More time in primary or more time in bottle?

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trisaiah

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So I made the following recipe, except I added about 1.5 pounds of DME, ending up with an OG of 1.070:
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Holiday Prowler

5 gallon/19 L, extract with grains; OG = 1.058; FG = 1.014; IBU = 19; ABV = 5.8%

Ingredients:

4.0 lbs. (1.8 kg) Muntons Light dried malt extract
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) Crisp Maris Otter malt
0.75 lb. (0.34 kg) Scotmalt crystal malt (40 °L)
0.25 lb. (0.11 kg) Crisp chocolate malt
1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg) clover honey
½ can Lyle’s Golden Syrup
¼ cup Blackstrap molasses
6.1 AAU Goldings hops (60 mins) (1 oz./28 g of 6.1% alpha acids)
1.0 oz. (28 g) Fuggles hops (5 mins)
White Labs WLP002 (English Ale) yeast 
Spices: 4 cinnamon sticks, 1 nutmeg seed, 1 vanilla bean, 7 allspice berries, 1.5 tsp. whole cloves, 8 coriander seeds, 2 nectarine peels
Step by Step:

Steep grains in 3.0 qts. (2.8 L) of water at 158 °F (70 °C) for 45 minutes. Boil for 60 minutes, initially reserving half of the malt extract. Add remaining malt extract and other sugars with 15 minutes left in the boil. Steep spices (chopped up) in tight mesh bag at knockout for 10 minutes, remove, then chill rapidly. Ferment at 68 °F (20 °C).
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Fermentation started on the 9th of this month. My buddies are having a friendly homebrew competition on the 11th of December, so it's a very tight turn (32 days) but I'd like to enter it.

The problem is I'll be out of town 11 days after fermentation started, and I'll be gone for 10 days, leaving only 11 days until the competition when I get back.

So my question is, should I go with option A or option B -- ?

(A) Primary fermentation for 11 days, bottle on day 11, bottle-condition for 21 days before the competition.

(B) Primary fermentation for 21 days, bottle on day 21, bottle-condition for 11 days before the competition.

I already KNOW 11 days isn't enough time to bottle condition fully. But I can always enter a not-fully conditioned ale into the competition (it's just for fun), and then keep conditioning the rest of the batch. I'd prefer to do that if option (A) is going to result in an inferior product. But if 11 days in the fermenter will be just fine, I'd like to spend more time in bottle conditioning.

Clear as mud?
Thanks for any help! :tank:
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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Assuming you plan on drinking the vast majority of this brew after the competition, it doesn't seem to make much sense to compromise the fermentation process for the sake of one bottle for an informal competition. Eleven days might be enough but 21 would be much better, especially for a higher gravity brew. I would go with Option B for optimum fermentation. Then bottle and store the brew at 74F until the competition. It should carb OK. The flavors won't have a chance to meld but an extra week if you do Option A won't really change that anyway.
 

Double_D

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My two cents:

Generally speaking, I'd say B is the safer option. UNLESS you are sure fermentation is done after the first 11 days. Then at least you'd have more time for bottle conditioning and sedimentation. I'd probably choose A if I knew I had time to monitor fermentation.

wlp002 has an attenuation range of 63-70%. With that, you're looking like your FG is 1.021, maximum.

My only thought would be you still have a slightly green beer going into a competition.

Realistically, RDWHAHB. You're overthinking it. For a +/- 6.4% beer, you're yeast isn't going to be too stressed out. It should carb up well at room temp within your time frame.

Basically, I second bluehouse.
 
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trisaiah

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Thanks dudes. This is great advice. My baseline plan will be (B), with bottle-conditioning at 74 deg F. But I'll monitor primary and, if it finishes quickly, I'll consider option (A).
 

Kh2o

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My absolute minimum is 14 days for primary. And those are my session ales 1.045 ish. Go with the 11 days bottle conditioning. It might taste a little green, but it will carb. like others said the majority of your batch will get the proper bottle conditioning time. I would even consider testing one at 9 days. if its carbed well. stick the ones you plan on sharing in the fridge. These days I find you must allow them to chill (basicly cold crash) for a couple days before serving. Really helps clarity and taste.
 

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