Author Topic: How long do you ferement  (Read 2940 times)

Offline EnkAMania

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How long do you ferement
« on: August 28, 2020, 01:02:10 pm »
I was just curious, how long folks leave the beer in the fermenter.  At day 5, my beer has been at steady gravity for 3, so I'm thinking keg and cold crash.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2020, 01:14:00 pm »
Depends on the wort and the yeast really. ...but a standard 1.050-ish wort and my go-to Bry-97 I avg 5-6 days.


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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2020, 01:33:13 pm »
I'll say it before Denny can.   ;D

It's up to the beer.  Sounds like your is ready to go. 

Smaller/average beers can often be done in 5 or 6 days.  Bigger beers can take longer.  sometimes much longer. 

You have to let beer drive, it will tell you when you get there.

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Offline denny

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2020, 02:12:52 pm »
I'll say it before Denny can.   ;D

It's up to the beer.  Sounds like your is ready to go. 

Smaller/average beers can often be done in 5 or 6 days.  Bigger beers can take longer.  sometimes much longer. 

You have to let beer drive, it will tell you when you get there.

Paul

Good on ya!

I find that for most beers up to maybe 1.070ish, what usually works for me is 4-5 dys at 63, 2-3 days at 70-72, and 3 days at 35.  Add a couple more at 35 if I'm  dry hopping.  But like Paul said, it depends
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Online Bob357

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2020, 02:26:38 pm »
Every ferment is different. Not only do the grain bill and gravity influence fermentation times, but so do yeast strain, health and cell count, wort oxygen content, temperature, wort fermentability, and several other factors as well. Some of these may fall in line without your influence.

I won't offer a hard and fast method to determine when to package, but will tell you what's worked best for my beers. I always slightly over pitch, aerate and control fermentation temperature. Once Krausen begins to recede, I increase the temperature for a couple of days for a VDK rest and then take a gravity reading. If the gravity is where I expect it to be, I then reduce the fermentation chamber temperature to the low 40s to speed flocculation and clearing. If my recipe calls for dry hops, I toss them in at this time. After five days, the beer is kegged. Your personal experience should be the biggest guide. Your process is unique and will have a definite influence on what works best for you.
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2020, 04:55:24 pm »
I wait for the beer to tell me it is done.  That is when one sees the beer start to clear.  If is the yeast is not floculating (clumping together) or sedimenting (falling out of suspension), it has not completed its job.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2020, 04:58:11 pm »
I leave it for however long it takes. Every batch is different. Yeast is alive and works at whatever pace it wants.
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2020, 05:38:14 pm »
I think fermentation temperature is also a big factor. Yeast is much less active at 48F than 65F.

Offline HopDen

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2020, 05:27:39 am »
For me, regardless of style, I leave in the fermentor ( SS conical with temp control) anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Cold crash, finings, collect yeast then keg.

Offline Fire Rooster

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2020, 08:45:53 am »
I set it and forget it, for 3 weeks.

Offline denny

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2020, 08:52:13 am »
I leave it for however long it takes. Every batch is different. Yeast is alive and works at whatever pace it wants.

And worth composition figures in, too.
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Offline denny

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2020, 08:56:01 am »
Those of you who are leaving next in the fermenter for long periods in order for the yeast to "clean up" might be interested in this conversation I had with John Palmer.....

100-150 years ago, fermentation was open, followed by maturation in a wooden cask. The beer
was prone to contamination. This could be mitigated by heavy hopping and long warm
maturation to wait for the bitterness to die down, or by long cold maturation (lagering) to use
temperature to keep the contamination down.
Yeast have 3 phases in their life cycle: Adaptation, High Growth, and Stationary. (See Yeast by
CW and Jamil) They do not have a maturation phase where they clean up byproducts. Adaptation
phase is where they take in oxygen and build sterols and other lipids, assess the sugar
composition and build enzymes, etc. Once those activities are done, they start the High Growth
Phase, eating and reproducing. The number of cell divisions is limited by their lipid reserves they
made during Adaptation. These reserves are shared with each daughter cell. When those lipid
reserves are exhausted, the cell stops reproducing. In addition, when those reserves are
exhausted, the cell is old and cannot eat or excrete waste efficiently across it’s cell membrane. A
yeast cell typically can reproduce about 4 times during a typical fermentation, after that it is old
and tired and tends to enter Stationary phase where it shuts down most of its metabolism and
flocculates, waiting for the next batch of aerated wort. Stationary phase is essentially an
inactivity phase, resting on the bottom.
Like I said, no conditioning phase as far as the yeast are concerned. Byproducts can be consumed
at any point during the high growth phase, but they are a lower energy source than sugar, so
guess what? Byproducts are not a biological priority. The brewer therefore needs to plan his
pitching rate and fermentation conditions such that the yeast run out of fermentable wort sugar
before their lipid reserves are exhausted and they go into stationary phase. Now you have a
majority of vigorous yeast that have only undergone 2 reproductions (for example), the sugar is
gone, and they are still hungry, so they turn to acetaldehyde and diacetyl as alternate energy
sources and maturate the beer. You can help this by doing a diacetyl rest by raising the
temperature a few degrees after the first half of fermentation, to keep the yeast active and eating.
Where in the fermentation? after the first half, 2/3 to 3/4, when most of the attenuation has
occured and raising the temperature is not going to cause rampant growth and the off-flavors
associated with it.
Today, we have closed stainless steel tanks which allow us to prevent oxidation, pull the yeast,
and control the temperature. This plus our understanding of the yeast cycle above changes the
way we ferment lagers, so now lager beer fermentation is started cooler to control yeast growth
and allowed or controlled to rise during fermentation to the diacetyl rest, such that ALL of the
fermentation and maturation is complete before the beer is cooled to lagering temperature. The
effect of temperature at this stage is strictly physical, increasing the strength of hydrogen bonds
to coagulate beer haze and help it settle out. The yeast are still susceptible to temperature shock
and lipid excretion, so the cooling to lager temperature 35-38F still has to be slow, i.e. 5F per
day.
Please note that this behavior and fermentation technique is applicable to ALL beers,
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Offline Richard

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2020, 09:41:01 am »
The yeast are still susceptible to temperature shock and lipid excretion, so the cooling to lager temperature 35-38F still has to be slow, i.e. 5F per
day.
Wow, that is slow! I have heard people say limit the cooling to 1-2 F/hr before, but this is way slower than that. I usually take 2-3 days to cool from mid-60s to 34, but 5 F/day would require ~6 days for a "cold crash". Really more of a gradual slowing than a crash.
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Offline denny

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2020, 09:44:02 am »
The yeast are still susceptible to temperature shock and lipid excretion, so the cooling to lager temperature 35-38F still has to be slow, i.e. 5F per
day.
Wow, that is slow! I have heard people say limit the cooling to 1-2 F/hr before, but this is way slower than that. I usually take 2-3 days to cool from mid-60s to 34, but 5 F/day would require ~6 days for a "cold crash". Really more of a gradual slowing than a crash.

FWIW, I ignore that and cold crash without any of the negative effects mentioned. As always, learn the science but do what works for you.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline BrewBama

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Re: How long do you ferement
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2020, 10:01:08 am »
FWIW, I ignore that and cold crash without any of the negative effects mentioned. As always, learn the science but do what works for you.

+1. I keg after ~65*F fermentation is complete and stick the keg in a 34*F fridge under CO2 pressure. It takes ~ a day or so I’d guess I never tracked it.


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