Primary time for Big Honkin Stout?

I brewed NBs Big Honkin Stout 12/16/2012. Yeast was SA-05. 66° for three days, holding at 68°. How long should I primary this brew from your experience? Did you only primary or make use of a secondary also? I plan to begin hydrometer readings this weekend.

3 weeks is probably good. Take a reading 3 days before you want to bottle, then take one on bottling day.


For a beer like that I’d wait at least three weeks in the primary. That beer will also get better with age so I personally would rack to a secondary vessel and let it sit for a few months. You could bottle right away and let it bottle age but if you’re anything like me you’ll start drinking them early and then in a few months you’ll open the last bottle and think to yourself “damn that’s so much better now, I should have saved some of these!”

Right on. I brewed a 10% barleywine on 12/12/12 that I just racked to secondary and plan to leave it there for at least two months.

Thank you for your comments. No one has said this brew will be definitely improved with a long secondary so I will probably bottle next week if FG has been reached. I’ll wait for at least one month of bottle conditioning before the first taste. Sufficient supplies of other brews on hand to take care of my needs until this one is fully developed.

I brewed that one a few years ago and let it sit for a couple months in secondary. It came out awesome! Definitely be patient with it.

I’d bottle and let it condition, then age it in then bottle.

I lack the self control to have a beer in bottles and not start drinking a bottle here and there. For that reason when I do my annual Imperial Stout I secondary and let it be for 9 months before I finally bottle. That way I can’t drink it and the beer is getting time to mellow out which certainly helps beers like a big stouts.

+1. I have the same problem. One of my goals this year is to bottle off a few beers when I rack to a keg, age them, and NOT break into them for at least a few months if not a year or more. I’m always upset when I don’t age a big beer enough. When you get to the last few bottles, they are always the best.

I brewed a Barley Wine to celebrate the birth of my son last February. I opened 3-4 bottles back in the summer for tasting purposes. But my goal is to only open a bottle or two every year on or around his birthday in hopes that sometime down the line, he and I can share one.

I also have a Russian Imperial Stout that I just bottled last weekend. 1/2 of the batch got French oak, vanilla, and bourbon. I’ll break open a bottle of each batch in maybe a month or two, but I’m trying to age these till next winter.