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Old 07-07-2013, 02:58 PM   #1
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Default Thoughts on bottle carbonation time?

I bottle my beer using PET plastic bottles 1 qt size. They works quite well for me. The fact that you can do a squeeze test on the bottles to feel if they are carbonating or not is a small plus. Generally it is suggested that you give the bottles a couple of weeks to carbonate before putting them in the fridge. I was wondering how much this time frame could be shortened without experiencing problems?

I have found that the bottles are quite flexible to the squeeze when first filled and usually start firming up by the next day. Within a couple of days they are very hard to the squeeze almost like a glass bottle.

So my question, how long/short of a time from bottling to refrigerating? Ballpark answers are fine........all thoughts appreciated.

Thanks

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Old 07-07-2013, 03:03 PM   #2
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I don't know how the time differs between PET and glass, but I generally assume 3-4 weeks for glass bottles. Of course, most of that isn't really carbonating, it's letting the beer age, lose the green flavor, and develop the proper taste. My experience has been 3-4 days for actual carbonation.

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Old 07-07-2013, 03:48 PM   #3
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I am thinking the 3-4 days is about rite. At least to the squeeze test. My thinking is that after the carb period is mostly taken care of that any conditioning, clearing, settling will be better accomplished in the cooler temps of the fridge vs the more moderate temps of the basement or the house in cooler weather. I may be wrong on that point but I have read before that one way to condition in the fridge if space is an issue.........rotate the cold conditioning bottles with the ones sitting at room temp. Which would lean my thinking to........if carbing is accomplished..........colder conditioning is better is available.

I may be wrong in this thinking and why I am asking for opinions.

Thanks

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Originally Posted by Enoch52 View Post
I don't know how the time differs between PET and glass, but I generally assume 3-4 weeks for glass bottles. Of course, most of that isn't really carbonating, it's letting the beer age, lose the green flavor, and develop the proper taste. My experience has been 3-4 days for actual carbonation.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:48 PM   #4
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Watch that you're not in such a hurry, because nothing good happens in brewing when you're in a hurry. Go to the store and buy a brand you want to try to make. That said, you can drink beer anytime after you bottle it. The quality will just vary. Starting out, it is a good way to learn to be patient about the conditioning process as you can taste and see the difference each week makes.

For me waiting two weeks to try the first bottle is now the norm. I stopped testing at one week because every beer I tired in that time frame wasn't ready, so no need to continue that process. Two weeks beers are good, but not great. 3 weeks on every beer has been spot on good. So I leave it to you and your preference for how you want your beer to taste.

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Old 07-07-2013, 03:56 PM   #5
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I used Cooper's 740mL PET bottles for my 1st couple of batches. Now using 11.2-12oz glass bottles,I see no difference in the amount of time needed for good carbonation & conditioning of flavors & aromas. Even with the PET bottles,3 weeks at room temp was ok,but 4 weeks was def better.
And at least a week in the fridge for any chill haze to form & settle out & co2 to get well into solution. That's for average gravity beers. Bigger beers will need more time.

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Old 07-07-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for the ideas. I understand the time=good beer thing. My question leans more in the direction of time at room temp vs time at colder temps total time being more or less the same. In other words if a sufficient amount of carbing has taken place, be it 3 days, a week or 2 weeks........is there any reason to keep the beer at room temp the longer time frame vs getting it into colder storage and cold conditioning?
That said......my experience has been that the last bottle out of a batch is generally better tasting than the first bottle (assuming consumption over a period of several weeks and not all at one sitting) LOL.

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Originally Posted by lgilmore View Post
Watch that you're not in such a hurry, because nothing good happens in brewing when you're in a hurry. Go to the store and buy a brand you want to try to make. That said, you can drink beer anytime after you bottle it. The quality will just vary. Starting out, it is a good way to learn to be patient about the conditioning process as you can taste and see the difference each week makes.

For me waiting two weeks to try the first bottle is now the norm. I stopped testing at one week because every beer I tired in that time frame wasn't ready, so no need to continue that process. Two weeks beers are good, but not great. 3 weeks on every beer has been spot on good. So I leave it to you and your preference for how you want your beer to taste.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:20 PM   #7
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Thats along the lines of my own thinking also. 3-4 days. I am really not concerned with the PET vs Glass part as for the time being I have no intentions of going the glass bottle or kegging route. That is subject to change of course........ tomorrow, next week or down the line but after a couple of years and many batches.......the PET bottles have worked out just fine for me.

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Originally Posted by Enoch52 View Post
I don't know how the time differs between PET and glass, but I generally assume 3-4 weeks for glass bottles. Of course, most of that isn't really carbonating, it's letting the beer age, lose the green flavor, and develop the proper taste. My experience has been 3-4 days for actual carbonation.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnzjunk View Post
Thanks for the ideas. I understand the time=good beer thing. My question leans more in the direction of time at room temp vs time at colder temps total time being more or less the same. In other words if a sufficient amount of carbing has taken place, be it 3 days, a week or 2 weeks........is there any reason to keep the beer at room temp the longer time frame vs getting it into colder storage and cold conditioning?
That said......my experience has been that the last bottle out of a batch is generally better tasting than the first bottle (assuming consumption over a period of several weeks and not all at one sitting) LOL.
Well,most of the time,2 weeks in bottles generally isn't long enough for good carbonation & a "mature" beer. The last bottles of the batch tasting better to you bares this out. So 3-4 weeks at room temp is a good average.
That said,If you have a cooler place to store them after you know they're carbed & conditioned,then storing them there would help them last longer certainly. If you have a dedicated beer fridge & can get most if not all of them in there when they're ready,so much the better. They'll taste better longer & head/carbonation & clarity will def be great.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:40 PM   #9
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Thanks... I would think cooler temps storage wise (not fridge time) would slow things down a bit compared to warmer temps. With summer rolling in and temps here in WA getting into the 70's and 80's it became time to switch my beer location for storage downstairs in the basement where temps are in the 60's and fermentation slows down for both buckets and bottles, which is a good thing as the last two batches have had slight blowouts fermenting in my office. Now downstairs in a much cooler room (10-20 degrees) fermentation seems to be going very "nice". Steady consistent and not overly violent bubbling.

So, I think cooler will mean slower conditioning for sure, but you also might get a better tasting brew out of the deal.

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Old 07-08-2013, 07:02 PM   #10
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Don't condition them down there. 60's is too low for the yeast to carbonate in a reasonable time,if at all. I've had them stall out being a lil too cold. Carb & condition in warm temps,store them in cooler temps.

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