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Old 11-13-2006, 03:15 PM   #1
debtman7
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Default aging your kegs?

Anyone have tips on aging beer along with force carbonating in kegs? When I stick them in the keg, they still need to age with co2 present right? Do you chill it, hook it up to co2 to carbonate, then warm it back up and stick it in the basement? Or just hook it up to 30 PSI and shake it like crazy, then store it? Can I just leave it in secondary for a month and age there?

I've seen people say that you have to age it while carbonated to properly age a beer but I've googled this and can't find anything on it.

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Old 11-13-2006, 04:07 PM   #2
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I don't know anyone (at least locally) who carbonates kegs before aging. I'll put a little pressure on a keg to be certain the lid is sealed, but they get carbonated in the kegger after aging for at least a month. I've purchased enough kegs that I can age everything in the keg (and built an aging chest that holds 14 kegs). Kegs take up less room than a fermenter, be it bucket of carboy, and if you purchase them used, the cost difference is minor.

Then there are the CAMRA folks (http://www.camra.org.uk/) who insist real ale should never have any CO2 on it, even to keep air out of the keg. I guess if you drink it fast enough ...

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Old 11-13-2006, 04:22 PM   #3
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Please do a search on the kegging vs. shaking issue- it gets beaten to death at least once a week here.

I've seen pilsener beer lagered under pressure at major breweries, and I've seen others do it in vented to atmosphere.

Either way is 'correct' AFAIC, time and temperature are the key.

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Old 11-13-2006, 04:22 PM   #4
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Same as david - I usually just seal up the kegs and let 'em age w/o carbonation. I have, however, had a few multi-month brewing stoppages and have kept a few kegs carbonated and under pressure that have aged well also.

Those "Real Ale" people kill me. I hope, just for consistency, they also practice Real Medicine (no anesthesia, sanitization, modern equipment pushed on the doctors by the big insurance corporations), Real Transportation (animals) and Real Communication (no telephones, no email, no internet that The Man could control). With their intentionally condescending wording, it is easy to come across like Real A**holes.

......scampers away to crack open a Fake Ale.

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Old 11-13-2006, 04:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiery Sword
Those "Real Ale" people kill me. I hope, just for consistency, they also practice Real Medicine (no anesthesia, sanitization, modern equipment pushed on the doctors by the big insurance corporations), Real Transportation (animals) and Real Communication (no telephones, no email, no internet that The Man could control). With their intentionally condescending wording, it is easy to come across like Real A**holes.
They're like the La Leche league, if La Leche was a bunch of semi-alcoholic men instead of breastfeeding women.

Real brewers don't drink real ale. Real Brewers realize that innovation happens for a reason. I wonder if they collect rainwater, grow their own grains and use wild yeast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Camra Website
Keg beer undergoes the same primary fermentation as real ale but after that stage it is filtered and/or pasteurised. No further conditioning can therefore take place. It is known in the brewing trade as ‘brewery-conditioned’ beer. The beer lacks any natural carbonation which would have been produced by the secondary fermentation and so carbon dioxide has to be added artificially. This leads to an over gassy product. Today some keg beers have a mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide added; these are known as nitro-keg beers.
Who here filters and pasteurizes? Even without the addition of more fermentables, some CO2 will be produced naturally by a homebrewed kegged beer with CO2.
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
I don't know anyone (at least locally) who carbonates kegs before aging. I'll put a little pressure on a keg to be certain the lid is sealed, but they get carbonated in the kegger after aging for at least a month. I've purchased enough kegs that I can age everything in the keg (and built an aging chest that holds 14 kegs). Kegs take up less room than a fermenter, be it bucket of carboy, and if you purchase them used, the cost difference is minor.
Ok, well that is what I'm planning on doing, but then I've read someone on here saying that without CO2 it won't really age. I haven't found any reliable source that backs that up though, so I guess I won't worry about it... Much more convenient to get some kegs and give them a shot of gas and stick them in the basement
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:16 PM   #7
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Beer will age without being carbed but it ages slowly and never matures completely.

Do a test. Brew a 10 gallon batch and put it into 2 kegs. Carb one and just seal the other and let them age for 2 months then carb the uncarbed beer and tap both kegs and compare.

I have done the comparison. The CO2-aged beer was better.

It is simple. CO2 combines with water to form Carbonic Acid......this also changes the PH of the beer. The ph level and the carbonic acid are important to the aging process. You need them for a beer to properly mellow.

Now....don't worry....the Non CO2 aged beer is not ruined. Once you Carb it, it completes the aging process over the next few week....IF it lasts that long. If it does not last that long then you do not know what the mature beer would have tasted like.

Ever note that "CO2 bite" or twang in your beer. It usually goes away with aging, but if you carb after you age then you will still have that "Bite" for a couple weeks until it finishes mellowing.



Yes....I am another evolutionist. I am not a traditionalist. I believe that brewing is improved with the use of technology....an evolution of brewing, if you will. Bottled CO2 is a wonderful thing!

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Old 11-13-2006, 05:51 PM   #8
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In the past I have never aged my kegs under pressure. I was thinking about it the other day and I usually really start to get the good stuff right when the keg is about to empty. I am now trying to age my current porter with CO2 connected and at room temp. I will then chill and adjust pressure as necessary.

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Old 11-13-2006, 05:52 PM   #9
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I suspect that many of you are missing the point of "Real Ale." Most homebrewers I know spent at least the beginning portion of their time in this hobby bottling their own brews. In effect, this process is making "real ale." As for the ale having no CO2 on it, this is also a myth.

Real ale is cask conditioned. This means that the finished beer is transferred to a keg along with some priming sugar (or transferred to the keg just prior to the fermentation being completed). The fermenting beer creates CO2 under pressure - i.e naturally conditioned/bottle conditioned/etc. Then the beer is served without the assistance of CO2. This is the only time that the beer is left open to the atmosphere. There is slight carbonation, but remember that traditionally all English beers are lightly carbonated as a rule anyway.

In fact, the sparkler is used on the beer engine to release any of the CO2 that is present in the product at the time of serving. Such a device would not be necessary if there was no CO2 present in the beer at all.

The analogy of Real Ale to Real Medicine, etc. doesn't work for me. I don't see how the two movements are similar. CAMRA's real ale movement is a reaction against corporate/commercial/industrial beers dominating a market in which the local brewer trying to make beers locally were losing a place in the English culture. It is a reaction against the BMC's of the world in which the "art" of brewing beer is lost to capitalism.

I would think that the audience of this board would have a special place in their heart for such a movement, yet I am surprised to see otherwise.

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Old 11-13-2006, 06:08 PM   #10
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The only "movement" I like is the one I have every morning!

I just want to brew the best tasting beer I can. I have discovered that carbing my kegs immediately and aging them under pressure gives me the best tasting beer.


My rationale comes from looking at how beer has been stored in the past. I cannot think of any method of storing beer that did not allow for natural carbonation during aging. Casks or barrels are sealed and allowed for natural carbonation. Bottles allow for natural carbonation, Cans do also.

It is just common sense that beer be carbonated then aged. I have argued this arguement many times and I finally did a test to find out the truth. The results are that you should carb your beer then age it.

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