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Old 10-17-2007, 09:33 PM   #1
Sep 2007
Posts: 34

So, once the primary stops bubbling, I put it in bottles, correct?

How do I know when it's done in the bottles? The recipe calls for 2-3 weeks, but when can I be sure it's a good time to start drinking?

Also, where should I store the bottles during the time it's finishing up fermenting? Should I chuck 'em in the fridge, or keep them in the same place I keep my big buckets?

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Old 10-17-2007, 09:38 PM   #2
Drunkensatyr's Avatar
Apr 2007
Posts: 1,997
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Without using a hydrometer, you are leaving yourself wide open for bottle bombs. If you are not going to measure, then I would personally wait 2 weeks before bottling, then waiting atleast another 2 weeks to drink. It will still be green, but there should be some carb by then. Also, leave them around ferm temp.

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Old 10-17-2007, 10:04 PM   #3
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Sep 2007
Behind the zion curtain
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Who is it that's selling all these brewing kits without hydrometers? That's what I'd like to know.
Coming Soon:
Primary: Stone Vertical Epic 08.08.08
Secondary: Oaked Arrogant Bastard
Conditioning: Dead Guy Ale clone, Double-Dubbel
Drinking: Not for a while

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Old 10-17-2007, 10:36 PM   #4
c.n.budz's Avatar
Feb 2007
Pistol Wavin' New Haven, for now...
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Definitely wait a couple weeks before bottling if you didn't take any gravity readings. I've had the unpleasant experience of bottle bombs and, trust me, you don't want them.
Knucklehead Brewery, Est. 2007

Always do sober what you do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. -Ernest Hemingway

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Old 10-17-2007, 11:26 PM   #5
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Oct 2006
Hayden, Idaho
Posts: 8,204
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The hydrometer would definately help. As long as everything worked out, I'd sample a bottle at one week and two weeks just to see how the flavor develops. If you are concerned about bottle bombs, you might want to chill your beer to refrigerator temperature before opening.
Make Beer, Not War.

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Old 10-17-2007, 11:32 PM   #6
Apr 2007
Posts: 9

Heres a good trick I used prior to kegging

When bottling, fill one clear soda/water bottle and screw the cap back on. You can judge the carbonation level by squeezing the bottle. After three weeks it should start to feel pretty tight. It also gives you a look at how things are settling out.

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Old 10-18-2007, 12:55 AM   #7
May 2007
Cary, NC
Posts: 2,176
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Originally Posted by mrkristofo
Who is it that's selling all these brewing kits without hydrometers? That's what I'd like to know.
The kit probably came with a hydrometer, he's just not using it.

My beginner kit included a hydrometer but I didn't use it until my 5th or 6th brew. No bottle bombs, either.

Primary/Secondary: #133 Scottish 80/-
Kegged: #132 American Wheat
Planned: IPA, Brown, Pale Ale

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Old 10-18-2007, 03:00 AM   #8
Sep 2007
Posts: 34

Originally Posted by brloomis
The kit probably came with a hydrometer, he's just not using it.
...yeah, that's right.

Although the recipe gave a couple of values, I didn't know when they applied or when I should test it or anything like that. It gave me a time range, though, which is what I was just planning to fall back on.

So, how's a hydrometer work? When do I use it? I'll try that for my second brew. I'll wait an extra week though as you suggested. Thanks for the replies; I guess I still have more studying to do regarding the whole process. Nice to have people to ask when I screw up!

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Old 10-18-2007, 03:18 AM   #9
Maniacally Malty
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Apr 2007
Oakland, CA
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Get a wine thief or one of these guys:

sanitize well and take a sample out of your bucket and put it in this which should have been provided with the kit:

put your hydrometer in and take a reading. the water line should be read at the lines that say:


if it was at the 50 mark, your reading would be 1.050

drink it, don't pour it back in the carboy.

As for using a primary...i would leave it in for 3 weeks at least...more for big beers.

it should also be in the bottles for three weeks before it's opened...optimum is six weeks room temperature

taste one each week...once you know they are good and ready put them in the fridge and leave them there for a couple days before you drink them all.

nothing to it my man.

now i need another drink...
Easy Partial Mash Brewing - Stovetop All-Grain Brewing

"Death is always with us." - Brewpastor

We will remember...

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Old 10-18-2007, 03:50 AM   #10
Benny Blanco
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Oct 2007
Rochester, NY
Posts: 327

So, how valid is this?

"A hydrometer reads accurately at 60 Fahrenheit. Temperatures above and below 60F require that you add or subtract from your reading."

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