Delaying Bottling - How Long Is Safe

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Strange Dog

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As the title suggests, I have gotten a little lazy with my latest Brew (Coopers Pale Ale) and have left it for 4-5 days in the primary fermenter longer than I normally would. The Gravity has stabilised at 1006 (as usual, for me) and I would have normally bottled on Monday.

Is my brew still OK to bottle? Also, how long can I safely delay bottling and what are the effects of delaying?
 

jbowers

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If you leave the beer on it's yeast cake for a long time, say longer than 3-4 weeks, at fermentation temperature then autolysis will start to occur. Anywhere up to about 3 weeks in the primary, though, is good for the beer.
 

Fodder

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I'd say all good mate.

Wont hurt to leave it there for a extra week or two. Much longer, as mentioned above, then perhaps start worrying. But for the time being it will have cleared up nicely and will probably have done more good than bad at this stage.
 

katzke

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I have left beer for a month or longer and it was great. The people that say you need to worry are missing something. If you are letting it set in the sun, then that is a different matter. What would you do with it after you bottled? If you are doing the same thing then no worries.
 

manticle

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As the title suggests, I have gotten a little lazy with my latest Brew (Coopers Pale Ale) and have left it for 4-5 days in the primary fermenter longer than I normally would. The Gravity has stabilised at 1006 (as usual, for me) and I would have normally bottled on Monday.

Is my brew still OK to bottle? Also, how long can I safely delay bottling and what are the effects of delaying?
Good. Do this every brew from now on.

Worry about autolysis if you leave it on the primary for months, not less than a week.

You are best trying to reduce exposure to oxygen and it might be a good idea to keep the brew cold if you intend to leave it longer but 5 extra days at ferment temp will help the yeast clean up some of its less pleasant byproducts and should become standard practice for you.
 

Yob

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seems a good place to ask the question..

is there evidence somewhere that leaving the brew on the cake for cleanup is actually benificial?

I do this myself, as in my brew cycle is 3 weeks generally and I leave it on the cake the whole time, I only have the experience of one brew I racked off just prior to FG not being as clean (perception perhaps) as others Id left on the cake for the whole period as reference, similar brews and yeast of course..

I was having this conversation the other day and I struggled to come up with actual evidence and didnt know where to find it..

is it not the yeast still in suspension that does the cleanup?

Yob
 

manticle

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I believe there's a fair argument that compounds such as diacetyl and acetaldehyde are reabsorbed more successfully when in contact with a larger amount of yeast so removing the beer from the majority of yeast will disable that to some extent.

Actual evidence - I'd have to go hunting through books but I do know when I made it standard practice to leave my beers 5 days at ferment temps and 2-7 days (or more) at CC temps that my beer was cleaner and more mature tasting in the bottles than I had previously encountered. The few times I have rushed through the process I have found the resulting beer takes longer to clear and round out but I'd have to do a side by side to give you anything more concrete (and still anecdotal).

However I am a believer that patience is a vital ingredient in good brewing.
 

Yob

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:D agreed..

in fact yeast mass was the argument I put forward at the time, I just cant seem to find any evidence to back up my statement <_< apart from my own (and others) observations

:icon_cheers:

ed: the experiment I posed to the guy was to bottle one at FG, one after 5 days and one after CC and then do a tasting after 8 weeks of all 3 bottles...
 

Strange Dog

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Well this is all rather eye opening. Being a noob I was of the impression that as soon as the fg stabilised I had to rush it into the bottle while the yeast was still a little active to ensure carbonation. I will start leaving it in the fermenter for an extra week from now on.
 

manticle

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@yob:

Your own observations in regards to your beer making experiences have validity.

Scientific quantification is a great way of looking at the world and offering repeatable, measurable results that lend weight to an idea. It is not, and was never meant to be dogmatic, infallible or the only way of looking at the world. If you experience something multiple times you may be right, (and equally you may be either mad or just stupid because you keep putting your finger in an electric light socket and wondering why it hurts).

@strange dog: your beer will carbonate fine, provided all else is equal.
 

warra48

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Reading the OP closely, he/she doesn't tell us how long it's been in primary, only that it's been there 4 to 5 days longer than he/she normally would leave it.

