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…I hope.

I’ve only used a secondary two times in my first six homebrews. The first was to dry hop the Dead Ringer extract kit. The second is the Bourbon Barrel Porter which is currently 2+ weeks in after 3 weeks in primary. I hadn’t been paying too much attention to it since I was planning on letting it sit in primary for at least 4 weeks before bottling and have been working on other brews. Sunday I was pulling some cases that were bottle conditioning out of my “beer closet” to put a newly bottled batch in. While doing this I noticed a good layer of yeast at the bottom of my carboy. I understand that this is supposed to happen, and often is a reason to use a secondary. I was expecting some yeast to settle on the bottom, but not this much. I’d estimate it at over 1/2" of yeast at the bottom. I had managed to mostly calm myself down about it RDWHAHB style and telling myself it’ll be fine then I started to think about it some more. One reason to use a secondary when bulk aging is to get the beer off of the yeast cake so as not to pick up any off flavors from the dormant/dying yeast. Most of what I’ve read on here leads me to believe that a month in primary on the yeast cake is no big deal. I’m now at 5 weeks with what I would consider significant amounts of yeast in the beer and I had been planning on letting it sit another 2 weeks minimum. I suppose I could do a tertiary, pull the oak cubes out, wash off the yeast, re-soak in bourbon and have peace of mind for another few weeks, but that just seems silly and I want to drink the bourbon I have left.

Really what it comes down to is should I bottle sooner than I planned to get it off the yeast ASAP or am I ok letting it sit another few weeks?

Pertinent Details:

Undershot the top off water got about 4.8 gallons
OG: 1.071
Used 1.5L starter of Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale
Fermented at 62F for 3 weeks
Soaked 2 ounces US Medium Oak Cubes and 1 vanilla bean in about 17 ounces of Knob Creek bourbon for a week and added to secondary before transferring the beer
Secondary for 2 weeks 3 days at 62

Thanks for the help.

Don’t worry about it.

I just kegged a 2yr old mead. Original yeast plus a pack of champagne at about 6 month to try to get it a bit dryer. Taste fine.

it hasn’t been sitting on THAT yeast for 5 weeks… that yeast was still active and suspended when you transferred.


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