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Old 02-09-2013, 11:20 PM   #1
barnumbrewing
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Default Fermentation and Bottling Times

Can someone explain to me how to determine the appropriate fermentation time and how long until the beer is "Ready". I noticed some beers require 6 weeks and some are several months. Other than checking the hydrometer during separate intervals what else determines when the beer is ready to bottle?

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Old 02-09-2013, 11:25 PM   #2
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When it's ready. Or in my case, whenever I get to it!!

Seriously though, I give 3-4 weeks in primary, and minimum 3 weeks in bottle. I just try one every week or two until it tastes good, then I drink the crap outta it!

I give that time in primary just give it plenty of time to let the yeast finish doing its thing, then whenever I can get to it I will. I'm sure there are scientific ways, but that works for me.

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Old 02-09-2013, 11:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnumbrewing View Post
Other than checking the hydrometer during separate intervals what else determines when the beer is ready to bottle?
That's about it!

Check the SG when active fermentation is apparently over. You can wait a few days, and then check it. When it's the same after at least three days, it can be bottled.

What I like to do is wait until the beer starts to clear, though. That way there is less crud in the bottles. So, after the fermentation ends I wait about a week and check a sample. If the beer is done, and it's completely clear, I'll package it then. If not, I'll wait. Some even like to put the fermenter in a cold place ("cold crashing") to really help it clear up before bottling.

I normally bottle the beer when it's 2-3 weeks old, depending on my schedule and what kind of beer it is.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:43 PM   #4
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Great! I always waited the appropriate time on the recipe but recently started to do all grain. I just transferred an Irish Ale into a secondary but its real cloudy. I have it about 57 degrees so hopefully it will clear up. The winter ales that take 2 months to finish, is that due to the slower fermentation? Thanks for your input.

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Old 02-09-2013, 11:56 PM   #5
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The higher the ABV, the longer the beer needs to condition to lose that hot alcohol taste. I don't have a time line for you unfortunately. I'm sure somebody will chime in with a rule-of-thumb for an alcohol content/conditioning time ratio.

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Old 02-10-2013, 02:33 PM   #6
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The higher the ABV, the longer the beer needs to condition to lose that hot alcohol taste. I don't have a time line for you unfortunately. I'm sure somebody will chime in with a rule-of-thumb for an alcohol content/conditioning time ratio.
This is more fermentation practice than a consequence of being high gravity. If you pitch enough healthy yeast, have an appropriate temp during fermentation, you can mitigate the creation of as many higher alcohols. There will generally be more present simply because that is the result of having more fermentables, though.
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