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My instructions that came with my kit said that I should let the bottles sit for 3 days, then age in the fridge for 10 days. If I don't refrigerate, will I get bottle bombs?

Advice on forums and other places says to leave them in the bottle for two weeks or even upwards of a month, I doubt every brewer has enough fridge space to store 5+ gallons of beer for 1 or 2 months. So, I am inclined to think they won't blow, unless I bottle with too much unfermented sugar in them.

Will leaving them out in room temp, cause them to pop? Are there any other reasons for me to refrigerate my beer, aside from taste?

  • 7
    I am always amazed at how much bad advice there is out there. Three days in the bottle is so far from being the right way to do it, its not even funny. – brewchez Aug 19 '11 at 11:44
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    @brewchez you will be happy to know that I have given up on the directions from my kit. Now I am trying to figure out what I should actually do. – Wulfhart Aug 19 '11 at 16:53
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    @Wulfhart I suggest picking up a copy of How to Brew by John Palmer amzn.to/niEZ3j – Dustin Rasener Aug 19 '11 at 19:55
  • So can you store unrefrigerated? No one answered THAT question. – user6745 Apr 29 '14 at 15:22
  • @Brandon If you scroll down past these comments, you can find actual answers to the original question. :) – a_hardin Apr 30 '14 at 19:42

13 Answers 13

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DO NOT put them in the fridge after three days. You'll want to store the newly bottled beer at around 70 degrees for a few weeks. Since you are bottle conditioning, the yeast will need time to carbonate the beer. If you put the beer in the fridge now, the yeast will drop out before it finishes eating the priming sugar, and you'll have flat beer.

With respect to bottle bombs, you just have to avoid too much fermentation in the bottle. You do this in two ways: 1) Make sure that fermentation is finished before bottling, by taking successive hydrometer readings and noting no change for a few days. This allows you to know, for sure, how many fermentables are in the bottle. 2) Make sure to calculate and measure your priming sugar accurately. This point is often missed. Beer making instructions usually assume a 5-gallon volume when specifying how much priming sugar to use. You will probably have to adjust this, since typically the volume of beer you collect is not exactly 5 gallons. Here is one calculator that can help with that: http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html

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    I should add that in addition to not changing, your hydrometer readings should be close to your expected finishing gravity. If they are significantly higher and not changing, this is an indication of stuck fermentation. – Dustin Rasener Aug 19 '11 at 11:54
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    In addition to calculating the sugar accurately, make sure the priming sugar is well-mixed and evenly distributed in the beer. Uneven distribution could also result in uneven carbonation. This can be tricky to do without adding oxygen. This is why most people add priming sugar solution to the bottom of the priming bucket or keg and siphon the beer on top of it. This gives a pretty good mixing without adding excess oxygen. – paul Sep 22 '13 at 22:28
  • Point 1) No change, plus... somewhere near finished anticipated final gravity. A stuck fermentation or slow yeast may read the same for several days, but not be finished and would create too much pressure in the bottle, potentially breaking the bottles open. – Wyrmwood Apr 16 '19 at 19:00
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You'll only get bottle bombs if you over-prime or bottle too early (or have an infection). The difference between fridge, celler and even hot (80-100+°F) temps will not cause a normally-carbonated beer to explode, or it'd be happening commercially all the time.

That being said, heat and temp fluctuations aren't ideal for your beer.

Make sure fermentation is finished when you bottle. Don't over-prime. Be clean. Then just keep the bottles in the coldest darkest place you have access to.

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    Agree with jsled. Keep them at room temp for 2-3 weeks. Cool and open a tester if you want to know if the bottles are carbonated. If you didn't make any major mistakes, they'll never pop. Generally, you want to keep them cool to preserve flavor and aroma, although some beers are better aged. (Aging is an entirely different topic.) – Brandon Aug 19 '11 at 5:07
  • You can also get bottle bombs if you do not mix your priming solution well into your unfermented beer the bottling bucket. – anton2g Oct 4 '13 at 14:50
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I do not refrigerate my beer until it is ready to drink, generally about 2 weeks after bottling. I will leave it at room temperature, out of the sun, indefinitely from the time I bottle it until I am ready to drink it.

