How long can fermented beer remain in carboy without bottling or kegging?

This is, again, an arguable question but I would not recommend leaving your beer in the secondary for more than a few months if you are bottling it. If you bottle after a solid month in the secondary, your beer will be very clear. Also beer ages faster in the bottle than it does in the carboy.

Once it is bottled and conditioned it can be cold aged (lagered) for as long as you wish (almost) before consumption. Be aware that some styles of beer may be in carboy for up to a year for proper taste.


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