bottling after 10 days

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400d

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I'd like to ask you guys to give me at least three good reasons not to bottle the average gravity beer (1.040 - 1.050) after 10 days in primary.

The most common reasons for letting it stay for at least three weeks in primary are:

- Yeasts clean after themselves - OK, they clean after themselves, but I don't see a reason why they couldn't clean after themselves in the bottles. They are still active and they still do the same job as in the primary. They just change the location :)

- Let the beer condition a little bit - OK, I am letting it condition, but in the bottles. It will continue to condition in the bottles, what's the problem?

- Let the beer clear for some more time, otherwise you'll pull too much sediment in the bottles - OK, but most of my beers brewed with normal yeasts (1.040 - 1.050) get pretty damn clear after 10 days.

Recently I watched a documentary on a Belgian brewery - they brew 8% ABV beer from mash tun to bottles in 7 days! How do you explain this?

I really don't understand all this philosophy. I have a feeling that once upon a time someone said it should be bottled after 3 weeks earliest, and all the people stick to it, not even asking themselves does it have to be like that....
 

jonmohno

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But how does that green beer taste?
Beer conditions faster with it sitting on the mass yeast cake instead of the small amount in the bottle.
 
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400d

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But how does that green beer taste?
Beer conditions faster with it sitting on the mass yeast cake instead of the small amount in the bottle.

if you let it sit in primary for 4 weeks and bottle, that beer still tastes bad. It needs at least 3 more weeks in the bottles to be fine.

The beer surely needs conditioning, but all I want to say is that the process of conditioning can be done in the bottles.

How do you explain the example from the Belgian brewery (and most commercial breweries) that I mentioned in my post? They all bottle or keg really way earlier than home brewers....
 

Revvy

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Because there's MORE YEAST TO DO ALL THAT CONDITIONING IN THE PRIMARY.

The point of leaving it longer is to leave it IN CONTACT WITH THE LARGEST AMOUNT OF YEAST to do the job. Not a tiny little bit of yeast in the bottles, BUT THE YEAST CAKE.

That's why I think the beer taste better after a long primary instead of using a secondary, because you're leaving it in contact with the largest amount of yeast.

It's not like there's not a zillion threads with this info already in it.....You've been on here long enough to have been exposed to this crap a million times, so I don't know why you want to re-invent the dead horse wheel beater again, but here you go...

How To Brew said:
Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.

One of the big ones that the yeast will clean up if given time is Diacetyl- Professor beer explains it well.

Professor_Beer_Diacetyl_Article

Three pathways lead to the creation of diacetyl. The first is through normal yeast metabolism. Brewer’s yeast form a precursor called alpha acetolactate (AAL), which is tasteless. This compound is converted to diacetyl as the beer ages. The reaction that changes AAL to diacetyl is accelerated by high temperature. At cool temperatures it will still occur, but more slowly.

Modern brewing practice dictates that beer be aged on live yeast until the vast majority of AAL is converted into diacetyl. Brewer’s yeast, while unable to metabolize AAL, will readily absorb and break down diacetyl into relatively flavorless compounds. By giving the beer enough contact time with the active yeast, the brewer can eliminate the diacetyl. It generally takes only about two weeks of aging an ale to assure that it will have no buttery flavors.

Also- "THE ROLE OF DIACETYL IN BEER
By Moritz Kallmeyer"

The Abstract begins...

Diacetyl as a product of fermentation is more characteristic of ales than lagers. Diacetyl is produced early in the fermentation, and then most of it is reabsorbed by the yeast and reduced to flavourless compounds later on. Yeast strains differ markedly in their diacetyl reduction ability. Some ales and a few lagers (such as the famous Pilsner Urquell) contain perceptible amounts of diacetyl, but as a rule modern brewers consider it as a fault. This is because certain bacterial infections and other errors in brewing technique will increase diacetyl levels resulting in unacceptable beer aroma and flavour profile. This parameter thus serves as a quality check. However, it is important to remember that diacetyl flavour is a natural by-product of yeast fermentation, and in some beer styles it is an optional or even required flavour component in low amounts.

From here....