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My process is to bottle condition at room temperature then every 7 days put a bottle in the fridge overnight and give it the taste test.

If its carbonated to your liking then load up the fridge, else wait till the following week.

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3 days outside the fridge (at room temperature) is fine in my experience. I carbonate with unfermented beer (Speise) instead of sugar.

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I agree with DAX, have put bottled beer directly into the fridge. It takes about 3-4 weeks, but will carbonate. The carbonation may be finer (smaller bubbles) but is adequate. Don't think it really adds much just did it many years ago as an experiment, comparing to room temp carbonation from same batch

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My simple rule of thumb for brewing:

  • primary: 2 weeks
  • bottle: 3 weeks plus at room temp, standing upright.

Haven't had any issues yet.

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Well, I just made my first batch. Tastes great .. but .. I think I was clean, and I thought it was done carbonating. I got one bottle bomb after 7 days .. so I refrigerated the rest. I how have drunk two other bottles, They both were only a little over-carbonated, but I daren't leave them out.

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  • Yeah, keeping those in the fridge is a good idea. It sounds like you've read Dustin's answer, it's a good one. You shouldn't have to refrigerate your bottles. Sometimes, rarely, it's not even your fault, you can get a bad bottle with imperfections and they break, in that case, there is almost nothing you can do (save use only very low carb'd beer). – Nathan Koop Sep 11 '14 at 20:52
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For lighter beers I usually try to store as many in the fridge as possible because the longer fridge time will help them clarify in the bottle before you open them (if that is pertinent to the style and/or important to you). Of course this is after at least 2 weeks of priming time outside the fridge at about 70 degs.

I have also had some brews that maybe I bottled too early or otherwise I noticed they were overcarbonated or had a bottle explode. For these types I would definitely rush them all into the fridge to stop the yeast from carbonating any further.

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I do the same. Once bottled, I chill/drink no sooner than 10 days, but leave out as many as 4 weeks so far. We've been having a heatwave recently and I'm trying to determine if the bottles are too hot. Probably closer to 80 degrees, but I have no way to cool. I did put the fermenter in a bus tub of water and wrapped with a wet beach towel, but as far as the bottles are concerned, they are on their own.

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As it is 2019, I would like to add a little nuance to this debate.

I have left multiple beers to condition at room temp for 7 days after bottling, and then put them in the fridge. They were tasty, carbonated, and totally fine to drink. That said, letting them condition for an extra week or two has made some of the IPAs I have brewed improve. I usually bottle a few 355ml bottles so I can pop one in every few days past 7 days to see how things are going.

Lately I have been brewing some really hazy stuff. The IPAs I'm going for are heavily dry hopped, and this usually results in some of the hop particulate/plant matter being left over in the beer. I think these hazy IPAs are usually much better fresh, as this leftover hop matter can result in the beer not aging as well as some other ales. It may be the case that 7 days room temp conditioning + a few days/one week in the fridge will be better for this style. I have bottled a batch and it is conditioning right now. I will try and get back once I have tasted a few at various stages (1 week room temp, 2 weeks, etc.)

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if you put the beer in the fridge after a week of bottling it will be a little flat but still it will taste better than cheap bear from the store . if you want to be safe wait 2 weeks befor putting in the fridge

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    that's untrue, actually - you can bottle condition in the fridge if you want. it affects flavor not in the slightest, but it will make the process take longer overall. – dax Oct 14 '13 at 13:56
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I ferment ales until they stop making gas, typically 8-16 days. After that I leave them for around 3 weeks, 70 degrees, in the bottle, in the dark, upright. Never a problem!

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  • formatting, capitalization, punctuation are important in making a clear answer. – mdma Feb 8 '17 at 5:33

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