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Old 12-11-2012, 12:55 PM   #21
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Belgians can be finicky. Tomorrow I would let that start warming up, about a degree per day if you can so it is finishing at about 70-72F, that will also help you get to your FG. Sounds like you're making a wit so clarity is not a huge deal but some settling time would be a benefit.

After you bottle keep those things warm, like in the house, 70F warm. After a week you can try one by putting it in the fridge for 24 hours then opening to test the carbonation. One week for carbing is really pushing it but you're not going to have much more time than that.
This is good advice. The warmer you keep it, the more active the yeast are, so the faster they do their jobs. You don't want to keep most yeasts too warm because they will produce bad esters and fusel alcohols, but Belgian yeasts need to have the temperature ramped up so they will produce the esters and phenols that are typical of the style. This works out well for your situation.

Usually the bulk of fermentation is done after a week and the rest of the time in primary is the yeast cleaning up after itself. So you should be good to bottle this weekend and have about a week and half to carb, which is pushing it. But keeping the bottles warm (low to mid 70's) will help it carb faster.

Like helibrewer said, Belgian yeasts can be finicky and take longer to ferment everything out sometimes, so I would take consecutive gravity readings to make sure it's done. Just make sure you sanitize the thief and try not to disturb the beer too much. Because CO2 is heavier than air, there will be a "blanket" of CO2 over the surface of the beer in the bucket. So just be gentle and don't disturb this invisible "blanket" too much and you shouldn't have to worry about oxidation.

I hope you're not too overwhelmed with the onslaught of information in this thread. Just remember you are doing the greatest thing in the world.... making beer!!
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:55 PM   #22
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good point, aiptasia. a belgian can taste like feet and still be in style.

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Old 12-11-2012, 01:50 PM   #23
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I say go ahead and bottle once gravity readings are consistent for 3 days then let the bottle sit at room temp until 24 hrs prior, and try one just before the party, you will probably still have decent beer, and you will have experience with making beer too quickly. An important thing to remember about brewing is all experience is good experience. Even if the beer is bad, you'll have this batch to inform your future efforts.

And just for the record, I wouldn't normally recommend rushing the process, it just seems that in this case, you are in a hurry, and it's a good learning opportunity.

Also double pitching to speed up fermentation seems silly to me. Look into yeast starters, you'll achieve the same goal as double pitching (which is cell count, not speed), you'll have more control, and you'll spend less money

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:18 PM   #24
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Wow, thanks everyone for all the advice and words of wisdom! Really friendly forum you guys got going here. Although a little overwhelming, I really appreciate it.

So I understand that what I'm doing is not optimal, as it may produce off flavors - but you guys are saying that I won't ruin the beer even IF I bottle this weekend and have it conditioning for a week / week and a half, because the yeast will continue to settle even afterwards and continue to improve in flavor, correct? Or would it be "stuck" in a permanent bad state because I bottled too early?

I was thinking of maybe only bringing 6-12 of my 22 ounce bounces to the party, and refrigerating them only the night before. Assuming I want to let the rest of the beers condition properly, they should remain at around room temperature for a total of 2-3 weeks, correct?

I'm thinking of doing the following:

Taking gravity readings this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - if I get consecutive readings, I'll "cold crash" it by sticking it in the fridge for most of Sunday, and then bottle late on Sunday. That'll give some of the bottles about a week and a day to condition, and then I'll stick them (not all of them, but the ones I want to take to the party) in the fridge either the night before or maybe even day of just to chill them.. should I could crash it BEFORE or AFTER I rack it into my bottling bucket? I'm guessing afterwards, since racking might stir up some of the yeast?

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:26 PM   #25
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welker85 -- somehow you've done the impossible and disseminated the onslaught of information in this thread to a coherent and reasonable strategy.

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:43 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welker85 View Post
So I understand that what I'm doing is not optimal, as it may produce off flavors - but you guys are saying that I won't ruin the beer even IF I bottle this weekend and have it conditioning for a week / week and a half, because the yeast will continue to settle even afterwards and continue to improve in flavor, correct? Or would it be "stuck" in a permanent bad state because I bottled too early?
The yeast in the bottle should keep cleaning up after itself, maybe just not quite as well as it would in bulk. It won't be stuck in that early bottle stage or anything and will get better the longer you condition it in the bottle.

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Taking gravity readings this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - if I get consecutive readings, I'll "cold crash" it by sticking it in the fridge for most of Sunday, and then bottle late on Sunday. That'll give some of the bottles about a week and a day to condition, and then I'll stick them (not all of them, but the ones I want to take to the party) in the fridge either the night before or maybe even day of just to chill them.. should I could crash it BEFORE or AFTER I rack it into my bottling bucket? I'm guessing afterwards, since racking might stir up some of the yeast?
This sounds like a great plan, but I would skip the bulk cold crashing. Just ferment until Sunday, bottle, then put as many bottles as you want for the party in the fridge 24 hours ahead of time. Though I would try one before you take them to make sure it's something you want other people to drink. Good luck!
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:52 PM   #27
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my preference would be to cold crash it before racking to avoid a bunch of gunk in the bottles especially because with only 7 days fermenting, a lot of yeast will still be in suspension if you don't crash it. but that is just me. a side effect may be that less yeast in suspension means it will take longer to carb up. either way works! either way will be tasty. yeasty character is part of a belgian brew so you're not going to ruin it either way.

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Old 12-11-2012, 08:33 PM   #28
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my preference would be to cold crash it before racking to avoid a bunch of gunk in the bottles especially because with only 7 days fermenting, a lot of yeast will still be in suspension if you don't crash it. but that is just me. a side effect may be that less yeast in suspension means it will take longer to carb up. either way works! either way will be tasty. yeasty character is part of a belgian brew so you're not going to ruin it either way.
I thought the priming sugar would be the main means of creating carbonation during conditioning, and not from leftover yeast?

Also, if I were to cold crash it, should I rack it into my bottling bucket first or no?
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:09 PM   #29
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I thought the priming sugar would be the main means of creating carbonation during conditioning, and not from leftover yeast?
it is. there is only a finite amount of sugar to eat. a lot of yeast will eat it faster, fewer yeast will eat it slower, but the amount of co2 produced is the same.
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Also, if I were to cold crash it, should I rack it into my bottling bucket first or no?
no, crash and then rack and add priming sugar right before you bottle.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:16 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welker85 View Post
I thought the priming sugar would be the main means of creating carbonation during conditioning, and not from leftover yeast?

Also, if I were to cold crash it, should I rack it into my bottling bucket first or no?
The leftover yeast converts the priming sugar to carbonation in the bottle. If you wanted to cold crash in bulk I would do it before you transfer to your bottling bucket just to keep sediment out of the bucket.

Either way your beer should turn out fine. Welcome to HBT!
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