Author Topic: Conflicting Info for Bottle Conditioning  (Read 1584 times)

Offline hollnagel

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Conflicting Info for Bottle Conditioning
« on: December 23, 2012, 02:19:06 PM »
Hi there! I'm somewhat new to home-brewing, have done 5 partial mash sessions, and I bottle my beer.  I heard something at my local home-brewing store that I thought was interesting regarding conditioning your ale in bottles, but it was contrary to other things I've heard:  "After 2-3 weeks in the bottle at room temp, test a sample, and if you have sufficient carbonation in your ale, continue your conditioning under refrigeration.  You want your yeast to stop working and settle out.  This will prevent unwanted off-flavors."

But, I was under the impression that conditioning and storage (up to several months) at room temp is the norm.

Your thoughts along these lines are appreciated.

Offline denny

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Conflicting Info for Bottle Conditioning
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 02:31:41 PM »
I agree with everything but the last lines about stopping the yeast and off flavors.  Your understanding is good.
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Offline dordway29

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Re: Conflicting Info for Bottle Conditioning
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 03:25:39 PM »
Extended storage won't necessarily create off-flavors. Depending on how much fermentables are still in your beer, you could explode your bottles. That would be the only reason to refrigerate.

Offline tom

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Re: Conflicting Info for Bottle Conditioning
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 05:29:53 PM »
Beer is a food product that degrades over time.  Once you have it where you want it, refrigeration will keep it there longer.
Brew on

Offline wactuary

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Re: Conflicting Info for Bottle Conditioning
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 06:57:59 PM »
If your beer was fully fermented before adding the appropriate amount of bottling sugar and there is no infection, then,  depending on style, the beer should age well at room or cellar temp.  The issue is if the beer had residual sugar from incomplete fermentation, then the bottle bomb risk is there. And if there are any wild yeast or bacteria, refrigeration will keep them at bay.

I think the conflicting information you are getting is from different assumptions on homebrewer sanitation and fermentation practices. Those who assume solid practices will say bottles will keep for years. If you assume sub optimal cleanliness, then conservative and refrigerate.

I would suggest keeping some cold and some warm. Compare how they age and learn from this. If your beer doesn't age well at room temp, focus on sanitation or fermentation as indicated.

And of course, if the style is better fresh, then keep it on ice to keep that fresh flavor longest.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 06:07:50 AM by wactuary »

Offline anthony

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Re: Conflicting Info for Bottle Conditioning
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2012, 08:20:40 PM »
One tip I took away from homebrew forums long ago: bottle one of your bottles into a plastic bottle. This will allow you to make sure the beer has at least carbonated (the bottle will be hard) before opening any of it.

If you are brewing a beer that takes more than the standard amount of carbonation, you can push the bottle in a little bit, put less beer into it so that it has to expand a bit more before it gets hard.

Offline hollnagel

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Re: Conflicting Info for Bottle Conditioning
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 07:01:52 AM »
These tips make sense, and I will most certainly try some of them! Thanks for the great feedback, everybody.