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-   -   If you keep it in the fermenter for 2 months, is there a point to keg conditioning? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/if-you-keep-fermenter-2-months-there-point-keg-conditioning-118868/)

alpo 05-13-2009 03:30 PM

If you keep it in the fermenter for 2 months, is there a point to keg conditioning?
 
Forgive me, but I'm still a little fuzzy on the concept of aging. Which beer tastes better and why? Or which tastes the worst?

Assume all other variables are identical and we are making just a run-of-the-mill 5.5% ABV Reinheitsgebot amber ale.

Batch A:
Primary for 4 weeks, FG achieved after the first 14 days
Crash cool for 2 days
Rack to keg
Condition for 2 weeks
Force carb at serving pressure for a week
Total time - 51 days

Batch B:
Primary for 6 weeks, FG achieved after the first 14 days
Crash cool for 2 days
Rack to keg
Force carb at serving pressure for a week
Total time - 51 days

Batch C:
Primary for 4 weeks, FG achieved after the first 14 days
Rack to secondary, 2 weeks
Crash cool for 2 days
Rack to keg
Force carb at serving pressure for a week
Total time - 51 days

Smurfe 05-13-2009 03:36 PM

I'd rack it to a keg after the 13 days and let it age in the keg. I have never let one sit in primary for 4 weeks. I have in secondary. If I am going to use a secondary container I rack after a week to the secondary and maybe let it set a couple weeks in secondary at the most, basically for clearing. After it is clear I rack to the keg to age. I'd probably have half of it drank at the 51 day time frame.

Smurfe 05-13-2009 03:38 PM

I want to ask as well. Are you considering aging conditioning? I consider carbonation time as conditioning.

alpo 05-13-2009 03:41 PM

Yes, I am talking about aging.


That is pretty much what I do, but I was just wondering what the difference is between keg aging versus using a secondary or leaving it in the primary for an equal amount of time. I mean in terms of taste alone, not clarity.

Honestly, the main reason I move it to a keg after a couple weeks and let it age there is because I have a lot more kegs than fermenters, so it is easier to maintain a pipeline.

Nugu 05-13-2009 04:34 PM

Only thing I can think of is yeast works better when not under pressure, but at 2-3 weeks I would see that as being pretty moot as most of the cleaning up is probably done.

I'd imagine it conditions "faster" in a unpressurized vessel but in the end you should get the same results.

alpo 05-13-2009 04:58 PM

That is sorta what I am thinking, but I have only kegged 6 batches so far, so I haven't done a lot of experimentation.

david_42 05-13-2009 04:59 PM

Two weeks in the fermenter for clean up, equal time to tap and exactly the same carbonation process? I doubt you would be able to tell the difference.

Big10Seaner 05-13-2009 05:30 PM

For standard beers (OG not more than 1.55 or so) I usually leave in the primary 3-4 weeks, then keg and let it age in the keg for 2 weeks and carb it up. It's very clear going into the keg, and I never cold crash.

khiddy 05-13-2009 06:42 PM

One question: all of your scenarios involve force carbing at serving pressure. Have you tried priming the batch while racking to keg, only using CO2 in the keg to flush O2 and seat the lid, and then only using CO2 when serving at a low pressure just to move the beer?

I hear that using natural priming actually makes for finer bubbles and less harshness. But I haven't got enough kegs in my pipeline to try it yet...


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