Drayman's Brewery and Distillery

There's two methods of rests listed in the Kallmeyer article...one for ales and warmer beers....interesting.

Maturation of beer flavour requires the presence of yeast as a catalyst. There are many methods of finishing that have the sole objective of prolonging the contact of beer with yeast after primary fermentation is completed. I want to emphasize that a diacetyl rest with most of the yeast lying at the bottom of the tank and not enough in suspension is of no use. Most lager breweries, especially those that use Weinhenstephan 308 or similar “diacetyl producing yeast’s” employ a long diacetyl rest, in order to minimize diacetyl in the finished beer.

Method 1
If a very cold primary fermentation was used it involves allowing the beer temperature to rise from the controlled primary fermentation temperature of about 10°C to 15-18°C when the primary fermentation is coming to an end. Normally, the time is determined by the attenuation of the beer. If, for example the wort starting gravity was 1050 and the expected terminal gravity is 1010, then the diacetyl rest would be commenced when the beer has attenuated to about SG 1023 when two-thirds of the total fermentable material in the wort has been consumed. The diacetyl rest normally lasts for 48-72 hours, until primary fermentation is over and secondary fermentation is under way. At this time the temperature is lowered when the more traditional method is followed, probably 1°C per day until the lagering temperature of 0-1°C is reached.

Method 2
If a warmer primary fermentation temperature was used for ale or lager the diacetyl rest involves either lowering the beer temperature 2 or 3°C at the end of primary fermentation or keeping it constant for up to 6 days. In lager yeast strains with low diacetyl production it is common practise nowadays to employ a short diacetyl rest followed by centrifuging to remove excess yeast and then crash cooling to 0°C. When brewing ales, that should have very low diacetyl levels especially German Ales like Alt and Kölsch, the implications are to not use highly flocculent yeast and to allow an extended primary fermentation, albeit at cooler temperatures until sufficiently low diacetyl levels are reached. Yeast that settles in the cone is still removed on a daily basis.

We're talking yeast contact....not a little bit of bottle sediment contact, but the big enchilada.

Ok?

Personnaly I think you need both...You need fermenter yeast cleanup first, THEN if anything else needs to be cleaned up. Refermetation in the bottles/cleanup should take care of the rest.

But it's too seperate processes.
 

IffyG

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I keg most of my beer at 14 days and everything works out just fine for me. I believe the issue is certain highly vocal members of the forum are almost militant in the way they force their practices on others and view alternatives as poor technique. As a result they continue to regurgitate (read: copy and paste) their rants whenever anyone posts a question. This translates into the majority of the user base seeing these answers pop up time and time again and view it as being fact...
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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If you use proper sanitation, pitch an adequate (proper) amount of yeast, properly aerate, and control fermentation temperatures, 10 days is more than adequate time in the fermenter.

The 4 week thing is a bit silly really. If you are a beginner and don't really know what you are doing, and do not control and fully understand the above factors, then 4 weeks is probably a fine and good idea.

However, if you are doing a good job with your processes and material handling, 7 days is normally all the yeast need to ferment and condition an average ale. The "common" understanding around here is a bit silly with the time if you are doing a good job controlling the process.

Ask yourself this: Do commercial breweries age all their beer for at least 4 weeks, then condition it for an additional 3? No.
 

Sean

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I think your reasoning is sound.

I leave mine in the fermentor for about 4 weeks. I have tried bottle aging, and bulk aging, and think it is better bulk aged, but that is my system and my perception, and there are as many homebrew methods as there are homebrewers.

I have bottled in 10 days with good results. If it works for you, carry on!
 

Revvy

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Ask yourself this: Do commercial breweries age all their beer for at least 4 weeks, then condition it for an additional 3? No.

This argument has been covered to death to. Most of the reasons they don't has more to do with economics than anything else.

But trying to compare what is done commercially, and why, and what is done on a homebrew scale I think is just as silly as you think leaving the beer in primary for a month is.

Guess what? I pitch plenty of yeast, I maintain good temp control, and I still find that my beer tastes better if I primary for a month. And so do the beer judges who taste my beers, both in contests and socially. I have several judges I brew with, and they drink my beer socially, and think that it is very clean and crisp tasting.

