Fermentation Question

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Fermentation Question

Postby AKA_THE_HULK » Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:27 pm

I have been brewing for about 3 months now and have had pretty good success with all of my brews so far. I have a question in regards to the ferementation process. What is the earliest that you can keg after the primary fermentation process is complete? I dont bottle just because it is a hassle for me and like to keg because you always have ice cold brew at your fingertips. I know that you are supposed to wait a minimum of 14 days prior to cold rack and kegging but just wanted to see if there is any other theories out there or if somebody knows different. thanks in advance.
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RE:Fermentation Question

Postby Legman » Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:13 pm

Well, you're probably gonna get several opinions about this, which is what I found when I first started brewing. So here's mine based on research and experience.

There are some bi-products that are produced during fermentation, which add off-flavors to your beer. Over an aging process, the suspended yeast will consume these bi-products resulting in a better tasting brew. In most cases, you will taste these if you consume you beer too young. Some ales, like wheat ales, are better consumed early and darker and/or higher gravity ales usually require a longer aging time.

It has been my experience that most of my brews start tasting the best within 4-8 weeks of bottling or kegging. I also have found that using a secondary is unnecessary(this is also a personal preference.) I'm finding it to be beneficial to leave my beer in the primary longer than 14 days. I leave it in the primary for 3 weeks if I'm bottling and 4 weeks if I'm going to keg it.

This does a few thing. First, it seems that the big yeast cake in the primary consumes the bi-products faster than the small amount of suspended yeast left once it's been racked, kegged, or bottled. Secondly, the beer clears up really nice and I don't have to go through the trouble of cleaning or racking into a secondary vessel. To me, it's just one less thing I really have to do.

14 days after fermenting is way too soon to start consumption. I think you'll enjoy your brew more if you just be a little more patient and give it some time. Your brews will mellow and flavors will blend giving you a much more enjoyable experience. That's my 2 cents. Good luck!
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Postby AKA_THE_HULK » Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:22 pm

What about the yeast that starts to cannabalize the younger yeast by leaving it in the primary fermenter longer than 14 days? I am still learning so I am taking info from alot of different resources. Some people live by second fermentation and others decide to cold rack the carboy x 48 hours prior to kegging. This is kind of a quick way to speed up the secondary fermentation by introducing the cold and dropping any left over particulate to the bottom.
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Autolysis

Postby Legman » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:08 am

What you are speaking of is called, autolysis. You shouldn't have to really worry about this at all. It would take months of leaving it in the primary before this would even start to become a concern.

There isn't just one correct answer to your original question, as with many other brewing topics. Some people do things because that's what they've always been told to do. Others venture out and find that other things work as well. There's just a few basic rules to brewing. The rest is basically personal preference and experience. Don't be afraid to step out of the box and try something new. You might be very pleased with the results.

Also check this out. This has some really good info. :mrgreen:
http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html
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