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Old 12-16-2011, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default bottling after 10 days

I'd like to ask you guys to give me at least three good reasons not to bottle the average gravity beer (1.040 - 1.050) after 10 days in primary.

The most common reasons for letting it stay for at least three weeks in primary are:

- Yeasts clean after themselves - OK, they clean after themselves, but I don't see a reason why they couldn't clean after themselves in the bottles. They are still active and they still do the same job as in the primary. They just change the location

- Let the beer condition a little bit - OK, I am letting it condition, but in the bottles. It will continue to condition in the bottles, what's the problem?

- Let the beer clear for some more time, otherwise you'll pull too much sediment in the bottles - OK, but most of my beers brewed with normal yeasts (1.040 - 1.050) get pretty damn clear after 10 days.

Recently I watched a documentary on a Belgian brewery - they brew 8% ABV beer from mash tun to bottles in 7 days! How do you explain this?

I really don't understand all this philosophy. I have a feeling that once upon a time someone said it should be bottled after 3 weeks earliest, and all the people stick to it, not even asking themselves does it have to be like that....

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Old 12-16-2011, 07:39 PM   #2
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But how does that green beer taste?
Beer conditions faster with it sitting on the mass yeast cake instead of the small amount in the bottle.

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Old 12-16-2011, 07:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmohno View Post
But how does that green beer taste?
Beer conditions faster with it sitting on the mass yeast cake instead of the small amount in the bottle.
if you let it sit in primary for 4 weeks and bottle, that beer still tastes bad. It needs at least 3 more weeks in the bottles to be fine.

The beer surely needs conditioning, but all I want to say is that the process of conditioning can be done in the bottles.

How do you explain the example from the Belgian brewery (and most commercial breweries) that I mentioned in my post? They all bottle or keg really way earlier than home brewers....
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:47 PM   #4
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Because there's MORE YEAST TO DO ALL THAT CONDITIONING IN THE PRIMARY.

The point of leaving it longer is to leave it IN CONTACT WITH THE LARGEST AMOUNT OF YEAST to do the job. Not a tiny little bit of yeast in the bottles, BUT THE YEAST CAKE.

That's why I think the beer taste better after a long primary instead of using a secondary, because you're leaving it in contact with the largest amount of yeast.

It's not like there's not a zillion threads with this info already in it.....You've been on here long enough to have been exposed to this crap a million times, so I don't know why you want to re-invent the dead horse wheel beater again, but here you go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by How To Brew
Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.
One of the big ones that the yeast will clean up if given time is Diacetyl- Professor beer explains it well.

Quote:

Professor_Beer_Diacetyl_Article

Three pathways lead to the creation of diacetyl. The first is through normal yeast metabolism. Brewer’s yeast form a precursor called alpha acetolactate (AAL), which is tasteless. This compound is converted to diacetyl as the beer ages. The reaction that changes AAL to diacetyl is accelerated by high temperature. At cool temperatures it will still occur, but more slowly.

Modern brewing practice dictates that beer be aged on live yeast until the vast majority of AAL is converted into diacetyl. Brewer’s yeast, while unable to metabolize AAL, will readily absorb and break down diacetyl into relatively flavorless compounds. By giving the beer enough contact time with the active yeast, the brewer can eliminate the diacetyl. It generally takes only about two weeks of aging an ale to assure that it will have no buttery flavors.
Also- "THE ROLE OF DIACETYL IN BEER
By Moritz Kallmeyer"

The Abstract begins...

Quote:
Diacetyl as a product of fermentation is more characteristic of ales than lagers. Diacetyl is produced early in the fermentation, and then most of it is reabsorbed by the yeast and reduced to flavourless compounds later on. Yeast strains differ markedly in their diacetyl reduction ability. Some ales and a few lagers (such as the famous Pilsner Urquell) contain perceptible amounts of diacetyl, but as a rule modern brewers consider it as a fault. This is because certain bacterial infections and other errors in brewing technique will increase diacetyl levels resulting in unacceptable beer aroma and flavour profile. This parameter thus serves as a quality check. However, it is important to remember that diacetyl flavour is a natural by-product of yeast fermentation, and in some beer styles it is an optional or even required flavour component in low amounts.
From here....


Drayman's Brewery and Distillery

There's two methods of rests listed in the Kallmeyer article...one for ales and warmer beers....interesting.

Quote:
Maturation of beer flavour requires the presence of yeast as a catalyst. There are many methods of finishing that have the sole objective of prolonging the contact of beer with yeast after primary fermentation is completed. I want to emphasize that a diacetyl rest with most of the yeast lying at the bottom of the tank and not enough in suspension is of no use. Most lager breweries, especially those that use Weinhenstephan 308 or similar “diacetyl producing yeast’s” employ a long diacetyl rest, in order to minimize diacetyl in the finished beer.

