Help Support Aussie Homebrewer by donating:

  1. We have implemented the ability to gift someone a Supporting Membership now! When you access the Upgrade page there is now a 'Gift' button. Once you click that you can enter a username to gift an account Upgrade to. Great way to help support this forum plus give some kudos to anyone who has helped you.
    Dismiss Notice

How Long Can You Leave Beer In Primary Fermentation?

Discussion in 'Kits & Extracts' started by Cognosis, 2/6/10.

 

  1. Cognosis

    Member

    Joined:
    11/6/06
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 2/6/10
    Ahoy there,

    I'll start by saying I've made a few brews and they've all turned out great so far :). Right now, I have a Coopers Pale Ale Can brew in primary fermentation. I havn't exactly had the time recently to get it bottled up, and as a result she's been sitting in the fermenter a bit longer than is optimal. We're talking 4 weeks here.

    Which brings me to the question; is it worth bottling the brew, or should I just write it off, pour it down the drain and start again? The seal has been maintained throughout the brew and there's no signs of infection.

    I'd love to hear some opinions

    Cheers guys
     
  2. Fourstar

    doG reeB

    Joined:
    31/10/07
    Messages:
    6,150
    Likes Received:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 2/6/10
    she should be ok assuming it isnt a high alcohol beer and you havnt had extremely hot temperatures where your beer is stored. I'd recommend fridging it if possible, otherwise relax and bottle when you are ready. just not in 4 months time. ;)
     
    koshari likes this.
  3. Aus_Rider_22

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7/7/09
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 2/6/10
    I've left a brew in the fermenter for 3 weeks before and found no ill affects. I am very sure yours will be fine.

    Something you could try next time, as many others do on here including myself, is after the fermentation is finished you can move it to a fridge so the temps drops for a few days 2-5 and the yeast will drop out and you will get less yeast in your bottles and clearer beer.
     
    koshari likes this.
  4. gunbrew

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1/7/09
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    26
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 2/6/10
    Will be fine.
    Personal opinion being the extra time in the fermenter will make the beer better.
    My experiance on that being:
    I had a 50 litre brew going and was due to keg it before leaving on a 1 month overseas trip.
    My leaving date was fast approaching and fermentation was not complete still reading 1020.
    In the end I decided not to fret and just left the fermenter in the garage.
    Arrived back 4 weeks later to test the beer and it was 1013.
    After kegging that was particularly good beer.
    Should have been in the fermenter for 2 or 3 weeks and was in there for about 7 weeks!
    Cheers.
     
  5. argon

    firmitas, utilitas, venustas

    Joined:
    8/5/09
    Messages:
    2,987
    Likes Received:
    121
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 2/6/10
    When i used to bottle i always left the beer in primary for about 3 to 4 weeks cause i always hated the bottling process. I never had any ill effects and i certainly would never had thought of chucking the brew. Crash chill it if you can it will make it even better over a few more weeks. Don't worry it'll be all good
     
  6. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

    Joined:
    27/9/08
    Messages:
    25,707
    Likes Received:
    6,117
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    Posted 2/6/10
    If the environment it's in is good it should be fine. If it tastes ok and not overly yeasty then bottle it. I t will likely benefit from some extra time - all my brews get left an extra week or so by default before being cold conditioned.
     
  7. jzani

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19/3/10
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 2/6/10
    I always leave my beers in the fermenter for about three weeks instead of racking to secondary. Usually for a couple of weeks after fermentation finishes. Results in a much clearer beer with less sediment in the bottle. Apparently it give the yeast a chance to clean up after itself but I certainly wouldn't be an expert on that.
     
  8. peterhop

    Active Member

    Joined:
    26/3/10
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Home Page:
    Posted 2/6/10
    I thought my 5-weeks-in-primary beer had a more interesting taste than shorter ones.
     
  9. Verbyla

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29/3/09
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Wheelers Hill, Melbourne
    Posted 2/6/10
    +1 for leaving brew in primary due to the hatred I have for the bottling process!

