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Old 05-03-2012, 06:13 PM   #1
Jan 2012
McComb, Mississippi
Posts: 29
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I didn't want to say how long do people let there been ferment before bottling, because fermentation can be over in a few days. Also I'm talking about standard 4.5%-6% gravity beers.

I know some people use the 1-2-3 rule for 1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary, and 3 in the bottle before they consume. The recent trend I've seen is not to secondary and leave the beer on the yeast cake for a month. I generally use the later and let it sit for at least 3 weeks.

My SWMBO recently bought me Microbrewed Adventures by Charlie Papazian (great read by the way) and it comes with tons of recipes straight from brewers and Charlie himself. I haven't read all of them yet but the ones I have read suggest fermenting for a week and transferring to secondary for a week before bottling.

Basically I'm wondering if I'm making my brewing process longer than it has to be and denying myself more brewing opportunities?

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Old 05-03-2012, 06:19 PM   #2
Dec 2009
Posts: 1,883
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Usually, I go 4 weeks in primary, then bottle. Making one batch a month seems to work for me, though I sometimes do more (I have a second BetterBottle).

"Anything worth doing, is worth doing slowly." ~~ Mae West

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Old 05-03-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
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Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
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This is the most discussed topic on here, it has been readily covered. I suggest you read THIS thread, it's become the "uber discussion" on this topic thread. Every discussion, question, answer, citation, etch is in that thread....

To Secondary or Not? John Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff Weigh In .

Many of us leave our beer in primary for a month minimum then bottle.....We find out beers to be clearer and better tasting.

I suggest you read that thread, and experiment for yourself, and make up your own mind.

There's thousands of threads on here already, where folks have ventured their opinions, and argued incessantly, but it ultimately comes down to what works for you......
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #4
Jan 2012
spokane, WA
Posts: 270
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From everything I've read it is up to the yeast how long it should take. The only way to tell is by the hydrometer readings, when it settles out (hopefully near your expected FG) and is stable for a few days, then it is ready to bottle. If you want you can let it go longer to let the yeast do some further clean up and for more settling to occur.

I use carboys and have 1 6.5 gal and 2 5 gal. Once I get to where I can brew more often I plan on using the larger one as a primary, then moving to the smaller ones to harvest yeast and make room for the next batch.
Primary: MT
Secondary: MT
Bottled and disappearing: Pale Ale/BM clone/Dbl Choc stout
Kegged: BM clone/double chocolate stout
On Deck: Hefe

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Old 05-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #5
Calichusetts's Avatar
Nov 2011
Plymouth, MA
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I do 3 weeks primary, 1 week secondary, 4-6 weeks conditioning depending on the ABV. 2 weeks fridge

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Old 05-03-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
Registered User
Nov 2009
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6 weeks.

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Old 05-03-2012, 06:48 PM   #7
Dec 2011
Culpeper, VA
Posts: 2,640
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21-28 days. I've yet to brew a beer yet that wasn't finished and off-taste free if I used that time frame and kept the beer temp at 65F.
Next up: Amber Ale
Primary 1&2: 90 Min IPA clone
Primary 3&4: Belgian Wit
Keg #1: White Mosaic Pale Ale
Keg #2: Empty
Drinking: Amber Ale, White Mosaic Pale Ale

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Old 05-03-2012, 06:48 PM   #8
Feb 2012
Denver, CO
Posts: 262
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I've been doing a range and really just doing it by taste. Generally, the higher the abv the longer it needs to get to where I want it. I recently brewed a mild that was 3.6% and it was stable after three days and I bottled after ten. It had cleared brilliantly and tasted great, so I figured it was ready. My 5.8% smoked porter was in for a month.

Basically, it is my opinion that every beer is different and we have a number of tools to help us decide when it is ready. Personally, I use my nose, mouth, eyes and hydrometer to decide when it is ready. Then I wait a few days just in case!

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Old 05-03-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
Oct 2010
Posts: 2,579
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4 weeks primary 4 weeks bottle conditioning 48 HRS fridge. Take it to the bank.

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Old 05-03-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
Apr 2012
Aliso Viejo, CA
Posts: 16

We've only done this 4 times, but we bottle after close to 2 weeks....a couple days earlier if the Gravity read isn't changing. Haven't tried second fermentation as of yet. Bottle for 1.5-2 weeks. Tasted the beer after 1.5 weeks and it was good to go and carbonated so we slowly started putting a few in the refrigerator. The rest are still in bottles in the garage so they may get the full 4 week bottle depending on how fast we drink it.

If it is tasting good is there any reason to wait longer?

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