So to make it a "noob thing" like you're implying is plain stupid as well. :rolleyes:
 

rexbanner

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But how does that green beer taste?
Beer conditions faster with it sitting on the mass yeast cake instead of the small amount in the bottle.

Ahh, but does it?

From what I understand, cleanup and condition are two different things. Yeast clean up after fermenting, removing various undesirable byproducts of fermentation. Conditioning is a process that is still not very well understood. A bunch of chemical reactions occur while a beer conditions, and from what I've read, it has not been completely analyzed. An average gravity beer does not really need to condition for any longer than a few weeks after fermentation+cleanup is done.

High gravity beers, on the other hand, do taste better after some conditioning. After aging a few of my beers for a couple months, the only thing I can say is that they taste smoother, rounder, and better. Specialty malts mellow and blend, hop bitterness fades, and the beer becomes more synergized with the individual ingredients in harmony rather than competition.

I believe that some high gravity beers benefit a lot more from aging than others. I have a tripel that is nearly six months old and pretty much tastes the same as it did at three months. On the other hand, I think my old ale will taste a lot more in tune after a few months conditioning.
 

Revvy

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I really don't understand all this philosophy. I have a feeling that once upon a time someone said it should be bottled after 3 weeks earliest, and all the people stick to it, not even asking themselves does it have to be like that....

No actually it's because folks who have actually tried it, even after vehemently arguing against it, have found an improvement in their beers.

If it doesn't work for you, fine. But arguing about it is boring. Do it, don't do it, whatever.

Those of us who do it, do it because we've found an improvement in their beer. It's really that simple. We like how our beer tastes after doing it.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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Yes, aging and conditioning exists. For a standard gravity ale, it will not benefit from bulk aging.

Also, the yeast cake is not actively doing anything considerable. Those are the yeast that have gone dormant and dropped out of solution. The active yeast that are "cleaning up" are suspended in the beer. The yeast process any fermentation by products within a day or two of reaching terminal gravity.
 

spearko520

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i'm down with the last one - but i do think it depends. I keg everything and higher gravity ones might sit for a while, clear out and sometimes even a little slurry will blow out when i tap- but i've had many beers ready to drink inside of two weeks and they were fantastic. I have also had beers that tasted better as they aged. Since i have been blasting with the oxygen stone and always using a krausening starter, my fermentations are real vigorous and my lower gravity beers clean out pretty quick. I slam them in the keg, carb them up and start drinking. I don't think it would make a difference if they were in bottles, let them condition there. i refuse to believe that people can be outsmarted by yeast. try it - what's the worst that could happen? Someone could use one of your bottles to murder someone. but other than that, you'll be fine!
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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My goodness you have turned sour over the years Rev. Where has the happy go lucky/open minded dude of the past gone? I didn't say you can't leave your beer wherever you want for as long as you want. My point was that if you are creating a high quality wort, and giving the yeast a proper environment for fermentation, that 10 days is perfectly adequate for fully fermenting and conditioning an average ale. Arguing that is a bit silly. It's science. I am not arguing that aging helps some beers and that all beers hit their stride after 14 days. I am saying that bottling at that time will not be detrimental. I am also saying that some beers are past their peak by 6 weeks.
 

unionrdr

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Interesting read on the science aspect. At least my little experiment with how long an average gravity ale takes to clean up & settle out more of 3-5,even 7 days was right. As my senses told me at the time. They say 6 days,which is a good average from my perceptions. Good thing I was right on that,anyway.
The whole point here being that it's not too hard to see for yourself. Make notes,& try little things that may improve a brew,observe the little things that don't seem to be all that important. You may just surprise yourself.
Imo,that's what we're really saying here...:mug:
 
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400d

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No actually it's because folks who have actually tried it, even after vehemently arguing against it, have found an improvement in their beers.

If it doesn't work for you, fine. But arguing about it is boring. Do it, don't do it, whatever.

