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Old 10-17-2007, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default How do I know when it's done fermenting in bottles?

So, once the primary stops bubbling, I put it in bottles, correct?

How do I know when it's done in the bottles? The recipe calls for 2-3 weeks, but when can I be sure it's a good time to start drinking?

Also, where should I store the bottles during the time it's finishing up fermenting? Should I chuck 'em in the fridge, or keep them in the same place I keep my big buckets?

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Old 10-17-2007, 10:38 PM   #2
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Without using a hydrometer, you are leaving yourself wide open for bottle bombs. If you are not going to measure, then I would personally wait 2 weeks before bottling, then waiting atleast another 2 weeks to drink. It will still be green, but there should be some carb by then. Also, leave them around ferm temp.

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Old 10-17-2007, 11:04 PM   #3
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Who is it that's selling all these brewing kits without hydrometers? That's what I'd like to know.

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Old 10-17-2007, 11:36 PM   #4
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Definitely wait a couple weeks before bottling if you didn't take any gravity readings. I've had the unpleasant experience of bottle bombs and, trust me, you don't want them.

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Old 10-18-2007, 12:26 AM   #5
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The hydrometer would definately help. As long as everything worked out, I'd sample a bottle at one week and two weeks just to see how the flavor develops. If you are concerned about bottle bombs, you might want to chill your beer to refrigerator temperature before opening.

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Old 10-18-2007, 12:32 AM   #6
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Heres a good trick I used prior to kegging

When bottling, fill one clear soda/water bottle and screw the cap back on. You can judge the carbonation level by squeezing the bottle. After three weeks it should start to feel pretty tight. It also gives you a look at how things are settling out.

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Old 10-18-2007, 01:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkristofo
Who is it that's selling all these brewing kits without hydrometers? That's what I'd like to know.
The kit probably came with a hydrometer, he's just not using it.

My beginner kit included a hydrometer but I didn't use it until my 5th or 6th brew. No bottle bombs, either.
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brloomis
The kit probably came with a hydrometer, he's just not using it.
...yeah, that's right.

Although the recipe gave a couple of values, I didn't know when they applied or when I should test it or anything like that. It gave me a time range, though, which is what I was just planning to fall back on.

So, how's a hydrometer work? When do I use it? I'll try that for my second brew. I'll wait an extra week though as you suggested. Thanks for the replies; I guess I still have more studying to do regarding the whole process. Nice to have people to ask when I screw up!
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:18 AM   #9
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Get a wine thief or one of these guys: http://morebeer.com/view_product/18661/

sanitize well and take a sample out of your bucket and put it in this which should have been provided with the kit:
http://morebeer.com/view_product/18656/

put your hydrometer in and take a reading. the water line should be read at the lines that say:

1000
10
20
30
40
50

if it was at the 50 mark, your reading would be 1.050

drink it, don't pour it back in the carboy.

As for using a primary...i would leave it in for 3 weeks at least...more for big beers.

it should also be in the bottles for three weeks before it's opened...optimum is six weeks IMO...at room temperature

taste one each week...once you know they are good and ready put them in the fridge and leave them there for a couple days before you drink them all.

nothing to it my man.

now i need another drink...

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Old 10-18-2007, 04:50 AM   #10
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So, how valid is this?

"A hydrometer reads accurately at 60 Fahrenheit. Temperatures above and below 60F require that you add or subtract from your reading."

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