How long is too long for primary fermentation?

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JWWard03

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Hi all. I brewed a batch of Block Party LME about a month ago and haven't gotten around to bottling yet. I used the Safe Ale 05 yeast and it was bubbling hard for 3-4 days early on in the process. It's in a plastic carboy and sealed with a valve in a 72-74 degree room. The instructions say to bottle after 2 weeks. The bugs are starting to hang around the carboy now and I'm afraid I waited too long. Is it still good? Will it be better than waiting the 2 weeks?
 

rburrelli

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Let’s see..it says to bottle after two weeks. You say it has been a month. It surely is finished fermenting at this point. If you had a hydrometer or refractometer you could have checked along the way to verify finished fermentation.
As long as the bugs are still outside the fermenter you should be able to bottle.
 

Rish

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Hi all. I brewed a batch of Block Party LME about a month ago and haven't gotten around to bottling yet. I used the Safe Ale 05 yeast and it was bubbling hard for 3-4 days early on in the process. It's in a plastic carboy and sealed with a valve in a 72-74 degree room. The instructions say to bottle after 2 weeks. The bugs are starting to hang around the carboy now and I'm afraid I waited too long. Is it still good? Will it be better than waiting the 2 weeks?
I always leave my beers in the primary for at least 4 weeks and have never had a problem. Your beer will be fine. If your fermenter is sealed and there is liquid in your airlock, bugs can't get in. Just make sure you get rid of them before you move your beer to the bottling bucket so they don't get in your beer then.
 
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JWWard03

JWWard03

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Thank you. There is still water in the airlock so I think I'm good.
 

RufusBrewer

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2 weeks in the primary + 2 weeks in the bottle carbing up + 4 weeks waiting for you to drink.

or . . . .

4 weeks in the primary + 2 weeks in the bottle carbing up + 2 weeks to drink.

Pretty much the same thing, IMHO.
 

davidabcd

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The bugs are starting to hang around the carboy
Use a cut nylon cut or a piece of nylon tied at the top draped over the air lock. That's something they can't squeeze through. The fruit flies, or whatever they are, can get through the tiny holes in the airlock lid but not likely into the fermenter. My suggestion is just for peace of mind.
As has been mentioned, the beer will still be good and a month will make little to no difference.
 

Toxxyc

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I've forgotten beers in the fermenter for weeks. They've all been fine, as long as the airlock is wet, it should be good to go.
 

hotbeer

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Sunday, I just bottled my record holder for longest time in the primary. 7 weeks.

I'm sure it was pretty much finished the bulk of it's fermenting in the first week. However it stayed pretty cloudy so I let it sit. It actually cleaned up to the level where I would have bottled it over couple weeks ago, but I didn't have time and went on a trip. It looked pretty much the same last Sunday so I bottled it. And I'm quite happy with the taste and smell of it.

If you aren't having bad smells or see anything bad, then don't be imagining it.
 

Summa_Brewologica

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Sounds like you worked it out but I just kegged one today that was in primary for 3 weeks. I find it beneficial to keep it in primary for 3 or 4 weeks because everything settles to the bottom and I get a good clean rack. Yes I could cold crash but I often don’t. I’m a fairly patient person.

That said, I kegged one last week that was kveik fermented and it only sat in primary for about a week. But that is because I had to rush one for Halloween. Hopefully will work out.
 

GrowleyMonster

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Should be fine. The Block Party Amber Ale is a nice drinky beer and it is the first beer I ever brewed. I have even taken TWO BPAA kits and made ONE 5 gallon batch. I call that "Doppel-Block". Not very cost effective but it is pretty yummy.

I am no longer using kits and no longer using extract but it was a great way to get started. Super easy, using the LME. If I was starting all over again knowing what I know now, I would ditch the bucket and go for a Big Mouth Bubbler or a Fermonster. Carboy is definitely an upgrade from plastic bucket, so good move there. You might want to consider kegging. I find it way less messy and way less hassle to keg it than to bottle it.

You are in the right place, here. I learned an awful lot from this forum.
 

Toxxyc

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Except... fruit flies are covered in Acetobacter, they may infect your beer, turning it slowly into... vinegar!
This.

What applies to anything else touching the beer after cooling down, also applies to flies and crap that falls in. Why would you sanitize bottles and caps and surfaces and pipes and tubes and even your hands, but you don't care if a dirty-ass fly drops in your beer?
 

hotbeer

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Well at least the OP isn't showing us pictures with the lid off the fermenter as do others. So hopefully the fruit flies are only attracted to the spilled wort after filling the fermenter or beer that blew past the lid seal when the ferment was very active.

Keep the lid on. No good will come from checking inside.
 
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JWWard03

JWWard03

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I bottled it up last Thursday and it smelled stronger than previous batches, but I think I'm good. I was a good boy and didn't open the cap (using a Big Mouth Bubbler) or mess with the airlock for the whole 4 weeks and there was still liquid in the airlock with no bugs in the final product. I'll try a test bottle tomorrow since the PET bottles are already pretty firm using the fizz drops. Honestly, I'm drinking all of it whether it's good or bad. Thanks to all for the advice.
 
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