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Old 03-29-2006, 04:51 PM   #1
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Default bottle conditioning

I've got a question for everybody...

How long and under what conditions do you bottle condition your ales? I've heard the 3 week default. I ask because I've had a couple batches that actually tasted better after only a week carbonating in the bottle, then started to taste more like your mass produced beers after a few weeks--counterintuitive, isn't it?

I'm conditioning a batch of APA in the bottles, in a dark closet that is approximately 68 degrees.

Any suggestions?

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Old 03-29-2006, 05:00 PM   #2
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what do you mean when you say 'they taste more like the mass produced' stuff? too much carbonation? loss of flavor?

do you prefer your ales a little flatter like they are after only a week in the bottle? i like 'em almost flat, just enough carbonation to create and maintain a decent head. i use less priming sugar, maye half a cup per five gallons, as opposed to the customary 3/4 cups.

i'm experimenting with using residual sugar to carbonate, but am not suggesting cause i don't know what the end result is yet.

my basic rule of thumb is, the ale needs to condition for at least as long as i let it sit in the secondary.

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Old 03-29-2006, 05:01 PM   #3
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I put all of mine in a closet that stays 68F or lower, except for a six pack that I put in the warmest spot in the house to carb quicker. I can't really say what they taste like after a week, because I've never tried one that soon.

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Old 03-29-2006, 05:07 PM   #4
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the hops mellow out considerably with time, that may be the change you noticed. I would still say 3 weeks minimum in the closet and then put them in the fridge for as long as possible before drinking them. Cold-conditioning in the fridge is the best thing you can do for your homebrew.. See what Lee Chase says in the video "Cellaring Your Beer" http://www.stonebrew.com/vblog/index...rsTimeline=147

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Old 03-29-2006, 05:11 PM   #5
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I find carb-time varies. I condition my bottles in my basement, typically around 68 degrees.
I've had some lighter beers, such as raspberry wheats and IPAs that have conditioned nicely after 5 or 6 days.
Others, stouts, porters, etc...have taken up to three weeks.

My general rule of thumb is to let 'em go two weeks...unless you're out of beer and the stores are closed, at which point all bets are off.

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Old 03-29-2006, 05:27 PM   #6
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i try to do 4 weeks @ room temp at least, then i stick 'em in the fridge. since i dont have a fridge just for beer, that means some stay in my closet for months.

i taste them starting on bottling day, and usually one every other day. I love the changes the beer goes through,but there is a point reached that after about 2-3 weeks they stop changing and, as Aristotle would say, reach their full potential. Thats when i like to put them in the fridge so they can continue to flourish as virtuous homebrews...

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Old 03-29-2006, 05:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salsgebom
the hops mellow out considerably with time, that may be the change you noticed.

.. See what Lee Chase says in the video "Cellaring Your Beer" http://www.stonebrew.com/vblog/index...rsTimeline=147
I think that might be it, too. They taste less crisp, mostly. The way I think of coors light tasting (but not that bad!).
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Old 03-29-2006, 06:26 PM   #8
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I try to hold out, but it's just not that easy. I start one, then drink and drink it until I have another one, that I drink and drink. The good news is that I don't always finish one before starting another, so I have some that have been aging for months and keep getting better.

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Old 03-30-2006, 07:57 PM   #9
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i do three weeks at cellar temp. then two in the fridge. with a good recipe, good technique, and these types of storage conditions you can make a beer that has the same quality and character of the best micros. a good 2 weeks of cold conditioning REALLY helps achieve the smoothness of a well-produced brew. I noticed this the most from my double nut brown. as its a high gravity brew (about 8%) I knew i would have to leave it alone for a while before it matured, but the problem was i used some english ale yeast that was on its 7th or 8th generation and had mutated. the banana esters completely overwhelmed the character of the beer. so i waited a while, but the seters were still overwhelming,. by accident i left one in the frig for a couple weeks, and then decided to try it one night. amazingly the beer had been saved, it was 5 gallons i was NOT going to drink, but a month of cold conditioning has saved it.

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Old 03-30-2006, 08:50 PM   #10
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thanks for the advice. I think i'll give the brews more time in the fridge, cuz i've been pulling them from storage (68degrees) and drinking them after only a short chilling--40 min in the freezer.

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