57 AM
7 days (per instructions) or 3 weeks? zippyslug31 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 29 01-21-2009 06:37 PM
Primary For Six Weeks? bpollock Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 14 01-03-2008 01:09 PM
3 weeks primary, 5 weeks secondary, do I need to add yeast? TheH2 Bottling/Kegging 1 08-26-2007 04:35 PM
2 weeks in primary mmm beer Extract Brewing 5 11-05-2006 06:26 AM

Forum Jump