Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > How do you age a brew when kegging?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-18-2012, 06:36 AM   #1
Justintoxicated
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 257
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default How do you age a brew when kegging?

I always see stuff like, wait 6 months for your beer to condition in bottles, or wait 6 weeks at least for best results.

But what about When you keg? I read somewhere than once you get the keg on Co2 I'ts pretty much done conditioning? If thats the case, then how do I know when it's time to keg? Do I condition in a secondary for an extended period of time instead?

For example, I just brewed a black imperial IPA, directions say to put it into a secondary and dry hop once fermentation is finished. then wait another week and then bottle and wait for 6 weeks for best results.

But I'm planning to keg it, and it's nearly done fermenting after only a week (it had a fierce fermentation where I lost about 1/4th gallon through the blow off tube and 3 1/2 gallon growler changes.

Should I leave it in the primary for an extra week then 2 weeks in the secondary and call it good? Or do I need to keg it and then wait, etc?

__________________
Justintoxicated is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-18-2012, 11:12 AM   #2
RM-MN
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Solway, MN
Posts: 6,773
Liked 772 Times on 646 Posts
Likes Given: 261

Default

Longer time in the primary fermenter seems to mature beer just as well or better than time in the bottles. If I leave my beer in the primary for only a week (not recommended) and then bottle, it takes weeks for the beer to mature. If I leave the same kind of beer in primary for 2 weeks, the time needed in the bottles to achieve the same maturity level is reduced by more than that week. The time to mature is also related to the grains in the beer and the amount of alcohol. A nice light color session beer might be mature in 2 weeks but a dark stout takes much longer and a barleywine takes nearly forever (it seems that way).

Your Black Imperial IPA is a problem. It's a dark beer so it takes a bit longer to mature, it has higher alcoholic content so it takes longer to mature, and it is an IPA so it needs to be consumed within a reasonably short time to keep the hop flavor. I'd leave this in the fermenter for a couple months before dry hopping in that same fermenter for a week or so and then keg it.

__________________
RM-MN is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-18-2012, 12:21 PM   #3
LKABrewer
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
LKABrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Mineral, VA
Posts: 489
Liked 23 Times on 19 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

You can always keg your beer, put enough pressure on it to seal the keg, and then leave it at room temperature to age. You can even carb it while it ages; you just need to use more pressure. I age my beer in kegs @ 68* and 25psi. When I am ready to drink, I chill the keg for 48 hours and it is carbed well.

For that IPA, I would age it in the keg for 3-4 weeks, then dry-hop right in the keg. Be sure to use a hop sock.

__________________

For homebrew supplies and equipment in Fredericksburg, VA go to thebrewshop.biz.

LKABrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-18-2012, 12:34 PM   #4
Yesfan
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yesfan's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cleveland, TN
Posts: 756
Liked 55 Times on 49 Posts
Likes Given: 212

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKABrewer View Post
You can always keg your beer, put enough pressure on it to seal the keg, and then leave it at room temperature to age. You can even carb it while it ages; you just need to use more pressure. I age my beer in kegs @ 68* and 25psi. When I am ready to drink, I chill the keg for 48 hours and it is carbed well.

For that IPA, I would age it in the keg for 3-4 weeks, then dry-hop right in the keg. Be sure to use a hop sock.


That's what I'm thinking about doing with my next batch. I have a keezer project I like to start on, but it's going to be sometime before I can gather all the parts needed. I figured I can just brew another batch and instead of bottling, just move it to a keg and let it sit in my basement until I finish the keezer. I can stay more focused on my keezer and the beer can age at the same time. When I'm done with the keezer, I'll already have a keg ready to chill and tap. Win, win.
__________________
Yesfan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-18-2012, 01:13 PM   #5
wheels4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Clayton, NC
Posts: 157
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

There is more then one way to do this with good results. I have the ability to have 6 kegs carbing at any one time. I ran out of space once and did the following with great results on my IBUtocious IPA. I left it in primary for 2 weeks then transfered to secondary and dry hopped. Left it there for a week then moved to a keg and carbed in the keg with sugar. I used 2.06 oz. of corn sugar which I boil in 4oz. of water for 15 minutes then let cool to room temp. Put sugar water in keg and rack on top. I hit the keg with 30lbs. of co2 to seat the oring then purge the co2 out of it. Leave it for 2-3 weeks and your done. I also do what LKABrewer does but both work with good results. In fact I will be doing the sugar thing today with a pale and a stout. Good luck!

__________________

Beer.....the lubricant to social intercourse.

BackSide Brewing

wheels4 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-18-2012, 01:32 PM   #6
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 61,622
Liked 4621 Times on 3355 Posts
Likes Given: 905

Default

Think of the word "conditioning" as also meaning "maturing".

Most beers under about 1.055 or so, if properly made, can be ready to drink in a relatively short period of time. A beer like a mild with an OG of 1.036 can be very drinkable in 10 days. A "bigger" beer, say a barley wine, may be best in a year.