Those of us who do it, do it because we've found an improvement in their beer. It's really that simple. We like how our beer tastes after doing it.


thank you for your reply. I'm not arguing, I'm just asking.

The Belgian brewery that I mentioned in my first post bottles their 8% ABV beer after only 7 days. The beer is then distributed after three weeks of bottle priming in bottles.

This brewery produces one of the greatest belgian trappist beers - Rochefort. If they can bottle it in 7 days and produce such a great beer, than I don't see a reason why I couldn't.

The brewery has a team of chemists, of course - I believe they really tweaked the whole process and they're actually proving it by producing such a great beer.

So after seeing this I think my questions are quite natural.
 

Malticulous

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Yeast in the cake are not doing anything, it's the yeast in suspension doing work. This clean up (maturation phase) is really the yeast in starvation mode eating up the least desirable compounds. The maturation phase is only a few days, not weeks.

In this typical lager fermentation the maturation phase/diacetyl rest is just days five and six.

VDKreduction.png


John Palmer said:
With the right pitching rate, using fresh healthy yeast, and proper aeration of the wort prior to pitching, the fermentation of the beer will be complete within 3-8 days (bigger = longer). This time period includes the secondary or conditioning phase of fermentation when the yeast clean up acetaldehyde and diacetyl.

What's happening after that is mostly yeast and proteins falling out. An ale certainly could be bottled in less than 10 days. With the right process it could even be brilliantly clear.
 

blacklab

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Yeast in the cake are not doing anything, it's the yeast in suspension doing work. This clean up (maturation phase) is really the yeast in starvation mode eating up the least desirable compounds. The maturation phase is only a few days, not weeks.

In this typical lager fermentation the maturation phase/diacetyl rest is just days five and six.

VDKreduction.png




What's happening after that is mostly yeast and proteins falling out. An ale certainly could be bottled in less than 10 days. With the right process it could even be brilliantly clear.

I like the cut of your jib, son.
 
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400d

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You've been on here long enough to have been exposed to this crap a million times, so I don't know why you want to re-invent the dead horse wheel beater again, but here you go...

For a long time people thought that our planet is a flat disc carried by couple of turtles. It lasted for a long time and a lot of people were killed only because they doubted it.

Statistically, there are more people here believing in short fermentation theory.

I guess I'll just have to confirm it by actually doing it.
 

Revvy

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I guess I'll just have to confirm it by actually doing it.

That's really the only answer.....

Look at the history of this dicussion, you'll find a lot of folks argued vehemently against it, then tried it and came back and said they were wrong.

*shrug*

(And I think statistically I think it's NOW about even- folks who let their beer's sit and folks who can't wait.)
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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Those of us reporting on the shorter time periods are basing our advice on a proper and planned pitching rate (in some cases you may intentionally under-pitch by a degree), proper aeration, and controlled fermentation temperature.

If you do not control these factors, you will produce significantly more fermentation by-products that will need more time to precipitate out of solution. Also aging can mellow and hide some ill-flavors over time.

Unless you have a rather impressive lab at home, you will have a hard time altering accepted brewing science... har har. Try both ways and do what you prefer.
 

Malticulous

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Another thing that can change the time it takes is fermenter height. Obviously shorter ones will clear faster. The yeast can even fall out too fast and leave diacetyl like with Samual Smith's. Bottles clear faster than our fermanters do.
 

Hugh_Jass

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If you use proper sanitation, pitch an adequate (proper) amount of yeast, properly aerate, and control fermentation temperatures, 10 days is more than adequate time in the fermenter.

The 4 week thing is a bit silly really. If you are a beginner and don't really know what you are doing, and do not control and fully understand the above factors, then 4 weeks is probably a fine and good idea.

However, if you are doing a good job with your processes and material handling, 7 days is normally all the yeast need to ferment and condition an average ale. The "common" understanding around here is a bit silly with the time if you are doing a good job controlling the process.

Ask yourself this: Do commercial breweries age all their beer for at least 4 weeks, then condition it for an additional 3? No.

Quoted for emphasis.....

The only time my ales age longer than 14 days is if I'm feeling lazy.:D
 

scottland

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Revvy, I'm usually on your side, and I'm partially on your side here. But you're just being too general.

