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How long in the secondary?

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McCall St. Brewer

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I made an altbier with steeping grains, 9 lbs. of extract, which took just over a month to finish its primary fermatation. When I racked to the secondary it already tasted pretty darn good-- almost like a barley wine I would say.

How long should I wait before bottling this one? I'm really low on homebrew and out of carboy space. Will the improvement in it be substantial if I let it age awhile?
 

mbreen01

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Once fermentation has stopped or you are satisfied that your beer is finished you can bottle. The goal is to allow the brew to finish fermenting. Usually this can be ensured by taking serial SG measurements. If the SG hasn't changed over 3-4 days, that's a pretty good indication that fermentation is done.

A general rule of thumb (keep in mind, only a guideline...) is 1 week primary, 2 wks secondary, and 3 weeks in bottle.

High gravity brews can sometimes be a little different. One thing I always try to do is to pitch a good volume of yeast with HG wort. Tons of sugar can be a shock on a low volume of yeast (and lead to stuck fermentation/long ferment times). What's your expected gravity and where are you at now? From what I understand, long times to just "condition" in primary/secondary aren't really needed; if fermentation is done--bottle/keg.

Marc.
 

david_42

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I'd give it two weeks, unless it has cleared already. Higher gravity, malty ales always benefit from conditioning.
 
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