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Old 05-21-2009, 10:28 AM   #1
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Default Carbonation?

What is the earliest you can drink beer after you bottle it? I had a honey brown ale in the primary for 5 weeks and just bottled it on Sunday night, how soon can I drink it?

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Old 05-21-2009, 10:35 AM   #2
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I've never tried it sooner than a week. I can say that at one week there was a reasonable amount of carbonation, but the carbonation will keep improving for several weeks. However, it doesn't hurt to give it a try early to you can see how the beer changes as it ages.

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Old 05-21-2009, 10:45 AM   #3
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Generally speaking the 3 weeks at 70 degrees that we recommend is only a guideline, a minimum...the higher the grav, the longer it takes to carb and condition. Don't forget, just because a beer is fizzy doesn't mean it is still not green, and tastes like a$$...

I've had stouts and porters take 4-6 weeks to carb...I have a 1.090 Belgian Strong Dark Ale that is 2.5 months in the bottle and it is barely beginning to carb up, I don't think it will even begin to stop tasting green and like rocket fuel for about another 2-3 months....

Hell during the winter I am lucky if I get ANY BEER to carb up inn 8 weeks, since my loft stays in the low 60 all winter...I wrap them in sleeping bags and other things to keep them warm.


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Old 05-21-2009, 11:25 AM   #4
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I'd like to add an exception to Revvy's post:

Weizens and most any wheat are really quick turn-arounds. 1-2 weeks in the bottle and they're usually ready to go.

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Old 05-21-2009, 11:28 AM   #5
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I will add that carbonation and head retention are two different things. I can open a pale ale after a week and it will be very good tasting and bubbly - but it will not hold a head and will get much better over time. So if it's your first batch, go ahead and open it - but don't drink them all before they have a chance to get REALLY good.

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Old 05-21-2009, 12:43 PM   #6
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Bottled my first ever batch 2 weekends ago. Tried one after 1 week to see if I was going to have problems with carbing, it was very slightly carbed, and was way too young. Tried another bottle last weekend,much better carb and taste, got a very good pop from the flip top, good bubbles in the glass, but no head. Will try again this weekend to see the changes.

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Old 05-21-2009, 12:45 PM   #7
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I've drank beer immediately after bottling, and it was gooood. It wasn't carbonated, or cold, but it was beer. Everytime I take a gravity reading I drink the sample, hell I'll drink wort when it's cooled down enough just to get a sample of things to come. As far as proper carbonation, like others said give it 3 weeks.

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Old 05-21-2009, 01:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmugMug View Post
I'd like to add an exception to Revvy's post:

Weizens and most any wheat are really quick turn-arounds. 1-2 weeks in the bottle and they're usually ready to go.
Yup...as does many english milds.....I did allude to that in my writings...it has to do with gravity more than anything....

Lazy Llama's diagram says it best...



But honestly if you crack a beer at a week, and it barely fizzes, or it behaves like in the video where it has a little bit of a head, but there's no visible bubbling in solution...then really to drink any more than that one is a waste, when in one or two more weeks, it will be so much better...Personally I just wait out the time, and don't crack any of my beers until 3 weeks....

In the meantime, if I don't have anything else drinkabe (which if you start brewing you will have a pipeline of beers at various stages) I try different micros....I try new styles to consider brewing, or different versions of the same style to see how different breweries and brewers do things....

It's a good thing to find a place that allows you do do mixed sixers, so you can try different beers...even Trader Joes adoes that nowadays...

I know it's hard to wait, for your beer...but since you invested time and money in making it....wouldn't you want to drink it when it was at it's best?????
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:24 AM   #9
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I definitely plan on waiting a couple of weeks, I was just wondering since I miscalculated Memorial Day and thought it was two weeks from when I bottled it instead of just one. Thought I would be able to enjoy them for the holiday!

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Old 05-22-2009, 02:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewChick View Post
I definitely plan on waiting a couple of weeks, I was just wondering since I miscalculated Memorial Day and thought it was two weeks from when I bottled it instead of just one. Thought I would be able to enjoy them for the holiday!
Assuming this is your first batch, I say go ahead and try at least one. It won't be great - but it will beer - your beer - which you should enjoy (and since it's your beer, you might decide it is great). Just don't drink them all - they'll be better later (even if you think they're great right now).
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