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Old 09-06-2006, 04:09 PM   #1
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Default aging: keg vs. bottle vs. secondary, cold vs. room temp

I've been thinking about this and think we've even discussed it before, but we never really came to a resolution. I'm a new kegger.

Our beers get better in the bottle after time, I know that from experience. But they are bottle conditioned and kept at room temperature.

What if our kegs are force carbed and put in the fridge immediately? Would they still improve with age? Would they age better if we left them in our secondary for a couple of months or does the CO2 provide something they need in order to improve? What if we force carbed and left at room temp?

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Old 09-06-2006, 04:38 PM   #2
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As a new kegger myself, what little evidence I can offer is that they do improve with time and I have naturally conditioned some and forced carbed others. It doesn't really seem to matter.

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Old 09-06-2006, 06:43 PM   #3
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Now, perhaps I've got my technical terms wrong but...

I believe there is a difference between conditioning and carbonation. While one can shortcut carbonation by force carbing one cannot force conditioning to happen-- it's one of those things that takes time.

Conditioning in a keg is probably going to be your better option. Since conditioning is best done at a stable, cellar or lower temp, the larger mass of a keg makes it more resistant to cyclical changes in the ambient temp.

Additionally with a keg, if you are going to condition for a long period of time (months or years) you can pull off the yeast cake that develops in unfiltered beer in order to avoid the off flavors that can develop in beer that sits too long on a dead cake.

What temp should you condition at? It all depends on what you're trying to accomplish-- lagering, for example, involves conditioning the beer
at refridgerated temps.

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Old 09-06-2006, 06:59 PM   #4
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There is no difference between force carbing and bottle carbing as far as taste. UNLESS you use some sub standard sugar to bottle with. Then the bottle beer will taste worse than the kegged/force carbed beer.

As far a Temp. for Conditioning/aging. That only affects the time it takes to carb/age. It does not affect the taste in any way...unless you are using a Lager Yeast. That is a special situation though.

Lets say you have a bottle brew that will age out in 8 weeks @ 68 degrees. You want this beer to last longer because you are saving it for a special occasion. You can store it in the fridge and it will age slower.

Lets say you have a keg that will age out in 8 weeks @ 45 degrees and you want to hurry it up. You can store it @ 68 degrees and it will age quicker.


Carbon dioxide does affect the aging process. Carbon Dioxide combined with Water is Carbonic Acid. Small amounts of Carbon Dioxide in our beer combines with water to form small amounts of this acid.(The rate constants are 0.039 s−1 for the forward reaction (CO2 + H2O → H2CO3) and 23 s−1 for the reverse reaction (H2CO3 → CO2 + H2O).) This acid aides in the intermingling of flavors and the breakdown and development of Flavors. So it needs to be present for aging.

Some chemists may argue that with me but non-the-less.....the acidity constant of the beer is raised by adding CO2. The acidity constant of Carbon Dioxide is 6.36. So raising acidity is going to affect the beer....therefore CO2 must be present to age the beer correctly.

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Old 09-06-2006, 07:05 PM   #5
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So you don't think the addition of CO2 makes any difference?

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Desert Planet Brewing Co.

Primary :Bloody Nose Porter
Primary 2: Bloody Nose Porter
Secondary: Blackberry Melomel
Secondary 2:air
Bottled : 14 Pound Hammer Cider, Punkin Ale, know ale, Domino wheat
Keg 1: **** Inside Her
Keg 2: IPA
Keg 3: one on a weeknight, two on a weekend IIPA
Future : Ginger Cream Ale,

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Old 09-06-2006, 07:14 PM   #6
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Not an issue.

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Old 09-06-2006, 07:32 PM   #7
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It is a big issue.

Carbed beer ages correctly. Flat beer does not.

Extended Secondary Fermenter aging can be harmful to the beer. Any more time than is needed to clarify the beer will hurt the beer. There is only a certain amount of time before the yeast dies and gives off nasties. (Lagers excluded)

"Aging" is only accomplished with a carbonated or carbonating beer.

You can keg the beer and not carb it. Let it sit and age. Then Carb the beer when you think it is ready to drink and the beer will not be aged completely. It will need to sit after you carb it to age some more. The beer needs carbonation to age.

Did you not read my above post on Carbonic Acid/Acidity???

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Old 09-06-2006, 08:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougjones31

Did you not read my above post on Carbonic Acid/Acidity???
I did-- but I didn't see your commentary on Carbonic acid/acidity in it at the time of my response.
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Old 09-08-2006, 02:41 PM   #9
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I'm kegging some beer this weekend. How long will it take to force carbonate, say at 10 PSI at 40 degrees? I used to crank it up to 30 PSI for a day, disconnect the gas, vent it, and then pressurize at 10. I just want to take my time, but I need it ready by next Saturday.

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Old 09-08-2006, 02:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdWort
I'm kegging some beer this weekend. How long will it take to force carbonate, say at 10 PSI at 40 degrees?
Just a few days
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