How long to allow just bottled stout to sit?

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MooDaddy

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Bottled a chocolate stout today after 4+ weeks in primary. How long do you recommend it sit in the bottles before test driving it? Also, is there any advantage to allowing a stout to spend more than 4 weeks in the primary?

Thanks
 

McKnuckle

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Depending on the gravity, you are looking at a minimum of 2 weeks to possibly a month in the bottles, carbonating, and then 2-3 weeks cold conditioning. Shorter time in the bottles would correlate to lower ABV. Higher gravity brews usually need more time for the small yeast population to get going. Your long primary would add to that requirement.

Now, of course you could try one in a week. Depends on your levels of experience and patience, which tend to be proportional to each other. :) Once you notice that it's not well carbonated, and is probably a bit rough tasting, you'll get the point of waiting, painful though it may be.

4 weeks in primary is a long time, considering that it typically only takes 5-10 days for beer like that to reach FG. You only need that plus a few more days of conditioning, "clean up" time, and then it's time to move it to bottles or a keg. So we're talking 10-14 days in primary, although another week is not a big deal.
 

JPDosey

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It has been my experience, that time / age, on any brew helps to improve the taste. I second what Mcknuckle says! Give it some time....save some for a month from now. Cheers!
 

MikeCo

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If you're bottle conditioning at a temperature in the low to mid 70s and added fresh yeast at bottling, the beer could be fully carbonated in 8 to 10 days. I'm impatient, so I often try one after a week or 10 days, mainly out of curiosity. Usually they are not quite fully carbonated, but sometimes they are. Go ahead and try one on the early side if you really want to know. There's not much to lose; you may need to drink a partly flat beer.

Three weeks is what I usually recommend to people for full bottle conditioning, but it depends on a few factors:
- alcohol content
- yeast quantity & health (I always add fresh yeast when bottling)
- temperature
- time in primary/secondary
 

Alex4mula

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I don't bottle but time for sure is an ingredient for much better beer. And I think for a stout/dark beer even more. I have kegged beer at 3-4 weeks that is meh and only two weeks later is very good. Go buy/drink a six pack of your local craft beer and wait.
 
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Three to four years.

Sorry if that sucks to hear, but...
The single greatest beer I've ever made was an amateurish, [email protected] attempt at a Russian imperial stout. Four years later it's freaking amazing. The single greatest brewing ingredient is patience.

Not for neipas tho, YMMV, copyright 1999, FFS BePatient LLC.
 

deuc224

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You guys talking about lettig them sit for weeks and months, do you put them on carbonation or just leave the headspace with o2 on it?
 

jrgtr42

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|As long as you have plenty, give it a try after a week to 10 days, see wht it's doing, then every week or two after. Once you see it's hit the mark, you can move it to permanant cellaring.
 

McKnuckle

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You guys talking about lettig them sit for weeks and months, do you put them on carbonation or just leave the headspace with o2 on it?

Let them sit for that long only in their final package without oxygen (bottles or keg). Never in the fermenter. If still carbonating in bottles, allow to sit in warm temps, and once carbonated, in the cold which is essentially lagering regardless of the beer style.
 

deuc224

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Ok so im kegging. So the final package is me transferring from fermenter to keg, so with that being said, do I transfer to keg and put on carbonation at serving pressure? Just purge the headspace? Leave at room temp? Place in the chest freezer set at 40F? This always has me overthinking it. If its carb on room temp at serving pressure I can alwasy buy a new co2 tank for that purpose. Thanks and sorry for the hi jack
 

McKnuckle

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Ideally, you would purge the keg before transfer if you have the means. If not, no worries. Transfer from fermenter to keg, place in the chest freezer at 40ºF, purge the headspace if you did not already purge the entire keg, then put on gas at serving pressure i.e ~12 psi. Then leave it to carbonate and condition. Drink when ready. That's it.

Carbonating at serving pressure is too low at room temperature, as the volumes of CO2 that will infuse into the beer are temperature-dependent given the same pressure. You would need 28 psi @ 65ºF to equal what 12 psi @ 40ºF would give you. Plus you'd miss out on the advantages of cold conditioning while carbonation was occurring.
 

deuc224

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McKnuckle, thank you so much for taking the time to respond, really really appreciate that!!!! Eerything you said makes sense.
 
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