Beer Fermentation 101

Fermenters carbonating in chest freezer

A very critical stage in brewing that needs just as much attention to any other phase of the brew day. I’ve lost more beer to a bad fermentation then anything else,  if there even is anything else. Either way it’s important stuff here’s a list of what to watch out for..



Temp: 65-75 deg.

Primary: 10 days normally is enough; 2-3 weeks in primary is another option too if you want to skip a secondary stage.

Secondary/Conditioning: 7-12 days of cold conditioning (35-40 deg.) helps most of the remaining sediment drop out and give you a clearer, fresher beer. This is important even for dark beers. More time will only improve the beer too.


Temp: 55 deg.
Primary: 10 days normally is enough too, depending on how active the yeast is but normally it will take longer then ales. After most of the fermentation is done and I’m a few points away from my TG I raise the temperatures for 2 days to about 65 deg. to preform a diacetyl rest. I would advise to do a secondary since after the diacetyl rest there will be plenty of sediment which is unwanted in the final conditioning stage of the beer.
Secondary/Conditioning: same as ale.


Also I’d advise getting an auto-siphon if you don’t already have one because it will make your racking experience literary a million times more enjoyable.




  • First Homemade Fermenter Cooler









  • Keep it covered- Sun is no Bueno






  • Watch for leaks if your using plastic buckets






  • Leave enough space at the top of the fermenter or use a blow-off tube.
  • A very active fermentation can blow off lid and airlock = big mess















  • Keep in correct temperature, I keep lagers in a chest freezer with temperature control.










  • Always be very Sanitary; clean Racking Equipment and bucket very well.
  • If you are cleaning plastic do not scrub with a rough surface sponge or cloth.
  • Do not let a fermenter sit after racking or that top layer ring will cement onto the top layer..











About The Author

Alex Winkler

Since early highschool Alex has been tinkering with online projects. Now, Co-founder of Enzlo Inc, a software and web company that established itself by developing it’s own email marketing software, online selling platform, and subscription sites. - Instagram

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