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Old 12-21-2009, 11:39 PM   #1
Bassman
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Default How long to put bottle in fridge before drinking?

My ale will be in the bottle 2 weeks tomorrow. I know it is best to wait 3 weeks before consuming. But I would like to test it before Christmas to see if I should hand some out to family, plus I want to brew this weekend and want to make adjustments based on this brew.

So no problem.

But I have read to put the bottle in the fridge for 2 days before drinking and I wondering if that is necessary. Why not just one day or half a day. I would think ( assume ) that the beer will be cold and the carbonation will be evenly distributed.

Any thoughts?

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Old 12-21-2009, 11:52 PM   #2
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It's not necessary at all, but I recommend it. Bottle conditioned beer has yeast floating around and scavenging for sugar, this cleaning up the flavor of the beer and allowing all of the different flavors from the malt you used to be broken down and melded into the flavor of your beer. Yeast sediments at cooler temps, this will take away much of the yeast flavor.

Go ahead a put one in now and drink it up at your earliest convenience, but also put another bottle in with it and wait for 2 weeks and try it. You'll taste a difference. For this reason, I try to stay about 1 week ahead of my habit. Sunday is restock day for, and I restock when I have about a week of bottles left, so that there's plenty of time for the yeast to fall out.

I think a general rule is that carbonation takes about a week. It can be faster at higher temps, but generally it's done in 1 week in a bottle. However, bottle conditioning does wonders and the longer you wait, typically between 8-12 weeks, the better the beer gets.

Try out your beers at different points and ages. Try beers that are fermented, conditioned, and refrigerated for varying amounts of time. You'll be surprised at how snobbish even that experiment can make you.

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Old 12-21-2009, 11:54 PM   #3
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The longer it sits the more yeast will fall out of suspension. I have put many in during the day and drank the same night with success. I never noticed a huge difference but some may disagree.

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Old 12-21-2009, 11:56 PM   #4
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In my experience, quickly chilled, newly carbed homebrew won't absorb the co2 that well. It takes about a full day in the fridge for the co2 to actually move from the headspace into the beer. It happens best at cold temperatures, but not in just a couple of hours. After the beer has been fully carbed up for a while, then it can be chilled quickly and be ok but a beer that's just getting carbed up will sometimes pour with some foam and still appear to be flat.

You can try it, though! Put two in the fridge now. Try one later tonight, and try one in a day or two. The second one will be a "truer" indication of the amount of carbonation in the beer. They'll still taste good, even if a bit unevenly carbed.

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Old 12-22-2009, 12:16 AM   #5
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Mine always seem to taste better after a week or more in the fridge. There's plenty of posts about it you can search. I've tried several batches after only a day or 2 and thought the beer wasn't ready at all and then a week later, it was like a different beer. This has made me a firm believer in the 3 weeks (at least) at 70 and then 1 week in the fridge. It will keep you from wondering what went wrong with your beer (nothing was wrong, it just needed more time)

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Old 12-22-2009, 12:38 AM   #6
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Really depends on the beer and how it was primed. In my experience, bigger (OG not size) beers can be consumed as soon as they're cold (assuming they've primed in a warm environment for several weeks), but smaller beers tend to need to be cold for a couple days to get the right mouthfeel and to get the carbonation to stay after the pour. When I quick chilled some small beers, they would foam up on the pour, but tasted flat after the head settled. YMMV.

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Old 12-22-2009, 12:39 AM   #7
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I've been known to put a bottle in the freezer for an hour and drink it...as I'm sure many others do from time to time. It works, it's still beer, and it's cold. So if you're itching for a taste, go for it.

But.... as others have stated, it is definitely better after a day or so, and it clears significantly if given a week or two.

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Old 12-22-2009, 05:18 AM   #8
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Since I can't seem to remember every detail about every beer I drink, i don't think it really matters.

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Old 12-22-2009, 01:59 PM   #9
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I like to put it in the fridge for a day or two before I drink it.

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Old 12-22-2009, 04:09 PM   #10
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I put a bottle in this morning at 2 AM ( had the early shift today ). Tomorrow night I'm sampling. So that will be close to 2 days. This should be fun!

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