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Extending primary from 2 weeks to 5 weeks

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AMH_

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Hey everyone,

We brewed an American Pale Ale 7 days ago. It's been sitting around 61F in our SS Brew bucket.

The original recipe calls for 2 weeks in primary at 68F
2 weeks of keg conditioning at 60F
and a 7 day dry hop.

We don't Keg condition, so thats one thing. But the main thing is we didn't plan our timing well. Vacations and work put us out of town on certain dates. Here's our options

A) I can dry hop today in the primary, and Keg / force carb next saturday (2 week point)

or

B) I can dry hop at the 4 week point in the primary, and Keg / force carb the following week.


What would you do?

I haven't taken gravity readings yet. Thats on my list today. But being that its fermenting colder then the recipe calls, I'm assuming its not quite done yet.

Thanks in advance!
 

homebrewer_99

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IMO, recipes are only guidelines and the times (should) represent only what the brewer did.

What would I do? I'd take a day off of work. LOL!

Seriously, either way will work provided your yeast has done it's job.

If it's been fermenting at 61F then the colder temp would take more time to ferment out. If the temp can be maintained at 61F I'd leave it for later.
 
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A

AMH_

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Take a day off? Lol, I am, thats why our schedule is messed up.

Thanks. I'm leaning towards the longer option.
 

chickypad

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With a healthy yeast pitch it very well could be done, though it doesn't have to be at final gravity to dry hop. It may even help avoid oxygenation if you have a few pts to go. Personally with this hoppy beer I'd dry hop now, warm it up a few degress if you can, and keg next weekend.
 

kh54s10

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I have heard that you can get weird flavors and aromas by leaving a dry hop too long. But I have dry hopped in a keg that took over a month to drink so I don't know how accurate that is.

A long primary is not much of a concern as long as everything stays sanitary.

Life got in the way of a beer that I had going once and it sat in primary (on the yeast) for almost a year. It was an IPA so I dry hopped it heavily. I am sure it was not how it would have been but it was pretty good.

I would vacation then dry hop. But, either is probably OK.
 

waldoar15

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I'd probably go with plan A for an Ale.
Having said that, most of my beers sit in primary for 3-4 weeks. Mostly Lagers, but the Ales sit too because I only get home once a month to brew/keg.
 

schematix

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A properly pitched ale of moderate strength will reach FG in a couple days.

The only thing that happens after the yeast is done is oxidation, which doesn't help flavor.
 

universalfrost

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my vote is for C... when you return dry hop for 2-3 days then keg....

Also, I usually leave my brews sit in primary a little longer than needed and even forgot about one for almost two months and saw no noticeable negatives on its flavor after kegging.
 

eric19312

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I vote for A.
Dry hop today. Warm that keg up to 70F or so if you can now that the beer is just about done. Warming it up will push a little CO2 out of solution pushing out some of the O2 you introduced with the dry hops, and will also help the yeast finish up over next 7 days. Keg next weekend.
 

kh54s10

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I vote for A.
Dry hop today. Warm that keg up to 70F or so if you can now that the beer is just about done. Warming it up will push a little CO2 out of solution pushing out some of the O2 you introduced with the dry hops, and will also help the yeast finish up over next 7 days. Keg next weekend.
If they are not already on vacation.
 

WitShadow

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Two weeks will be enough even at a cooler temp, while anything over three weeks in primary starts pushing your luck, and you’re looking at about 5 if you wait if I read that right. You’ll get a cleaner taste with less risk of oxidation, infection, temp fluctuations, and other unknown and uncontrollable variables while you’re away if you go for the shorter option and it’ll be ready to drink when you get home from vacation!

That being said, if your temps are stable, your fermenter well-sealed, and your process clean, any potential off flavors from sitting on the yeast cake for a couple extra weeks will be minimal.

I’d prefer to have the beer conditioning while I’m on vacation rather than fermenting.
 

kh54s10

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Two weeks will be enough even at a cooler temp, while anything over three weeks in primary starts pushing your luck, and you’re looking at about 5 if you wait if I read that right. You’ll get a cleaner taste with less risk of oxidation, infection, temp fluctuations, and other unknown and uncontrollable variables while you’re away if you go for the shorter option and it’ll be ready to drink when you get home from vacation!

That being said, if your temps are stable, your fermenter well-sealed, and your process clean, any potential off flavors from sitting on the yeast cake for a couple extra weeks will be minimal.

I’d prefer to have the beer conditioning while I’m on vacation rather than fermenting.
What off flavors would one get by having the beer sitting on the yeast cake for 5 weeks? There is a large contingent of homebrewers that ferment for 4-5 weeks as a rule.

I have gone as little as 2 weeks and 5-6 many times. I have never detected any off flavors or even much difference in the beers. Autolysis is not a significant problem in a homebrew setting unless you are talking several months or longer. I left a beer in primary for almost a year. The hop flavor and aroma was long gone so it got a healthy dry hop. I'm not sure what Autolysis would taste like. It was a pretty good beer. I am sure it was a lot different than it would have been but it disappeared pretty quickly.
 
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AMH_

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I just got back from Vacation.. beer has been sitting at 16.3 C the whole time..which is great. Gotta figure out bottling / keg day and prep for dry hop. I'll let you know how it goes but don't anticipate any issues.
 

RM-MN

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I just got back from Vacation.. beer has been sitting at 16.3 C the whole time..which is great. Gotta figure out bottling / keg day and prep for dry hop. I'll let you know how it goes but don't anticipate any issues.
You should have some leeway on the dry hop/bottling timing. I've seen 3 days of dry hopping as a minimum amount and personally have let a dry hop go for 2 weeks before bottling. Some people have mentioned a grassy flavor from too long of a dry hop but I haven't noticed that at all.
 

kh54s10

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I haven't dry hopped much but when in primary I have only gone 5-7 days. I have dry hopped in a keg and left the hops in for the duration. After five days or so I didn't notice any change in character until the keg kicked.
 
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