Author Topic: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?  (Read 341 times)

Offline Megary

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Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« on: January 27, 2020, 09:21:21 PM »
I've got a glass carboy that I never use because frankly I'm not a fan of glass carboys.  Slippery, dangerous, hard to clean.  So it just sits in the closet at the end of the bench watching all the other brewing equipment having fun.

But I'm thinking about brewing something that I could rack to the carboy and forget about for some extended period of time.  6 months, a year...whatever.  Maybe I can get some use out of the carboy, one beer every year.  There would be no racking off the yeast until its time to package.  Set it and forget it.

Now I've read that its good practice to get the beer off the yeast cake at some point, though when exactly seems to be a bit of a mystery.  Doesn't some yeast drop out in secondary conditioning?  And how long does one store primed and packaged beer bottles? 

So...Can a beer ferment, condition and age in a primary vessel?  Suggestions?  A good yeast for this?  (I would rather not get involved with any yeast that could infect any of the equipment.  I don't want to have to quarantine any hoses, siphons...)

Thanks in advance.

Offline denny

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Re: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2020, 09:37:23 PM »
yes, some yeast will drop out in a situation like that.  IMO, not enough to be a problem.
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Offline charlie

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Re: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2020, 02:10:53 AM »
Are we talking about a long enough time period for yeast autolysis to begin? Yeast will autolyze (explode) when they die, and the yeast cell contents are not particularly tasty. In point of fact, they are downright undesirable!

I bought a six pack of brew one time, I forget what it was, but I think it was Rogue Dead Guy. The yeast in the stuff had autolyzed, and it was pretty nasty.

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Offline a10t2

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Re: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2020, 03:06:21 AM »
I wouldn't leave beer on the yeast for a year, period. At homebrew scale in particular a couple months is certainly no problem.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2020, 03:30:00 AM »
My personal cutoff is about 6 weeks in primary.  Beyond that point, I have occasionally run into problems.  I'm a lazy brewer so I have probably done a long primary like this about a dozen times, sometimes will ill effects and sometimes not.  But I won't go longer than 6 weeks anymore just to be safe.
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Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2020, 01:11:46 PM »
I agree with Dave - I limit my beers exposure to the yeast cake to about 5-6 weeks.  Perhaps using the glass carboy to make a mead would be in order.  As I understand, a mead is in primary for as long as 6 months - although I have never made one.
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Offline Megary

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Re: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2020, 02:51:54 PM »
Good stuff.  Not fair that the yeast gets to make the rules.

I suppose I could try a mead.

Or I could start a beer in my regular fermenter and use the carboy for an extended secondary/brite tank.

Or I could just store loose change in the damn thing.  :D


Offline BrewBama

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Re: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2020, 03:35:11 PM »
Rule 1: Hardest workers get to make the rules. Yeast, enzymes, time, temp...


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Offline pete b

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Re: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2020, 09:51:17 PM »
Carboys are great for mead as secondary and tertiary fermenters (ageing, filled to neck), and are also good for secondary fermentation of beer where you want to add fruit, hot peppers etc. Fruit tends to leave a lot of loose sediment so its nice to be able to see the bottom of the racking cane through the glass when packaging so as not to suck up too much.
They also good for ageing high gravity beers as long as you fill to the neck and keep the airlocks from drying out (which takes many months). As long as the primary fermentation is complete and you rack it fairly carefully 6 month or a year is not a problem. I wouldn't do this with a hoppy beer but a RIS or Quad, absolutely. Keep it out of light. An old pillowcase with a hole for the airlock so you can see it works good.
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Offline Megary

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Re: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2020, 11:04:13 PM »
They also good for ageing high gravity beers as long as you fill to the neck and keep the airlocks from drying out (which takes many months). As long as the primary fermentation is complete and you rack it fairly carefully 6 month or a year is not a problem. I wouldn't do this with a hoppy beer but a RIS or Quad, absolutely. Keep it out of light. An old pillowcase with a hole for the airlock so you can see it works good.

Yeah, I'm thinking a RIS or Barley Wine might be an interesting one-off beer.  Good tip on filling to the neck.  I'll have to adjust some volumes to get it where it needs to be.

Cheers.

Offline pete b

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Re: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2020, 11:51:55 PM »
They also good for ageing high gravity beers as long as you fill to the neck and keep the airlocks from drying out (which takes many months). As long as the primary fermentation is complete and you rack it fairly carefully 6 month or a year is not a problem. I wouldn't do this with a hoppy beer but a RIS or Quad, absolutely. Keep it out of light. An old pillowcase with a hole for the airlock so you can see it works good.

Yeah, I'm thinking a RIS or Barley Wine might be an interesting one-off beer.  Good tip on filling to the neck.  I'll have to adjust some volumes to get it where it needs to be.

Cheers.
If you are close you can use sanitized glass marbles to displace enough liquid. I believe car boys are designed to bulk age wine so they have a narrow neck to reduce surface area and therefore oxygen contact.
BTW, when you rack the agitation sometimes restarts a little bit of fermentation. This is no problem, nor is the fact that you will carry over a bit of sediment. It’s no more dead (and probably some live) yeast on the bottom than what you would get proportionally when you bottle condition. You can cold crash your primary first if you want to reduce the amount of yeast still in solution but it is unnecessary. One could argue a little fermentation at this stage reduces oxidation, but for aged high gravity beers a little oxidation is good.
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Offline mdyer909

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Re: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2020, 11:41:39 PM »
You could try the recipe for Jopen beer in Zymurgy vol. 43.  Someone has to brew it!

Offline Megary

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Re: Long time on Yeast in Primary. Possible?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2020, 01:01:10 AM »
You could try the recipe for Jopen beer in Zymurgy vol. 43.  Someone has to brew it!

Lol.  I saw that recipe. 

Absolutely insane.