When I brew, I usually prime a keg with CO2, rack to the keg, pressurize it, and throw it in my fridge to cold crash. I just leave it in there for a few weeks to condition it, occasionally re-pressurize it, and this seems to work well.
However, a friend of mine (ajwillys on homebrewtalk) and I just brewed a batch of barley wine. We're at the point of kegging it as described above, but after crashing it we were intending to bottle it for storage (as a barley wine on tap is a dangerous thing). Our plan was simply to hook it up to the kegarator, and fill the bottles using BierMuncher's suggested bottling approach. Again, we've done this with other beers in the past with no problem.
My concern, however, is how we store the bottles. Because the beer will be cold, our assumption is that we need to keep the bottles chilled for the months or so that we let them sit and age. So my questions for anyone in the know are:
- Is this the case? Because the beer is unpasteurized and already cold, do we need to leave it cold for however many months we let the bottles age?
- If this IS the case, will keeping the beer chilled keep it from conditioning/aging properly?
- Since we're priming the bottles with CO2 prior to filling and capping them, will they be adversely affected by allowing them to warm up some?
- Are we going about this in completely the wrong manner? If so, what's a better approach?
Thanks in advance!
Dave (Rex Brews) and Andrew (Simmering Brews)