When should you bottle your homebrew

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Fat Duck Brewery, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Fat Duck Brewery

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    Hi all,

    So what is the best time to bottle carb your beer?
    If you ferment your pilsner, IPA or bitter for 14 days, check the FG is in range, transfer to the bottling bucket, add priming sugar and bottle?

    Is this too quick? If so what is the time frame needed.

    I get mixed stories that the bottles will just gush when opened or worse start exploding. But cant work out a good timeline for doing this.

    Thanks all
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    14 days ought to be enough time for any ale to ferment completely, but you really have to ask the yeast this question, not us. When your hydrometer reads the same value 3 days in a row, it’s done. Then you can bottle.
     
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  3. Fat Duck Brewery

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    I have a pils ready for bottling but its so cloudy still. Should I add isinglass at the same time as priming sugar? Then bottle?
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Most yeasts will finish up in that time. If you're specifically brewing to finish quicker, it can work just fine but you have to control all the variables like temperature, wort aeration/oxygenation, etc. There are yeasts that just won't reliably do their business in that amount of time, but most will. I find that my average for reaching FG is around 10 days, but I tend to hold temps relatively low.
    That being said, 21 days is a commonly used time line when scheduling. My average time to packaging ( I keg) is more like 21 days. Even though the beer may be at final gravity, it benefits from a little time to make sure that all the ester compounds are metabolized and that the flavor is clean.
    Any time that you've gotten consistent readings like jeffpn says and you feel that the flavor is good and clean, bottle it up! ;)
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    If it's still really cloudy, let it sit for another week. Any beer like that will benefit from extra time in secondary and will be clearer and cleaner if you cold crash.
     
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  6. fastengine

    fastengine New Member

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    I would use a different time schedule for all three beers you mention with the only one I would even worry about bottling at 2 weeks would be the bitter. And only if it is ready, stable Fg.
    IPA at 2 weeks I am still dry hopping and the lager is getting a good cold crash for at least a couple more weeks. That is how I would work three different beers you mention.
     
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  7. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I have a much quicker turnaround.

    If you pitch plenty of healthy yeast at an optimum temperature, ferment at a lowish temperature that is optimum for the yeast, and use good brewing techniques, most ales are finished fermenting by about day 5. A few days to clear and/or dryhop, and almost all of my ales are packaged by day 10-14. Lagers are done by about day 14 as well, but then are lagered for on week for each 8-10 gravity points of OG (so I'll lager a 1.060 lager for about 6-8 weeks).

    If the pilsner is a true pilsner, it will clear during lagering.
     
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  8. Fat Duck Brewery

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    Thanks for the info, so would you then transfer and carbonate in a keg after lets say 20 days fermenting, and then let your beer mature while in the keg? As a triple for example needs time to come to its prime
     
  9. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I’d love to have a cold storage room and about 50 kegs, so that when each batch works its way through the pipeline, it’s well aged, whether ale or lager.
     
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  10. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Definitely! You could have a big pile of kegs to chose from.
     
  11. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Oops that hefe needs to be stepped up in the pipeline!
     
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  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    dont forget my juicy NEIPA!:D not that ive got one in tje pipeline.
     
  13. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    No, no, no! Each keg has to work its way through cold storage!
     
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  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yes, more or less. A lot of times packaging depends on my schedule as much as the beer's maturity or on whether I need a fermenter or need to clear a keg. Assuming transfer to a keg somewhere around 20 days, I would get the keg into my fridge or temp-controlled chest freezer and start the carbing process and most ales would sit for a week or two and lagers for more like a month or more before transferring to a clean keg for serving. Some beers will benefit from substantial aging and some will be best when served as fresh as possible, but I think most folks agree that the majority of ales are at their best somewhere around 6 week after brew day.
     

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