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Old 12-21-2008, 10:36 PM   #1
nestler
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I have a recipe that says to leave the beer in primary for 1 week, secondary for 1 week, and bottled/kegged for 3 weeks before drinking. My question is how important are the boundaries between those three stages as long as the overall time from start to finish is the same?

I know that the beer needs to be done fermenting before leaving primary and that there needs to be enough time in the bottle/keg for carbonation, but other than that do the relative times matter much? For example is changing it to 2 weeks in primary, 2 weeks in secondary, and 1 week in bottle/keg going to cause a problem?

 
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:47 PM   #2
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If you're bottling, there really isn't any flexibility there. You need at least 3 weeks at 70+ degrees in the bottles for proper carbonation.

As far as primary/secondary. It's a source for much debate. A lot of folks don't secondary...they just leave the beer in the primary the whole time (usually a minimum of three weeks.

Others secondary all of their beers. Me...I'm a mix but the majority of my beers go to secondaries.

As far as time...it depends on the size of the beer. I have light summer ales at around a 1.035OG that can go from grain to glass in 3 weeks (but I keg and force carb). Bigger the beer, the more time it needs to age and mellow.

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Old 12-21-2008, 10:47 PM   #3
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You would still want 3 weeks at least in the bottle. I don't know much about kegging, but I'm guessing if you give it enough time in secondary, you can get by with less time in the keg.

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Old 12-22-2008, 04:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher View Post
If you're bottling, there really isn't any flexibility there. You need at least 3 weeks at 70+ degrees in the bottles for proper carbonation.
I should have been more specific about my particular setup. I am kegging with forced carbonation, so I don't need 3 weeks just to get carbonation. I guess it boils down to whether anything beneficial is going to come out of waiting the full 3 weeks after kegging instead of just 1 given that 2 extra weeks were already spent in the other stages.

There are actually two separate batches involved (an oatmeal stout and an IPA that needed dry hopping). Both recipes recommended the same schedule of (1, 1, 3) and in both cases I have started out with (2, 2, ?).

 
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nestler View Post
I should have been more specific about my particular setup. I am kegging with forced carbonation, so I don't need 3 weeks just to get carbonation. I guess it boils down to whether anything beneficial is going to come out of waiting the full 3 weeks after kegging instead of just 1 given that 2 extra weeks were already spent in the other stages.

There are actually two separate batches involved (an oatmeal stout and an IPA that needed dry hopping). Both recipes recommended the same schedule of (1, 1, 3) and in both cases I have started out with (2, 2, ?).
Since you're kegging the answer would be there is no benefit to aging in kegs.

But if you kept the brew in the secondary for those 2-3 weeks it would give you more time for yeast to settle out so you can rack a more clear brew into the kegs. This would almost eliminate any sediment from them.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:29 AM   #6
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I'm not so sure there's no benifit to aging in kegs. My experience, though limited, was that my beer got incredibly clear (one of two brews kegged so far) after about 2 weeks in the keg in the fridge.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonefishing View Post
I'm not so sure there's no benifit to aging in kegs. My experience, though limited, was that my beer got incredibly clear (one of two brews kegged so far) after about 2 weeks in the keg in the fridge.
What I meant was I don't think there's a benefit to aging your beer on a high gas...just enough to keep it sealed should be enough. You can gas it up when you plan to drink it.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:32 PM   #8
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I bottle and don't need three weeks for carbonation. I generally prefer small, quick beers.
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:30 AM   #9
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So if I have a Sierra clone that was two weeks in primary, five weeks in secondary and now 36 hours on 30psi, should I expect to see any real advantage to leaving it two or three weeks at 10psi or should that extended secondary have done most of the mellowing already?

In other words, should this IPA change much in taste over the next two or three weeks, given that it already did 5 weeks in secondary?

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Old 12-23-2008, 02:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holjim View Post
So if I have a Sierra clone that was two weeks in primary, five weeks in secondary and now 36 hours on 30psi, should I expect to see any real advantage to leaving it two or three weeks at 10psi or should that extended secondary have done most of the mellowing already?

In other words, should this IPA change much in taste over the next two or three weeks, given that it already did 5 weeks in secondary?

Jim
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