Quantcast

Stopping Fermentation Early (Dilemma/Question)

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

JayTeeDee

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2012
Messages
23
Reaction score
2
Hey folks!

I have a small dilemma. I am brewing up a Vanilla Bourbon Stout and my instructions called for a recommended fermentation period of 4 weeks. Today marks the second week. However the dilemma is I am supposed to have it ready for a Christmas party that is on December 5th. That means if I let it go the whole for weeks that of course that doesn't give me enough time at all to carbonate. I would force carbonate by shaking the keg but its too risky and not even guaranteed to work especially with only 24 Hours between kegging and serving. So my only recourse would be to stop fermentation at the 3 week mark add the bourbon and let it carbonate normally for the final week.

My question is would I lose anything by stopping early besides some ABV?

I do have a Honey Rye Ale that I'll be serving and a Hard Apple Cider that I'm serving as well but folks really like my Vanilla Bourbon Stout and I'd hate to leave it out. I wasn't going to brew it at first but it was requested this year and someone else paid for the kit but I didn't get too much notice for when it was actually needed beforehand.

What say you?
 

brewgar

Home Brewer
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2014
Messages
206
Reaction score
108
Location
☀️High Point, NC☀️
Hey folks!

I have a small dilemma. I am brewing up a Vanilla Bourbon Stout and my instructions called for a recommended fermentation period of 4 weeks. Today marks the second week. However the dilemma is I am supposed to have it ready for a Christmas party that is on December 5th. That means if I let it go the whole for weeks that of course that doesn't give me enough time at all to carbonate. I would force carbonate by shaking the keg but its too risky and not even guaranteed to work especially with only 24 Hours between kegging and serving. So my only recourse would be to stop fermentation at the 3 week mark add the bourbon and let it carbonate normally for the final week.

My question is would I lose anything by stopping early besides some ABV?

I do have a Honey Rye Ale that I'll be serving and a Hard Apple Cider that I'm serving as well but folks really like my Vanilla Bourbon Stout and I'd hate to leave it out. I wasn't going to brew it at first but it was requested this year and someone else paid for the kit but I didn't get too much notice for when it was actually needed beforehand.

What say you?
You might consider just serving what you have ready, explain that the Vanilla Bourbon Stout is not ready for serving, and promise the person who paid for the kit some six packs when the beer is ready.

Serving no beer before its time.
 

isomerization

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,408
Reaction score
865
I can’t almost guarantee your beer will be done fermenting within two weeks, unless you grossly underpitched or something. You should be soaking your vanilla bean in the bourbon now as well. Take a hydro reading and taste the sample after 2weeks, then go from there.
 

archthered

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
63
I'd taste it at the three week mark and if you are willing to serve it then go for it. It is likely to be drinkable and even good, but it probably won't be as good as it could be but as long as it meets your standard then go for it.
 

RM-MN

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
Messages
14,475
Reaction score
5,204
Location
Solway
Do you want to get a reputation for making sub-par beer? Your vanilla bourbon stout needs some time to mature, to blend the flavors and reduce the harshness. It isn't your fault that the ingredients didn't arrive in time for this to happen. Let this beer finish in the fermenter, bottle it and let it sit until next Christmas and serve a delicious beer or be known for not making good beer.
 

isomerization

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,408
Reaction score
865
Do you want to get a reputation for making sub-par beer? Your vanilla bourbon stout needs some time to mature, to blend the flavors and reduce the harshness. It isn't your fault that the ingredients didn't arrive in time for this to happen. Let this beer finish in the fermenter, bottle it and let it sit until next Christmas and serve a delicious beer or be known for not making good beer.
That's a pretty ridiculous statement.

The truth is, only the OP's taste buds can answer this. Will the beer be better in a YEAR, most likely yes, assuming proper bottling technique. However, I'd argue the vanilla flavor will likely have fallen off by then. Anyways, if the beer is finished in primary, there is no harm in bottling now, tasting say 3 days before the party and then going from there. It's a dark beer, so clarity isn't an issue. If it's not ready (and if the OP can't tell, then they probably should not be serving their beer at parties yet), it can bottle condition for however long is needed.

This idea that yeast are on a week to week timescale is borderline silly (comment not directed at you).
 
Top