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Old 12-14-2007, 01:58 AM   #1
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Default Beer Ready in Two Weeks? Or Just Skip It?

Last weekend I had some friends over and we went through most of my last batch. I woke up on Sunday and realized that I wasn't going to have any beer to take with me over Christmas while we spend a week with the in-laws in North Carolina.

I freaked out and ran to the LHBS and picked up a british bitter extract kit. I brewed it that day. I've had a few days to think about it and I'm not sure it was a good idea. First of all, that means I'll have to bottle it this Sunday, which means it will have been in a fermenter for only a week. Second, it will only be in the bottle for a week before we leave. So maybe you can start to figure out why I'm thinking this was a bad idea.

What are everyones' thoughts? Should I try an follow through with this plan, and take a case of green british bitter with me, or should I try and find a local brewery and sample the local stuff? Either way, I need something to get me through the week with the in-laws.

Just as an added bonus, my brother-in-law will be there. We both got started homebrewing around the same time, and we've never had a chance to sample each other's stuff. I'm pretty sure he'll bring his own, and I wanted to bring some of my own.

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Old 12-14-2007, 02:13 AM   #2
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British bitters don't need a ton of aging (though you'll certainly be cutting it close). If you go for a light carbonation (which is to style anyway) it should be at least drinkable.

However green beer it definitely still will be. If it were me I'd probably take some so your BIL can sample. Being a homebrewer himself he'll understand when you say it's still green. Take the opportunity to sample some of the local micros.

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Old 12-14-2007, 04:54 AM   #3
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You can do a mild in 2 weeks.
An Hefe maybe?

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Old 12-14-2007, 05:11 AM   #4
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If you're confident of the expected FG, bottle a sixer when it gets to .002 gravity over your expected FG with NO priming sugar. The last of the fermentation will carbonate the beer and the rest of the time it will condition as much as possible. Then leave the rest in the carboy till you get back. I've been thinking about doing this with a beer just to see if my math is right. According to the beer recipator on HBD 5 oz of corn sugar adds .0023 to a 5 gallon batch. This idea would help you deal with the extremely short time period we're talking about. I must insist that you need to be EXTREMELY confident about what FG you will get. If you are off by more than .002 you will end up with soggy, glass infested luggage! And nobody likes that!

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Old 12-14-2007, 05:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bah Humbug
You can do a mild in 2 weeks.
An Hefe maybe?
QFE

anything VERY light or certain hefes with LOTS of yeast can be done that quickly if force-carbonated.

I still want to go on a 2 week camping trip and make beer the first day, then drink it the last
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:29 AM   #6
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Maybe crank up the heat a little to get it to ferment faster? Not the best for quality but if you want speed...

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Old 12-14-2007, 08:07 AM   #7
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lotsa viable yeast

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Old 12-14-2007, 12:38 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I checked the gravity again last night and it is at the high end of an acceptable FG. I did keep it a little warm (74º) which hopefully helped it go a little faster.

I like your idea shafferpilot, but I think it is close enough now, that I will need to prime it. I do think that I will only bottle about 12 and leave the rest until I get back. That way the rest of the batch has time to mellow.

Does anyone know of any good local micros in the Durham area?

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Old 12-14-2007, 12:58 PM   #9
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I know you want to show off your hobby and all but is a super rushed batch and subpar beer how you want to do it? I honestly think you'll taint their opinion of homebrew forever. Sorry. Hot fermented, no aging, it's going to be an estery yeast soup.

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Old 12-14-2007, 01:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
I know you want to show off your hobby and all but is a super rushed batch and subpar beer how you want to do it? I honestly think you'll taint their opinion of homebrew forever. Sorry.

Exactly...Especially if the Bro-in-law is going to be bringing some of his brew to share.

Don't be that kid that comes to the party with the half-a$$ homemade gift because you didn't get something in time.
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