Your shortest fermentation/conditioning period...

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by ricchezza, Jun 20, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ricchezza

    ricchezza Aspirant (249) Nov 2, 2005 Massachusetts

    I’ve read many posts about people going away and concerned about fermenting too long in either primary or secondary.

    What is the shortest you’ve conditioned a brew?

    Scenario: beer in primary for 10 days and you’ve reached your target FG. Bottle/keg, or let it condition further?

    The are obvious variables, in theory, such as style of beer; but in actual practice, from kettle to glass, what is the shortest time frame you’ve allowed?

    Personally, I usually allow 7-14 primary, typically 7-10 secondary then keg, use tank to carbonate over 5-10 days.
  2. leedorham

    leedorham Defender (699) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    Brewed this beer on 1-21 and was drinking it fully-carbonated by 1-27.
  3. MaxSpang

    MaxSpang Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2011 Ohio

    Wow. How'd it turn out?
  4. leedorham

    leedorham Defender (699) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    It was good. Full-bodied, minimal off-flavor. A little yeasty. Admittedly better after a week more in the keg.
  5. MaxSpang

    MaxSpang Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2011 Ohio

    Just out of curiosity, how'd you get it to ferment out so fast?
  6. leedorham

    leedorham Defender (699) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    Well it was a mild with an o.g. of 1.043 so I would have been surprised if it didn't finish within 2-3 days.
  7. carteravebrew

    carteravebrew Zealot (502) Jan 21, 2010 Colorado

    Zymurgy had a whole article a couple issues back (can't remember which one exactly) about recipes that can be turned around in a week (keg-conditioned, obviously).

    Me? I've turned them around, grain to glass (from keg) in two weeks once or twice.

    Whatever happened to that guy that was doing a double-IPA, grain to glass, in less than a week?
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,935) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    From the Windsor spec sheet: “Quick start and vigorous fermentation, which can be completed in 3 days above 17°C.”

    There is also a graph on the spec sheet which illustrates fermentation performance: Extract [% w/w] over a period of 4 days.
    Mitchmoore12 likes this.
  9. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (1,076) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    2 weeks from grain to glass, bottle conditioned. Fresh Hop IPA last fall, 3/4# table sugar, 1# Simcoe, 1# Citra all in under 15 minutes. Fermented in my conical, after 6 days it was done, dropped the yeast, added priming sugar to the conical, stirred, bottled, carbed for a week, drank 1st one on day 14. Drank last one 2 weeks ago.
    tronester and bgjohnston like this.
  10. antlerwrestler19

    antlerwrestler19 Disciple (363) Nov 24, 2010 Nebraska
    Beer Trader

    Love to hear this. I hope to speed through certain batches when my conical arrives. Do you bottle straight from the conical valve?
  11. jlpred55

    jlpred55 Initiate (0) Jul 26, 2006 Iowa

    Hefeweizens routinely in 2-3 weeks. My bitters are about 3 weeks as well
  12. Drewskis

    Drewskis Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2012 Louisiana

    Did a Hef in about 2 1/2 weeks.
  13. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (523) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    5 days mash to glass for a table saison at 3.3% ABV. It was better after 2 more days in the keg and then pretty much stabilized for the last month. My wife is really sucking it down so I need to brew more next week.
  14. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    I turn IPAs around in a week pretty regularly.
    geneseohawk likes this.
  15. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (1,076) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    After dumping the yeast and adding/mixing in the priming sugar, I attached a piece of hosing to the valve, and put my bottling wand on the end of the hosing then opened her up. Bottled straight from the bottom.

    Now that I have figured out that all my infected batches were caused by that conical (not the bottling from it, the conical itself, stupid plastic) I no longer use it for this. It can be difficult to clear all the yeast and then bottling this way gets a lot of sediment into the bottles.
  16. Genuine

    Genuine Devotee (460) May 7, 2009 Connecticut

    I have the same Conical fermenter but I have yet to use it. What would cause the infection? Wouldn't it be fine if it was properly cleaned and sanitized?
  17. cracker

    cracker Disciple (300) May 2, 2004 Pennsylvania

    Seriously? From brew day to glass in one week? Wow, more power to you. I find every single IPA I've brewed doesn't come into its own until at least 6 weeks after being brewed (3 weeks in primary, rack to keg with dry hops and sit for 10-14 days ambient temp, carbonate with set and forget and then serve). I've even noticed that a good number of my IPAs will 'peak' 2-3 months after being brewed.
  18. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    Yea, pulling that off is not without its tricks.
    I use 1968 alot, 1728 at low temp more lately. So there is the floccuation. Plus I adjust my water chemistry so there is plenty of calcium to help out.
    I pitch at 1million cells/ml/plato so maybe a bit on the high side. I also let it rise at the end of fermentation to help it finish.
    I mash low, like 148-150 and can get 80+% attenuation out of those strains. lately I have been using 10% cane sugar and finishing in the 6-8FG range.
    I am one of those dumbass agressive shake the keg to carb it people. In the past I have not been much into dryhops so that did not matter. What I do now is put them in the keg in a paint strainer and it seems the shaking gets alot of extraction quickly.
    Keg it, shake it, and the next morning it is clear (for an IPA) and stripping the finish from your teeth.
    I acutally find I lose a little hop hcharacter after the first few days, not gone to hell or anything, but some things that were there are missing. I do purge the keg before racking and the headspace.
    So, yea, Seriously:grimacing:.
  19. koopa

