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Old 08-06-2009, 04:38 AM   #1
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Default Does beer clear up much in the bottle?

Im brewing a Northwest Golden Ale and its done fermenting. Hydrometer readings have been the same over the past 3 days and no activity coming from the airlock. Today is day 8 in the fermentor. The instructions that came with my kit recommend 10-12 days before bottling. With 8 days being the absolute soonest. Will the beer clear up over the next 4 days? will it clear up in the bottles over 1-2 weeks. The instructions don't mention a secondary fermentation and I haven't seen anything to suggest a secondary fermentation for this type of beer. I've put a small sample in a clear water bottle so I can see if maybe that can tell me about the clarity of the next couple of days.

I am drawing off the bottom spigot, should I be opening the lid and scooping off the top?

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Old 08-06-2009, 04:41 AM   #2
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It wont clear as fast as you want it to.Thats what secondarys and additives are for.

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Old 08-06-2009, 04:47 AM   #3
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If this is your first batch then you will be very impatient as nearly everyone is on the first batch. You will have a frustrating time of it waiting until the beer clears, especially if you didn't use any fining agents like Irish Moss or Whirlfloc.

My batches stay in primary a minimum of 3 weeks, usually 4, and then another 3 weeks until I first try it. By then they are quite clear.

The goal of the first batch is simply to make a drinkable product and learn about the process. Patience can come with later batches.

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Old 08-06-2009, 04:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
It wont clear as fast as you want it to.Thats what secondarys and additives are for.
Or just more time in the primary. I highly recommend ignoring the timetable in the instructions and give it another week or two (or three) before you bottle.

Instructions in kits are written to make beer as quickly as possible so their customers don't get impatient. Some folks think they're also that way to get you to drink your beer and order another kit as soon as possible. They aren't usually written to give you the best beer possible.

If you want your beer clear, the best way to do that is time. You can rack to secondary once fermentation is done and leave it there for a couple weeks, or just leave it in primary the whole time and it'll clear just the same, plus you'll give the yeast some extra time to clean up their byproducts that can lend off flavors to your beer.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by dontman View Post
If this is your first batch then you will be very impatient as nearly everyone is on the first batch. You will have a frustrating time of it waiting until the beer clears, especially if you didn't use any fining agents like Irish Moss or Whirlfloc.

My batches stay in primary a minimum of 3 weeks, usually 4, and then another 3 weeks until I first try it. By then they are quite clear.

The goal of the first batch is simply to make a drinkable product and learn about the process. Patience can come with later batches.
yeah it is my first batch and I'm not too patient right now. I'm ready to drink. is it too late for additives?

how long is too long in the primary? when does the dead yeast sediment start to give off flavors?

I have another bucket I could rack it to, not a carboy. Should I rack it tomorrow?

If I do, maybe I can bottle a six pack and let the rest clear up in the 2nd bucket.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:50 AM   #6
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Extended primaries and secondaris are great ways to clear it up, however, once bottled and carbed toss'em in the fridge for a week or two and they will get pretty darn clear pretty darn quick.

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Old 08-06-2009, 06:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Schnitzengiggle View Post
Extended primaries and secondaris are great ways to clear it up, however, once bottled and carbed toss'em in the fridge for a week or two and they will get pretty darn clear pretty darn quick.
+1 with this.

I'm normally torn when a batch has been in the bottle for 2-3 weeks. I'm torn because I can never decide if I want to stick them a few in the fridge to clear for a few days or if the time would be better spent letting them bottle condition during that time. I always decide to let them bottle condition longer and just chill them prior to drinking. In the end I really don't care about beer clarity except for shelf stability reasons.

On a first batch, all the rules get thrown out the door. Crack one open at 1 week in the bottle and see what it's like. It won't be at it's apex but it will be good.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mnm129 View Post
+1 with this.

I'm normally torn when a batch has been in the bottle for 2-3 weeks. I'm torn because I can never decide if I want to stick them a few in the fridge to clear for a few days or if the time would be better spent letting them bottle condition during that time. I always decide to let them bottle condition longer and just chill them prior to drinking. In the end I really don't care about beer clarity except for shelf stability reasons.

On a first batch, all the rules get thrown out the door. Crack one open at 1 week in the bottle and see what it's like. It won't be at it's apex but it will be good.
definitely. had always planned on not waiting a full 2 weeks in bottles and cracking open a few at one
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:11 AM   #9
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Well, it will teach you what "green" beer taste like. Nothing wrong with it but the beer will taste much better if you give it time. You can go over a month in primary without tasting any ill effects and I have gone many months.
Really 3 weeks in primary, and three weeks in bottles and your be very happy you did.

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Old 08-06-2009, 09:55 AM   #10
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So do you want to have excellent beer in your first batch? Or do you just want to drink it?

