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When to bottle?

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Adamski42

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Hey everyone I’m new to the forum and I need some help.

My recipe states my beer is ready to drink
in 8 weeks.

When can I bottle it ? Before the eight weeks are up?

Half way though?

Any help would be great !
 

IslandLizard

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Congrats with your first post!

Kit instructions are notoriously outdated and tenaciously contain process errors.

For example, secondaries can be omitted in most cases, which shaves 2-3 weeks off your schedule, while at the same time you reduce a good amount of oxidation and chance of infection due to (novice) racking errors.

You can bottle when 2 gravity samples taken 3-5 days apart are matching AND are close to your expected FG. IOW, when your beer is done. This is typically 2 weeks from pitching yeast. In some cases it may take longer or shorter, depending on many factors.

After visible fermentation has stopped (kraused has dropped, 7-14 days in), leaving your beer at a few degrees higher for a few days to a week helps with conditioning the beer, and perhaps knocking it a few more points down.

After bottling it takes 2-3 weeks to carbonate (at room temps ~68-74F). After 2 weeks, put a couple (2) in the fridge for a day or 2 (or 3) before opening, and check carbonation. Drink it, and enjoy!

So 4-5 weeks after brewing. Can be a week shorter.
 

danielthemaniel

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Welcome! I would like to say islandlizard is spot on with everything. Make sure to observe and take notes on how the tastes progresses in the bottle. It will change over time and it's good to know when it peaks. 8 weeks may be the peak for the beer but it will be near its peak a few weeks before then.
 

TGFV

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You may hate my answer but: It depends.

Most beers once you have two matching gravity tests at the Target (or near enough) over the course of a few days are ready to bottle, but not always drink. I generally leave my ales 3-4weeks unless they are wheat ales in which case it is 2-3 before bottling. I personally find the ale "cleans up" better and faster in the carboy with all the yeast as opposed to the bottle where it undergoes a secondary fermentation and has much less yeast doing the job. (But this is all unscientific speculation based on my own experiences and taste).

Just a heads up, the longer you store before bottling, the longer to bottle carbonate after awhile (5+months I find)
 

brewgar

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You may hate my answer but: It depends.

Most beers once you have two matching gravity tests at the Target (or near enough) over the course of a few days are ready to bottle, but not always drink. I generally leave my ales 3-4weeks unless they are wheat ales in which case it is 2-3 before bottling. I personally find the ale "cleans up" better and faster in the carboy with all the yeast as opposed to the bottle where it undergoes a secondary fermentation and has much less yeast doing the job. (But this is all unscientific speculation based on my own experiences and taste).

Just a heads up, the longer you store before bottling, the longer to bottle carbonate after awhile (5+months I find)
@TGFV I don't hate your answer at all. Your process is similar to mine, which is very simple: 4 weeks in fermenter at a selected temp control; then 4 weeks in bottles at room temp; then to cellar; and from there brought up in mixed lots for storage and serving from 35F refrigerator. Grain to glass for me is 60 days minimum, unless a specialty beer, such as Hefewiesen (sp?).
 

TGFV

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I use to do 4/3 fermenter/bottle but I had a habit of my supply running out. 3/3 seems to help it stay afloat.

At the end if the day though there is no rush to get beer into bottles unless you are out of beer in bottles in my opinion.

I'm also finally getting the beer fridge I got back in February set up. French door style so one half holds all my bottles etc for dinking in the next 2 weeks as well as if I ever cold crash. The other side holds all my frozen goods (yeasts, hops, fruit, herbs, rice)
 

kcoect

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This is one of the best examples I've ever seen about giving beer the proper time to age and condition in the bottle. Granted, some will take a little longer or others a little less, but it really is a great example...


Long and short, if I bottle condition with priming, I always wait 30 days for it to be "ready".
 
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Adamski42

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Congrats with your first post!

Kit instructions are notoriously outdated and tenaciously contain process errors.

For example, secondaries can be omitted in most cases, which shaves 2-3 weeks off your schedule, while at the same time you reduce a good amount of oxidation and chance of infection due to (novice) racking errors.

You can bottle when 2 gravity samples taken 3-5 days apart are matching AND are close to your expected FG. IOW, when your beer is done. This is typically 2 weeks from pitching yeast. In some cases it may take longer or shorter, depending on many factors.

After visible fermentation has stopped (kraused has dropped, 7-14 days in), leaving your beer at a few degrees higher for a few days to a week helps with conditioning the beer, and perhaps knocking it a few more points down.

After bottling it takes 2-3 weeks to carbonate (at room temps ~68-74F). After 2 weeks, put a couple (2) in the fridge for a day or 2 (or 3) before opening, and check carbonation. Drink it, and enjoy!

So 4-5 weeks after brewing. Can be a week shorter.

Thanks some much for your advice.

I made a couple of mistakes along the way making my beer.

One being I didn’t add enough water for the boil and my yeast was 6 months past it’s manufactured date.
However it’s still work I hope. What I didn’t say was this was my first all grain beer. So it’s been a really good learning curve.

