Author Topic: Bottle Conditioning help  (Read 696 times)

Offline BrodyR

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Bottle Conditioning help
« on: October 08, 2015, 02:38:15 PM »
I'm happy to say I've now been kegging for a while now but a buddy of mine recently got into brewing and we've been bottle conditioning. I wanted to see what everyones consensus was on time and temp -

How long do you typically leave a normal gravity beer out at room temp? I seem to recall hearing anywhere from 1-3 weeks.

How long do you leave the bottles in the fridge afterwards?

Does the whole secondary fermentation in the bottle thing negate the effects of a cold crash/gelatin post packaging?


Offline curtism1234

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Re: Bottle Conditioning help
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2015, 03:19:32 PM »
I am pretty new as well. I have found that 2 weeks is not enough for many of my beers (using the hard candy drops). 3 is pretty good and 4 weeks and on are even better.

I do shake my bottles 2-3 times during the first few weeks

Offline erockrph

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Re: Bottle Conditioning help
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2015, 03:20:53 PM »
At room temp you generally get acceptable carbonation around 2 weeks and full carbonation in 3-4. High gravity beer may be longer than that.

I usually just chill for 24 hours or so when I'm checking for carbonation early on.
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Bottle Conditioning help
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 03:39:13 PM »
Are there considerations beyond carbonation? As in if we're happy with the carbonation level is it good to ship to the fridge or will more time out allow the beer to improve/clean up (like how leaving the beer on the yeast in primary a bit after FG reached cleans up diacytel and such)?

Offline dilluh98

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Re: Bottle Conditioning help
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2015, 03:42:43 PM »
I've started to use a touch of dry sparkling wine yeast (champagne yeast, EC-1118) in the bottling bucket when adding the sugar water to prime. Every batch I've done this with I've had full carbonation in two weeks. It's not really that big of a deal because without it I would get full carbonation in three weeks.

But, other advantages are that champagne yeast work in a huge range of temperatures, it's completely neutral flavored and drops like a stone once the bottles are in the fridge. Thus, I've started to cold crash the native yeast out of my beer when I use the champagne yeast. Maybe more of a PITA than it's worth for some people but I've enjoyed the results. Also no need to worry about high alcohol beers or beers that have been sitting in a carboy for a really long time using this method as you've got fresh troops ready to tackle the sugar.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Bottle Conditioning help
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2015, 02:43:22 PM »
Once you have full carbonation after 2-3 weeks it's up to you to decide if you want to stick them in the fridge and cold condition them ahead of drinking them. I usually try to keep beers in the fridge for 2-3 days before I might drink them so they can drop clear and smooth out a touch. Ideally I would keep most of my bottles in a cooler environment after carbonation but there's no way for me to store the twenty gallons of homebrew bottles plus about an equal amount of commercial beer without building a cold box as an extra room on my house. (Basements are generally nonexistent in Texas.)

The two real exceptions to the 2-3 week conditioning period are sour beers and saisons. Sour beers can sometimes go through a period for 1-2 months where they develop a strong cheerio-type flavor that eventually goes away but isn't the beer at its best. Similarly I find most saison strains need a little extra time to smooth out especially when fermented hot (80s or higher). It's not as much of a problem in the 70s but the warmer the temperature the rougher the beer for a little while. I usually bottle those after a couple weeks and then give them another 4-6 weeks in the bottle to hit their stride. It's a typical process at many of the large saison breweries.
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Offline dilluh98

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Re: Bottle Conditioning help
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2015, 03:31:18 PM »
Similarly I find most saison strains need a little extra time to smooth out especially when fermented hot (80s or higher). It's not as much of a problem in the 70s but the warmer the temperature the rougher the beer for a little while. I usually bottle those after a couple weeks and then give them another 4-6 weeks in the bottle to hit their stride. It's a typical process at many of the large saison breweries.

I've found this with just about ever saison I've brewed, even the ones I never let go above ~72 F. It's like the idea of a saison is there but all the different flavors haven't quite meshed and or balanced out quite yet. I've got enough data points where I don't really crack one open until at least 6 weeks have passed.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Bottle Conditioning help
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2015, 10:16:57 PM »
These last couple posts are very helpful. I had thought that saisons would have been best early. I guess I should leave mine a little longer in the future
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age