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Old 06-14-2013, 07:19 AM   #1
andy6026
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Default How long do YOU condition?

So I've read that 3 weeks seems to be a rule of thumb to condition low-mid alcohol homebrews, followed by about 3 days in the fridge. But I've also heard the stories of beers lost in a closet or in a friends fridge for upwards of a year and that these can come out absolutely fantastic (style-depending).

Of course I've also heard that it's completely subjective. But what I'd like to know, is if you were as patient as could possibly want to be, how long after bottling do YOU think it would be absolutely ideal to drink these styles:

Pale Ale
India Pale Ale (and IIPA)
Stout
Lager

I'm very curious to hear people's preferences.

As an ad on, the reason why I ask is because I've had to leave home for 6 weeks but made sure to fill all my bottles before I left. I'm as excited as a school boy to try them when I get home. On my return, this will be the length of time my brews have conditioned (no lagers):

Edwort's Pale Ale: 8 weeks
Pliney the Elder IIPA: 9 weeks
Lemon Pale Ale: 6 weeks
Midnight Stout: 6 weeks


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Old 06-14-2013, 07:40 AM   #2
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So far I'm enjoying a little bit of time in the bottle on my beers. I've been brewing mainly extract so far and most of them are drinkable once carb'd but are far more enjoyable with at least a few more weeks on them (IMO).

I carb for 3 weeks for my standard ales and will start drinking them socially right away, but I start tearing into them at about 5 weeks and really notice great melding of flavors at 6. My higher gravity Coffee IIPA that I have going will carb for probably 5 weeks and then be good to go right away for my preference. But (not to toot my own horn) if I had a few buddies over, they'd rather I force carb'd it and drink it off the tap right this instant.

I think all those listed will be plenty drinkable when you get back. The only one that I think would be drinkable but do better with more conditioning is the stout, but then again I dont know what your recipe was like.


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Old 06-14-2013, 10:49 AM   #3
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Most average PA.APA & IPA's are best at about 4-5 weeks in the bottle on average. Stouts & other bigger dark beers can take quite a bit longer not just to carb,but condition the flavors & aromas to where they shine.
Lagers take longer because of the cold brewing temps & the "lagering" of the beer at very cold temps to condition them before bottling. You're looking at a couple months to produce a decent lager.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:58 PM   #4
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Default To long?

Is it possible for a beer to bottle condition TOO long? I just remembered I've got a 12 pack of a Milk Oatmeal Stout that I bottled around Christmas sitting in my basement... lol
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:08 PM   #5
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Pale Ale........................10 days fermenter (including cold crash) plus 2 1/2 weeks bottle, total 4 weeks
India Pale Ale (and IIPA)..........10 days fermenter (incl cold crash) plus 2 1/2 weeks bottle, total 4 weeks
Stout..................10 days fermenter (including cold crash) plus 3-4 weeks bottle total 5-6 weeks
Lager.................first, this is like saying "Ale." There are lots of different lagers. For a typical bock or something........14 days primary, 6 weeks lagering, 3 weeks in bottle, total 11 weeks
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:22 PM   #6
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I condition my beers for as short a time period as possible. For most ales, that means 3 weeks or less, grain to glass. I find that I prefer very fresh beer. I typically keg my beer as soon as it drops clear, and immediately chill and carbonate it. In the case of higher alcohol or more fully flavored ales, I condition for as long as it takes, sampling about once per week until I'm happy with it. I don't really brew lagers, but I imagine I'd put them on a reasonably fast track as well, while allowing for a conditioning period commensurate with the style and my desired finished flavor profile.

I also find that what most homebrewers call "green beer" is actually flawed beer that contains unwanted, mostly volatile compounds as a result of poor process control. "Green beer" takes more conditioning time to allow for evaporation/breakdown of the unwanted compounds.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
I condition my beers for as short a time period as possible. For most ales, that means 3 weeks or less, grain to glass. I find that I prefer very fresh beer. I typically keg my beer as soon as it drops clear, and immediately chill and carbonate it. In the case of higher alcohol or more fully flavored ales, I condition for as long as it takes, sampling about once per week until I'm happy with it. I don't really brew lagers, but I imagine I'd put them on a reasonably fast track as well, while allowing for a conditioning period commensurate with the style and my desired finished flavor profile.
Absolutely. My times would be shorter if I wasn't bottle conditioning where you do have to wait at least 10 days for decent Co2 absorption. This time is unfortunately increased to a solid 3 weeks for lagers that have been, well, lagering.

The commercial standard is 2 weeks for ales, 4 weeks for lagers.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:19 PM   #8
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I'm confused by the OP's question ast to whether it means post-bottle condition or pre-bottle condition.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:37 PM   #9
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He's asking how long does your beers that he mentions take to carb & condition at room temp before going into the fridge.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
He's asking how long does your beers that he mentions take to carb & condition at room temp before going into the fridge.
Okay, but isn't this begging the question because one needs to take the pre-bottle conditioning into account?

I mean if you let something age for several weeks in the fermenter before bottling you don't need to bottle condition much at all whereas if you bottled it young you'll need to bottle condition for quite a while. Right?


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