Originally Posted by barnumbrewing
Other than checking the hydrometer during separate intervals what else determines when the beer is ready to bottle?
That's about it!
Check the SG when active fermentation is apparently over. You can wait a few days, and then check it. When it's the same after at least three days, it can be bottled.
What I like to do is wait until the beer starts to clear, though. That way there is less crud in the bottles. So, after the fermentation ends I wait about a week and check a sample. If the beer is done, and it's completely clear, I'll package it then. If not, I'll wait. Some even like to put the fermenter in a cold place ("cold crashing") to really help it clear up before bottling.
I normally bottle the beer when it's 2-3 weeks old, depending on my schedule and what kind of beer it is.