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Old 04-07-2010, 12:19 AM   #1
tadandmel
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Default New Brewer from Apex, NC with a basic question...

Hey all, I'm on my second batch, it's a Brewers Best Red Ale and so far everything is going really well. My first batch, a BB English Ale, came out all right but I definitely bottled AND opened my bottles a little too early I think. Patience is a bit of a bitch for me . But I learned a lot and want to take what I learned and it apply it to this second batch.

As I said above, everything with the Red Ale is going quite well, I'm heading towards day 14 this weekend in the primary and I've been taking hydrometer readings (2 so far) for the last 3 days and the readings are dead on even and haven't fluctuated a bit.

So here's my question: I wanted to give it 2 weeks in the primary before bottling. But since the hydrometer readings haven't moved I'm wondering if bottling early would hurt my chances for a better tasting beer. I've read everywhere that once the primary stops showing signs of activity (it has) and the hydrometer reading are are solid after 2 to 3 readings that "it's time to bottle!".

I know either way I'll be fine, but if waiting gives me a better tasting beer I'm more than willing to bottle this weekend. But, on the other hand, I also know that the quicker I bottle this elixir the quicker it'll get in my belly!

So what do you think? Bottle tomorrow or bottle this weekend?

What a great hobbie this has turned out to be! I love it! Thanks to all for such an awesome resource as well! You've already answered a ton of my questions!

Thanks everyone ahead of time!


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Old 04-07-2010, 12:37 AM   #2
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I suggest bottling this weekend. A little time will only make your beer better. After bottling, I usually wait three weeks to crack one open. After three weeks and testing one, I usually chill them for another 2 - 3 weeks, so the sediment settles and I end up with a nice clear beer.


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Old 04-07-2010, 12:42 AM   #3
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Thanks Makeyermark! That's what I figured, I just wanted to hear from the gurus.

Of course, if I could've jumped the gun and bottled early I would've been just as psyched. I can wait though. The best beer I tasted from my first batch was hands down the last one. So it definitely sounds like the way to go!
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:42 AM   #4
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Agreed. Just give it a couple more days. I know how you feel though. What I ended up doing was buying another primary and a secondary fermenter. That way I was able to have 3 beers fermenting and now I'm on a rotation where I'm trying new beers every two to four weeks, with homebrew in between to hold me over. It really helped my patience and I bet it would help yours to!

Always give it an extra day if you can!
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:52 AM   #5
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@mikebiewer that seems like the next evolutionary step of my current setup. I thought I could do it with one but it's looking kinda doubtful. LOL

Nice to see someone else with the same patience level as me! Thanks for reinforcing my inkling to wait.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:15 AM   #6
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Welcome near by brewer. I'm in Clayton and while I can't help with your patience issue, I sure can help you sample good homebrew. Give me a e-mail donan@nc.rr.com if you want to talk local brewing.
Dave:-)
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:49 AM   #7
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Welcom tadandmel! I know what you mean about patience, it is one of the hardest parts of homebrewing!
Great advice from everyone. 2-3 weeks primary is a good idea!
If craigslist is an option in your area I highly recommend it for acquiring "new" equipment.
As long as it is in good condition used equipment can be a great way to expand your brewing empire!
Welcome to the obsession and looking forward to hearing how this batch turns out!!
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:24 PM   #8
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@DaveO thanks for the invite man! I might take you up on that.

@KevinW Thanks for the warm welcome and suggestions for "new" equipment. Craigslist can be a little dodgy in my area but I'll definitely take a look!

I'll be sure post about how the next batch turns out!
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:45 PM   #9
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Hey tadandmel, Fayetteville here. Craig's list is where I got all my initial equipment from. Guy was military and did not have the time to brew anymore. I scored a foot locker full of stuff, plus primary, bottling bucket, and four better bottles.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:53 PM   #10
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@AirborneBrewer - Ah right on! My dig on CL stemmed from my experiences buying and selling other items (computer stuff mostly). I've had more bad than good unfortunately.

It's good to hear that CL is such an awesome resource for this hobby! Congratz on the haul! Very cool! My brother was stationed @ Fayetteville for a few years... it's been a while since I've been there though.


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