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How long is too long in primary?

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jpmcd03

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Right now I am working with a one stage setup, and I put a red cherry ale into the primary fermenter about 2 1/2 weeks ago. The problem is, since the weather was so much colder than normal the closet temp got pretty low (62 deg or so) the fermentation was so slow that at this point the airlock is still bubbling at a rate of about every 25 seconds now that fermentation has picked up with warmer temps. I was going to see how it looks for bottling this weekend, which would make it a total of 21-22 days, what do you guys think? Too long? Or OK since fermenting is still going strong? I suppose if I must I could rack into a bottling bucket for a secondary to get it off the trub, but doesn't seem like such a good idea.
 

mandoman

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palmer and jamil say a month is still ok so you're good especially since you're on the cold side - as long as it attenuates and your gravity drops enough.
 

bkov

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i would say up 2-3 months wont hurt at all, probably end up better for the beer
 

Nurmey

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Usually I go a month but I've done 3 months and the beer came out great. Your beer will be fine particularly since you are fermenting at such a low temperature.
 
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jpmcd03

jpmcd03

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Really? Couple months in the primary for an ale? Well anyway that is good to hear, i was figuring things would be OK (as usual), but glad to hear from some with experience with that kind of time frame.
 

Bulls Beers

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The last batch I did, I left it in the primary for 4 1/2 weeks...It came out great..I would leave all my batches in for that long, but I drink it too damn fast...
 

ssabin

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I have a Belgian Wit that looks like it is finally finishing up after about 4.5 weeks. I think the fermentation stalled from getting too cold after going like crazy the first two or three days. Then it sat there for the next 2.5 weeks until I was about to bottle and noticed I was at a F.G of 1.020, so I wasn't done yet. I heated it back up and have had slow but steady bubbles for about 9 days now.

I think it will be fine, even if I bottle after what will be 5 weeks. I moved the pail today and could smell a bit of the brew through the airlock - smelled good!

You'll be fine. 3 weeks is my minimum.
 

Halaster

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The last batch I did, I left it in the primary for 4 1/2 weeks...It came out great..I would leave all my batches in for that long, but I drink it too damn fast...
I know what you mean. I need to clear space by drinking beer, bottling and then brewing more. I have turned half the laundry room into a beer room. With 6-9 batches going at a time SWMBO won't take anymore, unless I expand the house... hmmm.
 

rico567

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A week ago, I had a batch of MW's Amarillo Ale that had been in primary two weeks (normally done in one) and was still sending up a bubble every 20 seconds. I swirled the bucket, and the next day- no airlock activity. Perhaps it was dissolved CO2 perking out, because the next day I popped the lid and it was completely attenuated. My basement has been COLD this winter, too. I put another thermometer down there to be sure, but ambient was 55F during a cold stretch in February.
 
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