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Old 09-16-2010, 05:43 PM   #1
Aug 2010
Mililani, Hawaii
Posts: 90

I'm going to be leaving on travel here in about 2 weeks. I have two recipes ready to brew, one an Irish Stout and the other a Scottish Ale. I have one fermenter bucket, one glass carboy, and one bottling bucket for main fermentation/ bottling. So, I can start brewing the one this weekend in my main bucket and then move it over to my carboy next weekend. Then, I can brew my next one and put it in the bucket fermenter. Two weeks from this weekend I can have the first brew botlled but the other brew will be stuck in the glass carboy.

What I'm trying to get a feel for is whether I can leave the second brew sitting in the carboy for 3 weeks without too much trouble or if it would be more beneficial to try and ferment it again after that one week in the bucket and bottle it early. Has anyone left their fermentation sitting that long? Would the Irish Stout be better served for the increased time in the fermenter or the Scottish Ale? Has anyone bottled after only 1 week of fermenting? Any thoughts?

I'm leaning towards brewing the Scottish Ale first and bottle it after 2 weeks. Then I would brew the Irish Stout for a week and leave it sitting in the carboy for 3 more weeks. Ambient temperature would be about 75-78 degrees for those 3 weeks, as I have no alternate cooling yet.

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Old 09-16-2010, 06:05 PM   #2
DrinkNoH2O's Avatar
Oct 2009
Aliso Viejo, CA
Posts: 554
Liked 34 Times on 24 Posts

There's no need for secondary (carboy in your case I think) at all unless you're dry hopping, so I wouldn't worry about that. In general you'll get best results by leaving the beer in the primary fermenter for at least 3 weeks then transferring directly to the bottling bucket.

For your situation I would brew the lower gravity beer first, let it sit for those 2 weeks in primary and bottle it before you leave.

Brew the higher gravity beer right before you leave and let it sit in primary the entire time you're gone. Bottle once you're back.

Also a quick tip - make your next "upgrade" to your brewing system be a way to properly control fermentation temperatures (cold water bath, swamp cooler, etc.) By keeping the temp down your beer will drastically improve as currently you're fermenting way too high.

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Old 09-16-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
Aug 2007
Southern Maine
Posts: 3,942
Liked 534 Times on 361 Posts

Brew both this weekend, put one in bucket, one in carboy. Let both sit for 3 weeks until you get back from vacation, bottle both at the same time. Even better, let them sit for yet another week before bottling. Neither will be all that good for 6 weeks, maybe 8.

Neither should really be moved to secondary sooner than 2 weeks. I"m of the opinion that they should be put into secondary at all, but that is another discussion.

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Old 09-16-2010, 07:32 PM   #4
cclloyd's Avatar
Jan 2007
Largo, Florida
Posts: 2,965
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Time and patience are the way to go 99% of the time. I would brew them both and bottle after you return. and definitely heed NoH2O's advice - you would really benefit from a temp control method. I fermented at ambient indoor temp (76-78F) in a tropical climate for three years and was making decent beer. I bought a chest freezer and a temp controller and now I make great beer.

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