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I boiled an IPA last weekend, and am getting ready to rack it to a secondary, for dry hopping. I understand the 1-2-3 rule (and follow it regularly, with good results).

Is two weeks sufficient for 1.065 OG IPA? or should I let it go longer? If yes, how long? (I don't want to wait forever! Getting thirsty!)

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

First of all, there is no rule about time for beers. The beer makes its own schedule. In terms of aging, there are no rules either. The beer is ready when it tastes ready to you. I prefer IPAs without a lot of age on them so that the hop character remains fresh. But you should try one occasionally and see what you think.

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I agree! Brew with a hydrometer not a calendar! – David PGB Nov 23 '12 at 22:56
Your eyes, nose and your tastebuds are almost as important as a hydrometer. – Tobias Patton Nov 24 '12 at 4:58
Some IPA hop combos seem to be a little harsh up front, and need a little extra aging (1-2 weeks) once the beer is "done" to really come together. I did a pale ale with a lot of Citra + Columbus, and it mellowed out considerably over the first week or two it was in the keg. Let your tastebuds be your guide, but 2 weeks of aging in the secondary is a fine place to start. – Graham Nov 26 '12 at 13:52

I agree with the advice given in the other answer that your own judgement tells you when the beer is ready. However it's still possible to give an estimate: I'd say 5 weeks from brewday for low alcohol, under 4%, 7 weeks for medium - 4-6.5% For big beers, you'll need to see how the beer cleans up.

As others have said with an IPA, on the one hand you want to drink it as fresh as possible to preserve the hop flavors and aromas, but also want to give enough time for the hops to blend suitably.

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I'm not gonna downvote, but my own experience and tastes very much disagree with this. – Denny Conn Dec 6 '12 at 16:25
ok, so what estimates would you give? – mdma Dec 6 '12 at 17:02
Just as I said in my reply, I wouldn't give any estimates. I'd start tasting after a week or so in the bottle or keg and see what I thought. – Denny Conn Dec 6 '12 at 18:22
So you wouldn't give any estimates, but you say mine are wrong and go against your experience? If you think mine are definitely wrong and go against your experience, you must be able to quantify your experience somehow, even if it's as no more than saying "leave it longer than mdma's answer". I don't like "taste it an see". There must be some sensible timeframe. Does he have to leave it for 2 years? 6 months? 3 months? – mdma Dec 6 '12 at 23:15
Yeah, you have a good point. Let me see if I can be a bit more precise...I definitely wouldn't say that a low alcohol beer takes 5 weeks of conditioning, or 7 weeks for a 6.5% beer. Beyond that, though, I fall back on my "taste it a week after packaging" theory and decide from there. – Denny Conn Dec 7 '12 at 16:18

While it's true that there are no hard and fast rules, you can follow the rule of thumb that you should age for 1 week per 10 gravity points. So for a 1.065 you'd go for 6 weeks. I've used this for quite a while now after it was suggested to me and I've always had good results that don't taste green.

It's worth taking into consideration what others have said about IPAs and drinking them young though. With all of my IPAs I taste them at 4 weeks, as I've found through previous brews that the hop character seems to be at its best then (in my opinion), so I'll often just start drinking it at 4 weeks regardless of the OG.

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I'm sorry, but I just can't agree with that. It's too dependent on personal tastes and beer style. – Denny Conn Dec 6 '12 at 16:24
I applaud the answerers general guidelines. While I fully agree that its subjective, sometimes subjectivity just doesn't cut it for new brewers like myself. Thanks for the answer! +1 – nrobey Dec 9 '12 at 14:55

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