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Old 09-10-2007, 10:38 PM   #1
Sep 2007
Boston, Mass
Posts: 36

Hey all, I'm gonna brew my first batch this week. I also picked up my homebrew kit today. Very excited to get going...I was reading the directions and it says three weeks from start to finish. I've been lurking around here for alittle while and reading a much longer time. Up to 6 weeks or more.

My question is, is three weeks too short of time? Not that i'm an impatient man. (I've been eating the hops right out of the bag today)...


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Old 09-10-2007, 10:50 PM   #2
FlyGuy's Avatar
Jan 2007
Calgary, Alberta
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If you have a kegging system, two to three weeks is quite do-able. Tack on another couple of weeks if you are bottling, though. Some brews also mature more quickly than others. I recently did an English mild that was very drinkable at 10 days. Bigger, darker beers may need months of aging to bring out their best flavours.

Regardless, the rule of thumb that is often followed is about one week in the primary, 2 weeks in the secondary, and three weeks in the bottle. It is a pretty good, general guide that many follow until you learn the nuances of the different recipes and their associated fermentation schedules.

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Old 09-10-2007, 11:07 PM   #3
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May 2007
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1 week in primary + 1 week in secondary & 2 weeks in bottles

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Old 09-11-2007, 01:17 AM   #4
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Aug 2006
People's Republic of Cambridge
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The shortest time I have done is 2 weeks in primary, 2 weeks in bottles but this was for a fairly light pale ale. Most of the time I primary for 1-2 weeks, secondary for 2-3, and bottle for 3+ (except for big beers which I leave in secondary for up to 6 months) when bottling or keg and carb for a week when kegging.
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Old 09-11-2007, 03:14 AM   #5
Feb 2007
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Even the lighted of the light ales need at least one week in secondary in my opinion. Which puts you at 4 weeks. 1 primary one secondary 2 bottle. Most of your more basic recipes are ok with that schedule, but maybe if you post the recipe from the kit we can get a better idea. One thing for sure is do not bottle unless the beer is clear. You'll actually see it clearing from top to bottom in the carboy, it is a neat thing to see.

PS How long does it take is the question everyone asks me when they find out I brew so I'm guessing when you start brewing a while you'll be answering this question alot to your friends.

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Old 09-11-2007, 03:27 AM   #6
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Sep 2006
Ontario, Canada
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Whenever I get asked I say 6 weeks. Except for hefe's I don't think anything but my session bitters are any good before that point (relatively speaking of course ). As to how I break up that 6 weeks, I always do 3 in the bottle, the first 3 weeks are either 1-2 or 2-1. It depends how fast primary goes. I've been considering skipping secondary altogether (3 weeks primary and into bottles) after reading the latest posts on the subject.
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Old 09-11-2007, 04:29 AM   #7
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Feb 2007
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Generally speaking the 1-2-3 rule is good but really when it comes to primary fermentation you should let your hydrometer tell you when it is done. when you come up with a stable (bout 2-3 days in a row) SG reading, it is time to rack to a secondary, or bottle. I have had some beers take up to 3 weeks to reach the FG that I wanted, some less then a week. It really depends on the style and target FG.

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Old 09-11-2007, 02:24 PM   #8
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Aug 2006
Whitehouse Station, NJ
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You're going to rush at least the first two batches to the point where you question the hobby in general. Green beer just tastes aweful. The key is to brew often enough (primaries are cheap) that you start forgetting you have batches becoming delicious in the back corners of your closet.
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:33 PM   #9
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Aug 2007
Buffalo, NY
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Luckily I'm the kind of person who will take his medicine if he knows it's good for him. I've been trying a bottle of my first two batches every 7 days since bottling so I can recognize green beer when I taste it in the future, and damn has it made a difference so far. My raspberry wheat was pretty gross after a week; well carbed but had two distinct (and not particularly good) flavors. Last Saturday, after two weeks, it was much better; everything had blended and mellowed and while it wasn't wonderful it was definitely good.

For what it's worth, that one was 2 in primary and then straight to the bottle, since it's a wheat and clarity doesn't matter.
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:21 PM   #10
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Apr 2007
Oakland, CA
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leave it in your primary(+secondary if you have one) for three weeks. then leave in bottles for three weeks...minimum. even after that, i wouldn't drink them all at a few for 6 weeks in bottles or longer. you'll thank yourself later.

the only exception would be hefeweizens which can finish in about 10 days and bottle for 3 weeks. but they still usually taste their best at about 6 weeks in bottle.

for BIG beers, it may take months. just be patient and you'll come out with much better beer
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