Do you really care about your question "Does beer clear up much in the bottle?" in this batch..or do you just want to drink it?

You can't have CLEAR beer if you want FAST beer...You can't have GREAT TASTING beer if you want FAST BEER.

You heard nearly everyone say they don't rush the beer...that's why. When doing beer we are not making koolaid. We've also come to realize that most of the time the kit instructions conflict with making great beer.

Many of us leave our beers in primary for 3-4 weeks, or use a secondary and it adds up to being 3-4 weeks in both vessel. And no matter how long your instructions say your beer will be bottled, since that is a natural process it is rarely the case the the time a beer takes to carb and condition in the bottle is 3 weeks at 70 degrees....Or more depending on the gravity of the beer, and the temp...I have had beers take 6 weeks, 8 weeks, and 3 months to be carbed and drinkable, mostly three, but rarely less than three weeks in the bottle will a beer be ready

I discuss the Carbing and Conditioning process for beer here; Revvy's Blog, Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning.


In Mr Wizard's colum in BYO this month he made an interesting analogy about brewing and baking....He said that egg timers are all well and good in the baking process but they only provide a "rule of thumb" as to when something is ready...recipes, oven types, heck even atmospheric conditions, STILL have more bearing on when a cake is ready than the time it says it will be done in the cook book. You STILL have to stick a toothpick in the center and pull it out to see if truly the cake is ready.....otherwise you may end up with a raw cake....

Not too different from our beers....We can have a rough idea when our beer is ready (or use something silly like the 1-2-3 rule (which doesn't factor in things like yeast lag time or even ambient temp during fermentation) and do things to our beer willy nilly....but unless we actually stick "our toothpick" (the hydrometer) in and let it tell us when the yeasties are finished...we too can "f" our beer up.

We forget this simple fact...We are not making koolaid, or chocolate quick, just stirring in and having instant gratification...when you pitch yeast, you are dealing with living micro-organisms...and they have their own timetable, and their own agenda...You have to figure in a wild card.

generally speaking kit manufacturers, especially kit an kilo manufacturers, are concerned with selling more and more kits NOT with the brewer making the best beer possible. They know that if they say in the instructions to wait, they may loose some people to hobbies that have more instant gratification.

They also know that the time that a homebrewer will remain buying kits is relatively short...they know that after a few kits, the brewer will either give up, start brewing extract batches from recipes in books and places like this, formulate their own recipes, or go all grain...so they want to sell as many kits as possible to the new brewer before he moves on to bigger and better things.

SO they know that even their beer will taste better if you leave it longer...but they know that in the time you wait you will be reading and learning and be less likely to buy another kit...They can sell three or four kits to you if you follow their directions in the same time frame that listening to us and waiting a month and bottle conditioning for another 3-4 weeks.

But Even Palmer says you should wait with beers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by How To Brew
Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.
You will see if you read enough threads here the paitience is the key to making great beer, It is a natural living process and that takes time and surrender.

So ultimately it is your choice right...if you want clear, carbonated and great tasting beer, then wait at least two weeks in primary and move the beer to a seoncdary for at least a week, or leave it alone in primary for 3-4 weeks then bottle...and don't touch your bottles for at least 3 weeks.

I and others follow this procedure and our beers are mighty clear...in fact I have had beer judges describe in contests my beers as "Jewell Like." And I do it simply with patience...I don't need to add anything or so anything special.

I just accept the idea that the yeast is the boss, not me and they know what they are doing.

You can't really cheat this process, or cut corners...and you can't really have by what you asked in the title of the thread (clear beer) without waiting. I know this is your first batch and your excited...we've all been there, and we also get a dozen threads like yours a day...and we give the same answer...slow donw and wait.

We're not trying to be mean, we just know the truth about making our beers great.

Beer does clear up in the bottle....in several weeks....even more if after it is carbed up, you chill it for even more weeks. I found a bottle in the back of my fridge that had been there about 3 months, and it was amazingly clear...even the bottle conditioned sediment in the bottom that you get will all bottle conditioned beers was so tight that it would not go into the bottle, even turning it upside down over the glass...The beer was amazing tasting as well.


Your choice......follow the kit instuctions or follow our advice, we don't really care. But do yourself and your beer a favor...if you follow the kits instructions, don't knock back all your beer right away. Stick a 6 pack of it in a closet for at least a month...or better 6 weeks....or even better....save it till bottling day on your next batch of beer....drink that while you are bottle the new one...and you will kick yourself for not listenning to us on here....you will be drinking fantastic beer that day...and maybe decide to wait a little longer on your next ones.

We have a saying on here, "The best bottle of a batch of beer, is your last one."

Whether you wait or not...you will understand why on your last bottle...becasue that one would have had plenty of time to condition....

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