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Monday, December 18, 2006

Learn something new everyday!

So I was reading my handy-dandy "Homebrewing for Dummies" that I bought a few years ago (mine is an older version and I think it's written by someone different) and I saw an interesting tidbit that I didn't realize before. When you are brewing a heavier brew, like an Imperial Stout, you should give it more time in the secondary fermentation than you would with other brews.

Now this is news to me because I was just going on 2 weeks secondary fermentation for everything. According to the book, because these beers are so heavy, the yeast needs a little extra time to work through everything.

Anyway, just a quick update and a reminder to always keep learning.

On a side note- I bought that book before I actually started brewing, I figured that I was going to get to know everything before I went into it like that was going to make me a better brewer, needless to say, I was wrong. If you are thinking about brewing and want to "learn more" my advice is just do it. Watch someone do it if you can, but if you can't, just start screwing around.

*I don't recommend Homebrewing for Dummies, it's confusing, the recipes in it are dated and is really not good for any beginner. However, it does make for a good reference now that I have been brewing for a while.

3 comments:

grove said...

I never do secondaries - because I'm lazy.

I've found that there is not really any real need to transfer the beer to secondary. Instead I let the primary go on for up to four weeks (usually two weeks - but it depends on how slow the yeast is). Then I transfer to kegs and bottles, and then lager the beer in the fridge for some time (except perhaps for the bottles the first week as they need to produce some carbonation first).

I think storing the beer cold for some time does much the same as a prolonged secondary would do. Anyway, YMMV. :)

Travis said...

I was talking with someone that does the same thing. I am going to do a few lighter beers for the spring and summer and I might try that just for the heck of it.

I think i may stick with the secondary fermentation in the future though because I have a 6 gallon glass carboy that is too small for primary fermentation so I have to do something with it. (plus I am an impatient brewer and having a project one week into my brewing keeps me from trying to rush the process).

Thanks for the comment.

Chris said...

I read an article recently in BYO magazine mentioning that many breweries, micro and macro, ferment at higher gravity then dilute, in order to save space in the brewery--increase output for the same space, actually. If you wanted to keep a brew in a single 6 gal carboy for the duration, you could ferment 4 gal, then when the kraeusen falls top off to the correct final volume.