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Old 12-17-2008, 03:30 AM   #1
Jaha35
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Default Question about cold aging.

I have an Altbier fermenting away and it won't be done for at least another 2 weeks now. I am planning on going 3-4 weeks with this brew in primary. I have been reading up on Altbier's and there is a lot of talk about cold aging them. My question is should I cold age my batch in a secondary (which I don't have but can get) or should I just bottle and cold age it while it is conditioning?

I have no problem waiting a month or two for that process I just don't know the specifics. I am a newb. Also what temp is good for this process? It's winter here so I could put them in the garage or basement for a colder temp. Thanks in advanced for any insight. Cheers

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Old 12-17-2008, 04:06 AM   #2
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Default Bottle it, carb then cold condition.

Bottle your beer after its done. Hits FG. Let it carb for 3 weeks at 68-75F. See if it meets the level of carbonation you expect. Then bottle condition them. (stock the fridge with 12-24 at a time) If you cold condition them and then try to bottle you may have trouble with it carbing naturally. Alot of the yeast will drop out if you let it sit for a long time in the 2ndary.

I bottle condition one or two lagers each year. It works well in my opinion. It also doesn't tie up alot of space in the fridge. The purist won't like it, most people wouldn't really be able detect this. Its an ale so no cold conditioning is actually required.

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Last edited by Schlenkerla; 12-17-2008 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:50 PM   #3
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+1 on previous post. I've done a few german ales this way, and they've been clear and smooth without any bulk lagering. The challenge is letting them sit in the fridge once you know they're carbed and drinkable-but it's worth the wait!

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Old 12-17-2008, 04:08 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. Makes a lot of sense. I was just confused because some books and sites say to bulk age it but to me that seems hard on the yeast and could risk carbing. I know some brewers bulk age and then add yeast afterwards but I am not going to do that. bottling and storing is no big deal. It is winter here and my garage/basement gets cold but not close to freezing so I don't even need to put them in the fridge. My garage right now is at 48 deg.

I was also wondering if I just moved my fermenter to a colder part of my brew room for a week or so. Where my fermenters are now I can keep my wort consistently at 66-68 degrees but by the window it will drop to the low 60's and even high 50's on particularly cold days. This is where I keep my beer that is no tin the fridge yet. Would that really do anything other than ust help the yeast settle out?

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Primary 1: empty <=== How sad...
Primary 2: empty
Secondary: Otter's Altbier
Bottle Conditioning: Dovey's Broody Bitter Ale
Drinking: Monty's Irish Red Ale (MY FIRST HOME BREW!!!), Jaha's Root Beer
On Deck: Fuller's London Pride Clone, Newcastle Clone

Happy Holidays to all at HBT!!! Thanks for all the help. I have learned more from the great people on this forum than in any book or instruction manual!

"Life's too short to drink Domestic."

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Old 12-18-2008, 11:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewDey View Post
The challenge is letting them sit in the fridge once you know they're carbed and drinkable-but it's worth the wait!
Waiting 6-8 weeks is a Challenge. Make sure you have some good micros or other HB on hand to help stave off the urge to plunder your lager stash.
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2ndary: Empty
Drinking: Dead Ringer IPA, Ma Duece (50 caliber) - Malt Liquor, Cranberry Wheat
Next: Cali-Common, American Amber, Smoked to Helles

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Old 12-18-2008, 11:51 PM   #6
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I've got mine sitting at 40 degrees right now. My plan is to bring it up to 70 degrees then bottle. Then put the bottles back out in the garage to condition at 40 degrees for a few weeks. I suggest the same for you.

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