    It'd have to be the most hated time consuming step :angry:
     
  10. Cognosis

    Member

    Joined:
    11/6/06
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 3/6/10
    Thanks for the several quick, detailed and positive replies guys :)

    Thankfully the temperature has been freezing (not to mention its been pissing down rain) here in Newcastle for the last few weeks, so I would certainly imagine that hasn't hurt things :D

    now I'll have to enter into the painstaking task of:
    A) making sure I have enough bottles to actually store this badboy, and
    B) washing these bottles OCD style.

    Speaking of washing bottles; Does anybody have any particular process for washing the plastic bottle caps? Do you clean them with a bleach solution, or just use hot water? I think some of the caps I've washed in the past have retained a little bit of bleach, and its affected the taste of the beer

    Cheers guys :)
     
  11. katzke

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11/6/08
    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    6
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 3/6/10
    A comment on extended fermentation. Why would we worry about what temperature it has been stored at after active fermentation is over?

    No one seems to say that storing bottles at too high of a temperature is bad. When we bottle we add sugar to encourage fermentation and also suggest a higher then storage temperature.

    Just wondering why the storage tem is an issue when the fermentation temp is the only thing to worry about. Or said a different way who cares if the beer has been put on ice for storage if the fermentation temp was at sauna temps.
     
  12. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

    Joined:
    27/9/08
    Messages:
    25,707
    Likes Received:
    6,117
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    Posted 3/6/10
    I had a few issues this recent summer with beers in secondary for extended periods and also longer term stability with some of my bottled beers.

    Could be other issues but I don't usually have problems so I surmised it was extreme temps.
     
  13. barneyb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24/9/09
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Home Page:
    Posted 3/6/10
    Getting a no rinse sanitizer such as starsan or iodophor makes cleaning bottles much easier. I create a litre or so of solution, pour a bit into each bottle then give each bottle a shake and empty the contents (you can also empty the contents into the next bottle if you want to conserve your sanitizer). For bottle caps I just throw them all in a bowl with the solution.

    If you do use bleach make sure you rinse everything a couple of times until there is no hint of that bleach chlorine smell. There are other ways to get rid of the bleachyness but I don't remember them.
     
  14. MarkBastard

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19/5/08
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    47
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 3/6/10
    I've left a beer in primary for months before, thought that was crash chilling. Fermented for two weeks at 18 degrees, then crash chilled at 2 degrees for probably 3 months or so.

    Didn't really like it to be honest.
     
  15. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

    Joined:
    27/9/08
    Messages:
    25,707
    Likes Received:
    6,117
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    Posted 3/6/10
    Very hot water and sodium or potassium metabisulphite are two. Obviously very hot water and glass bottles are not always a good mix.
     
  16. WeaselEstateBrewery

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24/6/08
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 3/6/10
    +++++++++++1

    moving to kegs has probably been the highlight of my brewing career
     
  17. michaelcocks

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16/8/05
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 3/6/10
    Four weeks should be no problemif you are clean and sanitary and good temp control
    it will be a better beer (if you have been clean)
    have a listen to the basic brewing radio yeast experiment episode
    I have left coopers pale kit on yeast for almost 3 months with no bad effects
    but I am VERY clean
     
  18. Cognosis

    Member

    Joined:
    11/6/06
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 3/6/10
    My understanding is that storage at too high a temperature may lead to denaturing of proteins in the beer, which may affect the taste. And I may or may not have pulled that explanation out of my arse...

    I actually havn't heard of chilling the beer before storage before this topic. I might have to have a play around with it.

    Thanks barneyb, I'll try that stuff. I'm getting sick of my hands stinging from all that bleach, not to mention the extra abrasion from tightening the caps afterward :(

    Manticle: cheers :)

    Weasel: I'm highly tempted to look into kegging as an alternative to bottling

    Gees...its a slippery slope, this beer brewing
     
  19. michael_aussie

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12/4/10
    Messages:
    926
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 3/6/10
    I rarely bottle in less than 3 weeks, and often around 4 weeks.
    I keep the temperature 18-24 during that whole period.
    I haven't had any problems so far.
     
  20. chiefbrewlord

    Member

    Joined:
    3/9/18
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Wollongong
    Posted 3/9/18
    Hey, I left mine in primary for almost four weeks too. I think it was my best beer to date, clear and had no off flavors like a young beer often has.
     

Share This Page