Length of time after bottling

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Oakkin

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
2
Mixed in the dextrose after letting it ferment for 14 days and bottled my first ever batch 2 days ago. The Beer-in-a-bag kit i used said to wait 2 weeks before trying it, and it suggested waiting 2 extra weeks for it to be more enjoyable.

It's a pale ale. Just curious if anyone with experience can say they feel i should wait before i can start drinking it. Been trying to save money which is one of the reasons i got into this so i havent really had any beer in the last month or so... I'm thirsty!!!
 

TasunkaWitko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2014
Messages
2,822
Reaction score
979
Location
Chinook
You will enjoy your beer more if you wait. Delayed gratification is one of life's pleasures!

What I do (feel free to ignore, if you want) is bottle, then give it two weeks at room temperature (~70 degrees), then one week in the refrigerator, before I even THINK of trying it. Having said that, I've found that an extra week gives even better beer.

Bigger beers such as stouts or dubbels, in my opinion, benefit from even longer "maturation." Hefeweizens are wonderful when very young.

Once you get your "pipeline" going, all will be fine - until then, just have patience, grasshopper. If all else fails, buy a 6-pack of something you like that has bottles you can re-use. :mug:
 
Last edited:

rmyurick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Messages
510
Reaction score
73
Location
Akron
It depends a lot on temperature. I would wait at least a week, at room temp (70-ish) before chilling one & popping it open. Then if it's still not well-carbonated, you know you have to wait another week. You can still drink it, if you don't mind flat beer (or gassy stomach).
 

ESBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
764
Reaction score
484
Location
Helsinki/Finland
For me it takes about three weeks (using wyeast 1968 carbonated to roughly 2 vols and bottles kept at 20°C), but it is best to give it a month. The taste tends to get better all the time (given that you do not have a major contamination in the bottles). The carbonation may come a bit faster but the taste takes longer because yeast needs to clean up & drop to the bottom. After one month, the beer (even ales) may benefit from some lagering in a cold place..

But it probably depends on the yeast, beer and temperature.
 
Last edited:

JimEb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
110
Reaction score
23
In my experience 1 week at minimum. I've already been too impatient and cracked one open after 3 days. Usually that approach gave me a mediocre flat beer with the instant regret that I just wasted that one.

Buy some commercial beer for the moment...call it market research to figure out what you want to brew next. Then start brewing more to get your pipeline filled.
 

kh54s10

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
18,741
Reaction score
5,484
Location
Edgewater
At room temperature you might get carbonation in as little as a week. Recipes will make the timing vary. High gravity darker beers will take longer. It usually takes 2 weeks to get good carbonation. I never tried one in less than 2 weeks. But IMO, ALL of my beers have tasted better at 3 weeks or longer. (But then again I usually crack one at about 2 weeks.)

In the case of high ABV dark beers - it takes much longer. Not for carbonation but for flavor. One didn't peak in flavor in 2.5 years and was still good when I finished the last bottle at about 3 years.
 
OP
Oakkin

Oakkin

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
2
Ok, i'll wait. My basement is where i am storing the beer. It's a bit on the cool side, would that speed up or slow down the process?
 

ESBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
764
Reaction score
484
Location
Helsinki/Finland
Low temperature is going to slow down the fermentation (carbonation) process but it helps the yeast (+protein etc.) to drop out when things are done. If the basement is all too cold for the yeast, the process may slow down considerably so it may be a good idea to keep the bottles in a warmer place first. You should aim for a temperature that is inside the recommended fermentation temp range for the yeast.
 
OP
Oakkin

Oakkin

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2018
Messages
15
Reaction score
2
Low temperature is going to slow down the fermentation (carbonation) process but it helps the yeast (+protein etc.) to drop out when things are done. If the basement is all too cold for the yeast, the process may slow down considerably so it may be a good idea to keep the bottles in a warmer place first. You should aim for a temperature that is inside the recommended fermentation temp range for the yeast.
ok ty. i should actually gauge the temp down there so i have a better idea.
 

JKenshi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2017
Messages
82
Reaction score
42
What I do... crack one open after a week to "see how the carbonation is going". Then crack another one open in another week to "see how the carbonation is going and how the flavor is developing". Then another in a few days, then more, then more, then more.

