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Old 04-29-2007, 08:54 PM   #1
tbone
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Does the beer condition in the Secondary or is conditioning related to the priming sugar and bottling? Reason for asking - I left an IPA in the secondary for close to 4 weeks after being in the primary for 8 days. (Vacation, and out of town) It is now bottled. Will this batch condition faster than a batch that was bottled after 3 weeks (1-2)? With the 1-2-3 method beer may be good enough to drink after a total of 6 weeks and I am already at 5.

 
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Old 04-29-2007, 09:08 PM   #2
BierMuncher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone
Does the beer condition in the Secondary or is conditioning related to the priming sugar and bottling? Reason for asking - I left an IPA in the secondary for close to 4 weeks after being in the primary for 8 days. (Vacation, and out of town) It is now bottled. Will this batch condition faster than a batch that was bottled after 3 weeks (1-2)? With the 1-2-3 method beer may be good enough to drink after a total of 6 weeks and I am already at 5.
Hmmm.

Actually, both. The secondary is to let any residual fermentation finish out and to help the beer clarify as the yeast goes dormant and settles to the bottom. This is what I understand to be secondary conditioning.

The beer will also condition in the bottle, but there the definition is slightly different. Bottle conditioning (in my mind) refers more to the carbonation process as the beer converts from flat to carbonated.

There is also flavor conditioning that occurs in the bottle as the hops mellow and the malted flavors "gel".

I look at it as:

Primary - Fermentation
Secondary - Clarifying - flavor conditioning
Bottles - Carbonation slight flavor conditioning.

What you're waiting on now is for the beer to carbonate to proper levels.

 
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Old 04-29-2007, 09:09 PM   #3
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I'm no expert, but since you're adding priming sugar to the beer to let it carbonate, you're waking up some of the yeast, I'm not sure if active yeast need extra time to settle down, aka, 'condition'.`
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Old 04-29-2007, 09:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rook
I'm no expert, but since you're adding priming sugar to the beer to let it carbonate, you're waking up some of the yeast, I'm not sure if active yeast need extra time to settle down, aka, 'condition'.`
True. There will always be plenty residual yeast suspended in the beer. The point of the secondary is to allow the billions of "spent" yeast cells to settle out. This still leaves plenty of yeast for carbing up the beer post-prime. With out the secondary conditioning, an excessive amount of yeast will end up in the bottles and you can have a yeasty tasting beer and too much bottle sediment.

Remember, we're brewing beer and the yeast have a role to play. Once the role is over, they need to go away. Their role is not to be the star. Malt and hops are the star. The yeast simply provide us the goodness off alcohol and CO2 for carbonation.

 
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Old 04-29-2007, 09:32 PM   #5
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Very true Biermuncher, also to remember, we ALWAYS get the wort/beer/etc off of the spent ingredients.

We don't let the grains in the boil.
We don't let the hops in the fermenter.
We don't let the trub in the secondary.
We don't let the sediment left over in the bottling bucket.

There's always the 'moving off of' that we do at each stage.
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:13 AM   #6
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I'd say your limiting condition is carbonation time (7-10 days), although most IPAs will be much better with an extra month in the bottle.
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Old 04-30-2007, 02:01 AM   #7
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There is also a BIG difference between just conditioning and cold conditioning. I have a good example too.

I brewed up a can of Copper's Pilsner with 3 lbs DME, fermented for a week, secondary/clarified for a week, and carbed for 2 weeks. It was nice and carbed but a little green after the two week carbing at room temp, so I let it sit in the fridge for another week. This helped the flavor meshing and the carbonation also improved a bit, it still had a chill haze at that time and that didn't matter to me so I drank up. I had given a couple to my Dad and found one in his fridge just tonight. It was totally clear after three weeks in the back of the fridge and he told me he had been watching that last one and saving it. I really doubt that this result would have been achieved without the cold conditioning.

 
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:11 AM   #8
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Might i add that 3 weeks bottle(or keg)time is not near enough time.I made an ESB that tasted so s#itty after 3 wks that i thought it was infected and damn near dumped it all down the driveway.We revisited that beer after 8-9 wks in the bottle and WOW!!!,this could be the best beer i've ever tasted!SWMBO loves it also.It seems my first handful of extract brews weren't too bad after 3 wks in the bottle but my AG's are barely drinkable even after 1 month in the bottles(my kegged stuff also).
Cheers

 
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:36 AM   #9
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Im trying as hard as I can to figure out a better or should I say quicker method to get you beer ready to drink. Now all bets are off it you have big beers with complex flavors. You just cant rush those, they need all the time they can get. But for your typical lower gravity ales ( which is what I normally brew) I think you can speed up the process.

Lately Ive been using this method with rather good results.

7 days in the primary
7 days in the secondary @ 40*F
14 days in the keg cold @ 8 psi

that shaves two weeks off the 1-2-3 rule, and when your trying to crank out good beer as fast as you can, 4 weeks total time isnt that bad. And the yeast sediment left in the kegs is minimal.

 
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimone
Im trying as hard as I can to figure out a better or should I say quicker method to get you beer ready to drink. Now all bets are off it you have big beers with complex flavors. You just cant rush those, they need all the time they can get. But for your typical lower gravity ales ( which is what I normally brew) I think you can speed up the process.

Lately Ive been using this method with rather good results.

7 days in the primary
7 days in the secondary @ 40*F
14 days in the keg cold @ 8 psi

that shaves two weeks off the 1-2-3 rule, and when your trying to crank out good beer as fast as you can, 4 weeks total time isnt that bad. And the yeast sediment left in the kegs is minimal.
I like that approach. I do lower ABV beers.

Have you ever combined the 7-days secondary and the 14 days keg-on-gas?

In otherwords, rack directly from primary to a keg and let it cold condtionin, then hook up the gas?

Or do you prefer to rack off the secondary into a keg?

 
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