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Old 09-09-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
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Default time in primary vs time conditioning in the bottle?

Hi all,

With about 10 extract (plus grains) under my belt I have a question.

I have moved and am rebuilding my pipeline. I have brewed two 5 gal batches and am about to start more.

Assuming I can suck it up and drink commercial beer; how should I split my time. What I mean is if I am willing to wait as long as it takes how long should I leave a Nut Brown Ale (Northern Brewers kit) and a Smashing Pumkins Ale (brewed for Thanksgiving day party) in the primary vice conditioning in the bottle.

I was thinking 4 weeks in the primary and then as long as I can stand it in the bottle for the Nut Brown Ale. Then 4 weeks primary then about 50 days in the bottle for the Smashing Pumkins Ale.

But in general if you have the courage with mid gravity beers do you gain much leaving them in the primary after weeks and then gain the conditioning time in the bottle. Or is time in the primary more important than time conditioning in the bottle.

Fermentation temps have been 68 to 70 degrees F.

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Old 09-09-2010, 09:10 PM   #2
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Personally, I prefer to do 4 weeks in the primary ALL the time unless its a wheat or an IPA. The extra time on the yeast cake helps the beer to bulk age a little better than it would in bottles. As far as when to drink...its all up to you. I usually have a good amount of brew on hand, so I don't crack into a new stash for at least a month or two after bottling/kegging. But...with a nut brown, you could probably get away with 3-4 weeks in the bottle and it would still taste fine.

It all depends on the gravity of the beer and the ingredients used though. Some darker malts take a little extra time to "meld" well with everything else. Not a proven fact I don't think, but it's been my experience.

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Old 09-09-2010, 09:57 PM   #3
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Don't know if this answers your question exactly, but perhaps related. Due to laziness and an aversion to bottling, I left a brown ale (NB Nukey Brown, which I am calling Joe's Garage Brown) in the primary x 8 weeks, maybe 9--who's counting at that point? Finally bottled. After 3 weeks in the bottle, it really tastes very, very good, like really good, but needs to carb up a little more. Given the way extended time in the primary, I expected that this would be the case.

This Saturday will be 4 weeks bottled. At this point, as with all my beers, I tend to try one per week. Once it tastes "right" (and I can't tell ya how I know that), I'll put about 1/2 in the fridge and 1/2 in the basement to cellar. I am as impatient as the next homebrewer, but I am not a heavy drinker (those days are a distant and vague memory), which I suppose works in my favor in terms of conditioning.

Just my experience and what I do. Cheers!

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Old 09-09-2010, 09:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
It all depends on the gravity of the beer and the ingredients used though. Some darker malts take a little extra time to "meld" well with everything else. Not a proven fact I don't think, but it's been my experience.
+1

Pretty much all of my stouts/browns/ambers have benefitted from 3-4 weeks conditioning time after they carbed-up. I usually do a 3-4 week primary!
Personally I think a good beer will taste good even when green and better when mature so if it tastes good drink it!
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:54 AM   #5
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Thanks all.

I have read and searched a lot, but had never seen anyone answer the specific question of splitting time between the primary and bottle.

Thanks again.

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