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I brewed up the Grapefruit Sultan from Midwest on 12/7 and I'm facing a bottling predicament. As it stands fermentation is complete and the yeast are just cleaning up. No plans to secondary, and I'll be dry hopping in primary. Due to the holidays we have to head out on 12/22 and won't return until 1/1. Considering dry hopping this beer 12/17, and bottling it 12/21.

Is it too soon to bottle this one, or should I just let it chill in primary until we return?

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I would just wait until you get back. Just because you aren't racking to secondary doesn't mean the extra couple weeks in the fermenter won't do any good. It might be quasi-marginal, but erring on the side of more time in the fermenter will just ensure that your yeast have cleaned up after themselves by the time you bottle.

Dry-hop the day you get back, and bottle that following weekend, you'll basically be right on schedule for what the recipe called for, minus a transfer to another fermenter.

All of that said, would your beer be awful if you rushed it? Probably not. If the OG was a little lower (maybe <1.050) I might even just say to go for it. But if you have no real reason to get it packaged sooner, I think most people would advise to err on the side of more time in the fermenter, just in case.

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  • Great answer. I can add that you should make sure your primary is correctly sealed and there is enough liquid in the airlock, if you leave it unattended for some time. – Philippe Dec 19 '17 at 17:53

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