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2 weeks primary, then bottle?

Hey guys,

Brewed a Rye Stout kit 2 weeks ago. Per instructions, they say 2 weeks primary, then straight to bottles for conditioning. I know there is a lot of debate about the need for secondaries, and I have heard both sides, but why with this recipe does it say only 2 weeks in primary and bottle. Looking at other stout recipes, it appears they had more time in the carboy’s, like 3-5 weeks regardless of secondary. I’m inquiring, because I’m wondering if I should bottle the stout and start the next brew (a Belgian Ale) or transfer to a secondary and let is sit for a few more weeks in order to free up the 6gal carboy for the belgian. Let me know what you think.

  • Jeff

You CAN bottle any time after primary fermentation completes and gravity stabilizes. 2 weeks should be long enough if you pitched enough yeast and had a strong fermentation, but you need to take multiple gravity readings and make sure final gravity is stable and reasonable to be sure. A little bit of age does most beers some good, particularly if they are high gravity (not sure about your specific recipe). I personally prefer to “bulk age” meaning you leave it in the fermenter longer. I also don’t bother with a secondary unless I’m planning on extended aging, I routinely leave things in primary for over a month with no apparent ill effect. There are of course differences of opinion on all of that. Some people prefer to bottle age, meaning you get it into the bottles quickly and let any aging happen in the bottle. Sounds like that’s what the author of your recipe had in mind. How you want to handle it is up to you, these rules aren’t set in stone. Just make sure fermentation is really done so you don’t get bottle bombs.

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