Method 1
If a very cold primary fermentation was used it involves allowing the beer temperature to rise from the controlled primary fermentation temperature of about 10°C to 15-18°C when the primary fermentation is coming to an end. Normally, the time is determined by the attenuation of the beer. If, for example the wort starting gravity was 1050 and the expected terminal gravity is 1010, then the diacetyl rest would be commenced when the beer has attenuated to about SG 1023 when two-thirds of the total fermentable material in the wort has been consumed. The diacetyl rest normally lasts for 48-72 hours, until primary fermentation is over and secondary fermentation is under way. At this time the temperature is lowered when the more traditional method is followed, probably 1°C per day until the lagering temperature of 0-1°C is reached.

Method 2
If a warmer primary fermentation temperature was used for ale or lager the diacetyl rest involves either lowering the beer temperature 2 or 3°C at the end of primary fermentation or keeping it constant for up to 6 days. In lager yeast strains with low diacetyl production it is common practise nowadays to employ a short diacetyl rest followed by centrifuging to remove excess yeast and then crash cooling to 0°C. When brewing ales, that should have very low diacetyl levels especially German Ales like Alt and Kölsch, the implications are to not use highly flocculent yeast and to allow an extended primary fermentation, albeit at cooler temperatures until sufficiently low diacetyl levels are reached. Yeast that settles in the cone is still removed on a daily basis.
We're talking yeast contact....not a little bit of bottle sediment contact, but the big enchilada.

Ok?

Personnaly I think you need both...You need fermenter yeast cleanup first, THEN if anything else needs to be cleaned up. Refermetation in the bottles/cleanup should take care of the rest.

But it's too seperate processes.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:49 PM   #5
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I keg most of my beer at 14 days and everything works out just fine for me. I believe the issue is certain highly vocal members of the forum are almost militant in the way they force their practices on others and view alternatives as poor technique. As a result they continue to regurgitate (read: copy and paste) their rants whenever anyone posts a question. This translates into the majority of the user base seeing these answers pop up time and time again and view it as being fact...

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Old 12-16-2011, 07:50 PM   #6
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If you use proper sanitation, pitch an adequate (proper) amount of yeast, properly aerate, and control fermentation temperatures, 10 days is more than adequate time in the fermenter.

The 4 week thing is a bit silly really. If you are a beginner and don't really know what you are doing, and do not control and fully understand the above factors, then 4 weeks is probably a fine and good idea.

However, if you are doing a good job with your processes and material handling, 7 days is normally all the yeast need to ferment and condition an average ale. The "common" understanding around here is a bit silly with the time if you are doing a good job controlling the process.

Ask yourself this: Do commercial breweries age all their beer for at least 4 weeks, then condition it for an additional 3? No.

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Old 12-16-2011, 07:53 PM   #7
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I think your reasoning is sound.

I leave mine in the fermentor for about 4 weeks. I have tried bottle aging, and bulk aging, and think it is better bulk aged, but that is my system and my perception, and there are as many homebrew methods as there are homebrewers.

I have bottled in 10 days with good results. If it works for you, carry on!

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Old 12-16-2011, 07:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
Ask yourself this: Do commercial breweries age all their beer for at least 4 weeks, then condition it for an additional 3? No.
This argument has been covered to death to. Most of the reasons they don't has more to do with economics than anything else.

But trying to compare what is done commercially, and why, and what is done on a homebrew scale I think is just as silly as you think leaving the beer in primary for a month is.

Guess what? I pitch plenty of yeast, I maintain good temp control, and I still find that my beer tastes better if I primary for a month. And so do the beer judges who taste my beers, both in contests and socially. I have several judges I brew with, and they drink my beer socially, and think that it is very clean and crisp tasting.

So to make it a "noob thing" like you're implying is plain stupid as well.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmohno View Post
But how does that green beer taste?
Beer conditions faster with it sitting on the mass yeast cake instead of the small amount in the bottle.
Ahh, but does it?

From what I understand, cleanup and condition are two different things. Yeast clean up after fermenting, removing various undesirable byproducts of fermentation. Conditioning is a process that is still not very well understood. A bunch of chemical reactions occur while a beer conditions, and from what I've read, it has not been completely analyzed. An average gravity beer does not really need to condition for any longer than a few weeks after fermentation+cleanup is done.

High gravity beers, on the other hand, do taste better after some conditioning. After aging a few of my beers for a couple months, the only thing I can say is that they taste smoother, rounder, and better. Specialty malts mellow and blend, hop bitterness fades, and the beer becomes more synergized with the individual ingredients in harmony rather than competition.

I believe that some high gravity beers benefit a lot more from aging than others. I have a tripel that is nearly six months old and pretty much tastes the same as it did at three months. On the other hand, I think my old ale will taste a lot more in tune after a few months conditioning.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 400d View Post
I really don't understand all this philosophy. I have a feeling that once upon a time someone said it should be bottled after 3 weeks earliest, and all the people stick to it, not even asking themselves does it have to be like that....
No actually it's because folks who have actually tried it, even after vehemently arguing against it, have found an improvement in their beers.

If it doesn't work for you, fine. But arguing about it is boring. Do it, don't do it, whatever.

Those of us who do it, do it because we've found an improvement in their beer. It's really that simple. We like how our beer tastes after doing it.
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