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emforce

wrong timing

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OK- I have been using the timing as recommended in the Mr. Beer book (maybe I need to throw this away?). It says one week fermenting in the keg, two weeks cabonating in the bottle , and 2 weeks in the cooler. Do I need to add more time to each step?? I have yet to sample any so don't know if this schedule is working or not. Should I pull the blonde ale back out of the fridge and let it sit another couple months? Should I add 2 cans of LME (either hopped or unhopped) to the keg and cut down on the sugar and booster? :blush:

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I know many people here will recommend at least doing 2 weeks fermenting, 2 carbing and 2 conditioning. But from what I've seen, you should allow it to ferment between 2-3 weeks. And it's always good to leave a few bottles out and allow them to condition for a while.

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Just remember, 2-2-2, 2 weeks in fermenter, 2 weeks carbing at room temp, 2 weeks conditioning at room temp. I would not bottle until it has fermented 2 weeks without a hydrometer. Without one, go by taste. If it taste sweet, leave it alone a few more days. If it taste like flat beer, bottle. On your next order, may I suggest (up to you) get a hydrometer, takes the guess work out of it.

This works for the easy, non-fancy beer. The darker it is, or/and the more ingredients you put in, the longer it takes. Leaving it in the fermenter for 21 days hurts nothing, it just gives those yeasties you think are doing nothing a little more time to clean up the brew a little.

I am fermenting a blonde ale that is going to sit in the fermenter for 21 days even though it already looks like the krausen is done. I'm also going to let it sit in the bottle for 6 months before sacrificing one. But, it has a lot going on, pretty complicated.

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Two weeks in the fermenter is a much safer bet, followed by two weeks carbonating at room temperature, followed by two weeks conditioning at room temperature or slightly below. The conditioning time can be extended by at least a month to six weeks--the beer will likely only get better. After conditioning is when the beer goes in the fridge.
The 2-2-2 rule often referenced here is a little misleading, because you are not doing anything different between carbonating and conditioning. It could really by called the 2-4 to 8 rule.
If you put your beer in the fridge too soon, it may take a very long time to properly condition. For the sake of your own knowledge though, it can be beneficial to sample your beer after the two week carbonating time, and see how the flavors change and meld as time goes on. Usually you can tell the difference from week to week.
Welcome to the addiction, this can be a very rewarding hobby. B)

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emforce wrote:

OK- I have been using the timing as recommended in the Mr. Beer book (maybe I need to throw this away?). It says one week fermenting in the keg, two weeks cabonating in the bottle , and 2 weeks in the cooler. Do I need to add more time to each step?? I have yet to sample any so don't know if this schedule is working or not. Should I pull the blonde ale back out of the fridge and let it sit another couple months? Should I add 2 cans of LME (either hopped or unhopped) to the keg and cut down on the sugar and booster? :blush:

I think most of us would say the least amount of time is 2-2-2. Two weeks ferment, two weeks prime, and then two weeks condition before putting into the fridge. That being the least amount of time. Patience is the hardest part of this hobby. When you build up a decent pipeline, waiting is not so hard, but, still drudgery.

How long has your blonde ale been primed? How long did it sit after being primed before you put it in the fridge?

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emforce wrote:

OK - so....is conditioning the same as carbonating?

Kinda, but not exactly.. the first 2 weeks the yeasties are converting the sugars (prime sugars) but you will not notice any of it as more alc. As it converts the gas is created. With it being capped and no where to go, it gets absorbed back into the liquid. This all happens in the first 2 weeks, the yeast slowly goes back to sleep and falls to the bottom of the bottle, hence bottle trub. After that, is the conditioning phase.

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Carbonation is allowing the yeast to finish fermenting in the bottle. The CO2 produced has nowhere to go, so goes in-solution, hence "carbonation."

Conditioning is allowing the yeast to finish up and mellow out, and allowing the flavors to meld together and "condition" out. This should be done at room temperature, but around 70*F. The longer you are patient and allow conditioning to occur, the better your beer is going to be.

Then finally, allow 4+ days in the fridge to "cold condition" and allow the yeast to sink to the bottom of the bottle.

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lets see... where to start...
Yes, the book is a little misleading in a way. We have found thru trial and error that:
it takes anywhere from 10~21 days for the wort to be converted to beer. This is the part where the initial yeast addtion eats the malt sugars (and other added fermentables). We normally suggest that you use a Hydrometer to gain a "OG" (original gravity). To help determine what the "FG" (final gravity) should be (when everything is pretty well done) you devide the OG by 4. This number should give you ballpark FG. example OG=1.050. so, drop the 1.0 and divide the 50 by 4. that gives you an estimated FG of 12.5. so, on the hydrometer, you'll be looking for a final of 1.012 or so. That means it's done. Some will say check that FG a few days in a row. I don't. If I hit FG, I move on to the next phase.
I like to bottle prime when I bottle (others will swear on "batch priming" ~ both are good). Once you put the priming sugar in the bottle then you add the beer to be. Put the sugar in first and you will avoid "foaming" that may occure. Then cap. (prime all the bottles, fill all the bottles, then cap all the bottles.)
it will take about 2 weeks for the priming sugar to be converted to Co2 by the yeast present in the beer.
Then, you need to let that same yeast finish up any other sugars that may have not yet been converted. This is the "conditioning" phase. This can take anywhere from 2 weeks for a real simple beer, up and beyound 6 months for more complex beers.
Initially we went with a 2-2-2 rule. It was determined a wee bit back that a "2-4-2" system was better. 2 weeks (=/-) in the fermenter, 4 weeks (=/-) in the bottle, and 2 days or so in the fridge. The last few days in the fridge causes the yeast and other "floaties" to drop out and fall to the bottom. What sits on the bottom should be left in the bottle when pouring. It takes practice.
Sorry for diablogging here, but we were giving a bunch of correct but short answeres to a complicated question. Sometimes "faith" alone is not enough. One needs to know the logic behind the statements.
Enjoy, and welcome to the BeerBorg Information Center. You will be assimilated. Resistance is Futile: We have beer.

