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Old 11-21-2008, 04:47 PM   #1
mnpaddler
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Default 1-2-3 Method ?

what is the accepted timeline on beer from brew keg to bottle?

I have been told
1 week in fermenter then transfer to secondary.
1 week in secondary and then transfer to bottles.
1 week bottled and can be drank for a total of 21 days!

this sounds like it is rushing it to me?

I really want to do it right and have good tasting beer...........thanks for any response


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Old 11-21-2008, 04:54 PM   #2
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Well, the 1-2-3 method you speak of is actually:

1 week in primary
2 weeks in secondary
3 weeks in bottle

This is only a guideline and many beers will take different times to ferment out and taste good. In fact, no 2 fermentations are alike, so it could be different even if you brew the same beer twice. One week in all three is way too short. It will take at least 3 weeks in the bottle.


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Old 11-21-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
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123 refers to

1 in the Primary
2 in the Secondary
3 Bottle conditioning or Keg Conditioning

It's a boilerplate answer for boilerplate questions.

It's used quite a bit 'round here because we often don't get a recipe, technique, environment information from the OP. Many times we have to contend with a n00bs compulsion to futz with the natural order of fermentation.

Sometimes it's a matter of getting the OP's mind right about being patient; not focusing on petty details at such an early stage; giving the new brewer an easy win.

So it's not always the "best practice" or the perfect answer, but it is an answer that will work.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnpaddler View Post
what is the accepted timeline on beer from brew keg to bottle?

I have been told
1 week in fermenter then transfer to secondary.
1 week in secondary and then transfer to bottles.
1 week bottled and can be drank for a total of 21 days!

this sounds like it is rushing it to me?

I really want to do it right and have good tasting beer...........thanks for any response
Yup, you are right - that's rushing it

As mentioned above, the 123 rule is kind of a catchall method that works ok in most situations.

What you really want to do is monitor the fermentation with gravity readings so that you know when fermentation is complete. After that, it is up to you whether or not you want to rack to secondary. Let it clear (however much time that takes), then bottle (or keg). Conditioning time will depend a lot on the recipe, and how well fermentation temps were maintained - bigger beers generally need more time.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:13 PM   #5
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Many of us advocate/do the 4-3 method...4 weeks in primary, 3 weeks in bottles...no secondary.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:45 PM   #6
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Forget 1-2-3...let the beer tell you when it's ready. That's the job of the hydrometer.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:45 PM   #7
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Default 1-2-3

thank you so much for the quick and informative responses.

now i understand why my beer has always been tasting so much better at the bottom of the keg than when i first tap it-same with bottles! it has had more time to do it's thing!!!!!!!!!!!........cheers and thanks again
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnpaddler View Post
what is the accepted timeline on beer from brew keg to bottle?

I have been told
1 week in fermenter then transfer to secondary.
1 week in secondary and then transfer to bottles.
1 week bottled and can be drank for a total of 21 days!

this sounds like it is rushing it to me?

I really want to do it right and have good tasting beer...........thanks for any response
You can probably do that for an extract beer that is not to big, like one of those can and a kilo kits. But you'll probably be happier to do 1 week primary, 2 weeks secondary, 3 weeks in bottles like the other poster suggested.

Just brew an extra batch or two, and then it becomes easier to wait.
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:07 PM   #9
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I'm kinda curious about secondary as I'll be dry hopping my next batch. After racking to secondary after fermentation is done what protects the beer? Is a small amount of CO2 that is in solution come out and provide a layer of protection while in secondary?
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:12 PM   #10
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I'm kinda curious about secondary as I'll be dry hopping my next batch. After racking to secondary after fermentation is done what protects the beer? Is a small amount of CO2 that is in solution come out and provide a layer of protection while in secondary?
Yup, it does, plus the mere act of racking often kicks up a bit more fermentation which produces more CO2...That's why some new brewers start threads about their airlock bubbling again, or a new krausen forming, or stuff rising to the surface of the beer...


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