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How Long to ferment Stout

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Eric Wann

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I just brewed an imperial stout, that has an OG of 1.072. How long should it stay in the fermentation vessel before bottling for the bottle condition phase?
 

McKnuckle

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You need to give a reasonably big beer like that plenty of time. I would not bother checking gravity until 14 days have passed. But at that point, it's almost certain to be finished. If you want to check twice at day 10 and day 14, that would be fine as well.
 
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Eric Wann

Eric Wann

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You need to give a reasonably big beer like that plenty of time. I would not bother checking gravity until 14 days have passed. But at that point, it's almost certain to be finished. If you want to check twice at day 10 and day 14, that would be fine as well.
Great. I'll keep a close watch for the first 10 days then see where I am at with the airlock.
 

McKnuckle

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As a point of reference for timing, I am working on a stout now with OG 1.079. It spent 8 days at 65F, 3 days at 53F, and 2 days at 40F. It finished at 1.026, only 67% attenuation. I did mash fairly high so that accounts for the FG.

I then kegged it on top of priming sugar where it's sitting for at least 2 more weeks to carbonate. After that, I'll move it to my 40ish degree garage to cold condition for another month or so. Then I'll finally attempt a taste! Okay, I might cheat a week before that... but you get the idea.
 
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Eric Wann

Eric Wann

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As a point of reference for timing, I am working on a stout now with OG 1.079. It spent 8 days at 65F, 3 days at 53F, and 2 days at 40F. It finished at 1.026, only 67% attenuation. I did mash fairly high so that accounts for the FG.

I then kegged it on top of priming sugar where it's sitting for at least 2 more weeks to carbonate. After that, I'll move it to my 40ish degree garage to cold condition for another month or so. Then I'll finally attempt a taste! Okay, I might cheat a week before that... but you get the idea.
So about 2 months total until you are ready to drink. Copy. Were you cold crashing during primary?
 

McKnuckle

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For this beer, I used Wyeast 1469 which I've developed a pretty standard schedule with, based on what they do at Timothy Taylor in UK, where the yeast is supposedly from.

I chilled to about 60F, pitched the yeast, and set the fridge temp to 65 to allow a free rise. After 8 days of that where I checked the gravity almost daily with a refractometer (correcting for the presence of alcohol), I then lowered the temp to 53 to encourage the yeast to flocculate. Then I lowered it more to 40 before racking clear beer to a keg.

It's important to note that I don't use a standard airlock with liquid in it, since dropping the temp with that installed would suck the liquid into the fermenter, which is not desirable. Instead, I pipe the CO2 from the fermenter into a keg with a stopper and tubing, and attach a blow-off tube to the keg to serve as a "downstream" airlock.

If you are new to brewing and this sounds confusing or crazy, don't worry about it. I just wanted to give you a thorough answer!
 

NoCornOrRice

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My last stout, coincidently, had that exact O.G. I left it on the yeast cake (S-04) in the fermenter for approx 6 weeks. I've made many stouts over the years, and personally, I find that for conventional brewing, 5-6 weeks on the yeast cake is ideal. However, if fermenting under-pressure, I usually transfer after approx 9 days from pitch.
 
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Eric Wann

Eric Wann

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For this beer, I used Wyeast 1469 which I've developed a pretty standard schedule with, based on what they do at Timothy Taylor in UK, where the yeast is supposedly from.

I chilled to about 60F, pitched the yeast, and set the fridge temp to 65 to allow a free rise. After 8 days of that where I checked the gravity almost daily with a refractometer (correcting for the presence of alcohol), I then lowered the temp to 53 to encourage the yeast to flocculate. Then I lowered it more to 40 before racking clear beer to a keg.

It's important to note that I don't use a standard airlock with liquid in it, since dropping the temp with that installed would suck the liquid into the fermenter, which is not desirable. Instead, I pipe the CO2 from the fermenter into a keg with a stopper and tubing, and attach a blow-off tube to the keg to serve as a "downstream" airlock.

If you are new to brewing and this sounds confusing or crazy, don't worry about it. I just wanted to give you a thorough answer!

Awesome. That all makes perfect sense! It is definitely above my ability with the current setup, but I understand what you are doing. This is great info. Really appreciate it!
 
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