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Bottle conditioning for more than 21 days?

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AnonyBrew

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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.?
 

Iordz

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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.
 

Revvy

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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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AnonyBrew

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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?
 

Skins_Brew

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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.
 

McKBrew

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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.
 

Revvy

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Soperbrew said:
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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AnonyBrew

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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.
 

Beerthoven

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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 62º and 78º, 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.
 

Revvy

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Beerthoven said:
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 62º and 78º, depending on the season).
Same here. The added benefit of that is the rest of the unchilled bottles condition further. Someone posted on one of the threads (I think it was "stone cold noob thread" that your best beer of the batch is the last one.
 
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AnonyBrew

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12 cases or not, in my neighborhood one batch of 40 pint sized bottles won't last much more than 2 weeks. Guess I'll be stocking more Grolsch for collecting bottles during the droughts.
 

Melana

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Revvy said:
Same here. The added benefit of that is the rest of the unchilled bottles condition further. Someone posted on one of the threads (I think it was "stone cold noob thread" that your best beer of the batch is the last one.
Can't say that i can argue this logic. We learned this lesson fairly early and we have a 'reserve' area that is strictly for bottle conditioning.
 

JonnyO

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Hey Revvy, after reading this thread I have a question for you. I was under the impression that the brew would continue to condition when refridgerated post-carbonation. However, your comments make a lot of sense. I have an amber ale that conditioned at room temp for 2 weeks. I tested a couple and they're carbonated well and taste good, but could use a little more condtioning. Since I thought that would happen ok at cold temp I put them all in my beer fridge. My question is (finally) if the beer is brought back up to room temp will enough yeast "wake up" and continue to condition the brew, or is it best to keep it all cold once it's gone into the fridge. Just curious.
 

Revvy

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JonnyO said:
Hey Revvy, after reading this thread I have a question for you. I was under the impression that the brew would continue to condition when refridgerated post-carbonation. However, your comments make a lot of sense. I have an amber ale that conditioned at room temp for 2 weeks. I tested a couple and they're carbonated well and taste good, but could use a little more condtioning. Since I thought that would happen ok at cold temp I put them all in my beer fridge. My question is (finally) if the beer is brought back up to room temp will enough yeast "wake up" and continue to condition the brew, or is it best to keep it all cold once it's gone into the fridge. Just curious.


Here's some good info on beer storage.

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/store.php

And something else...

As I rule, I don't believe in storing beer indefinitely. Most beer, especially the mass-produced, filtered types, are meant to be consumed young. No doubt you've seen the "Born on" and "Best if served by" dating on so many bottles. Rather, I am referring to a process known as "bottle conditioning," in which the beer is bottled without any yeast removed. Beer packaged in this way tends to last longer, even years, continuing to age and mellow as it grows in complexity. Unfortunately, many packaged goods store owners negate the work of the brewer by refrigerating the beer upon receipt of the inventory. Chilling it ends the maturation process of the beer and ceases development.

If we go back in time, most beers were nonfiltered and bottle conditioned. The movement back to this style, referred to as "cask conditioning," is alive in the United Kingdom and is making a resurgence here in the U.S.

So, just how long can that bottle of bottle conditioned beer last? Assuming proper storage, it could retain good quality for years. By good storage, I mean keeping the beer at optimum conditions: out of direct sunlight, maintaining a cool temperature, not manhandling and so on.
Since you already fridged them, I would leave them as is. I think it would cause more harm than good to move them back into room temperature once they've been chilled.

Just know for your next batch... :mug:
 

BrianTheBrewer

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So im getting from everyone here that after 3 weeks put in the fridge and dont take out unless you are going to drink...
 

sigmund

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NoClueBrew said:
So im getting from everyone here that after 3 weeks put in the fridge and dont take out unless you are going to drink...
That's not what I was getting. After 3 weeks, most will be drinkable, but I'd only put enough in the fridge to cover a week's consumption (depending on if your fridge is big enough :drunk: ) and let the rest continue to condition.
 

Revvy

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sigmund said:
That's not what I was getting. After 3 weeks, most will be drinkable, but I'd only put enough in the fridge to cover a week's consumption (depending on if your fridge is big enough :drunk: ) and let the rest continue to condition.
Yeah...and for best results, leave them in the fridge for a week before drinking them... If you don't drink during the week, put em in on the weekend before...
 
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