If yeast are still in suspension, yes they're doing good things to a beer that's maturing. I definitely agree with you there. But that isn't the case with every yeast, and every beer. With a highly flocculate yeast, once it's dropped out, leaving the beer on the cake for more than a few days isn't doing a damn thing. WLP002, WLP007 or the Wyeast equivalents are great examples. Now I certainly agree that beers do need some maturation, but I find that can be done either on the yeast cake, or in a keg or bottle.

I'll quote your quote earlier in this thread:

I want to emphasize that a diacetyl rest with most of the yeast lying at the bottom of the tank and not enough in suspension is of no use

This is why I find that blindly throwing out the 1month primary is unnecessary. Some beers are absolutely going to be best after 1 month on the yeast cake. Other beers might not need anymore than 10 days on the yeast cake (Although the extra three weeks aging at some point might still be needed.)

I hate these threads because it's just all too variable.
What the OG of the beer was, adjunct usage, ferment temp, yeast strain, yeast pitch rate, etc can all have a big effect on how long the optimal primary length would be. For the super-noob that doesn't have any experience to know, telling them 3-4 weeks is great, but that doesn't mean we all should be doing it for every beer.

And if you want a personal take. I had two beers in the last month place first in BJCP comps, both with scores in the 40s. Both sat on the primary for under two weeks (6 days for a blonde ale and 13 days for an IIPA).
 

RCCOLA

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I think many of us have changed how we age our beer as we improve our process. To tell anyone that every beer needs 4 weeks on the cake is ridiculous. I think brewers need to be educated to to taste as they go and note when the beer stops changing for the better. Then it's time to bottle/keg.

What's that old adage on here? "Think before you act?"

Lately it seems to be "Shut up and do what you're told"
 

BierMuncher

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Going :off:


This argument has been covered to death to...

...so to make it a "noob thing" like you're implying is plain stupid as well. :rolleyes:

At any given time there are over 2,000 people from around the globe perusing this fine site.

A couple of years ago that number was usually less than 1,000. The growth of HBT has been impressive to say the least. It is the quintessential site for gaining and sharing knowledge about this most awesome pastime. Every moment someone new logs on to discover the "riches" of HBT.

When no new member logs on, when everything that can be learned has been learned about homebrewing, when all opinions about what works best for the homebrewing universe can be agreed upon unequivocally…then and ONLY then, will any topic or argument be “covered to death”.

If a topic bores you, move on.

Back on topic.

Give me two weeks, and I will draw you the finest pint of ale that has ever passed your lips.
 

wolverinebrewer

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Wow, all of this over over an 18 day difference in fermentation.
I just don't understand the rush to bottle. 10 days, 21 days, 28 days.... it doesn't matter to me, but, when you have over 300 bottles full of something alcoholic, you'll never get thirsty. :drunk:
 

Tim_Kreitz

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FWIW, I've found that my session beers don't seem to benefit much from three weeks on the trub. Usually about 10-14 days days does the trick and another seven isn't always an automatic, additional, perceivable benefit (depending upon style, of course).

Anything over 1.055 or so, however, does seem to benefit from employing the three-week technique -- especially anything over 1.065. And if I put the beer straight into the keg at 12psi thereafter, the additional two weeks of cold conditioning and carbonation provides the icing on the cake. After five total weeks between fermenter and keg, I rarely end up with a cloudy beer, and the maturation and deep carbonation of the beer is apparent.
 

Yooper

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Those of us reporting on the shorter time periods are basing our advice on a proper and planned pitching rate (in some cases you may intentionally under-pitch by a degree), proper aeration, and controlled fermentation temperature.

If you do not control these factors, you will produce significantly more fermentation by-products that will need more time to precipitate out of solution. Also aging can mellow and hide some ill-flavors over time.

I agree. I rarely leave beers in the primary for more than 14 days total. As was mentioned, a well-made beer will not NEED a long time to "clean up". Since that clean up period is about 1-2 days after FG is reached, leaving the beer in the fermenter after that will have no benefits for the uptake of diacetyl.

