I’m about to brew a cream ale and was wondering if I could bottle half (24 bottles) of it after the 4 weeks that are called for and leave the other half in the secondary fermentor for a few weeks longer. Will this have a negative effect on the ale in that’s left in the bucket?
I’m kind of curious why you would want to do that; the beer is protected once it is in the bottles and will last at least as long as it would if you wait to bottle it.
As for dangers, the main one would be the possibility of contamination or oxidation. Contamination is something that you risk any time you open the fermentor, but as long as you don’t drop things into (without sanitizing them first) you are probably fine. Oxidation is not something I normally would worry about in a closed container, but after you empty half the beer you have effectively filled the rest with air and a fair bit of O2 that would have ample time to work it’s way into the beer.
Honestly, because I let my buddy borrow my other case of bottles for his brew and I don’t want to buy more. Guess I won’t have much of a choice now. Thanks for the quick reply though
Go buy some pre-filled bottles. Process the contents and reuse the bottles for your beer.
+1 to Nighthawk. Or, join a homebrew club in your area – they will most likely give you hundreds of bottles free of charge if you ask. Not to mention all the other intangible benefits.