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To bottle or not to bottle?

Aussie Home Brewer

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Catweazle

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Hi guys, new to brewing and the forum. I had a quick look around but couldn’t find a definitive answer.

I put down my first ever batch on Monday and expected to be bottling after next Tuesday when I returned from work (I work away from home you see). The problem is my schedule has been mucked up by the death of my father. I fly out tomorrow and can’t see myself being home again for a fortnight at least.

The thing is I think it’s just about ready to bottle. When I peaked inside yesterday the froth has collapsed and the surface is quite dark and clear. Bubbling through the airlock has slowed to a gurgle every 90 seconds or there about. I’m hopeless at reading the hydrometer but it appears to have been roughly the same since yesterday. The temperature has been fairly stable throughout not getting warmer than 24 degrees and now lower than 22. The kit is the Morgan’s Blue Mountain larger.

So does this timeline seam a little too rapid and what are my options? I can either bottle this afternoon or when I return in a couple weeks time. What do you guys think?

Thanks for reading my novel.
 

Rod

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Your hydrometer should be 1006 and no more than 1010

to be ready to bottle
 

pnorkle

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@Catweazle - sorry to hear about your father... I guess he could have timed it a little better.

A couple of extra weeks in the fermenter won't hurt, in fact, it's probably for the best.

Hope your brew turns out OK.
 

Catweazle

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Thanks guys. I bit the bullet and bottled it after talking to the local shop. The hydrometer read 1012 two days in a row but when I checked tap water at 20 degrees it read 1004 so the brew was probably about 1008. Anyway it gave me an excuse to put down another brew. This time I’m giving the Morgan’s TED clone a crack. I will invest in a decent refractometer while in Sydney even though I’m a little more confident around the hydrometer. And yes pnorkle he certainly could have timed it better, another ten years or so would have been nice.
 

Bladeca

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The refractometer won't help you with the FG, the alcohol throws the results out. You could get another hydrometer and hope it is more accurate or just work with the one you have.

As for time in the fermenter I've left a Coopers pale ale in there for 4 weeks due to issues around timing to bottle, mind you I do have temp controlled fridge @18 degree. I've found that it was probably one of the best brews, nice and clean taste and also much clearer. Strangely enough I also found that it did ferment out a bit more than the others. I had taken readings a week and a half earlier and got 1.010 3 days apart but then didn't get the chance to bottle. When bottling came around check of FG came in at 1.008.

So if you happen to get caught with work and the brew sits in the fermentor a bit longer than usual, don't stress.

cheers
Glenn
 

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