What do they do?

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Fuzzyfella

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I have an ESB that in primary. Its my first partial mash attempt and my hands get sweaty and my mouth goes dry every time I think about its cool, malty, hoppiness and what I imagine its going to tast like when its done. Then I remember that I still have at least six more weeks to wait until I can finally try a bottle.

Watching a recent television program It said that a small commercial brewery could produce beers in approximately 2-3 weeks (depending on type).

How the hell do they do it and what, if anything, can I do to emulate this quick turn-around and speed up my homebrew, without impairing the final product?

Thoughtfully,

Fuzzy
 

Monk

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Depending on the style you brew, you can be drinking a beer 2-3 weeks after brewing. I'm drinking a pale ale I brewed 10 days previous. The prevailing dogma is that you must age everything forever, and there certainly is some truth to that, particularly for certain styles. But hoppy brews are best drunk fresh, in my opinion. If you have to age for 6 months, you screwed up somewhere.

If you want to drink it quick, it helps to have the following qualities/capabilities:
low gravity (1.035-1.050)
good clean fermentation with enough yeast
ability to crash cool to drop out yeast
ability to force carb

For me, I like to drink hoppy beers early, as well as hefs. For malty beers, however, I find that mine need more time to condition, closer to the 1-2-3 week model. I don't make lagers, or huge beers, usually, so my advice above doesn't apply to those beers.
 

TheTower

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There's a sticky in the general techniques forum which explains this quite nicely called aging beers. It also tells exactly how we humble homebrewers can attain that turnaround.
 

ericm

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generally, they crash cool, they sometimes fine/filter and they force carb
 

EvilTOJ

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+1 to that, eric. You have to remember that half of that 6 week turnaround is 3 weeks in the bottle waiting for carbonation. They just force carb then bottle bypassing the bottle conditioning process. Plus a lot of commercial breweries make lower abv beers, which are generally drinkable sooner than high abv beers.

I saw a show once where Budweiser proudly proclaimed their beers can be ready from grain to can in three days. Inconceivable!
 
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Fuzzyfella

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I must admit guys I'd rather wait for a decent pint than drink that Bud, Carlsberg or any other fizzy p**s that only gets sold because of its marketing budget, rather than its flavour.
Still, I might have to stick a light IPA in primary to keep me ticking over until my more potent, deliciously hoppy, ESB matures.

Once again, thanks to all for your extremely informative assitance.

Regards,

Fuzzy.
 

snailsongs

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I made a best bitter (OG- 1.043) and bottled it at day 9, was drinking at day 20......sure, it has smoothed out and improved with further bottle aging, but it was well-drinkable and tasty at 20 days......I pretty much place bitters and ESB's in the "simple beers with quick turnaround" category.
 

JuanKenobi

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Agreed. I brew bitters for this exact purpose. Just started drinking my Bitter at 25 days and my current ESB is done fermenting after 10 days, will probably keg it at 14, chill and carb. They're a little green to start, but very drinkable, and a great perscription for impatience.
 

Dennis1979

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I have an ESB that in primary. Its my first partial mash attempt and my hands get sweaty and my mouth goes dry every time I think about its cool, malty, hoppiness and what I imagine its going to tast like when its done. Then I remember that I still have at least six more weeks to wait until I can finally try a bottle.

Watching a recent television program It said that a small commercial brewery could produce beers in approximately 2-3 weeks (depending on type).

How the hell do they do it and what, if anything, can I do to emulate this quick turn-around and speed up my homebrew, without impairing the final product?

Thoughtfully,

Fuzzy
That's why homebrew is so much better than commercial beer. The commercial guys have a much different focus which is to get the materials they buy turned into beer and sold as soon as possible. Inevitably, that formula will result in lower quality beer. Here in the US for instance, the big commercial operations use 6 row barley cut with rice or corn because its cheaper. Most of the commercial beer is lower alcohol content too. It has no shelf life. Oh and it tastes like crap. So I think we are talking apples and oranges when we talk commercial vs homebrew.

You just have to get a good pipeline of beer going, then you never have to worry about how long a batch takes.

Dennis
 

SumnerH

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Here in the US for instance, the big commercial operations use 6 row barley cut with rice or corn because its cheaper.
They certainly do a lot of other things for the bottom line, but using adjuncts was absolutely done to get a better beer flavor (where "better" means "what most people prefer"). When they started using rice and corn adjuncts in the 1860s and 1870s, both of those were more expensive than barley. But they were needed to make a lighter brew more in accordance with mainstream American tastes.
 
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