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Big Beer Extended Primary Negative Effects?


Grandmaster Brewer
Jul 26, 2012
Reaction score
Los Angeles
Have a big beer right now in primary---10-12% ABV---using 2nd generation Wyeast 3787.

Don't really want to rack to secondary if I don't have to. My schedule for this is to let it ferment out and then lager it around 50 degrees for two to three months, then package.

The question is, with a beer this big, can I leave it on the yeast for that extended period of time? In my experience, I say yes. HOWEVER. There are some caveats to this, which is why I ask the question:

1. This ferment will get hot. Sat at 64 for a day, then 68, and eventually I started to bring up and it's hit 85 (intentional). It will hold here until it naturally starts to drop (typically, this is when I cap it).
2. This is open fermentation and I am actively cropping and discarding yeast when it's this hot.

This yeast was top cropped from a smaller beer, which also fermented hot over time.