All Grain

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All Grain

Postby LawDawg05023 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:33 pm

I just finished brewing my All grain IPA, and has been in the fermenter for 5 days. This is the first time I plan on using a secondary, how long should I let it set in the primary? OG 1.063
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Length of Primary Fermentation

Postby slothrob » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:53 am

There are different schools of thought on how long to leave a beer in Primary that range from "get the beer off the yeast as soon as possible" to "let it sit on the yeast until you get around to moving it." Some people even transfer the beer while it is still fermenting. Personally, I favor leaving the beer on the yeast until it reaches final gravity, then give it at least 3 days at fermentation temperature or slightly higher. The extra time allows the yeast to clean up fermentation byproducts that would be perceived as off-flavors.

For most Ales and Ale yeasts, 1-2 weeks seems a good amount of time in Primary, but I almost always default to about 2 weeks after moving a couple beers too early at 1 week when I was first starting to brew. Beware of using this as a rule, though, or you may end up getting fooled by slow yeasts, like Saison yeast, that can take a month or more to finish fermentation. Tasting the beer before transferring, to make sure there isn't any residual Diacetyl or Acetaldehyde, is a good practice.
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Postby LawDawg05023 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:33 pm

The yeast I used was White Labs California Ale. would you consider that a slow yeast?
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Secondary

Postby slothrob » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:43 am

No, That yeast is usually pretty quick and clean, so it doesn't usually take much extra time to clean up, either. The only way it is slow is that it can take a long time to drop out and clear the beer. That's a decent reason to use a secondary, though. You might even consider lowering the temperature of the secondary to speed that up.
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Postby jawbox » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:10 pm

Yeah cal yeast is dusty. I usually crash my beers to help drop it out of suspension once I've hit terminal gravity.
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