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Gringojoe

Fermenting Time

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As a newbie (made my 1st batch this morning) to the brewing process, the directions state it takes 7-14 days for the fermentation process. Some brewers have said they go as long as 21. But they don't state why. Does it increase the alc. strength or does it just assure the fermenting has been completed?

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Here's why.....

If you leave it in the fermenter for 21 days, it gives the yeast a chance to clean up after themselves giving you a cleaner, clearer beer.

After the first 7 days, the yeast have eaten all of the readily fermentable sugars and then begin to work on the heavier sugars like maltotriose. Diacetyl (too much tastes like butter or butterscotch) and acetaldehyde (too much tastes like green apples or fresh cut pumpkin) continue to be reduced during the secondary fermentation as well.

The extra time also lets more of the sediment, yeast and hops resins settle out into the trub ("troob") before bottling resulting in a much clearer beer.

Does that help?

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And with a really tall beer like King's Nectar, the ABV builds past 10% and the yeast takes much longer to finish it off. I went 28 days on that one and was rewarded with an FG of 1.008 (from 1.088). And she's carbing oh-so-slowly.

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+1 to everything Wings said.

Many new brewers make the mistake of thinking that, just because there's less visible action inside the keg, fermentation has stopped. But there's still stuff going on in there, and that's why patience is paramount. Beer is both simple (four ingredients :cheer: ) and complex (SCIENCE!! :think: ). My brain is pretty simple (boobs! :evil: ), so I don't get into the complexities too much, because it takes more gray cells than I can muster to understand them. But I can at least recognize that those complexities exist, and respect them enough to give them the time they need to give me the best beer possible.

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@Gringojoe: I had a similar question a few days ago. This place is a great resource. And based on the feedback, I'm going to let my beer ferment three weeks, followed by four weeks carbonated/conditioned at room temperature. It's tough because I lack patience! Some call this the "3-4." Good luck.

Side note: I started brewing back last spring. I'm over 30 batches into this. Only a few stinkers. My favorite without question is the Bavarian Weissbier Deluxe. That's the one with the LME package. I really like it without the LME, too. Just a little lighter.

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I am also new to this and here is my plan for proving what everyone here has said:

Ferment for 3 weeks (really, what is an extra week?)
Bottle and condition for 3 weeks

Here is the expirmental part: Superbowl will come before it will truly be ready by the 3-4 rule so I am going to take half of the bottles and put them in the fridge and have them for the super bowl, the others, i will be taking out 1 week at a time and see how the flavor changes as they condition. This will how me how the tastes change with longer conditioning.

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Welcome aboard The Obsession Gringojoe! If you're like the rest of us here you'll soon be awash in a sea of beer and setting sail on many great brewing adventures. There's lot's of information here and plenty of hands to help you get under way. You'll soon be producing some memorable beers and having a lot of fun too in the days ahead.

Navigate on over to our Advanced Brewing Techniques area of the forum and read over the

option=com_kunena&Itemid=124&func=view&catid=18&id=202417" target="_blank" title="http://community.mrbeer.com/index.php?

option=com_kunena&Itemid=124&func=view&catid=18&id=202417">'4 Things Every Brewer Should Know About Yeast'

sticky. Yeast is a living cell, keep them healthy and they'll ferment you up some awesome tasting beers.

Set your course and sail on over to our New Brewers and FAQs area of the forum and read over the 'Malt To Adjunct Ratios' sticky.

Remember for the best tasting beer you'll want no less than 66% of the alcohol to come from malts and no more than 33% of the alcohol to come from sugars or other adjuncts.

For marketing purposes having beer ready to drink in as little as two weeks makes sense, in reality though not so much. Sometimes newbies won't pay strict attention to temperatures when pitching their yeast and/or fermenting their beer and that extra week for fermentation kind of makes up for that by allowing the beer to fully ferment. If you bottle your beer too early, before it's done fermenting the sugars in your wort, when you add priming sugar you may have to deal with some bottle bombs too.

