Author Topic: Am I ready to bottle?  (Read 1352 times)

Offline RBC0503

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Am I ready to bottle?
« on: September 24, 2016, 12:29:30 PM »
I'm relatively new to the homebrew world and am in the middle of fermenting a honey porter. This is the 5th brew I've done and first honey porter. I pitched the yeast on the 13th and would like to bottle tomorrow (the 25th). Shortly after pitching the yeast I had the normal bubbling signs of fermentation. As of this morning I'm still getting a bubble every two minutes or so. Can I go ahead and bottle tomorrow?
Thanks!

Offline BUZZSAW52

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2016, 12:32:22 PM »
It should be ready but do you have a refractometer? That's the best way to tell. The bubbles are likely just CO2


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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2016, 12:39:04 PM »
As of this morning I'm still getting a bubble every two minutes or so. Can I go ahead and bottle tomorrow?
Thanks!

Heck no.  Wait until all activity stops, then check specific gravity, then wait 3 more days, then check gravity again.  Only bottle when gravity remains constant after 3 days.  If gravity is not consistent for at least 3 days, then wait 3 more days, and repeat until it does.  Otherwise, you're likely to get gushers or explosions.  Take it from me, I've bottled well over 100 batches since 1999 and made my share of mistakes over the years.
Dave

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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2016, 04:06:04 PM »
Only 12 days is kind of rushing it. Even if it is done fermenting keeping it on the yeast a bit longer is better, I go 21 days on most of mine.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2016, 06:37:14 PM »
After 12 days it's almost certainly done fermenting, but as Dave mentioned gravity readings are the only way to be sure. The beer will continue to very slowly off-gas CO2 for weeks after fermentation is complete.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2016, 06:56:30 PM »
After 12 days it's almost certainly done fermenting, but as Dave mentioned gravity readings are the only way to be sure. The beer will continue to very slowly off-gas CO2 for weeks after fermentation is complete.

This^^^^.  Providing it did not have a super high original gravity.

Offline RBC0503

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2016, 12:13:48 PM »
Thanks for the information! I'll check the gravity every few days and won't bottle until it's stable. Thanks again...Chris


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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2016, 06:41:27 PM »
Thanks for the information! I'll check the gravity every few days and won't bottle until it's stable. Thanks again...Chris


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Just an FYI, almost always, an average gravity beer (under 1.060 OG) is fully ready to package at the end of 2 wks of fermentation.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2016, 06:13:33 PM »
I used to fret over when to bottle, but then I started to keg!  Seriously, though, I usually leave beer in the primary for a month - once you get a system and backlog going, you will be waiting for kegs to open up (empty bottles to accumulate), so you can get the beers out of fermenters, so you can brew again.

When in doubt, give it a bit more time....just don't forget about it.
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Offline dilluh98

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2016, 04:58:17 PM »
I used to fret over when to bottle, but then I started to keg!  Seriously, though, I usually leave beer in the primary for a month - once you get a system and backlog going, you will be waiting for kegs to open up (empty bottles to accumulate), so you can get the beers out of fermenters, so you can brew again.

When in doubt, give it a bit more time....just don't forget about it.

Mostly this. I used to wait 4 weeks (can only brew/bottle on a weekend) for all beers. They were just fine. Then I cut it to 2 weeks and again, they were just fine. The only things I let sit for longer than 2 weeks now are high alcohol stuff like a RIS and I really think there's something to drying out a saison fully so I do those for 3 weeks. Everything else that's 1.060 or under is 2 weeks.

Offline Ellismr

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2016, 12:00:42 PM »
Don't ever use a refractometer for FG.  Use a hydrometer.  If your not at FG then you risk creating gushers by adding additional sugar.   Bottom line take the hydrometer reading if your there go ahead and bottle. 

As a rule:  for ales
1 week primary
1 week secondary
3 weeks in the bottle

Never had an issue


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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2016, 03:33:34 PM »
Don't ever use a refractometer for FG.  Use a hydrometer.  If your not at FG then you risk creating gushers by adding additional sugar.   Bottom line take the hydrometer reading if your there go ahead and bottle. 

I partially agree -- it is more accurate to use a hydrometer to measure FG, however I'd also never say never to using a refractometer, as long as you always adjust using Sean Terrill's calculator:

http://seanterrill.com/2012/01/06/refractometer-calculator/

This adjustment will match up with a hydrometer reading within 0.002 every time.  If that's close enough for you then it's close enough for you.  If you want better accuracy, then yes, use a hydrometer.
Dave

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Offline Stevie

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2016, 04:30:23 PM »
I use refractometer to determine if I'm done, and hydrometer to get the actual number. My refractometer is garbage, so I'd maybe us it if it was higher quality.

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2016, 09:14:46 PM »
I use a cheap refractometer off Amazon, and using a correction calculator (I use the Brewer's Friend), it's always been within 1 point of the hydrometer reading for FG.
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Offline leejoreilly

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Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2016, 01:21:09 PM »
I use refractometer to determine if I'm done, and hydrometer to get the actual number. My refractometer is garbage, so I'd maybe us it if it was higher quality.

This^^^. You're not using the refractometer to MEASURE FG, just to see whether it's stable yet. Taking repeated measurements with a hydrometer uses much more beer (though you can drink the sample after you take your measurement).