« on: January 24, 2012, 06:04:52 PM »
I was going to bottle after 20 or 21 days, but I may need to take a week or so business trip before then, so I guess I will bottle sooner.
My question is, is there benefit in checking SG at any time before my bottling date? I'd prefer to keep the fermentor closed up until I need to bottle.
Never let some artificial date or deadline dictate when you bottle. You run the risk of bottling before it's actually finished, which can lead to over-carbonation and bottle bombs.
The only way to tell whether it's done is by taking a succession of SG readings. Don't trust what the kit instructions tell you it should finish at... Chances are very good that you will not hit that number exactly. If you take two reading 4 days apart, and it hasn't changed, then you know it's done.
Letting the beer sit on the yeast for a month or more is really not that big of a deal. Especially at the cool temperatures you are working with.
If I were you, I'd take a reading before you leave on your trip, and take another after you get back. And if they are the same, you are good to go. But don't try and rush it... Exploding bottles can seriously harm you.