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How long can I wait?

I ordered my new Essentials Starter Kit for my birthday (yay!). Then, we had a family emergency. My kit arrived last week while I was out of town, and I’m leaving again twice in the next few weeks. Basically, it looks like I can either have my brew day Saturday, and then let it ferment for almost four weeks instead of two before bottling, or leave the whole kit alone and just brew it when I get back towards the end of July. The dried yeast packet is in the fridge, so now my big questions are:

  1. Is there anything else that should be refrigerated?
  2. Is it better to let it ferment longer or just sit longer before starting?
  3. Will either wait cause harm to my new beer?

In case it’s important, I have the American Wheat recipe kit and also the Mad Brewer’s Upgrade Kit. And, in case you can’t tell, I’m new to homebrew and anxious to get started! :cheers:

Go ahead and brew it. Four weeks is not too long by any means. I usually primary only, and most beers get four to six weeks in the primary ferment or.

Four weeks of un interupted fermenting is great. Most new brewers have problems with not being able to wait. But you need to be sure the temp will be able to be controlled while its unsupervised. At least during thevfirst few days of active fermentation. Ales generally speaking need to be held at low to mixed 60s beer temp. Fermentation can generate some heat above ambiente temp

I don’t know what is in the kit but here it goes.

  1. If it just has malt extract, liquid canned is fine in the cupboard, dry in a cool dry place both for a long time. Any grains will be good in a cool dry place for weeks, maybe months if crushed. Longer if not.
  2. Longer is better within reason. It is tough to wait out your first one and four weeks will help it.
  3. Either way is not really a problem in those time frames but I vote for four weeks in the fermenter. Some big beers like a Barley Wine can go months in fermenters. Your wheat will be fine for one.

Good luck and happy brewing.

I agree brew Saturday so it will be ready to bottle when you get back, 4 weeks in the primary wont hurt and just make sure it will be somewhere that doesn’t get too hot. If you don’t brew this weekend I would just throw the hops in the freezer to be on the save side if they are going to sit for a month.

Thanks for the feedback. The DVD that came with the kit kept talking about 1-2 weeks for fermenting (and I only have the equipment for a primary, not secondary), which is why I was a little worried. Now I’ll happily get a brew started this weekend and be ready for a bottling day when I get home!

I thnik you will tend to see a lot of instructions will say 1-2 weeks in the primary, but they are assuming you will move to a secondary for a few more weeks.

My thoughts, shich match basically the ones above, are:

  1. If you are doing a primary only, always give it at least 2 weeks. I would aim for 2 1/2 - 3 even if you can. In your case 4 will be perfectly fine (again, especially if you can keep the temp low). What part of the country are you in? do you have a basement? actually being gone for part of the time might be great - can keep the ac a bit on the low side and not freeze yourself out of the house

  2. If you do use a secondary, I personally still would never move the beer after just 1 week. I still would give it at least 2 then move. BUT you will see many folks landing on the fact for most beers a secondary isn;t even needed.

What kind of kit do you have? What yeast? Some of the lower ABV kits and British ale yeasts can be done in 10 days. It won’t hurt things too much to let it sit in the bucket though.

I store my hops in the freezer, but for a couple of weeks it won’t much matter.

How long between when you brew and leave town? If less than 3 or 4 days, I would set up a blow off tube instead of an air lock. The air lock could blow off with intense fermentation and leave your wort exposed for several weeks until you get back. You won’t have this problem with a blow off hose.

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