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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > How long to wait before bottling?
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:01 PM   #1
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Default How long to wait before bottling?

I have read and talked to people about how long to wait before bottling and have gotten lots of different responses. I understand there isn't necessarily a "right" answer, but I was wondering what effect shortening or lengthening the time would have. My first brew, an ESB, was boiled last monday and stayed in the primary until yesterday when I racked it. I was planning on leaving it in the secondary for a week or two. Any thoughts?

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Old 01-23-2011, 09:03 PM   #2
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For average gravity brews you are looking at 4 weeks before you bottle. Some do it sooner, some wait longer. I suggest you start with 4 weeks total (leave your ESB for another 2-3 weeks in secondary) if you can hold out and adjust your next batch as you wish.

Higher gravity beers tend to take longer for all the flavors to "meld".

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Old 01-23-2011, 09:04 PM   #3
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A few weeks anyway, then condition for a few weeks, too, to get a beter beer.

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Old 01-23-2011, 09:46 PM   #4
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Problem with shortening 1) bottle bombs. mopping ceiling comes to mind. 2) fusels. off flavors due to yeast not cleaning and beer being "green".

i have some ESB in the primary at this point. two week minimum and then dry hop for 1-2 more weeks. (for good aroma)

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Old 01-23-2011, 11:35 PM   #5
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I hadn't planned on dry hopping. Do you have a recommendation as to what variety and how much to use? I used 1 oz of Williamette (45 min), 1 oz Golding (20 min), 1 oz Williamette (end). Also, do you just add it into the carboy?

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:31 AM   #6
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I ended up using 1 oz of Kent Golding after it'd been in the secondary for a week. Probably bottle after another week or two.

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Old 02-01-2011, 03:01 AM   #7
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I've compared my brew's to my buddies; he seems to rush everything and mine always turn out substationally better (seriously...)

3-4 weeks in the Primary only (68 degrees)
3-4 weeks in the bottle.... (68 degrees)

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Old 02-01-2011, 03:23 AM   #8
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If you do everything right (exact right temps and all), 10 days in primaries and then into bottles for 2-3 weeks is enough for something like a typical pale ale--that's close to what commercial places do. I've had hefes and milds come out very well indeed with 10 days in primary and 9 days in the bottle. But for most beers, leaving it in primary for a while longer won't hurt and may help considerably; in a typical homebrew setup where you might be a degree or three off of optimal, 3 weeks in primary and then into bottles for 3 weeks before drinking will do you well for a lot of pretty "regular" beers.

Bigger beers or ones with extra additions may take longer; I wouldn't rush a big RIS, barleywine, or Belgian dark (to name a few). And for extreme cases (e.g. a true sour like a kriek, aged out and then fruited) you could easily be looking at 18+ months before they're really drinkable.

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Old 02-01-2011, 03:28 AM   #9
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Maybe I rush things but I've been averaging 1 week primary and 1 to 2 weeks secondary for most of my beers. I usually bottle once the F.G. is reached and stable then bottle condition for as long as I can stand to wait before drinking them.

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Old 02-01-2011, 03:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHaught View Post
Maybe I rush things but I've been averaging 1 week primary and 1 to 2 weeks secondary for most of my beers. I usually bottle once the F.G. is reached and stable then bottle condition for as long as I can stand to wait before drinking them.
Same amount of time as a lot of people, but doing 3 weeks in primary and then bottling (no secondary) seems to make better beer for a lot of us than moving it around after a week. There are lots of threads on the topic, even people like John Palmer (author of How to Brew) and Jamil Z (multi-time homebrewer of the year winner) have stopped using secondaries for most beers.
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