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Old 10-01-2007, 09:49 PM   #1
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Default time in secondary/ time in bottles?

After months of reading and talking about it, I'll be able to brew my own beer later this month (birthday= brewing equipment). I've brewed about 15 times with several different folks, but never with my own stuff. I've been able to find answers to most of my questions here, but one thing in particular remains a little unclear to me. For bigger beers that require some aging, does the amount of time in the secondary need to increase, or just the bottle conditioning?

I'm a grad student with conferences and weddings scattered throughout the fall, so I need to plan my brew days in advance, but I don't want to compromise the quality of my beer by shortchanging the secondary. My wife loves porter, so I want to brew a fairly big one for her, while also brewing a batch or two that will be ready to drink sooner.

As an aside, I'm glad to have found this forum before I started brewing on my own. My general understanding of brewing has filled out, with anecdotal evidence and practical suggestions to go along with what I learned from books. I'm going into this with a lot more confidence, and will enjoy it more since I won't be as unsure of myself. Also, I've got plenty of recipes socked away from this site, waiting to be brewed.

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Old 10-01-2007, 09:54 PM   #2
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the amount of time in the PRIMARY will increase, because the beer will not ferment as quickly. be sure to use a big starter and rely only on your hydrometer, not time.

the secondary is simply for clearing the beer, so after it is finished fermenting, you can leave it for the usual 2 weeks at low temperatures.

the carbonation will probably only take 3 weeks or so in the bottles, but many beers (such as belgian ales) will increase in quality over time with conditioning, bringing complexity to your brew. it really depends on the style, tho

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Old 10-02-2007, 01:19 AM   #3
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Thanks. That clears things up for me.

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Old 10-02-2007, 01:48 AM   #4
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Only really high gravity beer (over 1.070/1.080) need a lot of extra time to condition; everything else should be fine within the average time frames.

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