When to refrigerate bottles

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MadProphet

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Since you all got me through the dry hopping phase, I've bottled my first brew. They've been in the cupboard for a week now - when can I throw a few in the reefer? Should I wait another week or will the dip in temp slow carbonation?
 

Sammy86

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Since you all got me through the dry hopping phase, I've bottled my first brew. They've been in the cupboard for a week now - when can I throw a few in the reefer? Should I wait another week or will the dip in temp slow carbonation?

I leave mine 3-4 weeks and then check 1 in the fridge for 24 hours and taste then if everything is good to go throw them in the fridge for long term storage.
 

TheCache

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I always give mine a full 14 days (or more for higher gravity beers). The priming sugar may ferment out after 4-7 days, but the CO2 produced first first fills up the head space and then is forced back into the beer. Forcing the CO2 into solution is what takes longer, at least that is my understanding. I often get impatient and try one or two after about 7 days. This gives me a chance to be assured that the beer is carbonating, but I notice the carbonation seems fuller the longer I wait. The head will usually be better also after 2-3 weeks and I think the flavors come together better by waiting.

But enjoying a couple of your brews earlier is a good thing and gives you a chance to study how the beer changes with time.
 

doug293cz

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The priming sugar may ferment out after 4-7 days, but the CO2 produced first first fills up the head space and then is forced back into the beer. Forcing the CO2 into solution is what takes longer, at least that is my understanding.
This is incorrect. CO2 is produced one molecule at a time in the beer, so is in solution when it is created. CO2 only leaves the beer to keep the headspace CO2 pressure in equilibrium with the CO2 level in the beer.

When you bottle condition, the temp is higher than serving temp, so the equilibrium CO2 pressure in the headspace is higher at conditioning temp than serving temp. So, there will be a little CO2 reabsorbed from the headspace when you chill your beer for serving, but this is a minor effect.

Having to absorb most of the CO2 for carbonation from the headspace is what occurs during forced carbonation using pressurized CO2 from an external source.

Brew on :mug:
 

AZCoolerBrewer

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As @DBhomebrew suggests, I don’t touch anything for 2 weeks. At 2 weeks, I put one in the fridge and let sit for a day to allow the CO2 in the headspace to dissolve into the beer. If everything is good with that one, I stack everybody into the fridge and wait a day for those. I usually brew 2 gallons or less, so all my beers will fit in the family fridge with this process.
 

RWurster

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You know, I have carbonated in the past and I still occasionally do but most of my beer gets into my belly before it has the chance to carbonate anyway much less make it into the fridge. Having said that, anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks after priming I drink them. The longer you wait the better the beer turns out.
 

Dland

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I'd at least wait until fully carbed to put in 'fridge to crash, nice and cold. If you can wait an extra week or two cold after that, the beer will improve. Of course a little longer cold wait is even better, but it seems we have to be realistic, as OP does not even seem to want to wait until brew is fully carbed, let alone conditioned.
 
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MadProphet

MadProphet

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I'd at least wait until fully carbed to put in 'fridge to crash, nice and cold. If you can wait an extra week or two cold after that, the beer will improve. Of course a little longer cold wait is even better, but it seems we have to be realistic, as OP does not even seem to want to wait until brew is fully carbed, let alone conditioned.
No, I'm perfectly willing to wait. I was wondering when to cool it vs sitting in the cupboard at ~72 degrees. I don't plan to test until the end of week 3.
 

RM-MN

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Don't wait! Try one early so you have an idea later of why you should wait 3 weeks. The beer will be carbonated in a day or 2, be all stirred up and not hold a head. At a week the trub that the carbonation stirred up will have mostly if not fully settled and the beer will hold at least a minimal head. From there on it will improve in flavor and will create better head.

As your beers get darker as in porters or stouts, you will find that they take longer to mature as do beers with a higher ABV. Sampling is how you find out just how long to wait on these beers
 

LostHopper

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Patience is usually rewarded and that is why you should have more than one batch in progress at all times so you have plenty available at peak condition.

