Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Why does bottle-conditioning improve life/stability?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-10-2009, 06:13 AM   #1
brewmonger
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 169
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Why does bottle-conditioning improve life/stability?

Or does it? Is it just an urban myth?

It can't just be because of the CO2, because force-carbonated beers have that too, yet are supposed to have a shorter shelf life.

__________________
brewmonger is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-10-2009, 11:33 AM   #2
MULE
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 420
Liked 6 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

First time I ever heard that

__________________
Lazy Donkey Brewery - w/Cronxitawney"Dave"
On Tap: Cascade DIPA, Apfelwein
Primary(s): Apfelwein
On Deck: LD's Summer Ales, LD's IIPA
MULE is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-10-2009, 03:06 PM   #3
menschmaschine
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delaware
Posts: 3,278
Liked 34 Times on 28 Posts

Default

I think someone just touched on this in another thread. The key difference is yeast. When the yeast aren't filtered out and they ferment a few sugars (for carbonation), they can metabolize and stave off some of the flavor-active compounds that cause staling. But I'm just kind of taking a stab at the question.

__________________

END TRANSMISSION

menschmaschine is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-10-2009, 05:36 PM   #4
pjj2ba
Look under the recliner
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pjj2ba's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,427
Liked 195 Times on 161 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

By bottle conditioning, do you mean simply naturally carbonating or are you tallking about long term aging? When I hear bottle conditioning, to me that means the beer is going to be stored for a longer time than just that required to achieve proper carbonation. These generally also have higher ABV, which often need more time to mature, and by virtue of the extra alcohol, are less likely to stale.

__________________
On Tap: Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Maibock,
Kegged and Aging/Lagering:CAP, CAP II, Wheat lager, Imperial Pilsner, Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), OKZ II (for base malt comparison), light beer - yes, light beer, Belgian IPA, IPA,
Secondary:
Primary: Pale Ale
Brewing soon: Saison
Recently kicked : ( IPA, Bock, Saison,
Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer
(1st NYC 2011, 2nd NYC 2012)
P U crowns winners in its inaugural master HB competition
pjj2ba is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-10-2009, 07:58 PM   #5
Gordie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Healdsburg, CA
Posts: 405
Liked 26 Times on 7 Posts

Default

There are a lot of opinions on the benefits or differences of bottle conditioning (which I'm assuming is natural carbonation, not just laying the bottle down for a while). For example, Jamil and a number of people on his radio show tend to think its a waste of time. I'm in the other camp. Other than anecdotal evidence from a history of both torturing and coddling wine and beer yeast, I'm of the opinion that bottle conditioning certainly has a beneficial impact on bottle life and stability.

The basic idea is that the oxygen trapped under the cap (wine types call it the ullage) is consumed and processed by the yeast in the condition process. Kind of like an army of tiny oxygen-absorbing caps. Initiating a fermentation in the bottle also may have other beneficial effects such as also allows the yeast an opportunity to clean up some off flavors.

Bottle conditioning is one of those things that I haven't found much in the way of actual science on, other than basic fermentation theory, so maybe someone else may be able to give you a more microbiologically informed opinion. In the meantime, from my own experiences I've become a believer and bottle condition everything - my impressions of stability and bottle life being one of the reasons.

