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Old 12-21-2011, 09:14 PM   #1
asterix404
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Default Priming sugar amount, variable ambient tempurature

So I hate bottling. I think everyone hates bottling. I created beers that were flat, over carbonated, bottle bombs... I love my kegs. Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to bottle. During the summer this is easy, my basement is 70 and I just stick my bottles to condition and carbonate there, the winter is hard. The basement is now 50. The house temp ranges between 68 in the evening when my wife and I are home, 61 at night when we sleep, and 65 during the day for our cats and my plants.

I found this wonderful priming sugar calculator: http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html

I am not the first to discover this. My question is, what temps should I actually set to determine the amount of sugar? Let us assume that this beer will last over the hot summer months when I stick it in my basement. I set it to 68 and stuck the beer next to a heater. I am doubtful it will ever hit that. What do people do in this situation? Again, typically I just force carb because it's easy and I am crazy enough to have a home kegging system.

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Old 12-21-2011, 09:18 PM   #2
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The temperature that the calculator asks for is the temp the beer fermented at, not the conditioning temperature. Just figure that at cooler conditioning temps, it will take a little longer.

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Old 12-21-2011, 09:21 PM   #3
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Oh of course. So how much longer would this take, a few weeks?

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Old 12-21-2011, 09:43 PM   #4
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About 3 weeks,corn sugar is said to be faster than dme which may take to prime 3 wks, but its up to the yeast to decide when its ready, you just gotta check em when you want. Keep in mind they still go through the same 3 stages as fermentation i dont gennerally consume mine much within a month of bottleing. Drink em when you like em though.
I dont hate bottleing but i think i like brewing more,its more relaxing and less cleaning. With botteling, I look forward to the hydro sample and knowing i can test one in a week or two so that mindframe makes me enjoy bottleing thinking of that-knowing its about done and ready to drink! How can you hate that.Cant wait to brew 3 beers over the hollidays,cheers! And im bottleing 2 beers,dry-hopped and first time with liquid yeast.

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Old 12-21-2011, 10:52 PM   #5
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I use the same calculator, and after bottling store the brew in a step down area to the crawl space . The temp. will very 60F- 70F in the summer, and now in the winter around 64F and never had a problem priming/ carbing in 3weeks time, drinking a good brew in 5-6 weeks. The area now is perfect for fermenting temps. My hot water tank & home heating system are in the same small area, but I burn wood so the heating system never kicks on. If we plan to be away I set whatever on the cement slab which stays around 58-60F or set it on top of some thing to keep a sable ambient temp. Cheers

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Old 12-22-2011, 02:45 AM   #6
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Yea, I mean it was only a 2.15 volume porter so I am not worried about explosions but I was thinking about this. My ambient temp for fermentation was the same schedule. So what do you put for the temp of fermentation? I don't know how much the dissolved co2 was left in it.

I hate bottling because I never know what I am going to get. I put in the same or close to the same amounts and in some beers I get them flat, I get them over carbonated, I got a few bombs... really kegging is so much easier. I would have kegged this one but I am brining it places and I don't gave a portable keg hookup.

Oh also, the only stable ambient temp I have around my apartment is the basement. It swings between 50 in the depths of winter to about 70 in the high heat of summer. It's wonderful but I can't prime beer in a 50deg environment.

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Old 12-22-2011, 03:17 AM   #7
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The calculator is confusing. The temperature you put in is NOT the fermentation temperature. The temperature should be the highest temperature the beer has been stored at after most of the fermentation has finished. Colder temperatures will 'store/hold' more CO2, so you need less sugar. Higher temperatures hold less CO2 so you need more sugar.

While there is active fermentation, the beer is creating CO2, so temperature at the height of fermentation is irrelevant. It is basically the max temp at the end of fermentation or any time after that. After fermentation is over, reducing the temperature will not increase the dissolved CO2.

One thing the calculators do not account for is the loss of dissolved CO2 over time .... but we are talking months to a year to have any real effect.

The other question - how long to carb. Depends on a lot of things; temperature, yeast, time in secondary/conditioning, alcohol. For an average beer 1.050, they 3 weeks at 70 F. 1.100 could take months. If lower than 70 F, could take longer. I often find beers carb'd after a week, but not at this time of year.

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Old 12-22-2011, 03:22 AM   #8
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For the priming sugar temperature, you want to use the highest temp your beer got before bottling. With the rising temps, the beer purges more CO2. (For example) If you fermented at 68, but when it came time to bottle, you racked it to the bottling bucket and had to let it sit because of some emergency. The beer would rise in temp, say to 75deg, then THAT would be the temp you use. Once the beer hits a particular temp, it will purge the CO2. Now, if the higher temps occur early fermentation, then that won't matter as much because fermentation will dissolve more CO2.

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Old 12-22-2011, 02:46 PM   #9
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Okay! Thanks all. So putting in 68 is the thing to do. I can guarantee that the beer never was hotter than 68 because water is hard to heat up and cool down I assume that the beer spent most of the time about 66, but I will put in 68 to be sure that if it ever reached that temp, that is taken into account.

This is a very confusing calculator. Thank you all for the help.

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Old 12-22-2011, 03:25 PM   #10
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Is cold crashing to 40F, then bottling, and then storing at 70F o.k.? Or do you have to keep it cold at bottling?

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