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Old 09-23-2011, 03:10 AM   #1
Vismich
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Hi All!

I have brewed about 5 batches of beer so far, and I'm really enjoying my new hobby...whats not to enjoy...

I was really anxious with my first batch, and cracked one after about three or four days after bottling. The brew seemed perfectly carbonated, so I fridged some and drank them.

All my other batched have been a week, or way longer. I have cases that I havent even touched yet.

That said, I just bottled an IPA Monday evening, which I couldn't wait to brew (my favorite type of beer). Today is Thursday, so I figured what the hell, and cracked one. It's perfectly carbonated and tastes great! Thats only after three days in a bottle.

Everything I have read says give it seven days. I'm curious if this is just a suggestion, or if some beers actually carbonate quicker?

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Old 09-23-2011, 03:23 AM   #2
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Sometimes they carbonate fast sometimes they take awhile. I usually check one of mine the first week.You need to save some so you can see how they condition and get way better, im tellin ya a few months and your wishing you 'd havent waited.
Give them three weeks, they carbonate but can taste better with a little time

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Old 09-23-2011, 12:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jonmohno View Post
Sometimes they carbonate fast sometimes they take awhile. I usually check one of mine the first week.You need to save some so you can see how they condition and get way better, im tellin ya a few months and your wishing you 'd havent waited.
Give them three weeks, they carbonate but can taste better with a little time
Can you leave the beer out too long before putting it in the fridge? I have a summer brew that's been out in a bottle for about 5 weeks.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Vismich View Post
Can you leave the beer out too long before putting it in the fridge? I have a summer brew that's been out in a bottle for about 5 weeks.
Nope, unless you are talking 6-12 months which MAY cause oxidation if you gave the beer opporitunities to oxidize prior to bottling. I would say 2-3 months at cellar temps will do wonders for most beers (6-12 for big beers). You will get some of the flavors to blend together. The only downside is the hop intensity may fade over time, but it will likely be very smooth.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:32 PM   #5
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Can you leave the beer out too long before putting it in the fridge? I have a summer brew that's been out in a bottle for about 5 weeks.
Yes, you definitely can leave a beer out too long before putting it in the fridge. Aging causes oxidation, which can leave your beer with a cardboard-y taste. It will also give the beer time to volitolize off taste and aroma compounds which, in hoppy beers, can leave you with a vegetal flavor. In lightly hopped beers, it can decrease the flavor of the malt, so you end up with a flavorless wash. Even brown bottles will skank eventually, and the process is speeded up by high temperatures, so there's that. And, of course, if even a single wild-yeast or bacteria cell got into your bottle, high temperatures will help it infect the whole bottle. There was a great discussion on the brewing network about beer staling just a couple of weeks ago that I encourage you to listen to.

The tough part about your question, though, is figuring out how long is too long. A sour beer (like a lambic or a geueze) can stay good, or even get better, over a five year period. Dark beers like stouts can stay good for months and months. A hoppy beer like an IPA, on the other hand, will generally lose it's character in just about a month, as will most wheat beers.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:59 PM   #6
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I have bottled beers that i have kept in my basement for years and crack em open and they taste awesome. I have never experienced oxidation or flavor loss or vegetable flavor. I suppose it can happen which is why people warn about it but i have never experienced it. Yes flavor profiles change but they always seem to change for the better. I keep a few from each batch and i've been brewing for over 12 years (so you can imagine my huge stockpile) and i've cracked open bottles of wheat beers with fruit, IPA's, browns etc from my first year and they taste amazing.

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Old 09-23-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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Oh but to answer your question about carb times. Yes sometimes they can carb quick or slow, it depends on the amount of yeast still in suspension and amount of sugars still left and the temp. Are your beers finishing low or is your final gravity a bit high? Also what temp are they being stored at? High temps will cause it to carb quicker. My suggestion is around 70 degrees and to have patience and wait 2-3 weeks. Yes the beer may be carbed quicker but the beer is green and waiting 2-3 weeks will allow the flavors to blend better and be a much smoother and better tasting beer. But i totally understand not being able to wait.

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Old 09-23-2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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That said, I just bottled an IPA Monday evening, which I couldn't wait to brew (my favorite type of beer). Today is Thursday, so I figured what the hell, and cracked one. It's perfectly carbonated and tastes great! Thats only after three days in a bottle
You might have some carbonation, but you would not have full carbonation of the entire volume of priming sugar you put into the solution for 2-3 weeks. Also, after only 3-4 days, you would have alot of carbonation in the headspace of the bottle, but not a ton that has dissolved into the solution, i.e., you'd have head, but not the proper "inverse snowstorm" bubbles in the beer.

Anyway, bottom line, if it tastes perfect to you, it's all good, but if you leave it a bit longer, you may be surprised to find it getting PERFECTER!
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