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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Bottle Conditioning vs Keg Conditioning

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Old 07-29-2010, 12:48 AM   #1
Meatball358
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Default Bottle Conditioning vs Keg Conditioning

Pretty straight forward question...just wondering what the difference is regarding time needed, quality of beer, etc between the 2

thanks

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Old 07-29-2010, 11:37 AM   #2
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The variable is are you carbing in the bottle. If you are just asking conditioning a beer in a bottle shot from a keg vs beer left in the keg to condition, it is the same.

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Old 07-29-2010, 10:35 PM   #3
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I Suppose I shouldve been more specific sorry about that...I was referring to conditioning beer which had been carbed and bottled from a keg vs beer that had been carbed with priming sugar in the bottle

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Old 10-10-2011, 05:06 PM   #4
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i hate necroposting, but maybe reviving this thread would help my understanding of bottle conditioning versus "keg conditioning" if there is such a thing.

Revvy's thread 'Bottling Tips For The Homebrewer' makes the recommendation to let your bottles sit 3 weeks @ 70 degrees minimum, and he describes this allows the co2 to absorb back into the beer, but also for the flavors to marry (and he compares it to leftover sphaghetti sauce, chili, etc). I personally can vouch for this, and I'm sure everybody else here can also.

When you keg, you force carbonate so that part of the equation is removed (and yes, I know it's much easier to sanitize one vessel vs 50, and less time to keg vs bottle, blah blah blah). my necro post really is to address if you also wait 3 weeks in the keg to allow flavors to marry?

Some keggers make comments like a time saving factor of kegging is that you don't have to wait for conditioning time. Now I'm guessing they're referring to co2, . . . . or are they also referring to the marrying of flavors? Are they saying flavor marrying is inconsequential when it comes to kegging?

This is a learning process for me, and I've got stored bottles all over my garage now. Just thinking about kegging, but I'd like to understand it more.

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Old 10-10-2011, 05:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
my necro post really is to address if you also wait 3 weeks in the keg to allow flavors to marry?

Some keggers make comments like a time saving factor of kegging is that you don't have to wait for conditioning time. Now I'm guessing they're referring to co2, . . . . or are they also referring to the marrying of flavors? Are they saying flavor marrying is inconsequential when it comes to kegging?
for most people who keg, they falsely (mostly unconsiously) equate "being carbonated" to "being ready" since there is no real clear indicator when a beer has properly aged, flavor-wise. when people claim kegging is "faster", they are really only talking about carbonation and disregarding flavor. not necessarily because flavor doesnt matter, but just because exactly when a beer is "aged completely" is highly subjective. carbonation level is pretty clear, and is more commonly used as an objective indicator of 'done-ness'.

if you want to age a beer, as in letting the flavors intermingle and mellow, its going to take the same amount of time either way. the only difference that i could think of between bottle conditioning and force carbonating in a keg, would be the small amount of priming sugar you *might* taste (either in extra sweetness or slightly higher ABV). emphasis on the 'might' because its a very small amount, most often you wouldnt notice unless you had a side-by-side comparison.

Quote:
Just thinking about kegging, but I'd like to understand it more.
if you are doing more than, say, 2 or 3 five-gallon batches a month, its really worth it for a keg setup IMO.
like you said- sanitizing only one container, having ability to control and correct CO2 pressure, and also being able to pour yourself half a glass (which can be dangerous, actually. i end up pouring more than twice as many half-glasses!), and experiment with mixing different beers. etc.

the downsides are
-you have to have something to chill your keg(s) in
-you have to buy CO2 tank, taps, lines
-harder to transport than bottles
-harder to give your beer away to people (could also be a pro)
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audger View Post
when people claim kegging is "faster", they are really only talking about carbonation and disregarding flavor.
well that's kind of what i was thinking. so when i start kegging, and i force carbonate and start drinking my beer after a couple days, i'm still drinking carbonated green beer?
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:37 PM   #7
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I think bottles tend to be better sooner. You drink from the bottom of a keg. The part you pull from is the last to clear up. The 12oz in a bottle clears much faster. I've never had a bottle take more than 10 days to fully carb. I've bottled and kegged the same 10 gallon batch many times and it always proves the same.

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Old 10-10-2011, 07:11 PM   #8
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so it sounds like from your perspective, no matter how you slice it, it all ends up tasting the same in the end.

perhaps another advantage of bottle conditioning is that it really discourages you from cracking one open too early. not only do you get green beer, but you get undercarbonated beer. you can drink kegged beer almost immediately b/c you can get it carbonated, but how far into your keg do you get before it's not 'green' anymore . . . and who knows, maybe by that time you've drank the heavier coagulated part, and the upper half can't marry with anything because you drank the lower half already. am i splitting hairs?

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Old 10-10-2011, 11:40 PM   #9
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Nothing preventing you from racking to a keg, give it a shot of c02 to seal and then age the same way you would a bottle. When you area ready put it on the c02 fulltime to carbonate....

Edit: btw, I'm in that group that just racks, hooks up to c02 & starts drinking when carbed, you can certainly taste the beer mature over the course of the keg..... while others may find this to be impatient, I enjoy experiencing the beers as it matures.

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Old 10-11-2011, 03:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zokfend View Post
so when i start kegging, and i force carbonate and start drinking my beer after a couple days, i'm still drinking carbonated green beer?
Depends on the beer. If it's a DIPA or an RIS, then, yeah, you can definitely get it carbed long before it's really ready to drink.

If it's a Hefe, they're best when young (IMHO).

But you're on the right track realizing that aging (conditioning) and carbonating are two separate issues.
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