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My recipe calls for a 4 to 5 week secondary fermentation, which falls on Christmas when I will not be around. It also calls for pitching additional yeast 3 days before kegging.

Should I keg the beer at 3 weeks or go to almost 6?

  • Original gravity was 1.083 the final gravity you supposed to be 1.012. I used a 4.22 Oz package of wy'east strong Belgian ale I'm supposed to use that again 3 days before bottling – Lump Nov 28 '17 at 14:05
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Let it go the full 6 weeks. A little aging always improves the flavor unless you want hoppy hoppy hoppy IPA's.

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What is your OG and projected FG, also how much yeast did you pitch? I find that high gravity beers at or above 1E6 cells/(ml*degree plato) can finish fairly fast given the right temperatures. If you are worried about overpressure in your keg after only three weeks of fermentation - as I would be with bottles - you can always build or buy a spunding valve [1].

As an aside, most people nowadays skip secondary fermentation, especially when kegging. There has been limited to no evidence of benefits of separating yeast from beer for a secondary fermentation on a homebrewer scale. One of Marschall Scott's early xbmts was on this if you want a read [2]

[1] https://byo.com/aging/item/397-build-your-own-spunding-valve-to-carbonate-in-the-keg [2] http://brulosophy.com/2014/08/12/primary-only-vs-transfer-to-secondary-exbeeriment-results/

  • IMHO if one were to correctly lager a beer for many months, it might be best to take it off the yeast. I have had some taste taints when lagering over yeast but never when lagering in a clean storage vessel. YMMV – barking.pete Nov 28 '17 at 13:54
  • interesting! I actually neglected a couple of batches in 32l and 12l fermenters for more than six months and have not gotten any yeast-related off flavors. – ritterasdf Nov 28 '17 at 18:43
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    lagers being pale and with a milder hop flavour and "crisp" taste can often be influenced by the other flavours. But stronger flavoured amber and dark ales do not seem to be influenced so much. It gives me some hope that one can forget a brew in the fermenter for 6 months and it still turns out well! The longest time I did was 3 months and it definitely had a distinct taste. I have left beer on the yeast cake for 1 month without problem. As they say, YMMV – barking.pete Nov 28 '17 at 20:38

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