Take the 2-minute tour ×
Homebrewing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for dedicated home brewers and serious enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My first brew is almost ready for bottling. Winter is pretty much non-existent where I live, so "room temperature" is typically between 74°F and 78°F (23°c to 26°c).

I was planning to leave the bottles in the thick cardboard boxes they originally came in and covering them to keep the light out and avoid shrapnel from any hopefully unlikely bottle bombs.

Can I do this for 2-3 weeks and then start refrigerating whatever I plan to drink soon, or should I really look for a way to keep them at lower temperature throughout the bottle-conditioning phase?

share|improve this question
2  
Congrats on your first brew, but be careful as this hobby is dangerously addictive. Hefe is a good starting style, so hopefully your first beer should be tasty. –  Graham Mar 20 '12 at 16:04
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

74-78F is on the warm side, so you'll want to reduce time spent at that temperature to a minimum to reduce the chance of staling reactions from affecting the beer. On the plus side, the high temperature means the yeast won't need more than 3 days to ferment the priming sugars and clean up, after which you can then chill the bottles for a few days to allow the CO2 to dissolve.

Can I do this for 2-3 weeks and then start refrigerating whatever I plan to drink soon

Leaving the beer at high temperature for 2-3 weeks will increase the rate of staling reactions in the beer, so I would advise against that. 3 days is plenty, and then store cool/chill for 3-5 days before opening.

Of course, I'm assuming the beer was fermented at a lower temperature. If that's not the case and the beer was also fermented at the warm room temperature, then there's no real harm in continuing at that temperature for the bottle conditioning.

share|improve this answer
    
What temperature should I aim for if I can get it down cooler, or do I pretty much need to aim for refrigeration temps to avoid causing harm? –  Michael Moussa Mar 21 '12 at 14:10
1  
Ideal temperature is typically 66-70 degrees for an ale yeast, although it depends upon the yeast strain. It'll be fine for a few days at warm temps, after which you chill for a few days to wait for the CO2 to dissolve. Alternatively, just leave for a week at the warm temperature, then chill and serve. –  mdma Mar 21 '12 at 15:20
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.