    koopa Poo-Bah (1,825) Apr 20, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I brewed "Ed Worts Haus Pale Ale" from Homebrew Talk, hit FG in less than a week and went from grain to glass in 10 days total. Flavor was super smooth and drinkability was amazing. Smell was a bit lack luster. Hoping it improves a bit after some cold conditioning.
  20. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (268) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    We started a hefe by buying a bunch of wheat beers at the grocery store and pouring the dregs into a starter on a Thursday. The following Saturday(9days) I tapped the first keg of a delicious hefe at our Oktoberfest. The next day I had to tap the second keg for the stragglers.
    I brewed a 15 gallon batch of brown mild using three different yeasts-Nottingham, Safale 04 and 05. The Nottingham was done and ready to drink in a week, the 05 in 10 days and the 04 finished at a higher FG but still took 2 weeks.
    I can't see this being possible if you bottle.
  21. koopa

    koopa Poo-Bah (1,825) Apr 20, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Just like rocdoc, I should mention that "Ed Wort's Haus Pale Ale" calls for Nottingham and that is what I used as well.
  22. nathanjohnson

    nathanjohnson Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2007 Vermont

    My nottingham based pale ales and mild have had incredibly quick turnarounds. They ferment fast, flocc well, and don't seem to need much in the way of conditioning.
    barfdiggs and bgjohnston like this.
  23. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,587) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    I usually allow a beer 10-14 days in the primary. When I bottle, I might start testing the bottles after a week; they are drinkable but typically are ont fully primed. Two weeks is better. So a typical beer pushes 4 weeks before I am comfortable sharing it. However, if you are brewing something like a low gravity English bitter or mild, where fermentation times are shorter and low carbonation rates are the norm, you can rush it a bit. Conversely, if a high gravity beer (or a lager), time in primary can extend to 3-4 weeks. When trying for a rapid turn around, it is helpful to taste your beer; problems like diacetyl and acetaldehyde usually are taken care of by extended yeast contact. You want to avoid packaging too soon.
  24. bgjohnston

    bgjohnston Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2009 Connecticut

    Similar to what other folks have said, If I brew a low gravity wheat beer and pitch Nottingham yeast, I have a crystal clear beer in a week, and then I bottle condition for another week. I am not usually in a hurry, so I have never tried to drink anything in less than 2 weeks, since I don't keg.
  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,935) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “I've even noticed that a good number of my IPAs will 'peak' 2-3 months after being brewed.” That is very consistent with the IPAs that I homebrew.

    My IPA ‘schedule’ is typically:

    · 1 week of primary fermentation

    · 2 weeks of dry hopping (in the primary)

    · 5 weeks in the bottle

    The beers are carbonated after two weeks of bottle conditioning but they still taste very ‘green’. An additional 3 weeks of bottle conditioning does wonders for the beer.

    So, the timeframe for my IPAs is basically 2 months from brew date.

  26. Jaysus

    Jaysus Initiate (154) Jan 16, 2003 Pennsylvania

    I'd love to see that recipe if you are willing to share it! Beermail would be fine!
  27. telejunkie

    telejunkie Disciple (314) Sep 14, 2007 Vermont

    where's chriskennedy? He did a thread a while back about a either 72 or 120hr mild from grain to glass...iirc it was 72hrs.
    I'd say 2 weeks is about fastest turn around for me for something like a dry stout or apa.
  28. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (1,076) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    Not exactly sure what caused it, but I suspect it is what caused the previous owner to sell it! I bought it used form the LHBS and made 3 batches 6 batches in it before I realized there was an infection. I did an over night PBW soak, took it apart and cleaned the grooves, and a 5 day bleach soak. Next batch that I made in it was phenolic as crap (not poli-phenols from not getting the chlorine out either). That plastic is easily scratched, so be careful with it. It is now wild only. To be honest I hate that conical for the same reason I hate buckets, I have to see what is going on inside.
  29. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2011 California

    Ditto. I've been using Notty for most of my IPAs lately, and for my first American Pale ale, and they've all fermented incredibly fast, have been devoid of off flavors and have dropped clear within ~8 days from brew day.
  30. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,587) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    What about your beer seems better when you crack open these IPAs 2 months after brewing them (as opposed to, say, one month)? I usually try to start drinking hoppier beers sooner to keep the hop pop, which Nicefly also mentions in his response above. Have you done other things in your brewing to compensate for hop aroma and flavor degradation (for example, use more hops). Just curious.
  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,935) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania


    I have a difficult time articulating what ‘green’ flavors taste like. Once the beer is carbonated the beer is indeed ‘drinkable’ in that the beer is carbonated and there are no ‘off’ flavors but the beer is just simply ‘not right’ yet.

