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Old 02-17-2014, 02:01 AM   #1
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Default Force carbonation

Is the purpose of bottle conditioning for taste or for carbonation? Is it alright that force carbonation skips this conditioning step entirely? Does it just depend on the beer? For instance must stouts condition but wheat beers can be force carbed?

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Old 02-17-2014, 02:07 AM   #2
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You can force carb any beer.

However, the 2-3 weeks it takes a beer to bottle condition (consume priming sugar) helps the beer, whether it is carbonating or not.

So if you brew a beer and it's at terminal gravity after 3 weeks in the primary, you can carb it in a keg in a couple days and then bottle from the keg. But it won't be drinkable (certainly not at its prime) for a couple weeks after that.

As with kegging, some beers are ready faster and peak sooner.

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Old 02-17-2014, 04:23 PM   #3
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Allow me to add to what Friesste said.

First off it doesn't so much depend on the beer as much as what you want from the beer and how much of a rush your in. Step by step; primary fermentation - should be in actually the only real fermentation, 1-3 weeks to allow full attenuation. Secondary fermentation - a conditioning step, off dead yeast and trub, allowing remaining yeast to clean up your beer and fall out of suspension. Bottle conditioning - 2-4 weeks with new fermentables resulting in carbonation and further 'clean up' of your beer.

Natural carbonation will also get you a 'nicer carbonation' smaller, finer co2 bubbles with less carbonic acid.

So generally when I brew I decide between 'quick and dirty', and 'I'm in no rush'. Quick and dirty - Ferment at the warmer end, around 70 degrees, that way fermentation is done in a week or two. Then rack into a keg with some clarifier (my new favorite is Biofine Clear) set at 12 psi and wait another week or two. Blow off sediment and enjoy, 3-4 weeks after brewing.

I'm in no rush - Cool fermentation with diacetyl rest, 3 weeks. Rack into secondary fermenter for a month. Into keg with priming sugar, for most of my beers I naturally carbonate / bottle condition in a keg, give it about a month. Hook it up, blow off sediment and enjoy, 3-4 months after brewing.

Bottle conditioning generally results in a nicer beer, I personally bottle condition most of my beers in a keg.
You can make great beers that go from primary into a keg and get force carbonated

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