Trouble brewing with a friend

I started brewing with a friend recently we’ve done a couple batches where we split the cost and a couple where we’ve just watched each others process. We have a few differences in opinions while brewing together. On the most recent batch we brewed on Monday I asked a question about the time frame we wanted to follow. I said I think we should let it sit at least 2 weeks before deciding when to racking and then later dry hop. He replied that he didn’t want to go longer than 1 week before racking because he was worried about dead yeast off flavor (autolysis). We pitched a healthy 2L starter. I know I’ve gone 3 weeks in the primary and I know of plenty of people on the forum who go 4 weeks on the yeast cake with no issues. I would be more worried about pulling it from the yeast cake too soon. How do I politely voice my opinion without sounding like I know everything or sound like a jerk. I certainly don’t think I know everything as I learn something new every time I brew. Should I just let it go and brew on. How do people who brew in groups make sure everyone is on the same page?

This is what I suggest. Compromise you want your way he wants his. So let your gravity be the one to determine the disagreement. In a week take gravity reading and if is not as low as you both would like. Wait two weeks.

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Just curious, Why would he think autolysis would become an issue in only one week? The most dire fears I’ve read say 3-4 weeks is your worst-case scenario.

If autolysis were that bad, then what you should do is rack the beer every couple of days and pitch a fresh batch of yeast until the beer is at FG. Of course, that would be stupid, which is why no one does that. Basically, it would be impossible to brew without a conical.

Yeah I’m not sure what makes him think that. Maybe someone told him a past brew of his had an autolysis off flavor. I’m not sure.

Looks like a great time to experiment. Rack his half off at 7 days and dry hop it. Rack and dry hop your half at two weeks or even three weeks and dry hop. No feelings hurt and you both may learn something. Cheers


Maybe have him read up on yeast autolysis. I’m a major proponent of “secondary” and wouldn’t be worried about yeast autolysis for at least 3-4 months in primary.

Ugh… people are the worst. This is why I’m an introverted loner brewer. There are people mere blocks from me that homebrew that I don’t interact with mostly because I fear they will be like that.


I’m a loner brewer too.

Brewing is like a marriage.

But if you gots the wrong partner, it’s a bad marriage.

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I don’t think autolysis is an issue on a homebrew level. It was discussed years ago and in outdated brewing literature but at this point I think it’s been dispelled as myth.

I’ve left both ales and lagers on the yeast cake for 3 months with no issues whatsoever. As a matter of fact they were very good beers.

On the contrary, racking off the cake in a week may leave you with an under attenuated beer in some cases.

Having said all that the only secondary vessel I use is a stainless steel co2 pressurized one.

Brewing is like chemistry class. Your partner will probably be a dimwit, and you’ll have to finish the project alone.

Brewing is like rebuilding a carbouretor. Other people will just make it worse.

Brewing is like YouTube comments. It ruins any faith you had in humanity.

Brewing is like a first date. Most often, you’re better off home alone.

Brewing is like a pizza. Some other dude will always want to put anchovies and pineapple on it.

Can you tell I’m a cynic?


Yeah I totally agree that there should be no issue with autolysis.

I’d probably say join the 21st century or brew alone…but then I’m an only child…

It’s just beer if he wants to rack it rack it no t worth loosing a friend over.:v:


I’m not advocating losing a friend

stay friends…share beer…brew separately…

if your philosophical approach is going to be an issue.

Don’t add extra stress to the brew day or it’s no fun for anyone.

my .02

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@mhall2013 does your friend participate in any forums?

I’ll go back to let the yeast determine when you should do something…. Let the test gravity settle down to same readings, then rack to a secondary, or keg… Sneezles61

I say let your friend paranoidly F up his part of the batch by splitting the wort into 2 x 2.5s.
Beers supposed to be bring peeps together. Perhaps you aren’t drinking enough.

I think the solution is simple. Don’t argue, but don’t split the cost. Brew together for the companionship and company, but whoever buys the ingredients is the one who’s rules are followed. It’s like baseball. When you play in the American League park you have a designated hitter. National league park, the pitcher bats. Brew to the rules of the one who buys the stuff. I think you will both find that if you do a few batches both ways that the results are not really different.I have brewed where I let the batch sit in the primary for over a month and there was no negative impact.

Maybe you even try both ways and then do a blind taste test. See if either of you can tell which was done what way. This hobby is about learning and experimenting. Try different things and see what happens.


There is a ton of information out there, a lot of it bad, so if you get someone stubborn who has read through How to Brew (or worse, spent a few hours on Homebrewtalk) and considers themselves an expert, brewing with them can actually really suck. All of a sudden, beer is no longer fun, which is completely backward.

My brewing partner is a type-A, hardcore German who loves being a meyven/subject-matter-expert, but he acknowledges he doesn’t know everything about this subject. We are great friends, so we generally have a dialogue when we have a disagreement.

Your partner is indeed misinformed. One week on the yeast is typically not enough time for most beers. I would show him real data, or better yet, suggest splitting a batch and trying it both ways. We typically approach ‘disagreement’ with a spirit of experimentation and relying on better brewers than us. If your guy isn’t willing to listen or experiment, I would pop smoke and let him brew his underattenuated twangy swill on his own.

hhaha same issue here in the beginning
i took charge on the brewing issues but one week kind of short before racking
i do leave it stand for two weeks in the first fermenting do take a grav reading first than do transfer when ready to second and dry hop the beer
no other way or discusion at all any more with my brewing friend