Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Fermentation time

I have been home(garage) brewing for 3 years using NB extract/partial kits. I always do a starter with my kits and My results have been very good so far. My question is why do the batches take 6 to 8 weeks to complete when local micro breweries turn batches around in under 2 weeks. Is it the amount of yeast used or some other reason their turn around cycle is so much shorter.

Their primary fermentation takes just as long as yours. They have the ability though of speeding through all the other steps (carbonation, filtering, etc.) using technology that just isn’t cost effective for a homebrewer.

One advantage we have is time. Gotta remember that everyday a beer sits in a fermenter/bright tank is lost income. So as mattnaik pointed out they use technology to their advantage. Filtering is HUGE when it comes to turn around. For example I think Budweiser is from grain to bottle in a month. So you figure 2 weeks for lagering? Its the filtering getting it out the door.

In addition they have huge fermenters with tons of pressure on the yeast that helps speed up fermentation that also results in cleaner, less off flavored beer.

Forgot all about pressurized fermentation. Good call.

fermentation temp/schedule?

I’ve turned great beers around in 10 days, but they have had a big slug of yeast, and careful manipulation of temperature (raising it during fermentation, then cold conditioning before force carbing).

Admittedly, they have gotten better with some more time in the keg! :cheers:

Drew Beechum did an article on Express Beers last year in Zymurgy. Made me realize that my typical one month fermentation was unnecessary on the lighter beers, so I routinely go grain to glass in 21 days for my ordinary bitters. Mash them high for body and pile on the yeast for a quick ferment. Cold crash, carb and suck them down. Lotta my guys have become “Bittermen”!

:cheers:

What does the “pressurization” do for the yeast during fermentation?

My understanding is it decreases production of by-products during fermentation so its less time needed to “clean up” the beer.

Thanks for the help here Just looking to reduce time to glass if possible.

Can’t pressurize…so maybe more yeast or bigger starter ?
Don’t filter…so should I use finnings (Irish Moss) ?
I keg and force carbonate…psi ?
Can’t pressurize…so maybe more yeast or bigger starter ?

don’t want to adversely affect to out come so all advise here is greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Irish moss isn’t a fining. Gelatin would be. And since you mentioned kegging, add some to the keg when it’s cooled off and conditioning. Your first glass or two will be turbid, but after that it will be clear.

how about using The Beerbrite Filtration System. For eighty bucks if it is effective it could shave a few weeks off the process…

That’s what I have and it works great. I rarely use it for most beers. One thing filtering does is removes flavor and aroma so keep that in mind.

How does filtration speed up the maturation process?

Filter removes yeast, proteins, and tannins. These cause off flavors and haze thus speeding up the process.

FWIW, just because commercial breweries do make beer faster than homebrewers doesn’t necessarily mean they should be making it so fast. I’ve tasted some buttery beers in my day.

Which isn’t to say that what everyone else has said is untrue. Just that there might sometimes be less desirable factors motivating commercial breweries’ timelines, too.

I read an article (in BYO maybe?) some years ago where they tested how fast a home brewer without specialized equipment could get from brew to glass. If I remember right, it was six days, primarily accomplished by picking the right yeast and pitching a lot of it in the right recipe - and keg carbonating. British yeast fermented at slightly warm temperatures can churn through primary very quickly, and then they flocculate very quickly as well. And in a bitter it is OK to have some of the flavors that might otherwise be thought of as “green” in other beer styles.

[quote=“Donovans”]Thanks for the help here Just looking to reduce time to glass if possible.

Can’t pressurize…so maybe more yeast or bigger starter ?
Don’t filter…so should I use finnings (Irish Moss) ?
I keg and force carbonate…psi ?
Can’t pressurize…so maybe more yeast or bigger starter ?

don’t want to adversely affect to out come so all advise here is greatly appreciated.

Cheers[/quote]

Try this. I find it works well on most simple recipes, up to around 1.048 OG. Also, the paler the beer, the better this will work, as dark malts have more tannins that need to drop out (hence ‘conditioning’). Once you start getting bigger than that, they need more maturation. I have done this type of ferment though with Jamil’s Cali Common, 86’ing some of the darker malts, and some other recipes. I’m assuming you have ferment temp control (if you don’t, get this before you even THINK about filtering).

-Big starter, clean, attenuative, high-floc yeast (maybe 1.25-1.4x the recommended amount, preferably 2nd or 3rd generation repitch). S-05/chico, West coast ale yeasts (not Pacman) work best
-Pitch at 62*, ferment there for 3 days
-Raise to 64* on day 4
-66* on day 5
-70* on day 6
-check gravity, you should be at your terminal and the cake should have dropped
-cold crash on day 8
-gelatin on day 9
-rack to keg on day 10, blast force carb
-drink

In my opinion this is not the hobby where rushing ever results in a better product. I know what you mean though, it’s frustrating putting in a days work only to wait 1-2 months to taste the fruits of your labor. But patience pays off in the long run and you will be enjoying a better end product.

People say kegging shaves off time and while I’m sure it makes life easier, you still need that conditioning time to remove the “green” flavors and let all the other flavors meld. Sure you carb it faster but you still need to wait it out for a superior product. I like bottling cause I have no choice but to wait it out or else I’ll be drinking flat beer.

You could always just brew a bunch of beer and then start stockpiling beer. That way you’ll always have SOME bottles that are ready to drink. :cheers:

[quote=“mattnaik”]

You could always just brew a bunch of beer and then start stockpiling beer. That way you’ll always have SOME bottles that are ready to drink. :cheers: [/quote]

this. getting a pipeline of brews in multiple fermenters/conditioning vessels (including kegs and bottles) is definitely a good position to be in and will give you something to drink when the mood strikes you and you are waiting for a beer to ferment/condition. When we moved, I had 11 cases of beer in my cellar. More than most know what to do with, but I gave away about 4 cases worth, including a case and half of cider I made for my father in law.

I also like brewing beers that peak at different times. For instance we have a bunch of RIS bottled that tastes great, but it is definitely benefiting from cellaring. Then, have an APA on tap that is better fresh.

It shaves off all sorts of time. Every time I keg, I save at least a week’s worth of getting nagged about bottles all over the house.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com