Author Topic: Aging question for bottle conditioned belgian blond  (Read 1127 times)

Offline ccfoo242

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Aging question for bottle conditioned belgian blond
« on: April 06, 2012, 10:37:06 AM »
Hello all!

I'll be brewing a belgian blond this Sunday and I have a question about fermentation and aging.

Using advice from BCS and Jamil's podcast I'll pitch at 64F then slowly raise the temp over 7 days to 68F.

He then says it should lager for 1 month at 45-50F.

My question is: Do I bottle it and THEN lager it or do I lager it and then bottle it?  I'll be carbonating in the bottles so I was worried that the cold temperature would prevent proper carbonation. I'll have about 5 weeks until May 12th when I'll be entering it in a local competition, so should I let it lager in the primary until a week before the competition and then bottle it and let it carbonate at room temperature?

(I realize this question may actually belong in the bottling section of the forum, but I wasn't sure..soo...)

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Aging question for bottle conditioned belgian blond
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2012, 10:38:55 AM »
I think you can go either way, but if you bottle first it's probably a good idea to give it a couple weeks at room temp and then lager, so it might be simpler all around if you lager in primary and then bottle. You may or maynot want to dose with a little extra yeast at bottling time if you do it that way.
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Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Aging question for bottle conditioned belgian blond
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2012, 10:44:40 AM »
Can I just dredge up some of the yeast cake or should I just buy a fresh tube and put a measured amount in?

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Re: Aging question for bottle conditioned belgian blond
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2012, 11:21:40 AM »
Can I just dredge up some of the yeast cake or should I just buy a fresh tube and put a measured amount in?

You can use the yeast already there. 
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Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Aging question for bottle conditioned belgian blond
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2012, 11:30:19 AM »
Great.  One extra question...do I still add gelatin only a few days before bottling or should I go ahead and add it when I start lagering?

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Offline richardt

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Re: Aging question for bottle conditioned belgian blond
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2012, 01:11:08 PM »
I would let it "condition" in the fermenter for a few weeks at ale temps (64-68 F would be ideal, though some Belgian strains do fine at higher temps).  You tend to get more esters and phenols the higher the temp goes--which is OK for some Belgian styles.  Given the time crunch, it would make more sense to condition on the yeast cake rather than try to condition in the bottle (with less yeast). 

Chill the beer ("crash chilling") to clarify the beer over 48-72 hours.  Rack to a bottling bucket or to already sanitized bottles individually dosed with priming solution.  There will be enough yeast in the beer (even though it looks "quite clear") to do the carbonating within the bottle.  I would leave the capped bottle at room temp for at least three days to ensure that the full amount of carbonation occurs and then store the bottle at room temp or in the fridge until a few days before the competition--at that time, it would be wise to cool the bottle to whatever storage/serving temperature you're comfortable with--I usually put it in the laundry room or in my ale fermentation fridge (if there's room) until 3 days prior and then I put it in my regular fridge (T=35F).