In the middle are most other beers. Most ales, again if properly made, are really good in 3-6 weeks. There are many things that go into maturation of the beer, like complexity of the grainbill, so any timeline is dependent on the beer itself.

I have many IPAs and APAs that I'm drinking and enjoying by week 3. But I have an oatmeal stout, with an OG of 1.050 only, that just doesn't come together well until about week 5. The roastiness needs time to meld with the sweet crystal malt.

Since beer ages faster at room temperature, beers that need a little time can be stored at room temperature until they are ready. Cold storage and cellar temperatures slow down beer's aging, so for beers that are at their peak, storing them cool means they will last longer.

All that to say this- if a beer is ready, it's ready. If it has been at FG for at least several days and is starting to clear, it's ready to package. It may or may not be ready to drink, though! If the beer is an ale with a relatively low OG and a not very complex malt bill, it will probably be ready to drink. If it's got a ton of dark malts and complex flavors and things like oak, it might not be ready to drink for 6 months.

Overall, I leave most of my non-complex ales in the fermenter for 10-14 days and then keg and drink when they are carbed up. That's all the time they need. Again, it does depend on the beer. I hope that helps a little!

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
Justintoxicated Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-18-2012, 05:30 PM   #7
BrewHobby1
Lifetime Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
BrewHobby1's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 68
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default

I have to agree with all Yooper said.

I have been legging for five years and have not found a lot of info on aging\maturing in a keg. I have learned by trial and error.

My standard practice is as follows:

My fermentation time in glass is determined by the type of beer, although most sit on the yeast for at least three weeks (me being lazy).
I CO2 transfer from glass to a clean sanitized CO2 filled corny at 4psi.
After the corny lid is seated and sealed I put it straight in the kegerator and pressurize to the style and carbonation level desired.
I then taste it each day,curiosity. The taste changes significantly while the CO2 level rises. After about a week the taste will stabilize to the desired CO2 level. If the beer does not seem ready (i.e. diacetyl or fusel alcohol notes, etc.) then I pull it off CO2 and put it in my chest freezer at fermentation temp to age for at least three weeks. In my limited experience, yeast will still be available and active if I keep the carbonation pressure below 20psi. I think this is supported by the Yeast book.

This keg aging has been totally experimental and as always to what I like to drink and share with friends.

Hope this helps.

__________________
BrewHobby1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-18-2012, 05:59 PM   #8
david_42
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
david_42's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,654
Liked 135 Times on 128 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justintoxicated View Post
I read somewhere than once you get the keg on Co2 I'ts pretty much done conditioning?
No, but you can follow exactly the same timing as for bottling. If you chose to take a longer time in the fermenter and force carbonate the keg, you still need to give the beer 4-5 days to adjust to the change in pH.
__________________

Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

david_42 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-18-2012, 06:28 PM   #9
Justintoxicated
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 257
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

The directions for this black IPA say 5-6 days in primary then rack to secondary for 5-6 days with the dry hops. (From Austin Home Brew). Fermented crazy fast and violently. Spilled out of my 1/2 gallon growler and into the fermentation chamber twice!

I don't think I want wait another month before I drink my beer, I just finished my first keg last weekend. I need to at least move to a secondary to free up my primary so I can start brewing something else.

I'm doing a batch of apfelwein too so between the 2 large carboys there is no space left to do anything else.

When you say I can leave to age in the secondary (or in the keg I would imagine) at room temp, what temperature range is that? My room temp right now is 83-90.

This black IPA had a final gravity of 1.078. I'm thinking to leave it in the primary for another week, then transfer to a secondary and dry hop for a week and then keg? And then carb the keg and start sampling?

I'm starting to think I should look into buying more corney kegs to use for secondaries? I can fit 4 of those in my fermentation chamber / freezer, but only 2 glass carboys. I have 2 chest freezers, one for cooling the kegs and one for fermenting, and I'm already feeling the constraints, and its only my second batch of beer I do have botteling gear I picked up as well but have yet to use. but since sealing the keg and aging that was is basically the same thing I'm not seeing any advantage to that then.

__________________
Justintoxicated is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-18-2012, 06:58 PM   #10
BrewHobby1
Lifetime Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
BrewHobby1's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 68
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default

The yeast has a fermentation temp range. Different temps in the range produce different tastes. Temp control on fermentation can be important. You can find the yeast on the manufacturer's website.

__________________
BrewHobby1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kegging up my brew RichieB1983 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 0 06-28-2012 06:09 PM
Kegging my first brew tonight teaser452 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 01-27-2012 10:51 PM
Kegging alds15 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 12-24-2011 12:09 AM
New Brewer, double check my brew and kegging/Siph steps? TheSlash Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 12-10-2010 03:13 AM
do you record date by brew date or bottling/kegging date? jigidyjim Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 15 01-03-2010 01:43 AM