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Old 09-26-2005, 09:02 PM   #1
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Default Time after bottling

I muffed my first batch yesterday, but will try again this coming weekend. In the mean time, I've been reading several of the threads on the site and have one question that has been answered to varying degrees but still leaves me wondering: when is beer the best tasting after bottling? Seems that books will tell you to start drinking around two weeks, but I've seen some posts here suggesting waiting up to a couple of months after bottling.

A second question is, how long will it last before turning funky? A couple of my friends who homebrew say two months after bottling (which seems to conflict with the posts about how long to wait before drinking)

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Old 09-27-2005, 01:26 AM   #2
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The refrence for 2 weeks is the amount of time it takes for your bottles to carbonate at 70 degrees. You can drink it then but depending on the style, it will improve with age. Usually, the higher the OG of your brew, the longer you should wait before drinking. Of course you can start sampling at 2 weeks and make your own mind up if it's ready to drink or not.

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Old 09-27-2005, 01:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottT
Of course you can start sampling at 2 weeks and make your own mind up if it's ready to drink or not.
yeah right. I couldnt wait longer than 1 week before sampling my first batch and have just tried the second bottle of it now, 9 days after bottling. It poured a nice thick head (which retained!) and was slightly more carbonated. It might need longer than the 2 weeks though as it started with an OG of 1.062....however, I've told all of my mates and they're coming around on the weekend to try it...oops?
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Old 09-27-2005, 04:02 AM   #4
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I am following the 1 2 3 rule here... 1 week in primary, 2 in secondary, 3 in bottles. I have saved a brew from June, and had it a couple days ago - tasted just like it did in July. It's drinkable after a week or so in bottles, but it still has a green flavour. After about 3 weeks or a month, the carbonation is really full, and very pleasant, and the flavours are really nice. I understand that brewing with fruit extracts etc you need to age for like 6 months....

Anyway, worry not about your homebrew going bad by sitting too long. Worry about getting the next batch going right away so you don't run out.

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Old 09-27-2005, 04:06 AM   #5
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Sasquatch is right. As you're beginning to learn, the key is brewing enough so you have something on hand always. See what happened to El P? The meter maid drove by PLUS no homebrew ready.

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Old 09-27-2005, 04:41 PM   #6
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I've never had a batch that aged so long that it went bad - as the others have noted, your problem will be keeping it on the shelf. I usually do like this: Two weeks in the primary, move it into the bottling bucket and bottle it up, drinking that last half bottle on bottling day just to get a sense of how it came out, and starting to open them up a week or so after bottling. This is for pale ales (mostly what I make), which seem to be highly forgiving. It gets better as it ages, but it is good after a week.

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Old 09-27-2005, 05:38 PM   #7
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I do 1 week primary, at least 1 week secondary, bottle wait at least 1 week to try. I also put at least 10 bottles on a shelf in my basement to hold on to as long as I can. Just drank the last of a marzen that I brewed back in Feb. It tastes better then the batch I brewed in july. It's hard to let good beer just sit on a shelf.

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Old 09-27-2005, 06:04 PM   #8
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Been following the 1-2-3 rule of thumb, or at least trying to. I sampled my first batch after a week in bottles. It tasted a little rough (rougher then before bottling even), but should age out just fine in another couple weeks.

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Old 09-27-2005, 06:53 PM   #9
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I do more of the 1-2-at least 3 rule... I've been known to crack one earlier out of impatience, but normally I end up waiting at least a month if not longer. You can definitely tell the difference... you would be surprised how much of a difference an extra 2 weeks can make in a bottle.

On that same thought though, I have never let a batch age for over 6 weeks before I started drinking from it liberally. However, by the time I get to the last bottles, the beer is always tasting better than it did when I started.

The point: In general, the longer you wait, the better it gets.

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Old 09-28-2005, 12:04 AM   #10
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Thank you all for your input. The batch will be a nut-brown ale. I'm getting the impression that it would be best to let it sit in the bottle for at least a couple of weeks, which I'm okay with. I tend to be of the mind set that a few more days waiting for a better experience is worth the effort. The local microbrews are pretty tasty for now. Of course, I might find them less tolerable once I've been tasting my own brew for a while!

I'd say that if cap46 just finished off a beer bottled in February, I won't likely see any of mine go bad.

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