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Old 01-23-2013, 05:40 PM   #1
Jun 2012
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Posts: 31

Hi all, as the title suggests I'm a bit confused about when is the best time to bottle my brew.

Ok so starting from the beginning:

I started a Coopers Irish Red Ale last Thursday (17th Jan) had a very stable brew temp of 20C and the airlock was bubbling away really nicely. On Sunday I noticed it had stopped and the fermenter lid was no longer domed. On Monday (21st) I took a hydrometer reading and it was down to 1012. Today the reading was the same.

The kit instruction suggest that now is the time to bottle but from reading on this and other sites people seem to suggest leaving the brew in the FV for 10-14 days to allow the yeasties to clean up after themselves and then to move the FV into a cool place for 2-3 days to allow some of the sediment to drop and then to bottle.

How/what is the best method?

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:43 PM   #2
estricklin's Avatar
Apr 2012
Oppelo, Arkansas
Posts: 2,062
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Yes sounds pretty early to be bottling just yet. I don't usually take hydrometer readings to decide if it's time to bottle or not, I only do the reading when I'm bottling. 2-3 weeks in the primary and it's time to bottle for me, unless it's a lager of coarse.

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:45 PM   #3
Jan 2013
Pullman, WA
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I'd suggest letting it sit in the primary for at least 2 weeks before bottling. Otherwise you'll get a very cloudy, yeasty beer.

I had great success in transferring to a secondary after 7 days and letting it sit for another 2 weeks before bottling. It was amazing to see all the crap falling out of the beer right before your eyes.

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:47 PM   #4
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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It's probably ok to bottle now. But I like to wait until the beer is clear, or at least clearing. It'll clear from the top down in the fermenter, and so when the beer is clear (or clear-ish), that's the best time to start to think about bottling.

Bottling a clear beer means a better beer in the end. It means that the beer has had time to finish up, for the yeast to go back and digest its own waste products, and then for the yeast to start to flocculate out. It means less crud in the bottles in the end also.

It's not unsafe to bottle now. It's just not optimum. Another few days to a week or two longer would be better from a quality standpoint.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:49 PM   #5
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May 2011
Rochester, NY
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Id let it ride 3 weeks in the fermetation chamber.
As you noted, while fermentation may be complete the yeast will continue to improve your beer if you let them.
After 3 weeks I cold crash 24-48 hours, and then keg/bottle.
Id let my bottles sit another 2-3 weeks at 70* then fridge them for 5-7 days before drinking.
In total, Im 7 weeks from pitch to glass. Im sure you could shorten this if you'd like but Ive found my beers are generally at peak in the 8th week so thats what I try to hit.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:49 PM   #6
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Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
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Usually 3-4 weeks for me by the time it hits FG & settles out clear or slightly misty. Then it's time to bottle.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:50 PM   #7
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Nov 2012
Akron, OH
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So it's been less than a week? I'd give it three to four weeks to clean up. The extra time will help clarify the beer to that awesome red color and get a cleaner taste.

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:59 PM   #8
Jun 2012
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Posts: 31

Thanks for all the replies... I'll try and leave it for a few more weeks.

Should I leave it where it is or move it to a slightly cooler room?

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Old 01-23-2013, 08:58 PM   #9
Jan 2011
Boston, MA
Posts: 748
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Originally Posted by Newbie123 View Post
Thanks for all the replies... I'll try and leave it for a few more weeks.

Should I leave it where it is or move it to a slightly cooler room?
Where it is right now is fine. Warmer is better to let the yeast do their clean up work.

The purpose of cooling it off (cold crashing) is to get the last bit of yeast to drop out. Usually you'd do this a couple days before you're ready to bottle it. Get it as close to freezing temp as you can to get the best crash.

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Old 01-23-2013, 09:09 PM   #10
Jun 2012
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Posts: 31

Cool.... Thanks everyone so much for all you're help.

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