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-   -   question about aging in bottles (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/question-about-aging-bottles-11680/)

mathieu 07-29-2006 02:49 PM

question about aging in bottles
Hi. I'm just working on my second batch -- and my first not from a kit. I made what should be an ale of sorts (flavored with ginger!). I pitched the yeast at high temperature, but it seems to have fermented alright, and then the beer was bottled nine days ago (last thurs.) The yeast I used is white labs english ale yeast. The bottles have been in my basemement, where it's 72 degrees. What I wanted to ask is, how long should I age the beer in the bottles? Is there a chart out there to determine how long different beers should age in the bottle? n I'm anxious to dig in, but I don't want to try it before it's ready.


Yooper 07-29-2006 03:09 PM

It's been nine days and you haven't sampled it yet? I admire your restraint! I bottled two batches on Monday and have already been sampling!

Seriously, you could try one. You shouldn't expect tons of carbonation, and it'll still be kind of "green". It's only going to get better for the next three weeks. Try one (or two) each week until you're thrilled with it.

I'm a newbie, but that's my advice. Gives you something to look forward to, as it gets better and better.


mathieu 07-29-2006 05:30 PM

it would be nice to find some sort of chart or guideline for bottle times for various types of beer.

gnef 07-29-2006 05:52 PM

since you are new to homebrewing, i would say that there are very few 'definites' in homebrewing, and a lot of it is just winged, and people do what works best for them. generally speaking, it will take about 3 weeks for a beer to carbonate in bottles. but this is influenced by a lot of things. one thing, like you said is temperature. but also, how long did you put it in primary, or secondary, what kind of yeast, how much alcohol, etc. i would be very hard pressed to say there is a hard, set in stone rule, but people generally go by the three week mentality with bottles. or the 1-2-3 week for primary, secondary, bottling. me, i keg now, and do a bit different pattern now. most likely you will revise that methodology as well to fit your own needs/wants.

Exo 07-29-2006 05:52 PM

I bet at 3wks your beer will taste great!

mathieu 07-30-2006 12:50 PM

thanks for the sage advice. i think i will sample it at 2 wks, but will wait until 3 wks to really get into it.


cweston 07-30-2006 01:09 PM

Beer flavors change over time.

When a beer is young, the hops flavor and aroma are very strong, and they mellow over time.

Also, any spices or flavirings that you steep in the beer tend to be very strong initially and then mellow with time. So don't be discouraged if the ginger flavor in this batch is very powerful at first.

Most middle-gravity beers (1.045-1.065) tend to hit their prime somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 weeks after bottling (maybe about 9 weeks after brew day). The higer the gravity, the longer until they hit their prime, in general. Low gravity beers like milds and bitters are at their peak almost immediately.

Temperature also effects taste: if a beer has a really strong hops or spice flavor, try drinking it a little warmer, which brings out the malitness more. When the beer is kindof green, this often helps.

Eventually, you'll have more batches to choose from and you won't feel such an urge to drink the latest one before it's truly ready.

Chairman Cheyco 07-30-2006 09:55 PM

To further cweston's response, I've read one rule of thumb which is one week of conditioning for every ten points of OG.
This works well if you have lots of other stuff to drink but can be a little tedious, especially if you brew in the 1.050's like I do most of the time. The 1-2-3 rule works well until you develop the patience needed for properly aging beer.

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