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Bottled after a week in the fermenter. 2 weeks cabonating /conditioning - 3 days now in the fridge - should I take it back out and let it sit a couple 3 more weeks?

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OK - will do. I have 3 batches in process and can let them sit for many weeks - althought too late to ferment for 2-3 weeks , but maybe I can still come out at least Ok. the batch that is in the fermenter now I can leave an extra week or two - I am learning (maybe - LOL). I do have a specific gravity "floater" someplace - will have look around. I was doing pail batches a couple 3 years ago but decided to "restart" slowly and I guess rightfully so.

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yankeedag wrote:

lets see... where to start...
Yes, the book is a little misleading in a way. We have found thru trial and error that:
it takes anywhere from 10~21 days for the wort to be converted to beer. This is the part where the initial yeast addtion eats the malt sugars (and other added fermentables). We normally suggest that you use a Hydrometer to gain a "OG" (original gravity). To help determine what the "FG" (final gravity) should be (when everything is pretty well done) you devide the OG by 4. This number should give you ballpark FG. example OG=1.050. so, drop the 1.0 and divide the 50 by 4. that gives you an estimated FG of 12.5. so, on the hydrometer, you'll be looking for a final of 1.012 or so. That means it's done. Some will say check that FG a few days in a row. I don't. If I hit FG, I move on to the next phase.
I like to bottle prime when I bottle (others will swear on "batch priming" ~ both are good). Once you put the priming sugar in the bottle then you add the beer to be. Put the sugar in first and you will avoid "foaming" that may occure. Then cap. (prime all the bottles, fill all the bottles, then cap all the bottles.)
it will take about 2 weeks for the priming sugar to be converted to Co2 by the yeast present in the beer.
Then, you need to let that same yeast finish up any other sugars that may have not yet been converted. This is the "conditioning" phase. This can take anywhere from 2 weeks for a real simple beer, up and beyound 6 months for more complex beers.
Initially we went with a 2-2-2 rule. It was determined a wee bit back that a "2-4-2" system was better. 2 weeks (=/-) in the fermenter, 4 weeks (=/-) in the bottle, and 2 days or so in the fridge. The last few days in the fridge causes the yeast and other "floaties" to drop out and fall to the bottom. What sits on the bottom should be left in the bottle when pouring. It takes practice.
Sorry for diablogging here, but we were giving a bunch of correct but short answeres to a complicated question. Sometimes "faith" alone is not enough. One needs to know the logic behind the statements.
Enjoy, and welcome to the BeerBorg Information Center. You will be assimilated. Resistance is Futile: We have beer.

Yeah, what he said!!

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As has been mentioned, a hydrometer is highly recommended. Heck, buy two; they're cheap, and when (not if) you break one, you'll have another handy. I speak from bitter experience. :(

They're inexpensive and easy to use, and once you start employing it to determine the end of fermentation, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

As has also been mentioned, don't refrigerate until a couple of days prior to drinking. The rest of the time, leave them sitting quietly at room temperature in the dark. They'll do just fine on their own. And in the meantime, brew more beer, so you can occupy yourself with that and not get antsy waiting for the first batch to mature.

At least four weeks in the bottle (2 weeks carbing, 2 weeks conditioning) is recommended, but, as others have said, more time won't hurt it and will probably enhance it. I've got a holiday porter I bottled at the beginning of August, knowing I wanted at least four months of conditioning before serving it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But it's a dark, complex brew, and a lighter, simpler beer will most likely be fine after four weeks in the bottle and a couple days in the fridge.

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Has anyone counted the number of times a thread similar to this has progressed thru this and other sites. Fact: using the instructions from MB exactly as written for a standard mix you will have beer 99% of the time. It may not be the best example of beer but it will be beer. Fact: using the 2-2-2 method for the same standard mix will give you beer 99% of the time. This beer will taste better than the beer brewed following the MB instructions that come with the fermenter. Depending on the actual brew the conditioning time helps improve the final taste for any time between 2 weeks and 6 months, some brews require more than a year to reach full maturity and some barley wines are aged well beyond a year. Be sure to put a bottling date on all your bottles and the start testing the taste once a week after 2 weeks (be sure to chill each bottle for 3 or 4 days before tasting). You will quickly see the need for conditioning and how it affects your beer.

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