How long can I keep a beer in the secondary before it won't be able to be bottle conditioned?

How can I tell if it has been too long and need to pitch fresh yeast to bottle condition? This question gives a general answer but the answer is a general guideline. Do I just put it in the bottle and hope?

In theory, there would be some yeast still in suspension for quite a while and I would be able to condition but it would just take longer. I am looking for a more specific way to make the determination other than waiting and opening flat bottles of beer for a while.

  • If you're asking whether there is a simple test you can use to determine whether or not a beer needs additional yeast for bottle-conditioning (not just a general guideline), re-wording it as such might set it apart enough to warrant re-opening. Of course, that test would probably be a bottle-a-few-and-see-what-happens kind of thing. – Franklin P Combs Feb 11 '15 at 2:05
  • You're also welcome to re-post your actual scenario to get practical advice. – Ben Strombeck Feb 12 '15 at 15:55