    As I mentioned in previous correspondence, it is a constant challenge for me to exercise the proper patience and just simply permit my IPAs to wait the proper time for them to properly mature. For my recent batch of all Centennial hopped IPA, social obligations ‘conspired’ against me. I brought beer to a Memorial Day Barbeque party; the IPA was way too ‘green’ then but still drinkable. The first weekend in June my wife and I were invited for a weekend at the Jersey shore and I brought beer; the IPA was ‘better’ but still ‘green’. Last weekend my wife invited friends over for Happy Hour and burgers and several of her friends are hop heads. A lot of IPA was consumed that evening, the beer was just starting to reach peak. My wife even gave a 6 pack of the IPA to one friend when she left. So, the beer started to reach peak last weekend and I have only 5 IPAs left.:slight_frown:

    When the IPA reaches its peak it is not something that I can describe well; they best I can state it that it has ‘wow’ factor. With each sip you smile and make a silent (and sometimes non-silent) expression of “Wow!”

    I wish that I could describe things better. One reason I do not rate beers is that my skills to articulate flavor/aroma is lacking.

    For completeness I will repeat my theory on why IPAs take some time to mature by quoting Al Korzonas:

    Al Korzonas in his book Homebrewing Vol. 1 provides the following guidance:

    “The appropriate aging time for properly made ales (low in polyphenols and higher alcohols) depends on the original gravity. I usually serve low-gravity ales (less than 1.040 OG) after two weeks in the bottle or keg. For medium-strength ales (1.040 to 1.055 OG), I think four weeks of aging is about right. For strong ales (1.055 to 1.080 OG) you want to condition at least 6-8 weeks. Very strong beers will improve a lot for 9 months and can continue to improve for decades.”


  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,935) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Have you done other things in your brewing to compensate for hop aroma and flavor degradation (for example, use more hops).”

    I neglected to address the above in my prior post. The short answer is that I do not do anything to compensate in the brewing of my IPAs.

    Below is my general personal assessment of my IPAs:

    · Beer reaches its peak of flavor/aroma at 2 months after brewing (5 weeks in the bottle)

    · At the 3 months from brewing point the aroma hops are subtly but noticeably fading

    · At the 4 months from brewing point the aroma hops have substantially faded (about 50% less?) and the flavor hops are starting to fade

    · At 5 months from brewing point the beer is still ‘drinkable’ but the aroma hops are extremely faded and flavor hops substantially faded; basically a ‘ghost’ of its former self

    So, in a nutshell my homebrewed IPAs have a drinkable shelf life of less than 3 months; more like 2 months.

  33. GoldenChild

    GoldenChild Disciple (339) Nov 18, 2009 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I just brewed three batches. A Sierra clone 5.5%, British Bitter 3.28%, and a Irish Red 4.48%. Kegged all three of them in two weeks. Two days later they were in my glass.
  34. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (523) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    For 10 gallons: 11lb pilsener malt, 1.5lb flaked wheat, 1.5oz Magnum for bittering (60min), 2oz Calypso at flameout.

    Single infusion mash at 149F for 60min, 90min boil. Fermented with yeast grown from a bottle of Dupont Avril (the equivalent is WY 3724, but the stolen commercial yeast behaves better) starting at 70F and ramping up to 77-78F the last 2 days. I crashed and kegged but this should be great bottle conditioned as well.

    Simple. It's pretty much all in the yeast. I like the way the fruit from the Calypso hops blends with the yeast character, but more traditional finishing hops would be good too. I may replace the flaked wheat with flaked rye next time around, just for the hell of it.
    Jaysus likes this.
  35. koopa

    koopa Poo-Bah (1,825) Apr 20, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I find my IPA's hit their "sweet spot" 3 - 6 weeks after brewing them.
  36. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,386) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I wouldn't disagree with this. I also think careful exclusion of O2 when packaging helps keep IPAs 'fresh' far longer than a lot of people think is possible.
  37. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,228) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I fermented a pale ale out in like... 4 or 5 days the other week. I waited a few days and it was done in under a week with WY1056.. I dry hopped for over a week though, so that is what slows alot of stuff down for me. I do mostly IPA's and like to dry hop them to death.
  38. cracker

    cracker Disciple (300) May 2, 2004 Pennsylvania

    I think how your store the packaged beer makes a huge difference. I've had IPAs stored in refrigerator temps stay fairly fresh for up to 4-6 months. Once I keg and finished dry hopping my IPAs don't stay at ambient temp. This prolongs hops freshness no question (ie slows the deterioration curve).

  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,935) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “I've had IPAs stored in refrigerator temps stay fairly fresh for up to 4-6 months.” Good point! I don’t have the ability to store my beers at refrigerated temperatures. At any given time I have 12-14 cases of beer in my basement and I personally only have one refrigerator (which is primarily for food).

    If you have the ability to refrigerate your IPAs they will indeed last longer.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.