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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Cold-Conditioning a Porter?
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Old 12-03-2006, 06:09 PM   #1
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Default Cold-Conditioning a Porter?

So, right now, I have 3 beers in carboy. An IPA that is currently dryhopping, a hefe that needs to be bottled soon, and a smoked porter that's been in the secondary vessel for almost 3 weeks. At the same time, I have barely 2 cases of empty bottles. So, I think I'll use those on the hefe next week...the IPA should be fine for awhile (extra conditioning never hurt anyone), as should the porter. My basement is currently about 58-60f, depending on the weather outside.

So, since I bottled my Winter Warmer last week, my lagerator is open...and I was thinking, it might be kind of interesting to see what happens if I "lager" the porter at around 40f until I have enough bottles for it. And that's what I did...

What do you think? I'm pretty sure it can't hurt, but is there really anything to be gained from this? I remember that Papazian's Oatmeal Stout recipe from CJOH called for extended lagering, even though it was an ale...so maybe it will help it get more "crisp", or something like that. Anyone have any insight?

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Old 12-03-2006, 06:22 PM   #2
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I've got my stout cold-conditioning right now. I don't know a lot about the process. But in reading Michael Lewis' book on Stouts, he says that Guinness cold conditions at 44F for at least 5 days to help get rid of diacetyl (butter) and acetaldehyde (sour apple) flavors.

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Old 12-03-2006, 06:27 PM   #3
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Cold conditioning will improve just about any ale.

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Old 12-03-2006, 07:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Cold conditioning will improve just about any ale.
A bit controversial . . . this one is. I spoke recently with the brewer at Morgan Street Brewing on the Landing in St. Louis. He cold conditions everything . . . kind of German thing, I think. All his beers . . . even the ales are crisp and clean as a result of the lagering.

A few ale "purists" around here will tell you that you should not try to make an ale into a lager . . . and I think that there is something to be said for this. You will lose some of the real distinctly ale"ish" character, but you will have a damn fine beer if you cold condition like this.

Go for it. Remember that the colder you store the longer you should store, too. So, your beer will take longer to condition than it might as cellar temps.

BTW, I have been known to cold condition ales . . . Altbier, of course, is an example of an ale that should be lagered.
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:53 PM   #5
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I don't know. The words "cellaring" and "real ale" are usually seen close to each other. Of course, cellaring temps usually don't go all the way down to the 40s.

But still Michael Lewis says that most ale breweries use some amount of storage while they are settling the fines out of their beers or filtering.

I think the only real risk is if an ale is cellared for a long period of time, it will start loosing some hop flavor. But porters are supposed to be on the malty side anyway.

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Old 12-04-2006, 12:26 AM   #6
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Default Cold Conditioning

I cold condition all of my ales (~ 2-3 months), however I do it in the bottle, after carbonation.

If you lager too long the yeast will drop out. Then you'll need to add a yeast starter at bottling or kegging time. I don't know how long is too long though. Maybe 4 weeks.

Sounds like you need to drink up!

All of my ales are very clear and crisp. You won't be disapointed. Your friends who don't lager will notice it if they are least bit discriminating. My homebrew club made a comment about all of my ales being very clear.

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Old 12-04-2006, 03:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlenkerla
I cold condition all of my ales (~ 2-3 months), however I do it in the bottle, after carbonation.

If you lager too long the yeast will drop out. Then you'll need to add a yeast starter at bottling or kegging time. I don't know how long is too long though. Maybe 4 weeks.

Sounds like you need to drink up!

All of my ales are very clear and crisp. You won't be disapointed. Your friends who don't lager will notice it if they are least bit discriminating. My homebrew club made a comment about all of my ales being very clear.

I've taken to adding some rehydrated nottingham at bottling anyway, especially on anything that's been in carboy for an extended period of time.

And I don't anticipate worrying about clarity in my porter. Crispness is more what I was looking for. And hopefully minimizing any sort of fruity ester character...though, that's not too much of a concern, given that initial ferment temps were low to begin with. I LOVE wintertime!

As for "drinking up"...my problem is that my basement is cold and I've been using DME to prime instead of corn sugar. Not the end of the world, I know, but that combination makes for very long carbonation time. The Dubbel is barely carbonated. The Doppelbock is taking FOREVER. I just bottled the Wit, Warmer and London Ale. But I've been enjoying the hell out of my Citrus Ale!
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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)

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Old 12-09-2006, 03:17 AM   #8
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Default Hybrid Porter

Evan!,

To speed up your carbonating maybe you should go the hybrid-carb route.

Try carbonating with a ... [time to refill my beer.....]

OK... try using a Lager yeast. I'm fermenting with Superior Lager Yeast. 48-65'F

It bubbles like mad at 60'F in my "S-style" airlock. My Cream Ale and Boston Lager were at full bore by 12 hours. My basement is about the same temps.

Would it be a Kolsch-Porter or a Porter Cream Ale?

I bet it would mellow fast in the fridge.

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