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Old 03-22-2013, 04:02 AM   #1
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Default The 3 week fermenting rule -- should I?

My plan is to let the fermenting beer sit in the glass carboy, which I use as a primary, for 3 weeks. After that, you can bottle or keg, without having to worry if fermentation is done, right?

Are there cases where waiting 3 weeks doesn't help you? I will brew almost all wheat beers, and don't care much about cloudiness. How soon can I reliably bottle or keg?

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Old 03-22-2013, 04:11 AM   #2
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I pretty much always bottle at 3 weeks.

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Old 03-22-2013, 04:13 AM   #3
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no you shouldnt, it may be done in 5 days but it may take 6+ weeks to finish fermenting (data from my own experience), it is safe to bottle when final gravity is stable for few days (lets say 3-5)

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Old 03-22-2013, 05:58 AM   #4
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My plain german-style wheats are done in about 10 days (stable FG for 2-3 days at that point), I bottle condition and those can be carbed up and ready in as little as 8 days - maybe because there is so much yeast still in suspension. I wouldn't bother checking any other style at that short of time though.

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Old 03-22-2013, 02:18 PM   #5
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On average,my ales take about 3 weeks to reach Fg & settle out clear or slightly misty. But I do make good use of my hydrometer. That's the only way to know for sure.

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Old 03-22-2013, 02:29 PM   #6
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A well made beer shouldn't ever take three weeks to finish. The fermentation should be done in about 5-7 days. Then, the "clean up" period happens over the next 24 hours or so, so leaving the beer for about 10 days generally assures that fermentation is finished as is the "clean up" period.

After that the beer will start to clear. A highly flocculant yeast will usually mean a very clear beer by day 10 or so, but with less flocculant yeast it can take longer to clear.

I normally leave beer in the fermenter for 14 days or so.

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Old 03-22-2013, 03:40 PM   #7
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I agree with Yooper. (Note to self, that is always a good thing to say.)

Most of my normal gravity beers hit FG within a week. I normally leave them in fermenters for 3 weeks because I have a good pipeline so there is no need to rush. If you want/need to packages sooner, you definitely can. Earlier this week, I kegged a blonde ale 10 days after brewing it. The OG was 1.042 and it was down to 1.009 (right where I expected it), it was already clearing, and it tastes good. I only rushed this one because I have people coming for a BBQ this weekend and don't want to risk running out of beer.

There is actually a sticky in another one of the forums by Yuri_Rage about how you can easily be drinking beers 2 weeks after brewing them (assuming you keg).

If you are bottling, I would be more cautious to take gravity readings a few days apart to make sure the beer is finished fermenting (to avoid overcarbing in bottles). In a keg, the worst that will happen is that you have a little bit of residual sugar that could have been fermented.

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Old 03-22-2013, 03:55 PM   #8
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"All" is a pretty dangerous word for life in general and brewing specifically. There are pretty much always exceptions. eg I think it is impossible to turn around any of the traditional sour styles in a week. There are also some belgian strains that tend to take their own sweet time with those last few points.

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Old 03-22-2013, 04:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
"All" is a pretty dangerous word for life in general and brewing specifically. There are pretty much always exceptions. eg I think it is impossible to turn around any of the traditional sour styles in a week. There are also some belgian strains that tend to take their own sweet time with those last few points.
I agree, and hope that no one understood me to be saying that "all" beers will be ready within 10 days. My point was simply that for most normal gravity ales using the most common strains of yeast, the beer can be packages in far less than 3 weeks.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:25 PM   #10
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If you've pitched a lot of yeast,yes. At least,from what I've read on here from Mr malty & all. They give a proper yeast pitch that seemed to me to be at least double what comes in a kit,packet,or vial/smack pack.

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