Author Topic: Time in a Plastic Primary  (Read 3597 times)

Offline Wildrover

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Time in a Plastic Primary
« on: February 24, 2009, 08:35:55 AM »
I've read, I believe in Palmer, that he's left his beer in the primary for months with no real issues, however, I primary in the bucket and secondary in the glass.  Does anyone know of any real issues with leaving the beer in a plastic primary for that length of time?  What is the longest anyone would leave in the primary anyway?


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Re: Time in a Plastic Primary
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2009, 10:14:22 AM »
Plastic buckets are oxygen-permeable.  That's your main problem.  I wouldn't leave a batch of beer in one for much more than a week, maybe two if there's still fermentation activity going on...

I've ignored batches sitting in a glass primary for a month or two with no ill-effects.  CO2 is heavier than air, so it will stay in the carboy, protecting your precious beer from oxidation.

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Time in a Plastic Primary
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2009, 11:03:37 AM »
Now, I am still waiting for conditioning on the first batch I used plastic for, but first inpressions are that everything is fine.  It is a lager and I had it in the bucket 2-3 months before bottling.

Some otherbrewers I've spoke with that got me on the "Skip the rack" mentalitiy for basic brews say the same thing.

I do prefer glass.  I like to see my yeasties workin'
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Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Time in a Plastic Primary
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2009, 09:26:54 PM »
IMHO - time in the primary is driven by Specific Gravity (SG)  ---- when you are within a few points of your desired Terminal Gravity (TG) you can go ahead and rack. In my short experience most ales with good fermentation should finish in 4 days to a week. I had one go 12 days but I was having fermentation issues due to low temps. High gravity ales may be an exception

I feel racking gains you 2 or 3 things
- more clarity as more settling will occur
- lets your beer mellow a bit
- may gain you a couple of points of gravity in final fermentation

Plus once you are in the secondary the pressure is off so to speak (as long as you are managing the temperature) it can sit until you are ready to bottle.
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