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9 day or 5 Week Primary - Help!

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by RooBroo, 3/7/18.

?

How long?

  1. 9 Days

    100.0%
  2. 5 Weeks?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%

 

  1. RooBroo

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    Posted 3/7/18
    Hi guys,

    Very green brewer here (as will become obvious)

    Put my first brew on this week (brown ale made from a fresh wort from the brewshop). I had thought it would need only about 5 days in primary before bottling. After lots of reading of the blog it seems I should be leaving it 2 weeks at least.

    The problem I have is that I leave for a trip this weekend for 4 weeks, which means my options are to bottle after 9 days or bottle after 5 weeks.

    If i’m bottling early I will of course check the gravity - the fermentation is going 5 days now and no longer bubbling but I dont have serial SG’s yet.

    If i’m bottling after I get back is 5 weeks too long in primary? Will it be ruined - especialy as it may well warm up in QLD while i’m away. There is an option to temperature control the primary for the last few weeks and bottle when I get back.

    So which option is likely to get best results? 9 days or 5 weeks?

    Or have I ruined my first ever brew?
     
  2. PrizeFightinYeti

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    Posted 3/7/18
    If you are bottling, chances are if you bottled at 9 days you would end up with bottle bombs.

    5 weeks there is a slim chance that you could get an off flavour from yeast autolysis. But it is unlikely. You could reduce the temperature for the last 3 and a half weeks if you were concerned.

    But I think you're much better leaving in for 5 weeks and risking a yeast autolysis flavour than ending up with bottle bombs you can't drink anyway
     
  3. Wobbly74

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    Posted 3/7/18
    What's the OG?
     
  4. Ronwales

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    Posted 3/7/18
    Original gravity. Do you have a Hydrometer?
     
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  5. Nullnvoid

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    Posted 3/7/18
    I think he is asking what the value is.

    With healthy yeast it should be done in 9 days and I would probably bottle. But that's with healthy yeast.

    What FG have you got so far? Is it near your expected FG?
     
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  6. JDW81

    I make wort, the yeast make it beer.

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    Posted 4/7/18
    If you have 2 gravity readings that are the same 48 hours apart then you'll be OK to bottle (take one now and on Friday night and bottle if they're the same).

    If you're worried you can also prime for a lower carbonation level as well (which would suit a brown ale) - check out one of the many online calculators.

    I'd be reluctant to leave it for 5 weeks in the primary, particularly if you can't temperature control the beer for 4 weeks. If you can crash chill it to below 5 degrees before you go, then you'd be OK at a stretch (i'd bottle if you've got stable FG readings).

    Think of it this way, if you bottle now you'll have beer ready to drink when you get home.
     
  7. RooBroo

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    Posted 4/7/18
    Hey Guys,

    Thanks so much for your replies. The OG was 1.042. I will take a reading today and post. How do you know what your expected FG should be, I need to calculate on the basis of yeast attenuation range?

    I'm a fan of the English style low carbonation beer so that's definitely an option.

    Thanks,
     
  8. Mister clark

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    Posted 4/7/18
    I have no idea what yeast you used, how fresh it was temperature you fermented at etc (all this contributes to speed of fermentation) but I regularly have lower abv beers finish in 4 days.

    Long story short though you need to measure the gravity as stated above.
     
  9. professional_drunk

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    Posted 5/7/18
    As a new brewer, I wouldn't be cutting it close when the outcome could result in bottle bombs. Keg it or use pet bottles now or glass bottle when you get back.
     
  10. RooBroo

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    Posted 5/7/18
    So here are my SG readings

    At day 7 (today) SG = 1.003
     
  11. brewgasm

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    Posted 6/7/18
    Fermentation is probably complete, I would bottle at the latest possible time. If you are worried about bottle bombs I would grab a couple boxes of pet bottles. You can always reuse the plastic bottles and they are handy to have in your arsenal. The main reason people primary for two weeks is for a diatol rest and for clarity. In my opinion leaving the beer in the fermentor for that period of time is risky.
     
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  12. Nullnvoid

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    Posted 6/7/18
    I would suggest at 1.003 it's done.
     
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  13. captain crumpet

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    Posted 7/7/18
    1.003 from a fresh wort kit? Damn.
     
  14. RooBroo

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    Posted 7/7/18
    Is 1.003 bad/wrong?

    SG is stable so I have have bottled today (in PET not glass and boxed up in the shower while i’m away). Fingers crossed it turns out ok. I will let you know

    Thanks everybody for your help!
     
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  15. TwoCrows

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    Posted 7/7/18
    1.003 just means that the yeast is working very well.

    Not much left to ferment , must be very clear/ settled out?

    Clean /clear water is 1.000
     
  16. MHB

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    Posted 7/7/18
    1.003 is very low, one of the ways we look at how yeast has preformed is called Apparent Attenuation, its just how much the gravity has changed divided by the Original Gravity. Or as an equation (OG-FG)/OG*100= AA%
    Remember that the 1.000 part of gravity is just the water Specific Gravity is just the density compared to water so your OG of 1.042 means 1L would weigh 1.042kg - SG is called non unitary (not a unit like mm, kg... just a comparison). We cant use 1.042 or 1.003 in a calculation so we just use the 42 and 3 part (what people call points - or you could use Plato)
    (42-3)/42 = 39/42 = 0.928*100 = 93% Apparent Attenuation.

    Most yeast will give you 75-85%AA unless you made a dry beer (with an enzyme addition), or a mistake in your readings, or perhaps had an infection I would be a bit worried about the beer (or more likely your skills with an hydrometer - take another reading).

    Truth is leaving any beer in a fermenter for more than 2 weeks is very bad policy, you will get measurable harm after 2 weeks (that's in a temperature controlled environment, with a heat plate its worse).
    If your ferment isn't done and dusted in 7 days you didn't add enough yeast, (probably there can be other problems but under pitching is the right answer about 99% of the time)
    I know you will get people saying otherwise, but then you are just relying on their tastebuds to tell you how to brew, leave a fermenter for 5 weeks and I think you can be confident that the beer will either be infected or will have other off tastes from the yeast getting old and dying and causing what's called Autolysis (dead yeast flavour think vegemite).

    There is a free online book "How to Brew" by John Palmer, being American its in silly system but most of the processes aren't too bad, be useful to have a read on fermentation (in this case other stuff there to). Braukaiser is a bit more technical but worth reading as your skill improves.
    Mark
     
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  17. RooBroo

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    Posted 12/8/18
    Hi Guys,

    Update.

    Back from hols and fortunately no bottle bombs! Beer tastes pretty decent too, very happy with the result. Thank you all for your advice

    Andrew
     

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