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Old 01-27-2009, 11:33 PM   #1
LSDracula
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Default when do I bottle? I have company to impress with my first brew!

I bought a home brew kit from a local home brewing store and brewed the wort last saturday 1/24
despite a few mistakes

1. I didn't mix wort and top off water properly to get a proper OG reading.
2. pitched yeast in without question as soon as my floating thermometer read 78F... later I realized I didn't mix it enough so I had almost boiling water on the bottom of my fermentor and cool water at the top. I ended up just leaving it sit untill the temp equalized (I know the first rule of home brewing is to not worry and just see what happens)
3. I assembled the 3 piece airlock wrong and somehow got back pressure forcing some of the idophor solution I filled it with down the airlock into the fermentor. I hope it doesn't produce an off flavor it was a very small amount 1oz or less. I really don't think it will.

anyway
My directions say to ferment 7-10 days. (to my knowledge fermentation is going perfect it's day 3 and I'm still getting a bubble every 3-5 seconds)
Then bottle for another 7-10 days.

Problem is I have to have the beer ready on Feb. 14 (acctually Feb. 15 at 3am we are going to a rave before we drink)
Should I go ahead and bottle this Sunday Feb. 1 (provided the FG is correct I don't want any gushers or bottle bombs) and let the beer sit bottled for 14 days or should I leave in the primary a few more days and then sit bottled for a shorter time.
I just want to get this right because I'm trying to impress people. A few of them are female and pretty fickle about beer. I on the other hand I will drink anything.

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Old 01-27-2009, 11:45 PM   #2
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well the directions should be taken more as a general guide. you need to keep it in the fermenter until you can take several consecutive daily hydrometer readings showing that fermentation activity has stopped. at that point you should bottle and condition in the 60-70 degree range(depending on yeast) so it'll carb up nice. it's more important to let it ferment fully before bottling then it is to have it bottled for 2 - 3 weeks. worst case you pop open a bottle and it's half carbed, 'cause it's only been bottled for a week and a half. IMO of course

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Old 01-27-2009, 11:48 PM   #3
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if you want to impress your friends you should hold off this brew for a later gathering.
minimums for a good beer are usually 1 week in primary(most go 2) 2 weeks in secondary and 3 weeks in the bottle to carb.
for good reading see www.howtobrew.com

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Old 01-27-2009, 11:51 PM   #4
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Well, this is a pale ale kit that came with the package designed for the beginner. The yeast is supposed to be comfortable up to 75F wich seems high. It should be pretty fool proof.
My only concern is my time constraint that I myself created haphazardly. Also I am not using a secondary. Keep in mind this brew doesn't have to be perfect just drinkable.

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Old 01-27-2009, 11:54 PM   #5
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go buy a six-pack of a similar microbrew & soak the labels off

Seriously though - don't push it. Patience = good beer.

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Old 01-27-2009, 11:59 PM   #6
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I've fermented for ten days, and bottled conditioned for a week. The beer came out ok, but I still don't know how it happened. Making beer that impresses people takes longer than three weeks.

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Old 01-28-2009, 12:05 AM   #7
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They still have raves? I wouldn't rush it seriously if your trying to impress people you should sit on that beer for at least a couple of months. If it is possible maybe get together with those people a couple of weeks later. If you must give them the beer by that date make sure that the gravity has stabilized and carb it in the bottles as long as you can, flat green beer will be anything but impressive.

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Old 01-28-2009, 12:07 AM   #8
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I've been there man, you start doing the math over and over in your head trying to make the numbers come out differently. I'd just let the beer do its thing, Pale Ale is not going to be as forgiving of being drunk early as a brown ale would be, at least in my experience.

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Old 01-28-2009, 12:07 AM   #9
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Allright, maybe I'm not trying to impress people that much. I could give a crap what people think about me. The problem is the people that are visiting I don't see very often. Maybe every couple months. I think I'll go ahead and bottle once FG is where it's supposed to be and chill one beer and try it. If I'm not happy with it I won't serve it. Keep in mind this is my first brew, I plan on brewing again no matter how it turns out.

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Old 01-28-2009, 12:09 AM   #10
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But like he said he is going to a rave.
Just about anything in your mouth when you are tripping balls tastes good. (From what I hear)
-Me

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