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Old 12-16-2009, 03:45 PM   #1
tincob
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Default Primary only proponents: high gravity beer conditioning question

So like a lot of people, I only use a primary bucket (no secondary). I'm going to try cold crashing a UK red ale in the primary this week and I plan on dry hopping in the primary with my IIPA.

The question I have for you is what do you do for high gravity beers that call for long conditioning - like 2, 3, 6+ months? I'm talking about IIPAs, Wee-Heavys, Apfelwein, Holiday ales, etc.

I've heard that long term bulk conditioning has a lot of advantages over long term bottle conditioning as far as blending and smoothing out the flavors.

Do you keep them in your primary plastic bucket for that long? I know it's possible (there are plenty of people who've done it for even longer). The question is whether you actually condition them in your bucket for that long as your normal practice based on good results?

It seems like a glass carboy (as much as there are concerns about breakage) would be the perfect vehicle for long term bulk conditioning.

I'm trying to figure out what would be the best solution for high gravity beers...

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Old 12-16-2009, 03:49 PM   #2
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I too would like this answered.

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Doesn't blowing on it when its soft cause it to get hard? It's been a while, but I think that's how it used to work...

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Old 12-16-2009, 03:55 PM   #3
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I try and do as much as I can in the primary (like dry hopping), but for long term bulk aging, I use a secondary. My old ale was about 6 months in a glass carboy.

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Old 12-16-2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BioBeing View Post
I try and do as much as I can in the primary (like dry hopping), but for long term bulk aging, I use a secondary. My old ale was about 6 months in a glass carboy.
I do the same but I usually secondary in a keg as opposed to a carboy unless I'm dryhopping or putting in other adjuncts.

I primary for 1 month for all beers except low gravity session beers.
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:01 PM   #5
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I don't think there's anyone out there advocating primary only for all situations. Bulk aging is one of those exceptions, a glass secondary or a keg is the way to go.

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Old 12-16-2009, 04:02 PM   #6
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For bulk aging, just like lagering you you should rack it to secondary, after a month or two.....Once you've let the yeast do it's think in primary; i.e "clean up after itself," then you don't really need it to sit on the yeast cake any longer.

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Old 12-16-2009, 04:37 PM   #7
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Even if you do not have a kegging setup, cornies are a great way to age beer. No light, no break, and compact. When you want to bottle, you can siphon it to a bucket.

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Old 12-16-2009, 04:52 PM   #8
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I'm a primary only proponent, but for extended bulk aging for barleywines, lambics and the like, a secondary is obviously required. I've got a couple 3 gal Better Bottles for this duty.

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Old 12-16-2009, 05:09 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=tincob;1745642
I've heard that long term bulk conditioning has a lot of advantages over long term bottle conditioning as far as blending and smoothing out the flavors.

QUOTE]

What about this? is it better to condition in the bottle or in bulk?

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Old 12-16-2009, 05:52 PM   #10
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so if you use a corny for secondary conditioning in these instances, do you just then carb and serve out of that same keg? Or do you syphon into a different corny when you're ready to start drinking? reason I ask is, wouldn't there be some sedimentation fallout from the long secondary? Even if the bulk of it occurred in the primary? Or is it so little that it doesn't matter?

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