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Old 05-20-2009, 01:21 PM   #1
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Default How long to wait...

Just started my first batch last night and I am wondering how long to wait before bottling. I have heard anywhere from 7-10 days but have also heard it should be ready to go once it stops bubbling. What is recommended here?

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Old 05-20-2009, 01:24 PM   #2
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I'd wait a minimum of three weeks before bottling. Wait three weeks then check your gravity , recheck in a couple days.If it's the same bottle and wait 3 more weeks before chilling and tasting.

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Old 05-20-2009, 01:26 PM   #3
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A good rule of thumb is ATLEAST 1-2-3
1 week in primary, 2 in secondary and 3 bottle conditioning.
Some people around here leave their beers in primary for a month or longer.
Bubbling is not a good indicator that fermentation is finished, always take gravity readings. When you have a consistent gravity reading for a couple of days you know its done. Then you can either transfer to secondary for clearing and/or dry hopping, or you can leave it in primary until you're ready to bottle. If you bottle too soon you're going to end up with a HUGE mess so don't rush it. Don't expect to be drinking your beer for at least 5-6 weeks if you're bottling.

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Old 05-20-2009, 01:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrigh1st View Post
Just started my first batch last night and I am wondering how long to wait before bottling. I have heard anywhere from 7-10 days but have also heard it should be ready to go once it stops bubbling. What is recommended here?
Generally, you should bottle no sooner than when you get a consistent SG. If they come back with the same number 3 days in a row you're safe. Just the way I roll. I'll let them condition in the bottles longer than the fermenter.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:31 PM   #5
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What would be a normal gravity level? I am a major newbie here

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Old 05-20-2009, 01:46 PM   #6
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What would be a normal gravity level? I am a major newbie here
What style of beer is it? What was your OG? What kind of yeast did you use? And so on...
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:51 PM   #7
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What style of beer is it? What was your OG? What kind of yeast did you use? And so on...
+1 This info will help get better answers. Recipe if you have, but OG and yeast and we can tell you close to what to expect in the way of final gravity.

As mentioned above, airlock activity is no indicator of complete fermentation. The airlock activity just proves that you have a good seal on your fermentor and that SOMETHING is happening. If you have a good hydrometer, then wait 4 weeks and take a reading, take another one in 48 hours. If nothing changed then you are ready to bottle. If you dont have a hydrometer then wait 4 weeks and bottle, dont bother with a secondary.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:55 PM   #8
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Again, this is my first time and the instructions I had didn't say anything about checking the OG. Is it too late to check now? The yeast has been in there for one day. My beer was a cherry wheat and I used a dry ale yeast. I do have a hydrometer but I thought I was just supposed to check the gravity after a couple of weeks. I have been kind of learning as I'm going here but I guess I should have done more research first!

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Old 05-20-2009, 02:06 PM   #9
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yes it's too late to check the OG (original gravity). This is the first test with the hydrometer you do after the boil, cooling of the wort and after adding top off water...all before you add the yeast. Once the yeast starts doing it's thing the density of the beer changes. I usually let my beers sit for three weeks in their primary (I haven't done any big beers yet). Then at about three weeks time I check the gravity again and if after two consecutive days it hasn't budged then you're good to bottle.

If you had bubbling in the airlock and if after three weeks time you take a gravity reading and it's below 1.020 somewhere for two days...I'm sure you'll be fine to bottle.
Patience sucks sometimes...but it will help the beer taste better

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Old 05-20-2009, 02:12 PM   #10
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If you want quality, fight the urge to bottle too soon. Wait at least one week after fermentation is complete (same gravity reading 3 days apart). That will probably be at least 10 days after brewing. Extra points for waiting 2 weeks after fermentation is complete. New brewers are always asking how to stop all that sediment from forming in the bottle. Well, you can't completely avoid all of it but bottling in 7-10 days is a guarantee to have about 1/4" of crap in the bottle.

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