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Help! Bottling from primary - how long is too long?

I brewed three and a half weeks ago and then I had a death in the family and had to run off to a funeral and I didn’t get back until yesterday, so was unable to bottle after the normal 10 days or so.

Two questions - and sorry if they have been answered elsewhere - didn’t see them in the FAQs:

How bad will the flavor have degraded from sitting in the primary and with dead yeast for so long? (It’s a fairly robust brew with an OG of 1.060)

Will there be enough yeast activity for bottle conditioning and how should I add yeast at bottling time if not (I have lots of dry yeast on hand).

Thanks so much.
John

You’ll be fine, bottle as normal. Many of us now do an extended primary and 3 weeks is pretty common.

This is probably not “normal” Sorry to hear about the death in your family but your beer will definitley taste better because of it. When you are drinking it you can remember your family member and think “I am glad I did not bottle this at 10 days”

Hi, Folks

Thanks for the advice - I bottled just now (after 24 days in primary) and it tasted really really good (Malty Goodness is the name of the brew, where I put in quite a few specialty grains and only used hops for a bit of flavor and for bitterness) maybe even the best I’ve ever tasted from a primary - has that been my problem all along (bottling too soon - I’ve never waited more than two weeks to bottle.)? There was none of that “homebrew flavor” I have detected in just about everything else except for one Imperial Darkness watchamacallit I did a long time ago that also aged in a secondary where I figured it was the 9.5% ABV and monster hops and roasted malts that was covering the off-flavors.

Food for thought, anyway - hopefully there is still enough yeast floating around to carbonate in the bottles - will let you know how it turns out once I taste it in a couple of weeks. Been thinking I want to have a conical that will allow me to quickly jettison the hot and cold break stuff from the boil and only have the yeast in there while it is doing the majority of its fermenting - will look more into what people say about that.

All the best. --John

There have been some taste tests that show a longer primary, skipping the secondary, allows the yeast to clean up after itself better. That’s what is driving the current discussions.

http://www.mugzhomebrew.org/LinkClick.a ... 87&mid=554

links to a doc that summarizes a few BYO experiments on pitching rate, and skipping secondary.

i give all my beers 3 or more weeks now, (4+ for BIG beers). my beers have been great and i haven’t looked back

recently i kegged a 6% abv partygyle stout after 7 weeks in the primary (due to having other beers occupying my kegs) (and being lazy) and it turned out great. it is getting a lot of compliments from friends and family.

don’t be afraid of autolyst, i’ve never experienced it (although 7 weeks primary is the longest i’ve done to date). hope this info helps, patients is worth it.

i wouldn’t worry about carbonation unless it was sitting around for more than a month at low temperatures

[quote=“JohnHardy”]I brewed three and a half weeks ago and then I had a death in the family and had to run off to a funeral and I didn’t get back until yesterday, so was unable to bottle after the normal 10 days or so.

Two questions - and sorry if they have been answered elsewhere - didn’t see them in the FAQs:

How bad will the flavor have degraded from sitting in the primary and with dead yeast for so long? (It’s a fairly robust brew with an OG of 1.060)

Will there be enough yeast activity for bottle conditioning and how should I add yeast at bottling time if not (I have lots of dry yeast on hand).

Thanks so much.
John[/quote]

I wouldn’t bottle after 10 days, thats to early

[quote=“twdjr1”]There have been some taste tests that show a longer primary, skipping the secondary, allows the yeast to clean up after itself better. That’s what is driving the current discussions.

http://www.mugzhomebrew.org/LinkClick.a ... 87&mid=554

links to a doc that summarizes a few BYO experiments on pitching rate, and skipping secondary.[/quote]

After reading this article (thanks for posting it), I’m starting to think that I’ve just been wasting my time racking everything to secondary after 2-3 weeks. I’m seriously considering just leaving it in the primary 3-4 weeks, dry hopping and/or refining during the last week. Of course, lagers would be a different story, right?

Paul

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