I’ll check the gravity this weekend to see how it’s doing.

Thanks again
 
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Adamski42

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Hi I’ve checked my brew and it’s dropped so it’s working! However my beer looks very cloudy! Will this pass ?
 

kh54s10

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I would say that most of the responses given so far are longer than necessary (depending on style) For a mid ABV pale ale 2 weeks primary is plenty. Some will cut that to 7 days or so.

Look for the beer to get pretty clear. You can further clear the beer by cold crashing for a couple of days. You can also use gelatin to fine the beer speeding up the clearing.

Bottle conditioning for an average ale will take 2-3 weeks. I find that the beers taste better at 3 weeks or longer. Much longer for dark heavy styles.

So you should be able to trim at least 3 weeks from the 8 weeks suggested.

If you keg you can be drinking your ale in about a week. But again longer is probably better. But no need for 8 weeks. (at least many styles)
 

TGFV

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I would say that most of the responses given so far are longer than necessary (depending on style) For a mid ABV pale ale 2 weeks primary is plenty. Some will cut that to 7 days or so.

Look for the beer to get pretty clear. You can further clear the beer by cold crashing for a couple of days. You can also use gelatin to fine the beer speeding up the clearing.

Bottle conditioning for an average ale will take 2-3 weeks. I find that the beers taste better at 3 weeks or longer. Much longer for dark heavy styles.

So you should be able to trim at least 3 weeks from the 8 weeks suggested.

If you keg you can be drinking your ale in about a week. But again longer is probably better. But no need for 8 weeks. (at least many styles)
With experience and proper yeast pitching rate, o2 levels etc you can easily finish many avg abv ales in a week, two tops.

But I find for starting out the extra time gives you more wiggle room and makes the beer taste better and clear up faster.

Once you start cold crashing, using gelatin and finings, fermentation temp controlled Chambers etc then I would say a week is a solid amount of time.

And as for you beer clearing up, what was in it? Different ingredients can make it always cloudy(wheat and oats) while others can help it clear faster (Irish moss).
 
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Adamski42

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I would say that most of the responses given so far are longer than necessary (depending on style) For a mid ABV pale ale 2 weeks primary is plenty. Some will cut that to 7 days or so.

Look for the beer to get pretty clear. You can further clear the beer by cold crashing for a couple of days. You can also use gelatin to fine the beer speeding up the clearing.

Bottle conditioning for an average ale will take 2-3 weeks. I find that the beers taste better at 3 weeks or longer. Much longer for dark heavy styles.

So you should be able to trim at least 3 weeks from the 8 weeks suggested.

If you keg you can be drinking your ale in about a week. But again longer is probably better. But no need for 8 weeks. (at least many styles)
Well after another week my beer has dropped another .014 I The hydrometer to 1.006 so it’s nearly there! But bubbles are still actively rising in the test sample tube. But the beer is still very cloudy and lots of (what I presume yeast in suspension) I will see what another week has to say. ABV works out around 6.04% at the minute to estimated 7.9ABV.
 

MT's AZ Ale Haus

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In my early reading's I've seen many posts that state 2 weeks to ferment and 2 weeks to bottle rest.
As I've become more educated, I'm learning, that is not the case.
I'm learning that their are many factors that are dependent on one another to get to bottling stage and beyond.

For my first batch, I'm going to stick with the hard fast 4 weeks to drink, and then I'm going to brew the same batch and follow the feementation and gravity rules before I bottle and see what the difference is...
 

kh54s10

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When I started there seemed to be a pretty even divide of those who said 2 weeks is plenty and another group who said that you need to ferment for at least 4 weeks. I started by splitting the difference and went with 3 weeks. I noticed that almost all my beers would stop active fermentation and the krausen would drop before the end of 2 weeks. I then ran myself dry so I did 3 successive batches at 2 weeks. They were every bit as good as ones fermented longer.

As to bottling. I usually try a bottle at 2 weeks. Most are carbonated, some take a little longer. Mostly big dark beers. But ALL of my beers have tasted better with 3 weeks bottle conditioning or longer.
 

El Nino

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8 weeks? That sounds like a really, really long time.

What yeast are you using? I've used mostly US-05, and that yeast is usually done by 10 days (usually when I take my first FG reading). I've bottled every single batch in the 12-13 day range and have had zero issues. Since room temp here is in the high 70s / mid 80s, carbonation is usually done in a week, then after 48-72 hours in the fridge... perfecto. I've done beers in the 4.7% to 7.6% range and they all were perfect in this time frame.

So bottling my beer, usually grain to glass in 3 1/2 weeks. 8 weeks just sounds unnecessarily long. Though it depends what yeast you're using and what style of beer you're going for.
 

ncbrewer

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Whatever you do, don't bottle until fermentation is finished. A gravity check 3 days before bottling day, and another on bottling day will tell you - gravity will be the same on both days if fermentation is finished. Not everybody does this, but at least until you get enough experience with the yeast strain and your process, it's a good safety measure. I still do this after 156 batches. You don't want bottle bombs.
 
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