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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Bottling early?
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default Bottling early?

So i after 24 hours of the same SG i racked into a secondary (dry hopping). The beer has been in the secondary about 2 days... im getting a bubble every minute or so. I am really hoping to have this beer done by christmas or new years... andi know thats rushing it a bit but im ok with it as long as it wont make enormous differences in the taste. Ive already got another lined up to start anyways.

2 Questions.
If i was to bottle it after one week in the secondary (2 weeks total fermenting)... and leave for 2-3 weeks to carbonate what taste differences should I expect?

Am i better off leaving it in the seconary for 2 weeks and bottle condition for one week?

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Old 12-04-2011, 11:34 PM   #2
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Am i better off leaving it in the seconary for 2 weeks and bottle condition for one week?
You can't control how long a beer needs to carb and condition.

The 3 weeks at 70 degrees, that we recommend is the minimum time it takes for average gravity beers to carbonate and condition. Higher grav beers take longer.

Stouts and porters have taken me between 6 and 8 weeks to carb up..I have a 1.090 Belgian strong that took three months to carb up.

And your time in secondary, doesn't really alter the fact that it may take x weeks to carb up.

Temp and gravity are the two factors that contribute to the time it takes to carb beer. But if a beer's not ready yet, or seems low carbed, and you added the right amount of sugar to it, then it's not stalled, it's just not time yet.

Everything you need to know about carbing and conditioning, can be found here Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning. With emphasis on the word, "patience."

In three weeks if you've stored the beer above 70, take two, 1 from each case and chill them for a day or 2 and taste them...if they are carbed and conditioned then you're good. If they're not carbed, or taste funky still, check a couple more in a week or two.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:42 PM   #3
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Revvy's standard advice is solid. Under-conditioned beer is nasty (undissolved CO2 is fizzy & harsh), so I'd err on the side of more time in the bottle.

Lots of people bottle hoppy beers after 2 weeks for maximum hop freshness, so your schedule looks great to me. And it's not like you're gonna drink it all on Christmas day (right)? Pop some in the fridge on Christmas Eve and leave the rest to condition longer

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Old 12-05-2011, 01:38 AM   #4
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OK sounds good thanks for the advice... so if my beer hit FG after 5 days... and the SG has been the same for 2-3 days... whats it gaining from the extra 3 weeks in the fermenter? Just clearing?

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Old 12-05-2011, 01:58 AM   #5
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OK sounds good thanks for the advice... so if my beer hit FG after 5 days... and the SG has been the same for 2-3 days... whats it gaining from the extra 3 weeks in the fermenter? Just clearing?
During fermentation, the yeast create fusel alcohols and other undesirable flavors. When fermentation is done, the yeast continue to work converting some of these esters and phenolics to more desirable flavors; essentially cleaning up after themselves. This can occur in the bottle, but is much quicker when done in bulk with the yeast.

I disagree with Revvy that you need 3 weeks to properly carb beer. It usually takes 2 weeks, sometimes even 1; particularly if the beer is young. The important thing is to keep them above 70F for that period of time to ensure the yeast are active. NOTE: For older beers, it can take months.
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:03 AM   #6
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I disagree with Revvy that you need 3 weeks to properly carb beer. .
Tell that to the hundreds of threads on here of folks who's beers were not properly carbed at 1 week, or 2 weeks, or 3 weeks.....

I see all the threads that I post in, and the vast majority of them have comments like this posted in them AFTER it's been 3 weeks.

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Update. So I tried this beer again last week after letting it sit for three more weeks. Everyone is correct time is your friend. The "off taste" is gone and the beer pours a good head. ... Anyways if anyone has rushed through the conditioning step or their beer does not taste right yet, then listen to everyone on this forum and just wait.

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For anyone who has this problem and wants a conclusion:

Patience is a virtue... They are all carbed up now.... But moral of the story... wait, and wait... and if some are still flat, wait some more. Easier said than done the first run or two it seems, lol.

So I can't see how someone can disagree when the facts on there. brewer tries beer at 1 week, or 2 weeks, posts an "my beer is flat" thread, then comes back a week or more later and posts that everything is fine...

*shrug* I just answered 3 or 4 threads in the last hour where folks opened their beers at 1 week, or 2 weeks and they weren't carbed. The facts are many many many folks don't have carbed beer at that point, or else they wouldn't be starting threads like that would the?

Heck, three weeks ago I bottle two batches on the same day. My Kentucky Common, and my Leffe Clone, the common is beautifully carbed and conditioned with a nice head....the Blonde, not so much...Still needs at LEAST another week.
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:48 AM   #7
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I'm pretty sure that in the zany world of homebrewing, nothing is certain. I'm sure that Revvy isn't trying to say that each and every beer will require a full three weeks - a sort of "and on the 21st day, god carbonated the beer" type thing.

Wait three weeks and the probability that you're going to pop open a flat, funky beer diminish greatly. It's kinda like boiling water. While we speak in very certain terms 'water's boiling point is 100C' what's going on below the surface is a little more complex. Each water molecule is only going to jetison off into vapour when it has the energy to combat the counteracting pressure to keep it in liquid form. Some molecules are going to have that energy early (why water and even ice evaporate), but these are typically the molecules at the surface. After the 100C point, the probability is great enough that water molecules will have enough energy to escape that they start doing so throughout the entire solution - it's sort of the tipping point - which is why we see bubbles.

Anyway, I thought that would be a simpler analogy... the basic point is, at 100C (3 weeks) not EVERY water molecule (beer) spontaneously vapourizes (carbonates), some will happen at colder temps (1 week, 2 weeks), some hotter, but the probability of it having what it takes are highest after 100c. If you want to be SURE you have steam (carbonated beer), use the 100C (3 week) rule.

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Old 12-05-2011, 03:36 AM   #8
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Listen to Revvy. It is not the 100% bible of what will happen. Try on a batch putting bottle in the fridge every few days and taste/see the difference. I had an oatmeal stout that I bottled a few months ago, after 3 weeks still not much carbonation and it wasn't tasting like most stouts I enjoy. After 4 weeks a little more carbonation but still didn't taste right. After 6 weeks the beer had perfect carbonation and was an excellent beer.

I always try my beers every 7 days until I feel they are finished, both carbing and conditioning. This also helps me learn how the beer tastes at different points which is a good taste to know.

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Old 12-05-2011, 05:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Calder View Post
During fermentation, the yeast create fusel alcohols and other undesirable flavors. When fermentation is done, the yeast continue to work converting some of these esters and phenolics to more desirable flavors; essentially cleaning up after themselves. This can occur in the bottle, but is much quicker when done in bulk with the yeast.

I disagree with Revvy that you need 3 weeks to properly carb beer. It usually takes 2 weeks, sometimes even 1; particularly if the beer is young. The important thing is to keep them above 70F for that period of time to ensure the yeast are active. NOTE: For older beers, it can take months.
wouldn't really good temp control eliminate the need to let the yeast clean up? I mean if they don't produce the fusels and off flavors wouldn't it be kind of unnecessary to let it set that long? Not arguing, an honest question.
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:27 AM   #10
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wouldn't really good temp control eliminate the need to let the yeast clean up? I mean if they don't produce the fusels and off flavors wouldn't it be kind of unnecessary to let it set that long? Not arguing, an honest question.
To some extent, yes,but you'll never eliminate it completely.
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