Extended time in primary....

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DrBrewDC

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So far, I have not been able to see posts referencing harm done, however, rather than wing it and hope for the best, I will ask the experts...

Is there any downside to leaving a stout in the primary for a week or two after it has concluded its yeast activity (besides the obvious that I will not be able to drink it as soon) ? I have hit the target gravity of 1.020 and it has not changed for a couple of days now. If need be, I could rob my precious sleep hours to bottle but if there is no harm in leaving it til this or the next weekend.... well, that would be preferable. Any advice?
 
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DrBrewDC

DrBrewDC

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Thanx Rev. If that is irritation I detect in your first two sentences, please accept my apology. Even though nearly everything regarding brewing is here somewhere, it is not always easy to find.

Also, I have already been convinced that racking to a secondary is not necessary. My question was regarding... once conversion is complete, is there a down side to leaving it longer than necessary.

Again, thank you.
 

Revvy

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No I was confused by your first sentence. You can't find "posts referencing harm done" by long primarying, because there is none....We do it because it makes our beer taste better. We do it because it makes our beer clearer, cleaner and crisper tasting.

We wouldn't do it if it harmed our beer.
 

mlyday

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If you ask me its the prefered method. Allthough the fermentation may be done there is other processes going on. The yeasties are cleaning up after themselves, plus the beer will be clearer.
 

Yooper

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My question was regarding... once conversion is complete, is there a down side to leaving it longer than necessary.

Again, thank you.
Once fermentation is complete, the yeast will still work a bit. Once the fermentable sugars are gone, the yeast will start to digest other things including their own waste products like diacetyl. After that, they will fall out and the beer will begin to clear.

so not only is it not harmful to leave it for a week after fermentation is finished, it's actually beneficial.

I leave all of my beers in the fermenter for two weeks, sometimes three if I'm dryhopping. The beer is better for it.
 

Revvy

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Two weeks beyond the end of yeast activity?
The yeast is quite active after fermentation. If you go read the thread I linked to you'll understand. The yeast don't just ferment and die, if we leave them alone, don't rush them to a secondary, they have the opportunity to go back and clean up their byproducts of fermentation that often lead to off flavors.
 
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DrBrewDC

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I will read it at lunch here in a few. Haven't had the opportunity yet as I see that it is 25 pages. ...course... i eat this stuff up so it wont take long to get thru.
 

mlyday

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The only real downside to leaving your beer in the primary for a whole month is that you delay drinking your beer for a couple of weeks. Build up a pipeline and the wait isnt too bad.
 

Yooper

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Two weeks beyond the end of yeast activity?
For me, two weeks to three weeks (total) is plenty of time in the fermenter. I usually see active fermentation for 3-5 days, then it slows and the beer clears quite a bit. I dryhop about 5-7 days before packaging- usually a total of about two weeks or so in the fermenter. I'm not that militant about it.
 

lextasy23

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Mine usually stay in the fermenter 2-3 weeks, then a month or so in the secondary, and at least a month in the bottles, preferably 2. Condition, condition, condition.

My favorite comment from someone was "wow, that's a lot of waiting. I'd rather just go to the packie and get a 30 rack." lulz
 
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DrBrewDC

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Hey Yooper.... where are you? My family comes from Iron River.
 

Revvy

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The only real downside to leaving your beer in the primary for a whole month is that you delay drinking your beer for a couple of weeks. Build up a pipeline and the wait isnt too bad.
That's only for folks starting out. With a pipeline, you never even notice. I usually have 3-4 beers in various stages from fermenting, to bottle conditioning to aging. At the most I had nine beers in the pipeline. So it may be months til you get around to wanting to drink it anyway.
 

Haputanlas

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Revvy said:
What?

Are you asking if it's ok do do long primaries? There at least one thread a day discussing this.

Many of us leave our beer in primary 1 month then bottle.

THIS is where the latest discussion and all your questions are alreadyanswered.;

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/secondary-not-john-palmer-jamil-zainasheff-weigh-176837/
Revvy, you've got some built in radar to find these posts before anyone else does. :)

As for the OP, I'll put my two cents in and confirm that I let most of my beers sit in primary for a month or more. They turn out great.

For an RIS It's almost necessary.
 

birvine

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OP:

The first few days there is fermentation that is visible in that the airlock is noticeably bubbling away. A few days after that the bubbling may slow to almost nil so it looks like the yeasties are not doing anything. But, they are still doing their thing and making your beer even better. Primaries of several weeks are not uncommon - my Hobgoblin clone is four weeks today in its primary. To be kegged once I receive my shipment which is caught in our darned mail strike! Grrrrr.

B
 
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