Why? Two reasons. 1. It's teaching me patience so that the next time I brew that beer (or at least that style) I'll know how it progresses and how long I need to wait for it to be at optimum (write that down on the recipe). 2. Knowing what the appropriate wait time is after bottling, I can make a pretty good calculation of when I need to start a new batch as my supply is getting low (provided I know how fast I'm drinking it). 3. Because I have the patience of a 5 year old.
 

deadwolfbones

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,294
Reaction score
1,147
Location
Bend
I often start drinking beers after just a week in the bottle (and have tried as soon as 3-4 days), but they definitely improve with age. I recently tried a bottle of a SMaSH pale I made back in February with Vienna/Idaho 7 and it's waaaay better now than it was a couple weeks after I bottled. Obviously with a NEIPA it might not end up the same, ymmv.
 

Qhrumphf

Stay Rude, Stay Rebel, Stay SHARP
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
16,721
Reaction score
6,468
Location
Arlington (DC)
With proper brewing practice (proper temp management, appropriate pitch rate of healthy viable yeast, and proper oxygenation when pitching yeast), your beer shouldn't need maturation in the bottle. If your beer isn't ready to drink as soon as it's carbonated, your practice is poor. 1-2 weeks after bottling should be plenty. Rarely is something not carbed in a week in my experience (very high gravity or after long lagering are the exception). I go grain to glass in damned near everything I brew in about 14 days. I've naturally carbonated cask ale and gone grain to glass in a week (although that's racking still fermenting beer to pin with finings, not a beginner technique by any means). No maturation time necessary. In many cases, adding time waiting will only hurt the beer.

Cellar-worthy beers should *change* in the bottle, not necessarily improve.

Now, those first three things damned near no new homebrewer is doing at all let alone ideally. Hell many advanced homebrewers still don't do em well. So at first, the posters above are providing sound advice. But as you get a handle on what you're doing, that won't be the case any more.
 

kh54s10

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
18,741
Reaction score
5,484
Location
Edgewater
Cellar-worthy beers should *change* in the bottle, not necessarily improve.
My Russian Imperial Stout was really harsh at 2 months in bottles. Not really good at 4 months and excellent at 6 months. So I would say yes it "changed". It improved dramatically!
 

Qhrumphf

Stay Rude, Stay Rebel, Stay SHARP
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
16,721
Reaction score
6,468
Location
Arlington (DC)
My Russian Imperial Stout was really harsh at 2 months in bottles. Not really good at 4 months and excellent at 6 months. So I would say yes it "changed". It improved dramatically!
Add Brett.

Brett + Age always = WORTH IT.

Unless Brett/bugs and/or barrel are involved, I stand by "if it needs to age then your process needs to improve". I submit as evidence 11%+ Barleywines, Imperial Stouts, Quads, etc that I've gone grain to glass in 3ish weeks (force carbed) that have been sublime as soon as carbonated.
 

kh54s10

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
18,741
Reaction score
5,484
Location
Edgewater
I guess being a BJCP Master Judge you know what you are talking about but the idea of 11% beers being ready as soon as carbonated goes against most of what I have read about big beer for the last six years. Most advise is it will be better if aged for several months to up to a year. I don't think my process is much different than most, and in my personal experience ALL of my beers have tasted better with at least a little time.
 

Qhrumphf

Stay Rude, Stay Rebel, Stay SHARP
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
16,721
Reaction score
6,468
Location
Arlington (DC)
I am not against aging big beers, don't get me wrong. Got a pretty expansive cellar of em.

What I'm saying is that a properly made big beer shouldn't need age to smooth out off-flavors. The complexities that develop as compounds slowly oxidize are wonderful, and I guess you could say that's an "improvement", but that's different than beers that are harsh when young.
 

kh54s10

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
18,741
Reaction score
5,484
Location
Edgewater
Good description. Better than mine where is say my beer started out harsh. That could be a perception, misrepresentation of what it actually is. But agreed that they smooth out, not really off flavors but just the "blending" of he compounds. It is an improvement but not from off flavors to start with.
 

schoolhouse

Member
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
3
Mixed in the dextrose after letting it ferment for 14 days and bottled my first ever batch 2 days ago. The Beer-in-a-bag kit i used said to wait 2 weeks before trying it, and it suggested waiting 2 extra weeks for it to be more enjoyable.

It's a pale ale. Just curious if anyone with experience can say they feel i should wait before i can start drinking it. Been trying to save money which is one of the reasons i got into this so i havent really had any beer in the last month or so... I'm thirsty!!!
Watch this
 
Top