As mentioned, tasting one early is a good learning tool about how beer matures with time.
 

Alan Reginato

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4 weeks. And turn around bottles some times if yeast is high flocculant or if you use a solid priming, like table sugar. Usually once at 2nd week. Or you could do more times, if you feel it's necessary.

I use a homemade inverted syrup. Just table sugar, lemon juice and water. Make the maths, boil it and dose with a syringe. Also, it helps minimising headspace.
 

LostHopper

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It also depends on the temperature. If it gets hotter than 72f then it'll carbonate quicker.
And I probably wouldn't store them in the cupboard to start just as a precautionary measure.
We have a spare bathroom and unused tub and I put bottles in there with the shower curtain closed for the first 10-14 days.
I've never had a bottle bomb but having one in the bathtub is preferable to the cupboard.
 

hotbeer

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Beer will change taste and character over time. Many beers aren't at their best right after they are fully carbonated. So just put a few in the fridge to taste. When they seem to be the best they can be, then put most of the rest in the fridge. Though you might keep a few to try months later and see what they are like then.

Room temp beer will change quicker than refrigerated beer. So plan according to what your samples tell you.

I don't obsess about how and where to store my beer. However I do keep it where if a bottle should leak or become the rare and much feared bottle bomb, it won't be a big deal to clean up.
 

mashpaddled

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I've had beer carb up ready to drink in bottles in four days but generally best to let them carb up and settle for a couple weeks. If you want to stick one in the fridge and try it out now you could. If it's carbed up and clear then you can move all the rest.
 
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MadProphet

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I bottled on the 21st, so I'll wait the two weeks and crack one on the 4th. It's a Pliny clone from MoreBeer and I'm really interested in seeing how my first attempt will come out.
Thanks for all the replies.
 

AZCoolerBrewer

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I'd at least wait until fully carbed to put in 'fridge to crash, nice and cold. If you can wait an extra week or two cold after that, the beer will improve. Of course a little longer cold wait is even better, but it seems we have to be realistic, as OP does not even seem to want to wait until brew is fully carbed, let alone conditioned.
That’s a good point. If clear beer is important to you, the longer it sits in the fridge, the clearer it will get. Beers stored at room temp may never get clear, at least not in the time frames that beer hangs around at my house.
 

Dancy

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I’m specifically interested in what’s best when it comes to a Belgian Dark Strong Ale or Belgian Trippel/Dubbel. Out of a 5+G batch, I like to drink a dozen or so after a month or two and I let the others sit at room temp (72F) with the idea of letting them age longer, from a few to several months before I refrigerate and drink them. Doesn’t cold storage inhibit the aging/conditioning process?
 

TheCache

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I believe Belgians do benefit from cellaring, but that would be at temperatures in the 50-55˚ range, not 72˚ room temp. I think a Belgian would be best if allowed to carbonate for 3-4 weeks and then (after a single bottle test of course) moved to a cellar temp storage space for weeks, months, or even years in some cases to condition/age.

At least that is how I take care of mine.
 

Dancy

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Thanks so much. Unfortunately, I live in a 3rd floor condo - no cellar!
 

Dancy

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I use a wine fridge sometimes. No wine in there, but sometimes a few 6ers of Belgian Dubbel.
I’ve been considering that. I like having Belgians around most of the time so it might be worthwhile.
 

Davedrinksbeer

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I’m specifically interested in what’s best when it comes to a Belgian Dark Strong Ale or Belgian Trippel/Dubbel. Out of a 5+G batch, I like to drink a dozen or so after a month or two and I let the others sit at room temp (72F) with the idea of letting them age longer, from a few to several months before I refrigerate and drink them. Doesn’t cold storage inhibit the aging/conditioning process?
I like to make Belgiums and Big Stouts and they seems to age and condition fine in my refrigerator. I let them sit in my fermentation bucket 3-4 weeks, keg them for a month and then bottle. After bottling they go in my beer fridge. I have a few Belgiums and Stouts that are hitting the 3 year mark in the fridge and they still are tasty and super smooth.
 
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