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Bottle conditioning for real?

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fsinger

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I am pretty much a beginner - with 3 throw away batches, and 5 really good partial grain batches - I get them right now.

I felt that if the carbonation was ready, the beer was ready, so this weekend my kids and I and families drank all of my brew stock from the last 3 brews. One last bottle from brew #4 (my best) was in the back of the fridge, and had been there for over a month.

It had a TOTALLY DIFFERENT TASTE! An incredible nutty aftertaste that everyone liked (I passed the glass around) that, I swear, was NOT there before.

I always thought that bottle conditioning was crap or just part of the mystique we home brewers build up about our product. But now I wonder.

You experienced guys, was it my imagination? Or is this something I need to pay attention to and brew several batches ahead? I think the whole flaver changed (for the MUCH better).
 

Sasquatch

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I think everyone here will agree that bottle conditioning is indeed very real. There's a time past which the beer won't change much, and a further time past which it will deteriorate. I'm sure everyone has their own opinions about when these times are.

Kits always suggest to leave bottled for at least a month.
 

brewhead

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very real and very vital unless you really have acquired a taste for green beer.
 

loopmd

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I started saving a 6 pack to "age" from every batch. I pulled 3 of them after 6 months and then the other 3 from 9 to 12 months. It is a huge difference and love the aged beer. I now brew far enough ahead that I can wait 6 months+ to drink any. There is a lot to say about this "bottle conditioning."
 

andre the giant

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Bottle conditioning is very real. Green beer usually doesn't seemed balanced. The hop flavors may be a bit strong, or other flavors may seem a bit too dominant. After a month or two, these flavors will mellow and the beer will be balanced and yummy.

When I made my Belgian Wit and my Hefeweizen, neither impressed me at first. I was thinking that I wouldn't be brewing them again. But now, both batches are wonderful. A homebrewing friend who loves Hefeweizen said that I hit the nail on the head. It's hard to get him to drink any of my other beers because he's usually hoarding the Hefe. The Belgian Wit Grand Cru had some dominant yeast and orange flavors when it was green, but now it has a nice crispness, bubbly head, gentile tones of citrus and corriander and a pleasant hint of the wit yeast... It's a totally different brew now. I love it.

My suggestion to everyone is to brew batch after batch in rapid succession to build up a stockpile. Set some of each batch back and let it age for a couple months. Build up 10 or more cases of beer. Make sure your production keeps up with consumption. Do double batch or even triple batch brew days.
 
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fsinger

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I'm sold! Next Saturday was a single batch brew day, now I'm going to brew two batches and start a stockpile. I think I'll set aside one case (I use 16 oz flip top bottles) of each batch from now on and tell everyone it's all gone. That way I should be able to build up some good beer.

They'll thank me in the long run when we break out those well-aged brews.
 

Sasquatch

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Ahh, yes, fsinger... good plan... but you've let on to the wrong bunch that you're going to have a lot of beer stockpiled.

Be seein ya. :)
 

uglygoat

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fsinger said:
I'm sold! Next Saturday was a single batch brew day, now I'm going to brew two batches and start a stockpile. I think I'll set aside one case (I use 16 oz flip top bottles) of each batch from now on and tell everyone it's all gone. That way I should be able to build up some good beer.

They'll thank me in the long run when we break out those well-aged brews.
i bought a case of one litre flippies so i can bottle a litre or two of each batch and put it away for a spell (six months is my goal ;O). the rest of the 12oz and 22 oz bottles i just drink till they're gone and start bottling again..
 

andre the giant

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I bottled my wife's favorite, (chocolate porter) in 16-22oz bottles. That way, she's more likely to share! :) If there's a batch you really don't like, drink it quickly and get it out of the way. Make room for the really good stuff... (and there will be plenty of that, just stick with it.)
 

wild

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DyerNeedOfBeer said:
Should the bottle conditioning be done in the fridge or at room temp?
Ales and lagers are bottle conditioned at room temp (approx. 70°F - 75°F).
The bottles can be left at room temp for as long as you wish after the "conditioning time" of at least 2 weeks. But the beer will age at an accelerated rate if not cellared at 50°F - 55°F.

Wild
 
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