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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > bottle aging vs secondary aging for a winter ale
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Old 09-02-2006, 01:11 PM   #1
wstein
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Default bottle aging vs secondary aging for a winter ale

Ok, quick question here. I am going to be brewing up a winter ale for comsumption around Thanksgiving/Christmas. I am wondering after I rack it over to the secondary what would be better. To leave it in the secondary until the first nov then bottle or leave it in the secondary for 2-3 weeks then bottle beginning of oct and let it age in the bottle until thanksgiving.

The bottling in october is a little more appealing as I won't have one of my secondary tied up for months while the beer is aging. At the same time if I think I can get better quality/tasting beer from leaving it in the secondary until Nov I would prefer that, and just go buy a 3rd carboy for secondary fermenting.

What are your thoughts?


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The difference between INVOLVED and COMMITTED is like having bacon and eggs for breakfast.

The chicken was involved, but the pig is committed.

Primary
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nada
nada
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Old 09-02-2006, 02:23 PM   #2
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I'd just use the secondary until the beer was clear then bottle.


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Old 09-02-2006, 05:22 PM   #3
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How big is your recipe?
__________________
Primary:
doh!
Secondary:
Wasp Bitten IPA (a Walker-San clone);Cheesefood's Caramel Creme; Wee Heavy Scottish Ale;
Bottled/Conditioning:
Flyin' Hornet Pale Ale(Mirror Pond clone);Oktoberfest Ale
Drinking:
Boom-Boom Apricot Hefeweisen; Forbidden Ale;Pale-Ass Ale (SNPA Clone); Ol' Man Winter Ale
On-deck:
Dead Guy clone
Planning:
Walker's Espresso Stout; BrewPastor's Bastard Lager
Quote:
But honey, how else am I going to get enough bottles for my next batch? *burp*...*fart*
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Old 09-02-2006, 06:09 PM   #4
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Here is a quote from John Palmer's book, "How To Brew", on this very subject. I'm not saying that this is the definitive answer, just some food for thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Palmer
Secondary Fermentor vs. Bottle Conditioning

Conditioning is a function of the yeast, therefore it is logical that the greater yeast mass in the fermentor is more effective at conditioning than the smaller amount of suspended yeast in the bottle. This is why I recommend that you give your beer more time in the fermentor before bottling. When you add the priming sugar and bottle your beer, the yeast go through the same three stages of fermentation as the main batch, including the production of byproducts. If the beer is bottled early, i.e. 1 week old, then that small amount of yeast in the bottle has to do the double task of conditioning the priming byproducts as well as those from the main ferment. You could very well end up with an off-flavored batch.

Do not be confused, I am not saying that bottle conditioning is bad, it is different. Studies have shown that priming and bottle conditioning is a very unique form of fermentation due to the oxygen present in the head space of the bottle. Additional fermentables have been added to the beer to produce the carbonation, and this results in very different ester profiles than those that are normally produced in the main fermentor. In some styles, like Belgian Strong Ale, bottle conditioning and the resultant flavors are the hallmark of the style. These styles cannot be produced with the same flavors via kegging.

For the best results, the beer should be given time in a secondary fermentor before priming and bottling. Even if the yeast have flocculated and the beer has cleared, there are still active yeast in suspension that will ferment the priming sugar and carbonate the beer.
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Old 09-02-2006, 06:52 PM   #5
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On my strong beers i like to give plenty of time in secondary, maybe 3-4 weeks. then i slowly bring down the temp, about 2 degrees a day untill i hit about 38 degrees. Then i will either carbonate or keg condition(by which i bring the beer up to room temp and reintroduce malts and yeast). In a sence im lagering my ales which i feel really rounds out the flavors and clears out the brew...well worth the wait. I just finished off an 8% golden honey keg which was fermented in this manner. It had great drinkabilty for such a high gravity ale. Of course this teqnique requires a temperature control system. I use a drop down freezer $160 with a thermostat overide $60.
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Old 09-02-2006, 07:22 PM   #6
wstein
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ok, I think I will leave it in the secondary for a couple of weeks (3-4) so that it can finish out fermenting and some aging.

BTW here is the recipe:

6.6# Pilsner LME
3# Golden Light DME
9oz 40L Crystal Malt
5oz British Chocolate Malt
2oz Malto Dextrin
1.25oz Northern Brewer

at 45 mins
1/4oz Northern Brewer
1/2 inch vanila bean
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp anise

at 59 mins
1/2 inch vanila bean
1/4 tsp anise

California Ale Yeast
__________________
Paul
________________________________________
The difference between INVOLVED and COMMITTED is like having bacon and eggs for breakfast.

The chicken was involved, but the pig is committed.

Primary
nada
nada
Secondary
nada
nada
Bottled
SPNA Clone, Anchor Our Special Ale (1995), London Cream Ale, American Virgin Raspberry Wheat, Munich Monkey Ale, Bones Brown Ale
Up Next
a Hobgoblin Ale clone or a chocolate stout
wstein is offline
 
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Old 09-02-2006, 07:30 PM   #7
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Nice recipe!
__________________
Primary:
doh!
Secondary:
Wasp Bitten IPA (a Walker-San clone);Cheesefood's Caramel Creme; Wee Heavy Scottish Ale;
Bottled/Conditioning:
Flyin' Hornet Pale Ale(Mirror Pond clone);Oktoberfest Ale
Drinking:
Boom-Boom Apricot Hefeweisen; Forbidden Ale;Pale-Ass Ale (SNPA Clone); Ol' Man Winter Ale
On-deck:
Dead Guy clone
Planning:
Walker's Espresso Stout; BrewPastor's Bastard Lager
Quote:
But honey, how else am I going to get enough bottles for my next batch? *burp*...*fart*
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Old 09-02-2006, 11:59 PM   #8
wstein
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exo
Nice recipe!

Thanks. I am hoping it comes out good.


__________________
Paul
________________________________________
The difference between INVOLVED and COMMITTED is like having bacon and eggs for breakfast.

The chicken was involved, but the pig is committed.

Primary
nada
nada
Secondary
nada
nada
Bottled
SPNA Clone, Anchor Our Special Ale (1995), London Cream Ale, American Virgin Raspberry Wheat, Munich Monkey Ale, Bones Brown Ale
Up Next
a Hobgoblin Ale clone or a chocolate stout
wstein is offline
 
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