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Too long in the fermenter?

I would like to preface this post with the request that readers not judge (lest you be judged).

So, I brewed a Hefe last August (8/2011). Due to a couple of factors, life interfered with my brewing and the double decocted all-grain hefeweizen that I brewed has been in the primary ever since. Part of my problem was trying to figure out what to do with the wort and how to dilute my 8 gallon batch. Apparently, the double decoction produced much more wort than I anticipated and was left with about 7.5 gallons of 1.060 OG. Now that things have slowed down a little bit, I’ve got plans for another Hefeweizen in the works but would really like to try and salvage this last batch if possible. As far as the primary fermentation is concerned, I pitched a massive starter with only a few hours of lag time and completed within 3-4 days. Primary temps were a fairly constant 64*F. Dare I rack this off of its yeast cake and bottle with a good healthy dose of new yeast? I’ve brewed plenty of beers that required lengthy secondary fermentations but, never a hefe that relies so heavily on its fresh yeast flavor and low bittering. Any thoughts would be appreciated if you’ve been in a similar situation.

Thanks, Pröst!

Worst thing that can happen if you bottle with fresh yeast is it is terrible and you have to dump it meaning that you wasted roughly an hour of your time. Best thing that could happen is that you have 50+ bottles of beer to drink that you enjoy. I’d say it’s worth it to find out. It’s never worth dumping something until you’ve at least tasted it.

I’d agree. Give a sample from the fermentor a taste to make sure nothing has gone horribly wrong before you spend time bottling it but other than that there is little harm it giving it a shot.

I bet it will be alright. as long as your sanitation procedures were good. let us know how it taste after such a long primary

I have had a beer in primary for 4 months and it was fine. I would not make a habit of very long primary’s but it could be ok. Give it a taste to make a educated decision.

I don’t think it’ll be alright.

because of autolysis? To be honest, I have a very hard time finding any discussion about anyone experiencing this ‘phenomenon’. if you have a link or a source of it happening on a homebrew scale, id be interested to read about it.

I would be more worried about an infection

Once you taste it, you should know. I’ve heard story’s of people forgetting about a beer for many months, and it turning out fine. let us know

[quote=“S.Scoggin”]I would be more worried about an infection[/quote]+1 Possibly oxidation as well, since the typical airlock setup will let small amounts of air in through the bung. If the beer smells and tastes good, then bottle it.

Bottle carbonated beer can sit on the yeast a lot longer than that.

well, surprisingly it tasted great. if anything it may have been a little bit oxidized but the yeast flavor was still quite good. i added 2 gallons of water to dilute to the appropriate gravity (that was the source of my initial hesitation) with some fresh yeast and 8oz priming sugar and it’s been in the bottle for a week now. i plan to pop one open this evening to check on the carbonation progress. the half bottle that i capped and opened yesterday was very thin and was almost overpowered by the alcohol. i’ve been having some issues dialing in my efficiency with BeerSmith2. I plugged in Eric Warner’s Isar Weizen Recipe to BeerSmith. Warner gets a gravity of 1.055 whereas BeerSmith predicts a gravity of 1.041. I’ve already set my equipment profile so i’m not sure what the source of error is there. the original gravity was 1.070 for 6 gallons of wort from a double decoction.

-edited for grammar-

Adding water was probably not a good idea, because it could introduce oxygen into the beer, which could cause quicker oxidation. But I hope it doesn’t. Just drink them quicker than you took to get them out of the fermenter! :cheers:

Why oh why did you add water??? What’s wrong with a 1.060 hef??? I bet it tasted great, but I’m less optimistic about how your watered down version in the bottles will taste,…

Not judging, but in my opinion that was a huge mistake…

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