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Old 06-12-2017, 08:44 AM   #1
_jon_
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Default Fermentation Time - Am I waiting long enough?

Have I been leaving my brews in the FV for long enough?

I (at the moment) tend to do primary AND secondary (although I'm getting fed up with secondary, and moving to Fermentasaurus so won't need to).. but my general rule of thumb is 1 week in primary, move to secondary (dry hop if needed) then another 5 days in secondary. Then keg, force carbonate and tap it (if needed). So in total my brews tend to be in fermentation for about 10-14 days.

Is this enough?

I just kegged my Punk IPA Clone last night, force carb'd it last night and left it sitting at 20psi. Purged this morning and set to 10psi, had a small sample... and sour! Like the hops haven't mellowed.

Trying to work out whether it just needs more time or whether I cocked it up.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:49 AM   #2
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Mine get 2 weeks in the primary, minimum. Then straight to bottle. I see no reason whatsoever for a secondary; it disturbs the clearing process which is already underway and unnecessarily opens up an avenue for infection. Hope your sour taste isn't cos of that.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:50 AM   #3
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Not even looked in to kegging so not sure how that affects it, but I stick with a 2 week rule. 2 weeks in FV, 2 weeks to bottle condition.

Obviously different beer styles need different length of time to condition out but I believe IPAs should be drunk young as the hop flavours will disappear quickly.

I haven't heard of hops bringing sour flavours to a beer before, although you can get carbonic acid flavours from carbing? could it be that?
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:56 AM   #4
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My current brew an ag cascade pale ale is on day 17 in the fv. I've switched the heat tray off and free styling a cold crash. I'll bung it in the fridge later and bottle it Saturday. ..
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:06 AM   #5
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Maybe I am not leaving it long enough. My next brew will be in the Fermentasaurus and I'll be closed transferring to keg. So no exposure. I'll leave it for 2-3 weeks and see if it makes a difference.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:11 AM   #6
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There's no need to secondary, unless you have a purpose for it. Such as wanting to have less yeast in the bottle or using it for dry hopping purposes.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:16 AM   #7
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Apart from the primary being finished, enough time for clean up etc etc, my aim is clarity or thereabouts at packaging and for me that means no less than 14 days in the FV, more likely 16/17 days usually including racking off perhaps with a dry hop. Apart from that some beers are still chugging along at 14 days so there is no hard and fast rule that you can adopt, vey much like the time required for maturing/conditioning which depends on all sorts of factors.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:17 AM   #8
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Recently I've been fermenting for approx 10 days before cold crashing and kegging without any probs, but have found beers need a week in the keg to be at their best.
To try to ensure the fermentation is complete and the yeasties clean up after themselves, I gradually ramp up the temp in the brew fridge after the initial vigirous ferment dies down.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:10 AM   #9
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Fermentation is done when it's done, test its gravity and you'll know.

I don't use secondary, it's in primary until I hit the target or close and not moving and then transferred to the PB or bottled after moving to a bottling bucket.

If you leave it long enough in primary to do what it needs to do, pretty much everything will have dropped out of suspension to leave a pretty clear beer, if I need to dry hop I would just chuck it in the primary.

I like to make things as close to the KISS principle as possible throughout the entire brewing process.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:47 AM   #10
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I don't even use a bottling bucket, I just put sugar straight in the bottles and have a tap and little bottler on my primary.
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