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Old 09-03-2014, 10:20 PM   #1
Rezer
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Default Bottle Conditioning

I've been reading that leaving your beer to condition for 3 weeks at 70f is the best. I've also been reading that leaving your beer in the fridge for a few days before drinking also helps improve the clarity of the beer.

I'm wondering if I can put the beers in the fridge at 2.5 weeks, and leave them in there for 3-4 days to achieve the 3 week time frame. Is this doable? or am I supposed to leave it at room temperature for 3 weeks?

If I'm supposed to leave it at room temperature for 3 weeks, how many days do you suggest I leave it in the fridge before drinking?

Its my first brew and I'm eager to try it. I'm working on getting a pipeline going so time for bottle conditioning isn't an issue in the future, but for my first brew, its hard to not count the days!


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Old 09-03-2014, 10:31 PM   #2
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Go a few weeks, then throw a couple in the fridge for a few days. Then try them in a couple days. Then the following do that again. See how the beer evolves over a month or so. I still fairly novice and brewing ales, but I'm finding about 4 weeks at room temp works for me. Some people may like it greener. Find you method, data data data.


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Old 09-03-2014, 10:34 PM   #3
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tell us more about the beer you brewed (style & OG mostly)
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
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tell us more about the beer you brewed (style & OG mostly)
It is a Cooper's Australian Lager kit. OG was 1.043, FG was ~1.005.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:37 PM   #5
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The 3 weeks is room temp. That's to allow the yeast time to ferment the sugars, produce the carbon dioxide, reach an equilibrium state, clean up after themselves, and drop back out to the bottom. With the exception of the last part, those things don't happen when it's cold. The time in the fridge will help with the latter, but it does something more important, and that's dissolve the CO2 into solution. Otherwise all the CO2 rushes out when you first open the bottle, depending on the carb level you may get gushing, you'll probably get more head than you should when pouring, and then the beer in the glass will seem flatter than it should.

That said, 3 weeks is a general guideline. Some beers may carb before that, and some will actually take longer (especially high gravity beers). If you want to put a couple in the fridge at 2.5 weeks, then knock yourself out. You probably wouldn't notice a difference.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sportpak View Post
Go a few weeks, then throw a couple in the fridge for a few days. Then try them in a couple days. Then the following do that again. See how the beer evolves over a month or so. I still fairly novice and brewing ales, but I'm finding about 4 weeks at room temp works for me. Some people may like it greener. Find you method, data data data.
Not a bad idea! I just don't want to prematurely try my beer and just get a 'meh' feel. I think the 3 weeks is a good idea, just curious if I could count fridge time in that 3 weeks (18 days at room temp, 3 days in fridge).
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Qhrumphf View Post
The 3 weeks is room temp. That's to allow the yeast time to ferment the sugars, produce the carbon dioxide, reach an equilibrium state, clean up after themselves, and drop back out to the bottom. With the exception of the last part, those things don't happen when it's cold. The time in the fridge will help with the latter, but it does something more important, and that's dissolve the CO2 into solution. Otherwise all the CO2 rushes out when you first open the bottle, depending on the carb level you may get gushing, you'll probably get more head than you should when pouring, and then the beer in the glass will seem flatter than it should.

That said, 3 weeks is a general guideline. Some beers may carb before that, and some will actually take longer (especially high gravity beers). If you want to put a couple in the fridge at 2.5 weeks, then knock yourself out. You probably wouldn't notice a difference.
Thank you for your reply.

My plan is to get 2 sets of bottles so I can always have a bunch sitting in the bottle conditioning without me thinking about it, but as this is my first brew, I'm just really eager to try it. However as many have said, patience is key; I'm just trying to push the line a bit!

I'll try a few putting them in the fridge at 2.5 weeks, but I have 48x 500ml, so a bunch will get time to really sit (okay maybe not that much time ).

How long should I leave them in the fridge for?
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:48 PM   #8
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I actually find it both entertaining and educational to sample them through the conditioning process. Over time you start to get a better feel for how much longer a brew needs to "rest" before it's approached it's peak. Call me a nerd but I actually keep a journal.

The multiple days of chilling is key to getting carb in the solution but you can stick in in ice water for an hour to get an idea of the changes in flavor profile. I usually have at least 6 of my beers before they hit the 3 week mark. The key is to temper your expectations ahead of time.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rezer View Post
Thank you for your reply.

My plan is to get 2 sets of bottles so I can always have a bunch sitting in the bottle conditioning without me thinking about it, but as this is my first brew, I'm just really eager to try it. However as many have said, patience is key; I'm just trying to push the line a bit!

I'll try a few putting them in the fridge at 2.5 weeks, but I have 48x 500ml, so a bunch will get time to really sit (okay maybe not that much time ).

How long should I leave them in the fridge for?
3-4 days will be fine for carbonation purposes. The longer it stays cold, the clearer it'll get. After a few weeks most hazes can start dropping out (although depending on the source of whatever haze, it can take a long time to drop completely clear if it ever does at all)
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:00 AM   #10
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Ask 10 homebrewers this question and you'll get a dozen answers.

Heck, this is your first batch. Wait 1 week, put 1 bottle in the fridge overnight, pop it, pour it, take a picture and enjoy. You brew them to drink them. Will it be completely perfect? No! But it's your first beer, so it will be special. The rest of the batch can wait.

I brew average sized ales (5-6% ABV). I leave them in primary for 2 weeks, bottle condition for 2 weeks, put them in the fridge to cool for 2-3 days, and drink. But I tend to brew beers that taste better fresh, as well - APA's, IPA's, etc. More complex beers need more conditioning.

As mentioned the "carbonation" part will generally be done in a week or less at room temperature. The rest of the time is conditioning. If you just open one of those while warm all the CO2 will just psst out of the bottle and the beer won't have much head. Chilling them for a couple of days will cause some of the CO2 to go into solution in the beer. As also mentioned it will help clear the beer, too.

YMMV. The only way to find out is to try it. Take notes. Seriously. Think of it as running experiments and taking data. Find out what works for your system.


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