For the most part brew day is the most intense part of the brewing process followed by bottling day, but for the most part once the yeast has been pitched there's not a whole lot to be done to get great tasting beer. This is also the best time to read about brewing related stuff, plan your next brews and maybe pickup a few things to make your next brewday better.

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Guest System Admin

Here is the expirmental part: Superbowl will come before it will truly be ready by the 3-4 rule so I am going to take half of the bottles and put them in the fridge and have them for the super bowl, the others, i will be taking out 1 week at a time and see how the flavor changes as they condition. This will how me how the tastes change with longer conditioning.

AWESOME! Experimenting and proving to yourself that the methods work is a great way to handle it. The difference between 2 week old beer and 6 week old beer (conditioning wise) is something that you have to taste for yourself.

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Yet another newbie here... There's some great info in this thread! Another question though: how long should you condition at room temperature before transitioning to cold?

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"marc777" post=309813 said:

Yet another newbie here... There some great info in this thread! Another question though: how long should you condition at room temperature before transitioning to cold?

Welcome to the forums :borg:

Typically, after you ferment for 3 weeks in the LBK (Little Brown Keg) you want the beer to sit at room temp for at least 4 weeks. Then you can transfer a few bottles to the fridge to sit for say 2 or 3 days before cracking them open.

I suggest not sticking all the beers into the fridge, let the ones you are not going to drink continue to condition at room temperature, then move them 'as needed' into the fridge to chill again for 2 or 3 days before drinking.

You will begin to notice that from the first beer to the last beer, the more conditioned beer will end up being the better tasting beer. In my experience anyway.

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That pretty much depends on what you have brewed. FG of 1.050 can go 3 - 4 weeks. 1.060 and higher should go at least 6 weeks, some going 6+ months. Hoppier beers usually are consumed young, as the hop level decreases with time. If you tell us what you brewed, someone here most likely has brewed it and can give you a time that worked for them.
As stated earlier, brewers just starting out should experiment with conditioning times, like drink 1 bottle after 3 weeks, one after 5 etc. so they can taste first hand how the beer has improved. Check the impatience at the door and you will be rewarded with better beer and an education....

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Ok, so from what i hear the 3-4 rule is pretty much the rule. That being said, how long would be or COULD be too long? Also I love the "experimental" method on opening and trying a bottle every week. You guys are awesome! Sounds like I have some "HOMEWORK" between now and bottling day.

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While I've never experienced it, because 21 days is my max, sitting on the trub can cause off flavors. I don't know what the timeline is, someone else will chime in I'm sure. Standard MB recipes don't need to go over 21 days, actually, few recipes do....

For brews that will benefit from extended time in a fermentor, some will transfer to another fermentor to get brew off trub, eliminating off flavors.

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Some people condition in bottle for 6 months....but they have HUGE pipelines.

Mine rarely last more than three weeks past the 3-4 period becasue I drink them while the next batches are fermenting and conditioning.

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"mtsoxfan" post=309821 said:

While I've never experienced it, because 21 days is my max, sitting on the trub can cause off flavors. I don't know what the timeline is, someone else will chime in I'm sure. Standard MB recipes don't need to go over 21 days, actually, few recipes do....

For brews that will benefit from extended time in a fermentor, some will transfer to another fermentor to get brew off trub, eliminating off flavors.

Because of my work/travel schedule, I've had to leave some batches in the primary longer than 21 days. Most have been just fine, but I had a couple that didn't turn out so well. It just depends.

Also, as far as bottle conditioning, most of the heavier brews, such as porters or stouts will improve with age, but typically wheats are better young.

Using the 3-2-2 or a variation is a pretty good way to get good results as you're starting out with the MrB stuff. However, as you get into the more sophisticated stuff, the best way to know that your beer is ready to bottle is by checking the final gravity with a hydrometer.

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