I agree with the sentiments of the posts above, and that is there is no harm whatsoever in leaving the brew for those extra days.

I've left brews as long as 4 weeks in primary at fermentation temperature, and it's been fine.
My last brew I had at fermentation temperature for 3 weeks at 10C, then a further 5 weeks at 2.5C, and I bottled it from primary. It's as clean and clear as I could wish. And an added benefit was that it carbonated in no more than about a week after bottling.
 

Yob

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I was of the impression that as soon as the fg stabilised I had to rush it into the bottle while the yeast was still a little active to ensure carbonation.
^ this kind of implies it hasnt been too long to worry too much..

at the OP, you have to try very hard indeed, filtering extensive time, finings etc.. to not end up with enough yeast to carbonate...

:icon_cheers:
 

Strange Dog

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Just to clarify I meant it is 4-5 days since the gravity stabilised, after about a week of fermenting.

I will bottle tonight, partly because I have the house to myself and partly because I am impatient to try out my new bottle capper! (yeah baby, GLASS BOTTLES!!! Getting serious now !!!)
 

kelbygreen

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haha not serious till you have a keg or 8 :p
 

Dazza88

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seems a good place to ask the question..

is there evidence somewhere that leaving the brew on the cake for cleanup is actually benificial?

I do this myself, as in my brew cycle is 3 weeks generally and I leave it on the cake the whole time, I only have the experience of one brew I racked off just prior to FG not being as clean (perception perhaps) as others Id left on the cake for the whole period as reference, similar brews and yeast of course..

I was having this conversation the other day and I struggled to come up with actual evidence and didnt know where to find it..

is it not the yeast still in suspension that does the cleanup?

Yob

I am trying to condition my beer longer in the primary at ferment temp range. The Yeast book (Chris White) suggests that it is better to let beer clear at fermentation temps instead of cc'ing soon after fg is reached as the yeast will clean up byproducts (as per manticle's post). Currently have the Smurto Landlord on 1469 and approaching three weeks. It reached fg at least a week ago, over attenuated in fact. I also want to harvest the yeast so i dont want to cc the yeast cake and produce heat shock proteins.

They didn't give a time frame as the clearing time is dependant on yeast strain i guess. It would be nice to build up a databank of clearing times at ferment temp range for yeast strains.

so i imagine that chris white and jamil z have some type of evidential basis (anecdotal or experimental) for which to recommend this. Can't recall from reading it but White does like to back up most of his recommendations with exp evidence.

But in saying this i will probably rack to secondary, dry hop styrians at 1g/L and chill it for a week this weekend. Samples taste awesome and the next week is too busy to do it.

Previously i would cc after about 10 days at ferment temps (mainly 1272 and s-189 brews at 16 to 19C), dependant on time to reach fg.
 

iralosavic

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Mate, I've had my current blonde in secondary at 0c since before Christmas (wasn't planned, but I had to put it "on hold") and will be bottling it this weekend full well expecting it to carbonate just fine. I too thought that too much yeast would have fallen out of suspension by now, but the advice I've been given on here is to the contrary, so I'm going for it.
 

Yob

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I also want to harvest the yeast so i dont want to cc the yeast cake and produce heat shock proteins.
never been a problem in my experience...

I harvest my yeast after 3 weeks including a week in CC... (the morning after botteling)

I do however take my viability date into account when harvesting and repitching... feckin brilliant :ph34r:
 

Dazza88

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Agree have repitch from cc cake. was wondering if not cc ing before repitching produced better results.of course I havent done side by side experiment.
 

Yob

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'snot about the CC... tis about the viability date and knowing when your specific yeast stopped active fermentation.. give or take a few days isnt an issue, give or take a week or so is...

least thats how I take it :ph34r:
 

Yob

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Agree have repitch from cc cake. was wondering if not cc ing before repitching produced better results.of course I havent done side by side experiment.
Depends on your setup and routine.. me personally, it suits me to bottle friday, rinse on a sat and pitch on a sunday... suits my brewery, may not suit you.

all Im saying is that the specific date of harvesting is secondary to when the yeast was at it's last activity,

viability is calculated from this point forward.. not an actual harvest date regardless of CC'ing practie..

I got this wrong for a few brews and am glad Ive 'dialled in'... I love my house Yeast

yob
 
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