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Old 12-07-2005, 11:45 PM   #1
drengel
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Default conditioning higher gravity ale

i know higher gravity ales need to be conditioned a little longer before they get real good. my question is how long til i can start drinking, when will it be best? i made a 'double but brown', which i didnt take an og for cause it was the first time i had used a carboy for a primary and didnt think about how i was going to get it. pro-mash estimates it at about 1.075, not too high, but not too low. on a side note---i will make this much stronger next time---anyways, it was bottled two nights ago, i usually let them sit threew eeks before drinking. will this be OK by then. should i wait a month and ahalf, two months, longer? it tasted good at bottling time, aside from heavy banana esters, a little green though.

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Old 12-07-2005, 11:55 PM   #2
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How long was it in the secondary? Just curious, as I have a big one that I am bottling this weekend. OG of 1.090.....whould finish up in the mid 1.020s. It will have run a 4 week secondary, and I plan at least that much aging in the bottles. I do plan on testing it after 2 weeks bottled, thouhg, just to test carbonation. Total age time for me, I am thinking, will be around 2.5 months. I have noticed a definite mellowing in the time that it has been in the secondary. When it went in, it was almost undrinkable, and now even my wife likes it.

This is the first big one I have done, too, so take me with a grain of salt.

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Old 12-07-2005, 11:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drengel
i know higher gravity ales need to be conditioned a little longer before they get real good. my question is how long til i can start drinking, when will it be best?
I'm drinking a Wee Heavy (1.083 OG) that was 19 days in the secondary. At 18 days after bottling it was carbonated pretty well...primed with DME.
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Old 12-08-2005, 12:41 AM   #4
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mine was in the secondary for 17 days, final gravity was 1.012, didnt think it would get that low. it tasted good at both racking and bottling times, but i think its a bit thin for whaat i wanted. can definitely taste the alcohol though. it was a long and somewhat drunken brew night and i didnt feel like siphonong off some gyle for priming so im using corn sugar, which im kicking myself for. this is my highest gravity brew yet as well.

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Old 12-08-2005, 12:56 AM   #5
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I'd say four weeks would be enough. It will probably peak in 3 months, if it's kept cool.

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Old 12-08-2005, 01:48 AM   #6
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my cellar is about 64-66 constantly. is that cool enough?

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Old 12-08-2005, 01:54 AM   #7
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oh yea, that'll do. 3-4 weeks in secondary will do it right. help the flavors to meld and smooth out.

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Old 12-08-2005, 06:06 PM   #8
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drengel-

If I read correctly, you already bottled right? I have a high gravity strong ale that spent a little more than 3 weeks in the secondary and it's been bottled for 3 weeks now. I drank one at a week, one at two weeks, and I just drank one last night and it tastes great but the carbonation is still way too light.

I originally had the bottles conditioning in the basement at about 64 degrees and I was told by forum members on this site and another that 64 degrees was too cool to get good carbonation. Most recommended storing it at about 70 degrees to make sure the yeast is warm enough to eat the priming sugar.

So I moved it to my boiler room a week ago. It always feels warm in there but it turns out that the air at the bottom of the room (where the beer is sitting) is only about 66 degrees - not much warmer. This evening I intend to put the beer on a shelf at the top of the room in an attempt to warm it up a bit. Unfortunately, I live in a very cold neigborhood (11 degrees outside this morning) and this time of year there are no rooms in my house that are 70 degrees. Hopefully things will develop soon . . .

Best of luck!

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Old 12-08-2005, 07:09 PM   #9
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I would keep it ~70F for a few weeks for carbonation. I think most of the comments for lower temperatures are intended for the actual aging of the brew after it has carbonated. I've read in places that the best temperature for aging beer is the same as it is for wine around 55F (so-called cellar temps, I suppose), but I don't have any area like that in my house, nor a dedicated fridge, so I just fill up empty space in the house with beer and see what happens.

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Old 12-09-2005, 01:09 AM   #10
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unfortanately the warmest area of the house this time of year is the cellar. ive found that 3 weeks to carbonate has been good since its gotten colder. good to know that i won't have to wait like 6 months to drink her. i'm already tempted...

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