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Old 03-01-2006, 10:25 PM   #1
Thor
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Default Bottling: How long until carbonation?

I brewed an American Ale and want to bottle it sooner than I normally would. It had 5 days in the primary, and is just about at target gravity. I have about two weeks between now and the date I want to have drinkable, carbonated beer. I bottle, as I don't have kegging equipment.

So, my question is this: once bottled, what is the minimum amount of time before the brew is carbonated?

Details: It's 5 gallons of an American Ale recipe (DME + specialty grains, hops, 2 oz. of maltodextrin). The recipe calls for oak chips to be added to the secondary, though I am debating doing this as it tasted very good today. OG was 1.065, and when I racked to the secondary today it was 1.017, or 6.2% ABV. Since I have about 14 days, I was thinking of leaving it in the secondary for 8 or 9 days, and bottling for 5 or 6 days. I am thinking about submitting it to a contest, hence the question.

I know it would taste better in the secondary for two weeks, and I know it would taste better after several weeks or more of bottle conditioning, however I need to have it ready by 3/14. Any insight would help.

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On-deck: an ESB; a Sierra Nevada Porter clone; an Irish Ale
Primary: cleaning
Secondary 1: Summer Wheat
Secondary 2: American Ale
Bottled/Conditioning: Lonely
Bottled/Drinking: Heineken clone w/Calif. Ale yeast; Fat Tire clone

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Old 03-01-2006, 10:35 PM   #2
El Pistolero
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I've never had one carbonate in anything less than 10 days...is the judging on the 14th, or is that when you have to turn em in? If the judging is on 3/14, I'd say your SOL...an undercarbed beer isn't going to score well, I wouldn't think.

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Old 03-01-2006, 10:53 PM   #3
Ivan Lendl
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my only advice would be to use corn suger, its the quikest way, i would give it at least 10 days. i would skip the oak chips as well, they are normally used in ipa's, ive used them once and it took a long time before the oak flavor mellowed out...It did end up being a good ipa though after about 2 months...

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Old 03-02-2006, 05:55 PM   #4
casebrew
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The sooner you bottle, the more sediment in the bottles. But keep them warm, and they will carb faster. Like 85 degrees, for 3-7 days? Stuff some into your water bed?

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So far, I've had more experience thinking than I've had brewing....you don't think they are mutually exclusive, do you?

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Old 03-02-2006, 06:02 PM   #5
Walker
I use secondaries. :p
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I agree with EP about your being SOL for the contest. Even if the beer DOES carbonate very fast, it's still going to taste green and would have a hard time in a competition against beers that have probably been aged for longer periods of time.

-walker

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