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Imperial Stout Fermentation Time

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masskrug

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I've been looking, but no definitive answers...

I am planning a 10% ABV Stout (Speedway Clone). Any idea on how long this would sit in the primary? Do I have to secondary, or can I age it in bottles?

Thanks for your input!
 

TheZymurgist

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Should be about two weeks if I had to guess, but this beer will really benefit from aging. If it were me, I'd let it sit in primary at least three weeks (giving the yeast a chance to clean up off flavors after fermentation has completed) if not upwards of two months. If aging longer, you might want to transfer to secondary, but it's not necessary. Bulk aging tends to be better than bottle aging.
 

RIC0

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I currently have an imperial stout in my primary right now, been there for 8 days. Here's my thoughts on this post and I'm far from an expert.

It took mine 4 days to even get the airlock farting so I can already see this is going to be a slow going process.

I plan to let it sit in the primary for 3 weeks not a day sooner.

Rack to secondary were oak chips and coconut will be added, it will sit like this for 2 weeks.

If FG is were it needs to be then 2 days later I'll check FG again and if shes good then off to the bottles. If it's not were it needs to be then it'll sit longer.

I have no intentions of cracking open a bottle of this for 3 months minimum.

One Fact that I can say I've read many times over in many places is that an Imperial Stout takes a LOOOOOONNNGGG time to get were it needs to be so if your in a hurry, your screwed. Buy more goods to make another batch that can be drank sooner to ease the waiting pain. That's what I did.
 

TheZymurgist

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I currently have an imperial stout in my primary right now, been there for 8 days. Here's my thoughts on this post and I'm far from an expert.

It took mine 4 days to even get the airlock farting so I can already see this is going to be a slow going process.

I plan to let it sit in the primary for 3 weeks not a day sooner.

Rack to secondary were oak chips and coconut will be added, it will sit like this for 2 weeks.

If FG is were it needs to be then 2 days later I'll check FG again and if shes good then off to the bottles. If it's not were it needs to be then it'll sit longer.

I have no intentions of cracking open a bottle of this for 3 months minimum.

One Fact that I can say I've read many times over in many places is that an Imperial Stout takes a LOOOOOONNNGGG time to get were it needs to be so if your in a hurry, your screwed. Buy more goods to make another batch that can be drank sooner to ease the waiting pain. That's what I did.
Whatever you do, DO NOT rack to secondary until fermentation is complete, and the beer has reached terminal gravity. This means that your FG is steady, and not changing. If you take the beer off the yeast before it is finished, there will be nothing left to continue fermentation. Besides, yeast go through a "clean up" phase after fermentation has stopped, so even if you rack immediately after fermentation is complete, you're not doing your beer any favors.
 
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masskrug

masskrug

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Whatever you do, DO NOT rack to secondary until fermentation is complete, and the beer has reached terminal gravity. This means that your FG is steady, and not changing. If you take the beer off the yeast before it is finished, there will be nothing left to continue fermentation. Besides, yeast go through a "clean up" phase after fermentation has stopped, so even if you rack immediately after fermentation is complete, you're not doing your beer any favors.
I'll definitively wait until FG is reached (~3 weeks), but I just wondered if it HAD to go into a secondary to age, or it could age in bottles at room temp?

The recipe calls for 1 packet of Safale-05, 4 oz coffee and 1/2 cup DME a day or two before bottling. That would get things moving again. Are bottle bombs likely or common in this situation? Scared.:eek:
 

TheZymurgist

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As long as your FG is stable, you shouldn't have an issue with bottle bombs. Those usually arise from bottling before fermentation is complete. I don't have experience with bottling with DME, but it sounds weird that you would add it a day or two before bottling. I think most people bottle with corn sugar or table sugar, and add it to the bottling bucket before racking the beer into the bucket.

It certainly doesn't need to go into secondary, unless you're going to age it for a really long time. That's when you would want to get it off the yeast cake. I think some will say the beer will benefit more from bulk aging, but there's nothing wrong with bottle aging. My concern with bottle aging is oxygen leaking in through the caps. I'm not sure if this is a rational fear or not, but at least with an air lock, I know there's nothing that can get in.
 

lwimble

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this has been educational. I was wondering just how long for my Imperial Stout (this is the first one I've done), because it has been contentedly bubbling along for 25 days in the primary so far...
 
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