Gordie

__________________

Gordie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-10-2009, 08:26 PM   #6
Edcculus
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 4,567
Liked 41 Times on 38 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
By bottle conditioning, do you mean simply naturally carbonating or are you tallking about long term aging? When I hear bottle conditioning, to me that means the beer is going to be stored for a longer time than just that required to achieve proper carbonation. These generally also have higher ABV, which often need more time to mature, and by virtue of the extra alcohol, are less likely to stale.
interesting. I always take bottle conditioned to mean naturally carbonated. Just a different way of saying it. Just like all of the Belgian and Trappists like to say "re-fermented" in the bottle, or secondary ferment in the bottle.
__________________
Edcculus is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-10-2009, 10:28 PM   #7
pjj2ba
Look under the recliner
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pjj2ba's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,427
Liked 195 Times on 161 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
interesting. I always take bottle conditioned to mean naturally carbonated. Just a different way of saying it. Just like all of the Belgian and Trappists like to say "re-fermented" in the bottle, or secondary ferment in the bottle.
That's why I commented. I believe for quite a few of the commercial bottle conditioned beers, they are aged for an extra length of time before being released for sale. To me, this is an extra step above and beyond simply carbonation. I naturallly carb. most of my beers in kegs, but right now I am doing a test to see if the hop aromas in a dry hopped IPA last longer when force carbed (my theory being the yeast will break down the aroma compounds, so the lack of yeast will lead to longer aroma life - if the keg lasts that long)
__________________
On Tap: Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Maibock,
Kegged and Aging/Lagering:CAP, CAP II, Wheat lager, Imperial Pilsner, Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), OKZ II (for base malt comparison), light beer - yes, light beer, Belgian IPA, IPA,
Secondary:
Primary: Pale Ale
Brewing soon: Saison
Recently kicked : ( IPA, Bock, Saison,
Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer
(1st NYC 2011, 2nd NYC 2012)
P U crowns winners in its inaugural master HB competition
pjj2ba is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-11-2009, 02:26 AM   #8
z987k
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
z987k's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Anchorage
Posts: 3,544
Liked 23 Times on 21 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Remember that force carbonation has nothing to do with filtering. I force carb my beers and they are not filtered. The yeast is still in there to clean up anything should it need to after 6 weeks. Also, I as most people do, purge my kegs of air with co2 before carbing. There is no O2 left, and if so no more than is in a bottle.

Further, I have never heard anything about force carbed beers lasting less time than a bottle conditioned beer.. unless as said above you are talking about a 4% beer vs a 10% beer. Also force carb != filtered.

__________________
Beer Style Guidelines - Kaiser's Brewing Experiments - American Society of Brewing Chemists - Journal of the Institute of Brewing
z987k is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-11-2009, 02:56 AM   #9
menschmaschine
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delaware
Posts: 3,278
Liked 34 Times on 28 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by z987k View Post
I force carb my beers and they are not filtered. The yeast is still in there to clean up anything should it need to after 6 weeks.
I think there is a slight difference. With force-carbed beer, the yeast are virtually done and dying/dead. Dead/decaying yeast cells can affect flavor. With bottle-conditioned beer, some of the yeast undergo a secondary (or tertiary) fermentation in the bottle, prolonging their life and resulting in less dead yeast cells in the beer... for a while anyway.

Even better is to filter out the yeast and add new yeast at bottling. This is what most Belgian breweries do.
__________________

END TRANSMISSION

menschmaschine is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-11-2009, 03:10 AM   #10
z987k
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
z987k's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Anchorage
Posts: 3,544
Liked 23 Times on 21 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
I think there is a slight difference. With force-carbed beer, the yeast are virtually done and dying/dead. Dead/decaying yeast cells can affect flavor. With bottle-conditioned beer, some of the yeast undergo a secondary (or tertiary) fermentation in the bottle, prolonging their life and resulting in less dead yeast cells in the beer... for a while anyway.

Even better is to filter out the yeast and add new yeast at bottling. This is what most Belgian breweries do.
I don't know.. it doesn't seem like it would really matter (significantly)either way. There are many far more important factors that will contribute to the shelf life of a beer over bottle conditioning. Proteins and soluble nitrogenous compounds to name a couple.

Anyone have a study in which to reference on the topic? After all this is the brew science forum
__________________
Beer Style Guidelines - Kaiser's Brewing Experiments - American Society of Brewing Chemists - Journal of the Institute of Brewing
z987k is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bottle Conditioning vs. Carboy Conditioning Omahawk Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 08-15-2009 04:28 PM
Life of a CO2 bottle UncleMule Bottling/Kegging 2 03-29-2009 03:34 AM
Bottle Conditioning vs Carboy Conditioning. What's the difference? BrewOnBoard Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 12-13-2008 07:21 AM
Beer in bottle life? ChefyTim Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 05-13-2007 04:01 PM
cask conditioning vs bottle conditioning D*Bo Bottling/Kegging 6 07-05-2006 02:05 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS