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Old 11-02-2012, 02:56 PM   #1
elleric
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Default aging Belgians

I'm brewing up my first Belgian triple and was wondering about the difference between aging in a carboy vs bottle aging

I want to leave it for about a year. Would it be best in the carboy for 11 months (primary for 1 then secondary) and then bottle for 1 or 2... carboy for 2 months and bottle for 10+... 6 and 6?

If it matters ill be using corked 750s and carbing up to 3.5 to 4 volumes.. for carboys I have plastic and glass and buckets available

Help help!!!

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:08 PM   #2
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The main difference is after 11 months in secondary you'll probably have to repitch yeast for carbonation. From what I understand bulk aging vs bottle aging is a bit of a debate and I'm not sure how much of a consensus there is on it. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will pop in and help you out.

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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The high ABV is going to mean that it is going to take quite a while to carb up....somewhere on the order of 6-8 weeks or more. While you still have viable yeast, I'd go ahead and bottle and carb then condition in the bottle. There's not that much of an advantage to bulk conditioning vs. bottle conditioning, so I'd opt for making the carbing process a bit less combersome.

I personally would be in primary for about 4-5 weeks then bottle and age.

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:57 PM   #4
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Why are you aging this for 11 months? I'm confused.

My Tripels and BGSAs are ready to drink 3 months after brew day.

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Old 11-02-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopherM
The high ABV is going to mean that it is going to take quite a while to carb up....somewhere on the order of 6-8 weeks or more. While you still have viable yeast, I'd go ahead and bottle and carb then condition in the bottle. There's not that much of an advantage to bulk conditioning vs. bottle conditioning, so I'd opt for making the carbing process a bit less combersome.

I personally would be in primary for about 4-5 weeks then bottle and age.
+1

Just bottled an abbey last week after a little more than 4 weeks in primary. Pretty tasty after 1 week in the bottle and slightly carbonated.
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaK
Why are you aging this for 11 months? I'm confused.

My Tripels and BGSAs are ready to drink 3 months after brew day.
Im doing it for the best reason there is: because I can.

Also, thats just not what im looking for. Im sure I can make it and let it sit for 3 months and then drink away and it will be quite good. But I am looking for the added flavors and complexities that the age can add.

Which is why my question was worded like it was... not 'how long should this sit' but 'im going to let this sit for this amount of time, what effects of different methods can I expect'
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elleric View Post
Im doing it for the best reason there is: because I can.

Also, thats just not what im looking for. Im sure I can make it and let it sit for 3 months and then drink away and it will be quite good. But I am looking for the added flavors and complexities that the age can add.

Which is why my question was worded like it was... not 'how long should this sit' but 'im going to let this sit for this amount of time, what effects of different methods can I expect'
Hehe. Nanny nanny boo boo, stick your head in doo doo.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheZymurgist

Hehe. Nanny nanny boo boo, stick your head in doo doo.
Did it really come off like that? Wasn't the intention. The response just didn't adress the question.

Edit: ignore unintentional rhyming.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:13 PM   #9
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Bottle it. Like people have said, bulk aging will add to complications with carbing when you do bottle. I have never had a beer that was inherently "better" from bulk or bottle aging.

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Old 11-02-2012, 05:15 PM   #10
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Just be sure to at least try one at 3-4 months so you can remember how good they were before they started going downhill. While certainly there are beers that benefit with long aging, in my personal experience tripels really do start peaking in flavor around 4 months. Tripels don't really tend to develop those 'aged' flavors like some other styles, but rather lose the certain brightness that, to me, makes the tripel an amazing style. Good luck.

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