Author Topic: how long in primary  (Read 15438 times)

Offline tomas77

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how long in primary
« on: March 21, 2010, 10:23:30 AM »
Was wondering how long should a beer sit on yeast in the primary before worrying about autolysis sets in?

Offline BobBrews

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Re: how long in primary
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 02:10:07 PM »
 The latest tests show that most people feel their beer has a more complex flavor after 3 weeks or so. I always took my beer off the primary after 1 week and then transferred it into a secondary for another two or three. No More! I leave it in the primary until I Keg or bottle. I do use a secondary if I am dry hopping. Also I leave lager longer than ale.

Check out BYO magazine or They did the research on the subject a couple of months ago.
Bob Brews
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: how long in primary
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 05:55:31 AM »
I got a Siebel/BJCP flavor kit for my exam class, and the autolysis flavor was horrible.  And I have never smelled or tasted anything close to it in a home brew.  I bet autolysis happens under certain conditions (yeast strain, temps, time, pitch rate, etc.) but I think it is more rare than we all fear.  I definitely advocate 2-3 weeks on primary to allow time for clean-up of by-products such as diacetyal and acetaldehyde. 

And many brewers leave big beers on secondary yeast for six months with no ill effects.

Offline tommiwommi

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Re: how long in primary
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2010, 09:58:55 AM »
 I usually go for 3 weeks in a primary then keg, I almost rarely go to a seconday anymore unless it's bigger. I think it just tastes better to me


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Re: how long in primary
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2010, 06:34:16 PM »
+1 BobBrews & ttommiwommi three weeks works best, yeast cleans up waste. i secondary only if i have something like fruit, oak, dry hop ect...

Offline the lizard king

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Re: how long in primary
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2010, 04:40:53 AM »
+1 to all above, the secondary with todays yeast strains is not necissary.
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Offline SkyFlyer

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Re: how long in primary
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2010, 01:07:57 PM »
My LHBS guy suggests when you have a bubble at 90 seconds, then it is time to rack to secondary.
I used to just leave it a standard two weeks because I could only do this stuff on the weekends.
But I realize that some of my batches might not have been finished (or maybe sat too long), so that idea is not good.
I'm trying the 90 second thing on this current batch I just brewed.
Thanks, Bob

Offline CR

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Re: how long in primary
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2010, 04:43:58 PM »
I don't know about any one else but unless you do it exactly like me it can't possibly be any good.

I've thought about trying a brew that sat in the primary for awhile.   Maybe I will.

I suspect that the nature of your fermentation chamber, time on the cake,  and the yeast play important roles in the outcome.  Some abby and trappist brewers don't like a  narrow cylindrical fermenters, some do, some like square boxes.
Go figure.   I guess a lot depends on what you like too.

Possibly the gang that prefers a wider conical fermenter  are taking some advantage of the autolysis, but then feel that they can't get the same effect from a narrow fermenter?
 That leaves me wondering if it's really that when they used their time honored  ancient and inflexible brewing protocols on a narrow cylindrical fermenter that they needed more time in the primary to get the same amount of flavor from the autolysis because of the lesser surface area of the cake. And since these are people for whom the world flexibility doesn't exist,  they just couldn't work with tall and narrow. 

I can hear the dialog now:  The salesman  and engineers from the narrow fermenter company suggest they leave it on the cake longer than their time honored recipe calls. To which the abby monks respond: "Time? You want us to leave it in for more time?  That's not how it's been done for 600 years at this abby and we are not changing now just because you want to sell a narrow fermenter."
So the narrow fermenter salesman had to take his act on down the road to find somebody whose mind could encompass the concept of flexibility.

That's me just guessing of course, but it sounds reasonable.

Offline mithsmile

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Re: how long in primary
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 09:44:30 PM »
I got a reading of 1.036 @ 69.5F. When I enter that into the temperature correction tool it tells me it is adjusted to 1.037. When I enter in the hydrometer reading from the wort, do I enter 1.036 or 1.037? Additionally, the refractometer I has has ATC built in. Does that convert for the ambient AIR temperature, or does that correct for the wort temperature? I got 10.4 Brix reading on the refractometer.

Obviously, we're talking a thousandth of a point here or there, so in the scheme of things it probably doesn't matter. However, I'd just like to know if I'm doing it right, or not. In a previous forum thread there was a mention by BeerSmith that they were going to put together a video on refractometer usage. Was that ever posted?