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Old 03-04-2008, 12:42 AM   #1
Soperbrew
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When bottle conditioning a beer, is there any reason to keep the bottles at room temp. for more than 21 days?

If I opened a couple & feel there is sufficient carbonation, are there any other reasons to keep the bottles at room temp. for longer? Will they condition better at room temp. after 21 days as opposed to just throwing them in the fridge after 21 days & letting them continue conditioning at fridge temp.?

 
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:07 AM   #2
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I think you have the right idea, put them in the fridge. The only reason to keep bottles at room temp is to allow carbonation to take place. Beer will condition and preserve better at cool temperatures.

 
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:23 AM   #3
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What he said...after they are carbonated to a level you like it's time to place them in the fridge.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:24 AM   #4
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It's not just about getting fully carbonated.

Some may need longer to come into their own...to lose some of the greeness and to mellow out. It's really more style dependant. 21 days is just a general rule of thumb...I've had porters and stouts that have take 6 or more weeks to really start tasting great.

Beermaking has a lot of similitarities to food and cooking.... Ever notice that some foods, like spagetti sauces, soups or chili's taste better as leftovers then they do when you take them first off the stove?

The ingredients have to "marry" and co-mingle and some things mellow out with time.

It's the same with beer....That is one of the things that bottle conditioning does...lets the flavors "Marry" because of the new co2 that builds up, and lets some of the "green" flavors fade away...

A good experiment to do is to pull a beer out on the 7th day in the bottle and chill it for 2...then taste it...make notes on the tastes and the level of carb. Do it again on the 14th day, the 21st and the 28th...you'll really see the difference. Then leave a bottle stashed away for 6 months...chill that and taste it...and go back and read your notes... You'll learn a heck of a lot about beer doing that.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:34 AM   #5
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Does the co-mingling & marrying of elements during bottle conditioning after 21 days only occur at room temp. and not at fridge temp?

 
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:39 AM   #6
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as a fellow newb (25 gallons to date) here is my story..

My second batch was an IPA. After a week in bottles after a 2 week secondary, they were very lightly carbonated and had a very spicy harsh hop taste. after two weeks, it was a little better. Anyway, after about three weeks, this brew was GREAT. I just drank one of the last bottles (about 6 weeks in bottles) and it was AWESOME. I am kicking myself for not letting this age more. I think i might have a few more but they are mixed in with bottles of an ESB i made (i really need to put some kind of color code on my bottles) Anyway, hope that offers some insight.
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:03 AM   #7
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I'd seriously recommend leaving some of your bigger beers at room temperature for longer just to see how they develop. If you have the willpower, save a few bottles and set them aside for 6 months or more. You'd be suprised at the results.
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soperbrew
Does the co-mingling & marrying of elements during bottle conditioning after 21 days only occur at room temp. and not at fridge temp?
For the most part Yes....Cold stops the process. Cold will further clarify the beer (if you leave it in the fridge for a week before opening the bottles.) But it's also going to stop the conditioning process by making the yeast dorment...A lot of conditioning comes from the interplay of the yeast, sugars and the co2...

Try the experiment I suggested earlier....
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:40 AM   #9
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Thanks. I wish I knew that before I put my 1st batch in the fridge. It's been pretty tasty & the neighbors seem to like it. I only have 4 left in the fridge & 5 left at room temp. I'll try tasting one of the room temp. brews every month for the next 5 months.

Unfortunately, my pipeline got interrupted & my next batch won't be at 21 days until March 20th. With the curiosity of my friends & neighbors it is going to be hard to let these batches age adequately before consuming.

 
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:46 AM   #10
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I don't have enough space in my refrigerator for 12+ cases of beer! Who does? I fill up my kitchen fridge with as much beer as I can fit once or twice a week. The end result is that all my beer spends most of its post-fermentation life in my basement at room temp (which is between 62 and 78, depending on the season). I'd like to keep it colder, but I can't. Honestly, I don't think it has a great impact on the beer anyway.
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