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Old 08-30-2011, 03:15 PM   #1
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Default 2nd fermentation/aging, when and how?

I am getting contradicting advice from books and people.
I was a given a recipe for belgian ale and told to (after primary ferm.) age at room temp for six weeks. But, I have read in a homebrew book that it is only useful to age a beer when it is done between cold temperatures with lager yeast.

For instance: I am making a Belgian Ale. Starting gravity was 1.080. I used belgian strong liquid yeast and 8lb malt and 1lb candy. After 7 days the bubbles stopped completely. Gravity was 1.024. After getting some advice I decided to make the alcohol content stronger by adding a starter with 1qrt simple syrup(cup table sugar) and 1 pack of champaigne yeast. Its been twelve days and I am considering bottling it or transferring to another carboy for six weeks of sitting at room temp. What would the difference be?

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Old 08-30-2011, 04:41 PM   #2
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Personally, I would have let it ferment for at least 14 days, then checked the gravity. Beer doesn't always fully ferment in 7 days. Adding the starter and the sugar was probably not necessary. It probably would have fermented out in another week. Always ferment for at least 2 weeks or longer and rack to secondary.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:42 PM   #3
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Well, there's alot to cover here and secondary use is one of the things being debated on this forum and elsewhere. There is a thread going right now with similar discussion that may help you http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/belg...hedule-258840/

Belgians can be as complex or as simple as you want to make them and alot of it depends on your recipe and yeast, etc. Whatever you do, do not bottle this yet, you need to be certain it is done (Gravity is stable over a week period, should also be at or near your target FG), you may also want to leave it on the yeast for another couple of weeks to clean up, you may also want to lager it for clarity, you may also want to raise the temp after for conditioning, it's going to be up top you.
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