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Old 12-27-2010, 04:33 PM   #1
Ineedaride2
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Default Original Gravity and bottle conditioning

I'm noticing a trend after the 5 or 6 extract brews I've done, plus perusing this board.

Is it fair to say that the higher the OG or ABV of the beer you're brewing, the longer the bottle conditioning should last? Is it the complexity of the ingredients in a particular beer that's more important? Both?

I follow the directions on the recipes, but I don't really know why some beers require more aging than others.


As a followup, are there any styles that require a very long fermentation in the primary/secondary, and why do they need it?



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Old 12-27-2010, 04:36 PM   #2
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The 3 weeks at 70 degrees, that we recommend is the minimum time it takes for average gravity beers to carbonate and condition. Higher grav beers take longer.

Stouts and porters have taken me between 6 and 8 weeks to carb up..I have a 1.090 Belgian strong that took three months to carb up.

Temp and gravity are the two factors that contribute to the time it takes to carb beer. But if a beer's not ready yet, or seems low carbed, and you added the right amount of sugar to it, then it's not stalled, it's just not time yet.

Everything you need to know about carbing and conditioning, can be found here Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning. With emphasis on the word, "patience."

Read the above blog, and come back to the beer in a couple more weeks.

If a beer isn't carbed by "x number of weeks" you just have to give them ore time. If you added your sugar, then the beer will carb up eventually, it's really a foolroof process. All beers will carb up eventually. A lot of new brewers think they have to "troubleshoot" a bottling issue, when there really is none, the beer knows how to carb itself. In fact if you run beersmiths carbing calculator, some lower grav beers don't even require additional sugar to reach their minimum level of carbonation. Just time.

Lazy Llama came up with a handy dandy chart to determine how long something takes in brewing, whether it's fermentation, carbonation, bottle conditioning....

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Old 12-27-2010, 04:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response. I'll check the link out.


Edit: Also, as to what spurred my question...

My first three beers were amber ales and an IPA. Directions were basically 3 to 4 weeks in the fermenter, then 2 weeks bottle conditioning. Did that, and everything worked out great. It seemed like the longer the ale conditioned, the better it got, but the longer the IPA conditioned, the less I liked it. Probably had something to do with the high hoppiness of the dry-hopped IPA. Could've been my imagination.

So now I've got a Pliny and Old Rasputin clone in the fermenters, and the recommended bottle conditioning time was 6 weeks / 6 months, respectively. So then I started wondering if some people just "know" the general aging guidelines for different styles of beer, or if it's something that's memorized or looked up for each brew. I don't mind it either way, I was just curious.

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