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Old 02-17-2014, 12:39 PM   #1
mbtmm
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Default What's the difference? Fermenter conditioning/bottle conditioning?

This title may be a bit misleading. Basically, I'm wondering how your beer conditions differently after you transfer it off of the yeast cake and into a bottle. I understand the carbonation process and all. I just want to know the benefits/drawbacks of aging and conditioning in both stages.


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Old 02-17-2014, 12:48 PM   #2
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Leaving your beer on the yeast cake for a brief amount of time after the primary fermentation can be useful. Yeasts produce some precursor alcohols during early fermentation while they are consuming all of those malt sugars. These include "off" flavor sources such as acetylaldehyde and diacetyl. By letting the beer rest on the yeast cake for an additional week after fermentation has ended, the remaining yeast will turn on these early alcohols and convert them, eliminating the off flavors. This is known as a diacetyl rest.

Beer is a living thing. Some beers are meant to be consumed young, such as IPA's or hop forward beer styles. Hops begin fading the moment they are used in your beer, and a fresh hopped ale isn't the same beer at all six months down the road. Other beers, such as high gravity barleywines, old ales and others benefit from a long time in the bottle. These beers can be quite bitter and tend to mellow out and mature in flavor once they've conditioned for a long time (greater than six months). They'll develop complex flavors on their slow, gradual decay into vinegar. Usually, the higher the alcohol the beer, the more "Cellerable" it's considered. The higher alcohol content helps retard the slow gradual decline of the beer and several beers can be kept for years in a cool, dark, dry environment (if not decades).

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Old 02-17-2014, 06:02 PM   #3
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So I guess my issue is that it seems like when you bottle there is a perceived time table reset. That aging in the fermenter is more about clarity whereas aging in the bottle is more about flavor. Is that a misconception on my part?


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Old 02-17-2014, 06:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbtmm View Post
So I guess my issue is that it seems like when you bottle there is a perceived time table reset. That aging in the fermenter is more about clarity whereas aging in the bottle is more about flavor. Is that a misconception on my part?


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Aging in the fermentor is for cleaning up off flavors and allowing time for the yeast and the sediments churned up by fermentation to settle out.
Bottle conditioning is for carbonation and mellowing of flavors for the high gravity beers.
High gravity beers take longer to carbonate because of the alcohol content.
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:55 AM   #5
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Default What's the difference? Fermenter conditioning/bottle conditioning?

If i may ride on this line of questioning, during bottling conditioning, do you store at the same recommended temperature during fermentation?

Oops, never mind. I saw a post that answered my question.

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