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Old 03-08-2013, 02:26 AM   #1
Jsbeckton
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Default What to do with a Belgian???

I have not bottled beer since I got my kegging system about 2 years ago. My first Belgian (Golden Strong, 8.5%ABV) is sitting in the secondary at 1.006 and about to lager for a month but I am thinking that I would like to bottle this big beer since I see it lasting longer than most (unless its just too yummy). Plus it seems like a Belgian should just be in a dang bottle!

I have a counter pressure bottle filler so my first instinct would be to force carb to about 4 vols and bottle. I have heard Jamil say he doesn't bottle condition his Belgians, just kegs and didn't seem to make a big deal about it on the podcast. Am I really missing out on anything by not repitching, adding sugar and bottle conditioning? If so what about repitching and carbing in the keg then bottling? Is it worth the effort?

I don't mind the extra work if it will improve my Belgian beer but if its just for tradition I'd rather pass, I figure having it in bottles is already traditional enough.

P.S. I am going to make a Belgian Dark Strong next at about 10%, does this change anything? I am thinking I'd like to age that one for a year or so and then drink over the following year.

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Old 03-08-2013, 02:36 AM   #2
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I think the biggest reason to keg and fill the bottles from there would be to keep the nice clean,clear lagering intact. Plus there is no worry that you don't have enough yeast to carb, or that added yeast will "cloud" the beer when you pour.

I say keg to your co2 volume and bottle.

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Old 03-08-2013, 02:57 AM   #3
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You don't have to add extra yeast. There should be plenty in the beer.

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Old 03-08-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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Yeah, I would be in no hurry to get it to carb so I probably could get away without repitching but I think that I am still leaning towards force carb prior to bottling.

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Old 03-08-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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I never repitch. I bulk prime then bottle and condition for 4 months

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Old 03-08-2013, 03:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldood
I never repitch. I bulk prime then bottle and condition for 4 months
Do you feel that bulk priming improves the result over bulk force carb?
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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Another potential issue that just occurred to me using the counter pressure bottle filler when the beer will be at 4 volumes. Might be too foamy due to the huge pressure drop? Maybe I need longer beer line to reduce for this beer.

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Old 03-08-2013, 04:08 PM   #8
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The foam would be my concern too

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Old 03-09-2013, 04:06 AM   #9
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Turn the pressure down to 2 psi(just enough to push out o the keg) and chill the bottles in the fridge. Foam will be no problem. I bottle right out of my taps.

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Old 03-09-2013, 01:19 PM   #10
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While it certainly traditional to bottle condition any strong Belgian ale, and there is an argument that a bottle conditioning does improve shelf life (or at least encourages aging, as opposed to staling), I would think that so long as the beer is not filtered or pasteurized (i.e., there is live yeast in the bottle), you should get the same advantages in a force carbonated beer. I don't know of any hard data to back that assumption up, though.

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