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Old 10-09-2012, 04:09 PM   #1
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Default Bottling ?

This is my first brew. It was in the primary for 7 days with a FG of 1.010 (its a cream ale) and then into my secondary. I have learned that there is the big debate on using secondary but I had already transfered it. I know people say to leave in secondary for 1 week but was wondering if I could cut that short to bottle sooner to try and have it ready by the end of Oct.. Suggestions please.

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Old 10-09-2012, 04:11 PM   #2
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The reason we leave our beers in primary or secondary for a period of time, is because it makes it taste better, than when we rush the process. It's really that simple.

I don't know if you're looking for rationalization for you excitement/impatience, but you're going to have to decide that for yourself, whether you want ok beer or great beer. This is really a game of patience.

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Old 10-09-2012, 04:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jsiesener View Post
This is my first brew. It was in the primary for 7 days with a FG of 1.010 (its a cream ale) and then into my secondary. I have learned that there is the big debate on using secondary but I had already transfered it. I know people say to leave in secondary for 1 week but was wondering if I could cut that short to bottle sooner to try and have it ready by the end of Oct.. Suggestions please.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the debate of secondary was pretty much squashed a long time ago. Secondary vessels are good for a couple of things, maybe a few more:

Dry hopping
Adding fruit

Most beers can just sit for 3-4 weeks in primary and be nice and clear, and good to go.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #4
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Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the debate of secondary was pretty much squashed a long time ago. Secondary vessels are good for a couple of things, maybe a few more:

Dry hopping
Adding fruit

Most beers can just sit for 3-4 weeks in primary and be nice and clear, and good to go.
He's not really engaging in that discussion here. He wants to know if he can jump the gun and bottle.

Actually to me the minimum time in a secondary is 2 weeks, after two weeks in primary....some combination of a month minimum.

Regardless of whether you secondary or not, it's about not rushing your beer into bottles. If you rack to secondary for 6 weeks, or if you leave it in primary for 6 weeks, you're getting the same overall effect.

But regardless it's not about rushing your beer. If you bottle earlier, you're more than likely STILL going to have to condition your beer, only in the bottles.

You can't escape the fact that beer needs time to come into it's fullness. We're not making coolaid here. And we don't tell folks to wait because we want to jerk the new brewer's chains.....it's because we want you to make good beer.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #5
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If you bottle too soon, you may get bottle bombs. Sounds like you have a steady FG, so you are probably ok there.

The longer you leave it, the clearer it will be. If you don't care about clarity, no issue bottling.

As far as age, most beers get better and better. (Exceptions are hoppy beers which can lose hop flavor over time, but you are on the short end of the timeline, not the long end. I'm sure there are other beers that can be "overaged" but you don't have to worry about it in this case.) If you think the beer is good enough, bottle it and enjoy it.

Next time, brew it a few weeks earlier so you don't have to wonder how much better it would be

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Old 10-09-2012, 04:28 PM   #6
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Next time, brew it a few weeks earlier so you don't have to wonder how much better it would be
Yes. For most normal beers (and now regardless of bottling OR kegging) I plan out about 8 weeks from grain to glass, for normal/average gravity beers. Some beers just take longer.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:32 PM   #7
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But regardless it's not about rushing your beer. If you bottle earlier, you're more than likely STILL going to have to condition your beer, only in the bottles.

You can't escape the fact that beer needs time to come into it's fullness.
Meant to mention this as well. Regardless of primary vs. secondary vs. bottle, there is a minimum conditioning time after brewing and a minimum time in the bottle to become carbonated.

If you are in a big hurry and don't care about anything else, bottle it (assuming steady FG) and let it carb.

I hope that I don't come across as rude, but patience makes things better. Keep in mind, it already has alcohol in it. You could drink it flat and warm out of your secondary, but no one on here is going to suggest it.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsiesener
This is my first brew. It was in the primary for 7 days with a FG of 1.010 (its a cream ale) and then into my secondary. I have learned that there is the big debate on using secondary but I had already transfered it. I know people say to leave in secondary for 1 week but was wondering if I could cut that short to bottle sooner to try and have it ready by the end of Oct.. Suggestions please.
Are you saying you measured the FG and got 1.10 or that's just what it's supposed to be?

How long had it been in the secondary? And idk where you heard to leave it in the secondary for one week, the classic mantra is 1 week primary, 2 weeks secondary, 3 weeks bottles. But really i think it should be 3-4 weeks primary, and 4-5 weeks in bottles.

Everyone is impatient their first brew though, especially if you don't have anything else to brew at the time. You can bottle it now, but like said before, the beer won't be ideal, especially a cream ale since it should have a fairly clean flavor.

If you do decide to bottle it soon, i would try top cold crash it for 2 days to clear it up a bit. And it might just have to condition in bottles longer before it really becomes good.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:34 PM   #9
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He's not really engaging in that discussion here. He wants to know if he can jump the gun and bottle.
Ahh, true. Skimmed right over his real question.

The beer probably could be bottled now, but like Revvy said, it's still going to need time to condition and carbonate. At any rate, I say you'd be better served by letting the beer sit in the fermenter longer so the trub has a chance to become more compact. Less trub in your bottling bucket, less trub in your bottles.

My 2 cents
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:41 PM   #10
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Yes. For most normal beers (and now regardless of bottling OR kegging) I plan out about 8 weeks from grain to glass, for normal/average gravity beers. Some beers just take longer.
I'm not really trying to rush things in a way. But I had a party come up and was wondering if I could have a drinkable beer by then. I still need to figure out what is the route I need to take with using secondaries if I am not adding anything. I guess what everyone is saying is personsal preference. My next brew will be a Belgian Witbier, is there a difference with types of brews that yes you should use a secondary or no you can just leave in the primary for longer. I do understand the theory of leaving in primary for longer and then bottle to reduce the risk of contamination and oxygenation.
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