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Old 04-08-2009, 08:58 PM   #1
Bigbens6
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Default Aging, bottles VS batch

Any difference in aginging in bottles vs fermenter, if it is getting 5 weeks total does it matter if it is 3 in bottles vs 2 in bottles and an extra in fermenter, choc stout specifically in question here.

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Old 04-08-2009, 09:26 PM   #2
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I think it's ultimately a matter of preference, but in my opinion bulk aging results in a beer that is enjoyable sooner than aging in the bottle. This may just be my imagination, but my bulk-aged beers tend to lose their "green" character more quickly. YMMV.

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Old 04-08-2009, 09:33 PM   #3
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You'll need a minimum of 3 weeks in the bottle to achieve decent carbonation (IMO), regardless of the time it sits in the fermenter.... so it depends where you're starting your five week timer.

5 weeks in the fermenter, none in the bottle = bad
3 weeks in the fermenter, 2 in the bottle = better but green
2 weeks in the fermenter, 3 in the bottle = best, but too little fermenter time

I aim for at a minimum, 3 weeks fermenter, 3 weeks bottle before I crack one.
But this varies by style and personal taste... my Imperial had about 6 weeks in the fermenter and is on 2 in the bottle. Though I'll open one to taste next week, I'll let the batch sit another couple months.... if I can be patient.

Certainly nothing here set in stone though... just my 2 cents.

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Old 04-08-2009, 11:03 PM   #4
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As long as you're confident with your sanitizing ability bulk aging is a great thing. However, I'd rather lose a bottle than 5 gallons worth. I'm with hophead usually 3-4 weeks in the carboy, and 2-3 in the keg conditioning before I hook up the hose...though sometimes it gets hooked up a little sooner .

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Old 04-08-2009, 11:10 PM   #5
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It really depends for me. My dubbel ended up being a little higher in alchohol than I wanted, and it needed some time to let the heat from the alchohol mellow. It sat in secondary since November. I was fine with that since I knew the alchohol would pretty much kill anything that got in there... For my light beers, after primary fermentation is complete, i go 2-4 weeks in secondary, and then bottle or keg.

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Old 04-09-2009, 12:09 AM   #6
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So in your opinions there is no draw back to flavors between bottles/batch as long as fermenation is complete before going into bottles?

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Old 04-09-2009, 12:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbens6 View Post
So in your opinions there is no draw back to flavors between bottles/batch as long as fermenation is complete before going into bottles?
Not enough experience to offer a valid opinion... I'd want to brew similar batches side by side, one bulk aged, the other bottled earlier just to see. But I'm kind of anal that way.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:14 AM   #8
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I'm amazed at the patience of some of you guys. I primary for 2 weeks, then bottle. My bottles are my secondaries. All are great at about 3 weeks in the bottle.

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Old 04-09-2009, 05:21 PM   #9
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I was that way initially too. After 2 weeks in primary, it was straight into the bottle. After 2 weeks in the bottle, it was straight into my stomach.

Now, just about everything gets 5 weeks in the primary. Then I'll test a bottle after 2 weeks, but don't plan on really starting to drink it till 3 weeks.

I think it makes me appreciate it more, knowing that I've let it age for a few weeks longer.

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Old 04-09-2009, 05:31 PM   #10
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I have some Stone IPA clone from November that's been sitting in the brew closet, bottle conditioning for over 4 months, and it is EXCELLENT! It was good months ago, but it doesn't compare to the complexity and luscious head that it has after months in the bottle. It's a good ideal to leave a couple of six packs in a cool, dark place and forget about them. Then surprise yourself later on and compare to how it used to taste. 10 gallon batches help for that.

I'm about to start kegging, so not sure that I'll be letting anything age that long anymore.

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