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Secondary Fermentation

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mandaloril

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So does anyone have any opinions on how long one should keep a batch of beer in secondary fermentation? How does keeping it longer afect the flavor of the beer and are there any risks associated with bacterial spoiling? Any help would be appriciated as everything I read says that secondary fermentation improves beer quality but gives no information regarding times one should expect to devote to secondary.
 

Doc

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IMO I leave the beer in secondary for a minimum of a week.
This can extend out based on the yeast (slow flocculators) and the gravity of the beer. My higher gravity beers tend to be in secondary for upto 3-5 weeks.
Not necessarily all of that time is required in secondary as it is just a case of waiting for an empty keg to become available.
The only beers I really try and limit the secondary time of is wheat beers fermented using wheat yeasts. These yeasts have a tendency for autolysis, and on my most recent Weisse over attenuate.

Beers,
Doc
 

AndrewQLD

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Lagers I tend to secondary for at least 4 weeks @ 4-6c, ales I secondary for about 1 week.

And I should point out that when I say secondary I mean conditioning, all of my beers stay in primary until fermentation has finished (usually about 1 week) and I then rack to secondary for conditioning. The reason I have stipulated this is that some brewers tend to rack from primary after fermentation is about 3/4 done, and leave the beer to finish fermentation in secondary.

Andrew
 

mandaloril

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Thanks guys, No problem with primary as I usually have to let it sit a week (time constraints). Doc, I wish I had asked this sooner, I have a wheat beer in secondary right now and it was the batch that I was testing out leaveing in for an extra week DARN. I wan't using a wheat yeast in this batch (also testing how that will work) what can I expect?
 

Doc

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mandaloril said:
Doc, I wish I had asked this sooner, I have a wheat beer in secondary right now and it was the batch that I was testing out leaveing in for an extra week DARN. I wan't using a wheat yeast in this batch (also testing how that will work) what can I expect?
RDWHAHB, you will be fine.
It is the wheat yeasts WLP300,WLP380, WL3068 that tend to go into autolysis. However as long as your temp in secondary is around 19 deg you should still be fine for a couple of weeks. I have been in the past anyway.

Beers,
Doc
 

mandaloril

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Well I bottled it today and it tasted okay before putting it in. The temp was around 75 or 23 of your degrees. I'll give it a week and see what happens.
 

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