Bottling For Storage Before Refrigeration

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Iowa Brewer

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Hey all,

Brewing an imperial IPA to be auctioned off as a case of bottles for a charity event. It's occurred to me that my normal routine of cold-crashing, kegging/bottling, and serving won't work this time around. I'm going to need to have this beer at room temp until the auction, and there's no guarantee the winning bidder will want to refrigerate all 24 bottles when s/he gets home.

Will cold-crashing, bottling, and bringing the beer up to room temp imparting off flavors? If so, any suggestions???

Thanks a million, as always!
 

IslandLizard

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Commercial beer, even commercial craft beer, is often stored at room temps, or even a little higher. Most larger beer stores and distributors, even breweries have 100s to 1000s of cases of beer on the warehouse floor (non-chilled). But homebrew beer is a different story. Some will improve during (room temp) storing/aging, up to a certain point, others, like your hoppy DIPA not so.

I'd be most concerned about oxidation, due to residual DO in the packaged beer, killing the hop experience over a few weeks, or even months. And yeah, non-refrigerated storage will accelerate oxidation reactions.
 
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Iowa Brewer

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Thanks! Good to know. Anything I can do to mitigate that?
 
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For example, I have the beer at 73F for its diacetyl rest. After FG is achieved, would it be okay to bottle the DIPA at this temp and leave it at room temp (68F) without harming the flavor?
 

IslandLizard

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For example, I have the beer at 73F for its diacetyl rest. After FG is achieved, would it be okay to bottle the DIPA at this temp and leave it at room temp (68F) without harming the flavor?
I reckon that should be just fine. That's how most homebrewed bottle conditioned beers are handled, isn't it?

Allegedly, the little bit of O2 introduced in this process is supposed to be gulped up by the yeast when it replicates during the carbonation process.
But... I truly doubt all of it gets consumed and whatever remains around will cause a negative impact on your beer, especially diminishing that great hop sensation.

Now if you decide to cold crash (with or without gelatin) to clarify a cloudy beer, you may as well bottle it when it's still icy cold. Then let the bottles come to room temps naturally and start their carbonation process, which should take around 2-3 weeks, perhaps a bit longer since it's a DIPA.

Just make 100% sure the beer is really done, and the bottles are well cleaned and sanitized, so you don't bottle infections and potential bombs. I think people bottle a few 12-16 oz plastic soda bottles on the side to verify progress of carbonation and all is A-OK, FG wise.

I wish others would chime in, to corroborate that this method is actually sound.

Solutions to limit O2 exposure?
Maybe flushing the bottles with CO2 right before filling, or at least flushing the headspace of each bottle after filling, right before capping, may help. If possible, both. I don't know if O2-absorbing caps actually deliver on their promise. Seems almost too good to be true, maybe just advertising hype. I've never used them, can't really tell.

Alternatively, you could keg the batch, (force) carbonate, then fill the bottles from there using a counter-pressure bottle filler (BierMuncher's method of a #2 rubber stopper over the filling tube) or, if you have one or can borrow one, a beergun.

That way you may be able to keep oxygen exposure to a true bare minimum, or even totally eliminate, by doing a (closed) transfer from fermenter into a 100% liquid pre-purged keg. Flush the bottles with a shot of CO2, fill, and cap on foam immediately, or flush the headspaces right before capping. An extra set of hands surely comes in handy for this.

Instead of using a bottling bucket, you could use a keg for that, instead. It allows you to transfer and work under CO2 as I described above, while bottling.
 
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I reckon that should be just fine. That's how most homebrewed bottle conditioned beers are handled, isn't it?

Allegedly, the little bit of O2 introduced in this process is supposed to be gulped up by the yeast when it replicates during the carbonation process.
But... I truly doubt all of it gets consumed and whatever remains around will cause a negative impact on your beer, especially diminishing that great hop sensation.

Now if you decide to cold crash (with or without gelatin) to clarify a cloudy beer, you may as well bottle it when it's still icy cold. Then let the bottles come to room temps naturally and start their carbonation process, which should take around 2-3 weeks, perhaps a bit longer since it's a DIPA.

Just make 100% sure the beer is really done, and the bottles are well cleaned and sanitized, so you don't bottle infections and potential bombs. I think people bottle a few 12-16 oz plastic soda bottles on the side to verify progress of carbonation and all is A-OK, FG wise.

I wish others would chime in, to corroborate that this method is actually sound.

Solutions to limit O2 exposure?
Maybe flushing the bottles with CO2 right before filling, or at least flushing the headspace of each bottle after filling, right before capping, may help. If possible, both. I don't know if O2-absorbing caps actually deliver on their promise. Seems almost too good to be true, maybe just advertising hype. I've never used them, can't really tell.

Alternatively, you could keg the batch, (force) carbonate, then fill the bottles from there using a counter-pressure bottle filler (BierMuncher's method of a #2 rubber stopper over the filling tube) or, if you have one or can borrow one, a beergun.

That way you may be able to keep oxygen exposure to a true bare minimum, or even totally eliminate, by doing a (closed) transfer from fermenter into a 100% liquid pre-purged keg. Flush the bottles with a shot of CO2, fill, and cap on foam immediately, or flush the headspaces right before capping. An extra set of hands surely comes in handy for this.

Instead of using a bottling bucket, you could use a keg for that, instead. It allows you to transfer and work under CO2 as I described above, while bottling.
This is incredibly helpful, IslandLizard! I really can't thank you enough. I'll let you know how it goes!
 

