Wort in primary fermenter for 5 months

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rgarcia128

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So, a buddy and I brewed a extra stout sometime in January. We were going to bottle three weeks later... Well three weeks turned into about five months!

Last week I was going to make an IPA so I needed the primary fermenter. It was in use by the old wort. Me and my friend were to scared to initially try, so we automatically assumed it was spoiled. But, once we got the cap off the sweet smell of beer hit our noses! We were like, whaaaaa. So, we decided to take a sample.... It is one of the best beers I have had! The flavor was perfect; tasted like a Rasputin Imperial Stout.

So, I went to Stein Fillers home brew store and told the guy what happened. He was surprised it tasted so good. However he recommended that I add more yeast, since the yeast is probably dead by now, and there would be no carbonation in beer. Three weeks from now I will open one up and see how it taste then!

Many have said that a beer needs to be bottled two or three weeks something bad my happen to it. So, can anyone explain to me why this beer didn't spoil after five months?

When we and my friend were about to try the beer it made me think of ancient times when some two dudes-probably like me and my buddy- where like "hey, lets try this" completely not caring if it is poisoness or horrible tasting :tank:. But you know what, beer was discovered!

:mug:
 

jds

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Many have said that a beer needs to be bottled two or three weeks something bad my happen to it. So, can anyone explain to me why this beer didn't spoil after five months?
Because you had a healthy yeast culture and good homebrewing practice. In my experience, autolysis is not much of a problem for home brewers.

Incidentally, I had an IPA go for nine (!) months in the primary. The hop aroma was pretty much gone, but the beer still tasted like beer.
 

Sean_Mc

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I keep reading peoples accounts of autolysis happening within a couple of months.
Maybe the real danger of a brew going off is infection. Brewers blaming their bad practice and hygene on the yeasties.
 

Revvy

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I keep reading peoples accounts of autolysis happening within a couple of months.
Maybe the real danger of a brew going off is infection. Brewers blaming their bad practice and hygene on the yeasties.
Really, I haven't read any true cases of autolysis happening. Just the opposite, on here you have accounts of folks leaving their beers in primary for 6 months or more.

Bottom line, smell it and taste it, if it's fine, then bottle it.

The idea that they healthy, modern, yeast would just spontaneously autolysize based on some timeframe. Turns out not to be the case. And something perpetuated by the free version of How To Brew...JP admits he over blew it, here.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/secondary-not-john-palmer-jamil-zainasheff-weigh-176837/
 
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rgarcia128

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@jds: 9 months! I thought I was going to get chewed out for having left the precious beer for 5 months, lol.

@Reevy: I guess i am not alone in leaving my beer for a long time, I feel better about that. Now I have a question though: So, if I wanted to add more yeast for a second fermentation (I assume to give it more alcohol content), I just add the yeast to the primary?
 

Revvy

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@jds: 9 months! I thought I was going to get chewed out for having left the precious beer for 5 months, lol.

@Reevy: I guess i am not alone in leaving my beer for a long time, I feel better about that. Now I have a question though: So, if I wanted to add more yeast for a second fermentation (I assume to give it more alcohol content), I just add the yeast to the primary?
You can't get more alcohol from adding more yeast if the beer is finished fermenting. There's nothing for them to consume.
 

Revvy

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So then what was the point of a second fermenter?
You are getting "secondary fermentation" and a secondary confused for one thing.

No you don't need to pitch yeast into your SECONDARY VESSEL. Secondary fermentation is a misnomer, since no fermentaion SHOULD happen in the secondary. THe secondary is to clear your beer, though many of us no longer use a secondary, but instead opt for the long primary, leaving our beers in primary to clear up, and feel that our beer is much better for it.

If you want to read more about the various ideas about secondary and no secondary and the beliefs about WHEN one should secondary, Read this and the accompanying links in the article, and then you can make up your own mind as to what to do.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/multiple-questions-about-secondary-fermentation-140978/#post1601829

And this is where some of the latest info is on the subject

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/secondary-not-john-palmer-jamil-zainasheff-weigh-176837/

My suggestion is to try different ways and decide what works for you.

Nowadays, I use my "secondary vessel" to make apfelwein, or smaller batches of beer.
 
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So, if I wanted to add more yeast for a second fermentation (I assume to give it more alcohol content), I just add the yeast to the primary?
my assumption is that your LHBS guy told you to add yeast at bottling with the priming sugar, since your original yeast is possibly dead. The extra yeast would eat the priming sugar and cause carbonation in the bottles.
 
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Rack that batch to a bottling bucket, add 5 oz of dextrose into 125 -250 mL of pre-boiled water (boil it for 10 minutes, let cool to ~100F and add the sugar) then dose your stout with that, mix well add a packet of some yeast like red star (don't need anything crazy for bottling) and mix more. Then bottle it up and drink that bad boy when it's ready.
 
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rgarcia128

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Thanks for the links Michael! Now that I have time to read, I will educate myself on that subject. Do you recommend any books on home brewing or book's on recipe's for brewing.

Thanks for clearing that up for me, AZ_IPA. Do you think it will work?

Alehouserock, I am thinking of joining there home brew club or getting a membership with them. I really, really, really like that store! Hey, maybe we can exchange bottles of brews sometime. I would love to try creations from others!
 

Revvy

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Thanks for the links Michael! Now that I have time to read, I will educate myself on that subject. Do you recommend any books on home brewing or book's on recipe's for brewing.

Thanks for clearing that up for me, AZ_IPA. Do you think it will work?

Alehouserock, I am thinking of joining there home brew club or getting a membership with them. I really, really, really like that store! Hey, maybe we can exchange bottles of brews sometime. I would love to try creations from others!
Start with this, Palmer's how to brew, first edition is online, BUT as you noticed in the seconary thread, he changed some of his views on things. But the basics info on brewing is solid.

http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html
 
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Thanks for clearing that up for me, AZ_IPA. Do you think it will work?
It may - Irrenarzt provides more detailed info...

Rack that batch to a bottling bucket, add 5 oz of dextrose into 125 -250 mL of pre-boiled water (boil it for 10 minutes, let cool to ~100F and add the sugar) then dose your stout with that, mix well add a packet of some yeast like red star (don't need anything crazy for bottling) and mix more. Then bottle it up and drink that bad boy when it's ready.
 

Alehouserock

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Alehouserock, I am thinking of joining there home brew club or getting a membership with them. I really, really, really like that store! Hey, maybe we can exchange bottles of brews sometime. I would love to try creations from others!
Definitely.

I have only tried a few of their kits, O'Sheas is a lot closer to my house, but the Scotch Ale is awesome.


Also- So Cal people! The deadline for entry in to the OC Fair Homebrew Competition is Saturday!
http://www.ocfair.com/2010/pdf/Homemade Beer.pdf
 

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