6 Weeks Primary

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acparr27

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I have an oatmeal stout kit that has been in the primary for 6 weeks. Is this beer going to be ok? Why is 4 weeks seem to be the max that people go?

I am also fermenting around 65 degrees in my basement.

Thanks for the input!
 

blackbear219

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Sounds like it will be delicious to me. No worries at all with 6 weeks.
 

frazier

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People do 4 weeks because usually, that's enough. No problem in going a little longer, because, you know, life happens.

Six months might be a little long. but 6 weeks you will have a great batch.
 

rjsnau

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You have to be careful because the yeast can autolysis and produce alot off flavors. At 6 weeks you should be fine but I would not do any longer and I would try to not do longer than 4 weeks normally.
 

KYB

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I've had multiple beers for 6 months primary with no sign of autolysis. It's fine.
 

djfriesen

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2 things I've heard as to why you don't want to leave in primary for excessively long times:

1) Leaving the beer on the yeast cake can lead to off flavors.

I have heard this is one of the carryovers from early homebrewing. Recent advances in strain quality have made it much less of an issue. In fact, it can be beneficial for your beer to stay in primary longer. Your yeast will clean up after itself by eating some of the byproducts of the vigorous fermentation.

2) Oxygenation

Admittedly, this is a bigger problem with secondaries, as the CO2 from fermentation is no longer present. However, claims have been made that leaving beer in a plastic fermenter can lead to oxygen leeching into the beer through the plastic walls of the FV. If you are fermenting in glass, this is a non-issue. However, it is something to think about if you use Ale Pails, Better Bottles, or the like.
 
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acparr27

acparr27

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Thanks for all of the replies everyone. I will be bottling this tonight.

For this, I am going to be using DME for priming in the bottles. How much should I use for 50 bottles? Ive heard 1 1/4 cup. I think im going to get a scale tonight to measure the amount of ounces. For corn sugar, 5 oz is normal right?

Thanks again!
 

Vuarra

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You might want to let up on that figure just a little. Considering it's an oatmeal stout, I'd actually use less sugar, perhaps 4oz to 4.5 oz, since you don't want it as carbonated as a lager or pale ale.
 

MarcMTL

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My oatmeal stout has been sitting for six weeks in primary. Only thing I noticed, which I guess is quite normal, is I overshot my SG by a couple points (1.011 rather then 1.018). I thought she was a goner because she formed barely no krausen (maybe 1/2" for 24hrs).

I just took a sip of room temperature, flat oatmeal stout, and this is one of (if not THE) best tasting warm, unconditioned beers I've had. I can't wait to taste this one after a couple weeks in the bottle.

Prost!
 

badbrew

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My oatmeal stout has been sitting for six weeks in primary. Only thing I noticed, which I guess is quite normal, is I overshot my SG by a couple points (1.011 rather then 1.018). I thought she was a goner because she formed barely no krausen (maybe 1/2" for 24hrs).

I just took a sip of room temperature, flat oatmeal stout, and this is one of (if not THE) best tasting warm, unconditioned beers I've had. I can't wait to taste this one after a couple weeks in the bottle.

Prost!
Don't know how somebody could wait 6 weeks to taste that.
 

downtown3641

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I regularly let beers sit in the primary for six weeks or so. Usually, it's an issue of not having time to bottle.
 

pjj2ba

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2 things I've heard as to why you don't want to leave in primary for excessively long times:

1) Leaving the beer on the yeast cake can lead to off flavors.

I have heard this is one of the carryovers from early homebrewing. Recent advances in strain quality have made it much less of an issue. In fact, it can be beneficial for your beer to stay in primary longer. Your yeast will clean up after itself by eating some of the byproducts of the vigorous fermentation.
I don't think the strains are any better, people are just better at yeast management than before. Most of the strains are from breweries that have been around for a while. There are a few new ones out there though (Pacman, Denny's favorite, etc.)

Leaving the beer on the yeast longer will add flavors to the beer. These are not nasty the flavors often spoken of, but are flavors none the less. Many folks like these flavors, many others do not (often style dependent).

You don't need to leave them on the yeast cake for them clean up after themselves. If you rack, there is still plenty of yeast in suspension to do that. Actually is has been shown that yeast that has settled out does very little clean up relative to what the yeast still in suspension does.
2) Oxygenation

Admittedly, this is a bigger problem with secondaries, as the CO2 from fermentation is no longer present. However, claims have been made that leaving beer in a plastic fermenter can lead to oxygen leeching into the beer through the plastic walls of the FV. If you are fermenting in glass, this is a non-issue. However, it is something to think about if you use Ale Pails, Better Bottles, or the like.
Oxygenation during transfer can be an issue. Purging with CO2 can make this a non-issue (convenient for those who keg and have CO2 on hand). If you can't purge with CO2, the jostling that occurs during transfer usually rouses up a little more yeast activity to produce enough of a CO2 blanket. As long as one is gentle in the transfer, this really isn't an issue. Minimizing head space is a good idea (i.e. don't secondary in a bucket if at all possible).

To me sanitation is more likely to be an issue as the more surfaces the beer touches, the greater the chance of infection. Using good sterile technique though will minimize the risk.

Yes there are some risks to using a secondary, but for some of us, there are benefits over doing primary only beers. It comes down to the flavors YOU want in your beer and then using the techniques that work the best to get them.

Experiment and have fun!
 
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