Author Topic: Ale Conditioning  (Read 3045 times)

Offline davidgzach

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Ale Conditioning
« on: January 07, 2012, 04:10:17 PM »
Fellow Brewers,

I typically condition my ales in my boiler room at 66F and my lagers in the outside fridge at 34F.  I like to crash cool my ales before kegging in the outside fridge and then let them come up to 66F to condition. 

I'm wondering what you think the result would be if I just put the keg straight back in to the fridge?  2-3 weeks in primary, crash cool, then keg and condiditon at 34F.  Thoughts?  Thanks in advance.

Dave
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Re: Ale Conditioning
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 04:33:16 PM »
I think 34 is too cold to serve ales but that is a matter of taste. but for conditioning purposes I think that sounds fine. as I understand it a long cold condition on an ale produces a nice clean tasting ale.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Ale Conditioning
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2012, 08:05:09 PM »
My keg fridge is at 38F. But otherwise that's how I treat the majority of my beers.
Clint
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Ale Conditioning
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2012, 11:39:17 PM »
Yeah, that's what I do too.  Not at 34, but whatever the temp happens to be in the fridge.  It varies depending on which fridge and what I'm doing there.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Ale Conditioning
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 06:09:51 AM »
So do you guys think I'm mistaken in conditioning my ales at 66F?
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Offline euge

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Re: Ale Conditioning
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2012, 11:20:05 AM »
So do you guys think I'm mistaken in conditioning my ales at 66F?

No. Others are conditioning colder because their equipment and situation allows them to. If you were "cellaring" I'd say in the high 30's for stability for the long term. But for conditioning ales a stable 66F is fine. The yeast will finish up and further drop out.

That being said I'm cold conditioning a stout because there's room in the fridge and the house temp has been swinging back and forth.

It's a good question though.

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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Ale Conditioning
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2012, 09:22:37 AM »
So do you guys think I'm mistaken in conditioning my ales at 66F?

No. Others are conditioning colder because their equipment and situation allows them to. If you were "cellaring" I'd say in the high 30's for stability for the long term. But for conditioning ales a stable 66F is fine. The yeast will finish up and further drop out.

That being said I'm cold conditioning a stout because there's room in the fridge and the house temp has been swinging back and forth.

It's a good question though.

This begs the question whether the ale yeast will finish up or simply drop out in the high 30's.  Herein is my dilemmna.  My thought would be to condition at 66F for an appropriate amount of time and then store cold when I thought it was done.  If I go straight to cold storage, will the beer finish conditioning?

Dave Zach

Offline tygo

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Re: Ale Conditioning
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2012, 09:41:12 AM »
It depends on what you mean by conditioning.  I would let the beer sit on the yeast at fermentation temperature until the yeast has done what you want it to do and then transfer it and cold condition.  The yeast are going to shut down and floc out at fridge temps.

My ales sit in the primary for 2-3 weeks before I keg them and pop them in the chest freezer.
Clint
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Ale Conditioning
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2012, 10:05:34 AM »
Tygo,

So you go straight from primary to cold storage?  What if it was a Belgian Triple?  Would you primary 3 weeks and go straight to cold storage or would you let it condition at 66F for a few months before?

I guess what I'm wondering is this.  I hear from those who make high gravity beers that they need to let them condition for 6+ months before they are ready.  Would you do this at 66F or at 38F?  If you go straight to cold storage, does the beer stop conditioning/finishing because the ale yeast has gone dormant?
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Re: Ale Conditioning
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2012, 10:08:05 AM »
Tygo,

So you go straight from primary to cold storage?  What if it was a Belgian Triple?  Would you primary 3 weeks and go straight to cold storage or would you let it condition at 66F for a few months before?

I guess what I'm wondering is this.  I hear from those who make high gravity beers that they need to let them condition for 6+ months before they are ready.  Would you do this at 66F or at 38F?  If you go straight to cold storage, does the beer stop conditioning/finishing because the ale yeast has gone dormant?

not stop, but slow way down. not only yeast stuff is happening at that point. alot of other chemical reactions are occuring in the 'conditioning' phase. With big beers also there is often faults related to process that are being cleaned up. It's perfectly possible to make a big beer that is ready to drink quickly but some, like barley wine, really do get better with some age even if they are totaly drinkable young.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
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