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Old 03-01-2006, 11:25 PM   #1
Thor's Avatar
Oct 2005
North Texas
Posts: 147

I brewed an American Ale and want to bottle it sooner than I normally would. It had 5 days in the primary, and is just about at target gravity. I have about two weeks between now and the date I want to have drinkable, carbonated beer. I bottle, as I don't have kegging equipment.

So, my question is this: once bottled, what is the minimum amount of time before the brew is carbonated?

Details: It's 5 gallons of an American Ale recipe (DME + specialty grains, hops, 2 oz. of maltodextrin). The recipe calls for oak chips to be added to the secondary, though I am debating doing this as it tasted very good today. OG was 1.065, and when I racked to the secondary today it was 1.017, or 6.2% ABV. Since I have about 14 days, I was thinking of leaving it in the secondary for 8 or 9 days, and bottling for 5 or 6 days. I am thinking about submitting it to a contest, hence the question.

I know it would taste better in the secondary for two weeks, and I know it would taste better after several weeks or more of bottle conditioning, however I need to have it ready by 3/14. Any insight would help.

On-deck: an ESB; a Sierra Nevada Porter clone; an Irish Ale
Primary: cleaning
Secondary 1: Summer Wheat
Secondary 2: American Ale
Bottled/Conditioning: Lonely
Bottled/Drinking: Heineken clone w/Calif. Ale yeast; Fat Tire clone

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Old 03-01-2006, 11:35 PM   #2
El Pistolero
El Pistolero's Avatar
May 2005
Houston, Baja Oklahoma
Posts: 3,585
Liked 15 Times on 15 Posts

I've never had one carbonate in anything less than 10 the judging on the 14th, or is that when you have to turn em in? If the judging is on 3/14, I'd say your undercarbed beer isn't going to score well, I wouldn't think.
[/I] Up Next - Hobgoblin
After That - Czech Pilsner
Primary - Humboldt Hop Rod (4/24)
Primary - NOT Wheat AG SNCA (5/5)
Secondary -
Conditioning - SNCA Clone (3/3),

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Old 03-01-2006, 11:53 PM   #3
Ivan Lendl
Ivan Lendl's Avatar
Feb 2006
Wimbledon Finals
Posts: 1,290
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts

my only advice would be to use corn suger, its the quikest way, i would give it at least 10 days. i would skip the oak chips as well, they are normally used in ipa's, ive used them once and it took a long time before the oak flavor mellowed out...It did end up being a good ipa though after about 2 months...

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Old 03-02-2006, 06:55 PM   #4
Dec 2005
San Diego
Posts: 848
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

The sooner you bottle, the more sediment in the bottles. But keep them warm, and they will carb faster. Like 85 degrees, for 3-7 days? Stuff some into your water bed?
So far, I've had more experience thinking than I've had don't think they are mutually exclusive, do you?

72 batches so far,
48 wine, mostly Loquat, peach, plum, prickly pear
23 beers and ciders
1 sauerkraut
1 Tequila, from a prickly pear wine experiment that didn't work. I call it "Prickly Heat"

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Old 03-02-2006, 07:02 PM   #5
I use secondaries. :p
Walker's Avatar
Sep 2005
Cary, NC
Posts: 10,987
Liked 101 Times on 89 Posts

I agree with EP about your being SOL for the contest. Even if the beer DOES carbonate very fast, it's still going to taste green and would have a hard time in a competition against beers that have probably been aged for longer periods of time.

Ground Fault Brewing Co.

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