Author Topic: High Gravity conditioning  (Read 1149 times)

Offline deadpoetic0077

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High Gravity conditioning
« on: November 03, 2016, 03:33:13 PM »
Ive recently brewed a wee heavy and I'm wondering how I should condition the beer. should I rack into a secondary? I know this is risky with infections, but is bulk aging good for a large gravity beer like that? Should I just bottle and wait a while for them to bottle condition?

Offline Stevie

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2016, 03:39:11 PM »
I've heard it both ways. I can't remember who said it, maybe Vinnie, but whoever it was said that the insanely large novelty bottles age better than typical bottles of the same batch.

I would worry more about oxidation than infection. It's easy to keep stuff clean and sanitary, harder to keep out O2.

Sounds like a good long term experiment.

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2016, 03:42:48 PM »
that's a good point as well. May need to grab a can of CO2 to purge the carboy if I decide to bulk age.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2016, 04:30:20 PM »
If oxidation is the concern, I believe bulk aging is preferable.  Less surface area of the beer will be exposed to the head space of the carboy.

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Big Monk

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2016, 05:13:17 PM »
You could always bottle with some extract left ("Bottle Spunding") and allow the remaining fermentation to provide the desired level of carbonation.

The upside? Active yeast in the bottle scrubs O2 and carbonates the beer.

The downside? Sediment in the bottle from settled yeast.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 05:17:05 PM by Big Monk »

Offline denny

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2016, 05:34:34 PM »
You could always bottle with some extract left ("Bottle Spunding") and allow the remaining fermentation to provide the desired level of carbonation.

The upside? Active yeast in the bottle scrubs O2 and carbonates the beer.

The downside? Sediment in the bottle from settled yeast.

And possible explosive bottles.  That's the way they did it back in the "bad old days".
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Big Monk

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2016, 05:38:00 PM »
You could always bottle with some extract left ("Bottle Spunding") and allow the remaining fermentation to provide the desired level of carbonation.

The upside? Active yeast in the bottle scrubs O2 and carbonates the beer.

The downside? Sediment in the bottle from settled yeast.

And possible explosive bottles.  That's the way they did it back in the "bad old days".

Knowing the residual carbonation, attenuation from FFT and target carbonation should eliminate this worry.

Leaving yourself margin is a good idea as well.

Dr. Michael Hall talks about residual carbonation in his "Brew by the Numbers" article and Kai has an excellent writeup on carbonating with remaining extract at http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Accurately_Calculating_Sugar_Additions_for_Carbonation.

I did a brief writeup on the topic as well: http://www.lowoxygenbrewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Bottle-Spunding-1.pdf

Obviously you have to be careful with standard longnecks but carbonating to a lower value until youre comfortable is a good idea anyway.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 05:40:08 PM by Big Monk »

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2016, 06:00:02 PM »
If oxidation is the concern, I believe bulk aging is preferable.  Less surface area of the beer will be exposed to the head space of the carboy.

If I were to purge with CO2 first, then rack, would there be any positive pressure keeping any 02 out? Or would it be so minimal it wouldn't matter and Id still be at risk?

Offline Stevie

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2016, 06:03:54 PM »
The risk is lower the more full the fermenter is. Always fill to the neck to minimize surface area. I personally believe there are benefits to bulk against, but I don't have any data to back that up.

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2016, 06:18:17 PM »
The risk is lower the more full the fermenter is. Always fill to the neck to minimize surface area. I personally believe there are benefits to bulk against, but I don't have any data to back that up.

This batch ended up smaller than the 3.0 gal I hoped it would be. Ended up getting about 2.5 gal so even now its not to the neck. I made an error and didn't calculate for grain absorbtion.

In that case, would it be wise to just bottle and wait a couple months?

Offline Stevie

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2016, 06:23:45 PM »
In that case, I would bottle.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2016, 06:47:22 PM »
I would not bother with a secondary for this. Let the beer sit in primary for 3-4 wks until fully done fermenting.
Then bottle, allow to carbonate (2-3 wks) then simply keep them somewhere cool and dark. Depending on where you live, a garage could be a nice place for this in the upcoming months.

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2016, 07:54:24 PM »
Thanks for the advice guys. Gonna look at gravity in the next week sometime. Still getting a bubble every 5-10 secs. Ill raise temp, and leave for a bit then bottle. Wonder how long ill have to wait till its ready!

Offline brewinhard

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2016, 09:01:31 PM »
Depending on the OG, you may also want to consider pitching some fresh rehydrated dry yeast to ensure proper bottle carbonation in a timely fashion. After they are carbonated, I would pop one after 6 wks and have a taste to see where the flavors are at.

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Re: High Gravity conditioning
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2016, 01:03:34 AM »
Depending on the OG, you may also want to consider pitching some fresh rehydrated dry yeast to ensure proper bottle carbonation in a timely fashion. After they are carbonated, I would pop one after 6 wks and have a taste to see where the flavors are at.

Dosing with spiese may be a better option to try and limit the sediment in the bottles.