Of course, no harm will come either and it will give the beer time to clarify in the cases of using less flocculant yeast strains. A poorly made beer (poor temperature control, underpitching, etc) may require more time for the off-flavors to age out.

I don't think that the "super long primary" group of supporters is necessarily a majority but instead a more vocal group. Many people on this forum routinely do a 10-14 day time period in the fermenter. We just get sort of tired getting beat up on it and so don't say too much.

Leaving the beer in primary for 4 weeks won't hurt the beer. But neither will 10 days in the fermenter, either, if the beer is properly made.
 

wolverinebrewer

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I agree. I rarely leave beers in the primary for more than 14 days total.
Many people on this forum routinely do a 10-14 day time period in the fermenter. We just get sort of tired getting beat up on it and so don't say too much.

I never would have thought this. Another day in which I learned something new....
 

IffyG

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Many people on this forum routinely do a 10-14 day time period in the fermenter. We just get sort of tired getting beat up on it and so don't say too much.

I'm in this group. Since I brew mostly hop bursted pales ales and IPAs, I don't like them sitting in the fermenter any longer than it has to. There is nothing like a super fresh pale ale...
 

jonmohno

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Im in the group of liking my beers,yes ipa's even pale ales, in the bottle over 6 weeks Yes i always try them weekly or bi-weekly.Maybe my grain bill isnt so simplified or i dont make perfect beers like those that drink them so soon.100% of my beers are better over a month bottled no sooner usually 2 months too.Not saying they are bad before then they just get better always. I like them at first but i always know the potential of aging them some. And end up loving them later on.
 

mrgstiffler

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The only time my ales age longer than 14 days is if I'm feeling lazy.:D

Same here. The only time I don't go longer than 14 days is if I don't brew every 2 weeks or if I don't have a keg to put it into. There very well may be a small improvement with a longer primary, but those improvements are only discernible if you can exactly 100% replicate the same batch.
 

StophJS

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My thinking as far as yeast clean up is that the yeast that's in the cake isn't really doing anything.. It's already flocculated. It's the yeast in suspension that's actually doing the work, so I don't see the benefits of bulk conditioning over bottle conditioning unless there is some way that Co2 disrupts the conditioning process that I'm not aware of.
 

Mongrel

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Pitch enough yeast, and ferment at the right temp, and the beer's not going to have to wait to clean the crap flavors up. It's also going to depend on how big of a beer you're fermenting, and what yeast strain is doing the work.

And, just like the pros, sometimes the pipeline has to be maintained at a cost to quality control.
 

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It has been working for me. I add a week for dry hopping. But anything under 1.060 gets bottles by 21 days for me. Under 1.050 without dryhops can happen at 14 days and be super tasty.
 

pyth

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I just did a really hoppy pale ale, 4 days in primary, then a week in secondary, bottled yesterday. I'm looking at my bottles and regreting the hell out of that call already. They've got double the amount of crap sitting in the bottom of the bottles that I normally have on a 3-4 week secondary.

Problem is, I tried 2 new things on one batch and don't know which might be the culprit. The fast bottling time, or this finiing stuff I got from my LHBS. IT's a packet containing keilosol (sp?) and Chitosan. Said add it, wait 24h and and bottle. Either way, got some seriously trub filled looking bottles of beer.

So that's why I'm not bottling in 10 days anymore.
 

mrgstiffler

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I just did a really hoppy pale ale, 4 days in primary, then a week in secondary, bottled yesterday. I'm looking at my bottles and regreting the hell out of that call already. They've got double the amount of crap sitting in the bottom of the bottles that I normally have on a 3-4 week secondary.

Problem is, I tried 2 new things on one batch and don't know which might be the culprit. The fast bottling time, or this finiing stuff I got from my LHBS. IT's a packet containing keilosol (sp?) and Chitosan. Said add it, wait 24h and and bottle. Either way, got some seriously trub filled looking bottles of beer.

So that's why I'm not bottling in 10 days anymore.

If you're going to bottle in 10 days, you need to just leave it in the primary the entire time and skip the secondary. Only 4 days is not long at all.
 
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