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I personally think the fear of oxidation is overstated, except possibly with NEIPAs that are extremely hopped. I have done quite a few IPAs and both bottled and kegged. I drink the beers fairly fast but have never noticed any significant difference from beginning to end. I don't do anything out of the ordinary when bottling them. I siphon with an autosiphon to a bottling bucket, then fill with a wand that is attached directly to the spigot. I do no co2 flushing of anything.

Can my beers be better if I did try to limit o2? Probably. But the question is by how much and is it worth the equipment and trouble. So far for me it is not.
 

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If you put labels on these bottles, put a clearly visible 'please drink me by [date]' on them. Maybe put something like that on the case too.

I hope you're able to keep a few bottles for yourself to test the 'aging' process. Maybe report back on actual bottling method used, etc. Could be helpful for others.
 

Soulshine2

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Hey all,

Brewing an imperial IPA to be auctioned off as a case of bottles for a charity event. It's occurred to me that my normal routine of cold-crashing, kegging/bottling, and serving won't work this time around. I'm going to need to have this beer at room temp until the auction, and there's no guarantee the winning bidder will want to refrigerate all 24 bottles when s/he gets home.

Will cold-crashing, bottling, and bringing the beer up to room temp imparting off flavors? If so, any suggestions???

Thanks a million, as always!
I dont refrigerate my freshly bottled beer . It stays at room(basement) temp for a minimum of 10-14 days to carb up before I put some in the fridge . Otherwise I keep my beers in cardboard cases on the shelf until I chill a few for a couple days first. I have some that are going on a year old at room temp. No off flavors at all. In fact I think theyre aging nicely.
 

kh54s10

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If you put labels on these bottles, put a clearly visible 'please drink me by [date]' on them. Maybe put something like that on the case too.

I hope you're able to keep a few bottles for yourself to test the 'aging' process. Maybe report back on actual bottling method used, etc. Could be helpful for others.
I don't really need to label them. I have only ever had one IPA at a time. I drink enough beer that they never last really long. No interest in keeping any around to test aging. Bottling method was described...
 

IslandLizard

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I don't really need to label them. I have only ever had one IPA at a time. I drink enough beer that they never last really long. No interest in keeping any around to test aging. Bottling method was described...
Sorry, I was referring to the OP.
A case of his DIPA will be auctioned off. Hence the thread.
 
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Iowa Brewer

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If you put labels on these bottles, put a clearly visible 'please drink me by [date]' on them. Maybe put something like that on the case too.

I hope you're able to keep a few bottles for yourself to test the 'aging' process. Maybe report back on actual bottling method used, etc. Could be helpful for others.
I sure will! :)
 

AZCoolerBrewer

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I bottle and prime in the bottle all of my beers. For a Christmas charity auction I gave away four DIPA beers. When I give away beer, I make sure that it has reached it’s expected FG and is primed. I also provide a homebrew FAQ and a paragraph of marketing copy to go with my beer.

“At 8.7% ABV this copper colored Imperial IPA is about twice as strong as a common American light lager. It is loosely modeled after the famous Russian River Double IPA Pliny The Elder with American Columbus, Simcoe and Centennial hops, as well as American barley malt. Unlike Pliny there is a late addition of UK East Kent Goldings that brings this all American back to the Queen with a smooth bitterness that will surely leave a wry smile on the Queen’s face. Be careful and pour this beer into a room temperature glass. It has a big pillowy head and must be poured very slowly and down the side of the glass to avoid having to chew your way through a thick head.”
 
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I bottle and prime in the bottle all of my beers. For a Christmas charity auction I gave away four DIPA beers. When I give away beer, I make sure that it has reached it’s expected FG and is primed. I also provide a homebrew FAQ and a paragraph of marketing copy to go with my beer.

“At 8.7% ABV this copper colored Imperial IPA is about twice as strong as a common American light lager. It is loosely modeled after the famous Russian River Double IPA Pliny The Elder with American Columbus, Simcoe and Centennial hops, as well as American barley malt. Unlike Pliny there is a late addition of UK East Kent Goldings that brings this all American back to the Queen with a smooth bitterness that will surely leave a wry smile on the Queen’s face. Be careful and pour this beer into a room temperature glass. It has a big pillowy head and must be poured very slowly and down the side of the glass to avoid having to chew your way through a thick head.”
Nice touch, AZCoolerBrewer! Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely be doing that!
 

MaxStout

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You could make a label for the case box stating something like, "Store in a cool, dark place or refrigerate right away. Best if enjoyed by _____."

In any event, you won't have control over what the buyer does with the beer. Hopefully, it will be some generous beer geek who will treat friends and polish off the case the first weekend. :)
 
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You could make a label for the case box stating something like, "Store in a cool, dark place or refrigerate right away. Best if enjoyed by _____."

In any event, you won't have control over what the buyer does with the beer. Hopefully, it will be some generous beer geek who will treat friends and polish off the case the first weekend. :)
Ha! Good idea MaxStout, and here's hoping!
 

IslandLizard

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You could make a label for the case box stating something like, [...]
That would save making labels for each bottle too. Or is a bottle label required on 'external beers?'

Around the Holidays our club does a yearly giveaway of homebrew (and commercial beer) for the personnel at the brewery that hosts our club meetings. Most of us paste a handwritten mailing label on the bottles, as to what it is. Like 'Mosaic DIPA 9%'
 
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That would save making labels for each bottle too. Or is a bottle label required on 'external beers?'

Around the Holidays our club does a yearly giveaway of homebrew (and commercial beer) for the personnel at the brewery that hosts our club meetings. Most of us paste a handwritten mailing label on the bottles, as to what it is. Like 'Mosaic DIPA 9%'
Nice!
I'm lucky enough to have an art-professor friend who is going to make labels for this one; I'll be sure to include a photo of that, too, when I report back.
 
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