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Old 10-25-2012, 09:07 PM   #1
dadshomebrewing
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i've read 4 weeks, i've read straight out of primary, i've read the 1, 2, 3 method which is basically 6 weeks total from the brewpot to the glass.

for a regular pale ale, what are some of the rules of thumb?

also for a wheat?

thanks

 
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:10 PM   #2
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Generally,my pal ales go 3 weeks in primary,sometimes a bit longer to finish & settle out clear. Then 4 weeks in the bottle conditioning,Then at least a week fridge time for good head & carbonation.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:11 PM   #3
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You'll get a lot of different answers, you'll just have to find the right times for your setup.

Do you have a controlled temp space for your fermenter? I would let a wheat go about 3 weeks or so in the primary and then bottle or keg. If bottled, I usually let the bottles sit for 3 weeks minimum before I crack one open.

 
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadshomebrewing View Post
i've read 4 weeks, i've read straight out of primary, i've read the 1, 2, 3 method which is basically 6 weeks total from the brewpot to the glass.

for a regular pale ale, what are some of the rules of thumb?

also for a wheat?

thanks
Both of those styles can be good "young" but the bottom line is that there is more to the story than a general rule of thumb.

You need to pitch the right amount of yeast and control the fermentation temperature, including pitching temp and all the way through final gravity. If you do that, for a relatively basic beer without 12 ingredients in it, it should ferment out in a week or so. A few more days at a slightly higher temp, then it's ready to go. If you want it clear (in the case of the PA) you'll need to wait longer. Cold-crashing in the fridge for a few days can speed up the clearing, though.

Always take gravity samples 3 days apart and verify they are the same before calling anything "final gravity". The only final gravity that exists is what your beer ends up doing, not a recipe's FG.

So, grain to glass in about two weeks if you keg, 3-4 weeks if you bottle.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:26 PM   #5
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Too many variables....

A low gravity sesion brew can be ready pretty quickly...

A high gravity Belgian may take a couple of months in the fermenter and several more months to carb up and condition.

So no simple answer to your question.

 
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:35 PM   #6
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Yup kinda hard to say. Keep in mind if you are bottling and your carbing temps are on the lower side it will take longer. Mine are carbing at 63 but im in no hurry for those. Got a little pipeline going.

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:39 AM   #7
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Unless otherwise specified for aging by the recipe, I usually go for 3+ weeks or so in the fermenter. I'm in the boat the says longer fermentation usually makes better beers and I'm not on a production schedule, so no big deal. I typically bottle a 6 pack of 12oz'ers for tasting and the rest in bombers or 12oz bottles for proper drinking/sharing. I taste the designated 12oz bottles once a week or so until I consider them drinkable and then...dig in. I've had some beers that weren't perfect in bottles for months. Some beers need to sit in secondary for quite a bit. There's no easy, absolute answer...but that's my "general" method.

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:52 AM   #8
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I went to the Mundline I.l craft beer festival, as I talked with the brewers, I asked several times "how long in the fermenter?" most said 3 weeks. I drank 64 different types of beer that day, all of them full of flavor, mixed in my stomach at the same time and it was hot that day 105F,,,

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikescooling View Post
I went to the Mundline I.l craft beer festival, as I talked with the brewers, I asked several times "how long in the fermenter?" most said 3 weeks. I drank 64 different types of beer that day, all of them full of flavor, mixed in my stomach at the same time and it was hot that day 105F,,,
You've got to be careful with comparing to commercial breweries. They can often go much faster for a multitude of reasons.

I'll typically go in primary for a few weeks until the gravity's not falling anymore. Bottle conditioning can take from 1 week in a very yeasty wheat beer to maybe 3 weeks for an average pale ale. When it gets to a biggie like a Belgian Strong, that all goes out the window and we're dealing with a timescale of many months.

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:11 AM   #10
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Like everyone's said, the yeast do what they do, and you can't rush them. I've heard of folks brewing a hefeweizen grain to glass in a week, assuming a flawless primary fermentation followed by force carbonation. Even in a hefe I'd say that's rushing it. I've bottled session and wheat beers at two weeks (assuming they're done with fermentation plus a few days clean-up), but the majority of my beers get 3-4 weeks, and big beers up to 6 weeks primary. Then 3 weeks minimum for bottle conditioning. And some beers don't reach their prime for a while. The RIS I did last year was fantastic when I killed the last bottle at maybe a year and two months old, and my Brett Tripel is more than a year old, and may not reach its full potential for another year. But my Dunkelweizen's been in bottles maybe 4 months, and is getting past its prime to the point where I'm trying to kill the remainder off fairly quickly.
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