How many weeks in the primary?

Brewing the Waldo Amber.

How many weeks should I leave it in the primary fermentor?
2 or 3 or ???

I’m in no rush – and I want it to come out best.

I don’t have and don’t plan to use a hydrometer if you are about to tell me to take measurements. Sorry. I know it’s more bad-ass and smart and all that. I just don’t have that level of commitment yet.

What would you do?
Just curious…

There’s a couple threads on here titled “Primary v. Secondary” or something like that. It may be listed in the fermentation section. From how it reads, the risk or racking to a secondary outweigh the risk of leaving it on the yeast cake. I experimented with this on my last brew (Kolsch) and witnessed the same clarity as I did in my other batches. In fact, it was sexy.

Why don’t you go big and do 3-4 weeks, active fermentation will likely have ended. Although- there’s no real way to know without the use of your trusty hydrometer. But all joking aside, if your in no rush - 4 weeks might take the risk out of not using a hydrometer and will likely improve your clarity.

Ultimately, you’re the brewer and it’s your preference. If you want to leave it in the primary for 3 days, by all means feel free. I don’t have to drink or dump it if it tastes like pruno. GOOD LUCK!

PS - any other brews?

I go 3 weeks in primary, no secondary, bottle or keg at that point.

If you think your starting gravity is below 1.050, you should probably not let it go more than 2 weeks, or you can develop off flavors from the dead yeast. If you think it is stronger than that, you can probably let it go 3 weeks. Temperature is also a factor. Cooler temps will slow yeast activity and let them live a bit longer without producing those meaty, yeasty flavors. I often get busy with life and have to let my beer sit longer than I want to. I am always disappointed with the results. Sometimes those off flavors will eventually get absorbed by the yeast that remains alive, but it takes a few weeks.

If you have the time, rack it to secondary or better yet, put it straight into the keg.

If you’re bottling, 4 weeks. If you’re kegging, 6 weeks. I just responded to another WLA thread in Yeast and Fermentation that I advised them to wait as long as possible. So if you can, 4 weeks primary, 2 months secondary.

I just did one for 6 weeks at 55F using WY1056.

Denny,
Can I ask you about your reply?
I have a basement running at 58º consistently. I’d love to move the fermentor down there – but I was worried that the yeast would go dormant.

Could I move it down to the 58º zone without the yeast going dormant? Same WY strain.
From your post, it sounds like I could.

I’m all about patience with it if that means better results.
Your opinion?

Other’s opinions?

MVSawyer,
You would leave the beer in the secondary for 2 months before bottling? That’s like 9 weeks in the secondary fermentor? That’s vastly different from the NB’s recipe instructions that say 2wks in Primary, 2-4 in secondary. I’m not debating you (it’s only my second batch – what do I know?!?). Just curious about why you recommend this and hoping to understand.

Thanks.

3~4 is my SOP.

If DH-ing, I usually add the hops at 3 weeks , in the primary - bagged, and keg straight from there after 1 week.

Seems to have worked just fine for the last 30 or so batches. :shock:

Good Luck

[quote=“Duder”]3~4 is my SOP.

If DH-ing, I usually add the hops at 3 weeks , in the primary - bagged, and keg straight from there after 1 week.[/quote]
+1 Pretty much the same method that I use. Except when DHing I just toss them in.

Another one? I just do 2 weeks primary and keg all of my beers. Some of them get better after a couple of weeks in the keg.

As you can see from the responses, as the old saying goes, “there is more than one way to skin a cat”.

The instructions with ‘any’ kit are just general suggestions. They are not hard and fast rules. You could go 1 week primary and straight to bottles. I would not recommend it, but you could do it.

Or you could do any number of primary/secondary combinations.

Or you could skip the secondary completely. My personal choice. Why is it my choice?

  1. fewer thing to clean and sanitize.
  2. I perceive no difference in taste or clarity of the beers. Anything that will fall out of suspension in 1wk primary/2wk secondary will also fall out of suspension in a 3 week primary.
  3. I perceive that I leave less beer behind in racking by only do it one time. It may only be 10oz. But that is 10oz I am not able to drink.

You will need to find what works for you.

Can you ferment at such low temps like 55ºF?
Or doesn’t the yeast go dormant?

Can you ferment at such low temps like 55ºF?
Or doesn’t the yeast go dormant?[/quote]

Absolutely you can. The yeast are fine and fermentation is slow and steady. After a couple weeks I generally raise the temp to the upper 60’s or 70 for a few days and that will sometimes bring on a bit more fermentation, but not much.

[quote=“masquelle”]Denny,
Can I ask you about your reply?
I have a basement running at 58º consistently. I’d love to move the fermentor down there – but I was worried that the yeast would go dormant.

Could I move it down to the 58º zone without the yeast going dormant? Same WY strain.
From your post, it sounds like I could.

I’m all about patience with it if that means better results.
Your opinion?

Other’s opinions?[/quote]

Based on my experience, I’d do it.

Can you ferment at such low temps like 55ºF?
Or doesn’t the yeast go dormant?[/quote]

Absolutely you can. The yeast are fine and fermentation is slow and steady. After a couple weeks I generally raise the temp to the upper 60’s or 70 for a few days and that will sometimes bring on a bit more fermentation, but not much.[/quote]

THIS^^^^^^

@ nightingale- I usually skin my cats as fast as possible, while warm, that way it comes off quicker. As for crow- I let them lay. Food for thought.

Another post that contributes immensely to the knowledge base. Thank you for participating.

^^ This cat can’t catch a break! My first brew ever, i did one week primary. This coupled with other mistakes due to inexperience, resulted in a beer named: “I could conceivably drink this” belgian ale. I now leave them set in primary for three weeks. The result is far better. Things started getting real good when i added proper yeast pitching rate, proper aeration, and proper fermentation temp control. Everyone is different. This is what works for ME.