what is the best way to age

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what is the best way to age

Postby jarhead271 » Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:04 am

if anyone can give me information on aging, or tell me where i can find it i would much appreciate it

these are the general questions im looking for:

how long should i keep a batch in the secondary? is it always until i get a stable gravity? or will my beer improve if i keep it in the seondary longer? I wonder because I was told to keep my fresh batch of stout in the secondary for 7 to 10 weeks and then let it condition for two weeks. does it really take that long to ferment, or am i just letting all the flavors get together?

once in bottles, what is the best way to age? should all types of beers fully condition in two weeks? after two weeks do i want to go to cold storage? is there any advantage to aging longer in bottles?

do any of these answers change with different types of beers?

im also looking for any other general rules on aging
thanks
jarhead271
 
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Re: what is the best way to age

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:20 am

"how long should i keep a batch in the secondary?"

Optimally, only until it hits terminal gravity. There is no benefit to continued trub contact... actually it can be detrimental. You should rack it off again and condition the beer as close to 32 deg. F. as possible.

"once in bottles, what is the best way to age? should all types of beers fully condition in two weeks? after two weeks do i want to go to cold storage? is there any advantage to aging longer in bottles?"

Bottle aging can be style dependant. If you are naturally carbonating, a 2 week warm period is best. For most styles, you should refrigerate them after that. If you get into high gravity styles, some are best conditioned warm as long as you are sure they are completely terminal at packaging (other than priming media).
Make your next beer (or spirit) a local one!!!!

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Re: what is the best way to age

Postby jarhead271 » Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:14 pm

"Optimally, only until it hits terminal gravity. There is no benefit to continued trub contact... actually it can be detrimental. You should rack it off again and condition the beer as close to 32 deg. F. as possible."

so do you not carbonate in bottles? I have never heard of racking to a third container to condition. I am adding priming sugar to the batch after it finishes fermenting in the secondary, then i transfer it to bottles to condition. also, i was told that room temp is best for conditioning. what is the advantage to conditioning at cool temps?


"Bottle aging can be style dependant. If you are naturally carbonating, a 2 week warm period is best. For most styles, you should refrigerate them after that. If you get into high gravity styles, some are best conditioned warm as long as you are sure they are completely terminal at packaging (other than priming media)."

I just made a batch of coffee stout. what do you recomend for aging in bottles? OG was 1050. I was told 7 to 10 weeks for maturing. I dont know if that was supposed to be in bottles or not. from what you say it sounds like it should be done in bottles.

thanks
jarhead271
 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:35 am

Re: what is the best way to age

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:32 pm

"so do you not carbonate in bottles? "

Many homebrewers force carbonate or prime their beer in kegs or Corneilius cylinders, that is why I made that note.


"I have never heard of racking to a third container to condition. I am adding priming sugar to the batch after it finishes fermenting in the secondary, then i transfer it to bottles to condition."

Yes, I understand that alot of homebrewers have never thought this topic through. The science behind this recommendation is based upon the fact that after the yeast have done their work and a portion of the population, proteins and vegetal matter have settled, you should remove the beer off the trub as soon as possible. If you do not, you risk autolysis (yeast death) and bacterial problems (bacteria can live on proteins in trub). It would take another post to detail what could happen here, so I'll avoid that.... just try it, your beers will be VERY clean. Fear not, at terminal gravity there are still yeast in suspension if you don't let it sit too long. They are the most viable and vital among the yeast population.... that is what you want to keep, not the trub that settled out.

If you add your priming agent in the secondary, you also are allowing the less viable and vital yeast into your final product. Not a good idea. Do 1 more racking, condition cool, then bottle.



"also, i was told that room temp is best for conditioning. what is the advantage to conditioning at cool temps?"

Room temperature is best for conditioning to carbonate, not stabilize the beer. By conditioning at below 40 deg. F. you will be able to drag the proteins out of solution and they will settle to the bottom of your vessel along with the yeast. This will eliminate "chill haze" and make your beer very clear. Also, any bacteria present will become deactivated. The longer you hold the beer at this temperature, the better the stability becomes. The only rub is.... and this quantifies my "you might want to add a lager yeast" comment is that the yeast is also deactivated. But you will find that this change in technique will result in vastly superior beer with a long shelf life. These techniques are simply a transfer of professional techniques to a homebrew setting. Now to do all of this you have to be really careful how much air you pick up in your transfers... you don't want to oxidize the beer.

"I just made a batch of coffee stout. what do you recomend for aging in bottles? OG was 1050. I was told 7 to 10 weeks for maturing. I dont know if that was supposed to be in bottles or not. from what you say it sounds like it should be done in bottles."

The aging period is subjective on flavored beers... it really depends on how "aggressive" you like them. What is more important to the aging length is what the final SG was. If it is high, you probably would be better off conditioning it in glass at cold temperatures. This is so the yeast population is reduced to the point that when you add a priming media, you don't produce "coffee bombs"! By adding a small amount of yeast at bottling time, the yeast will just do their thing for carbonation and settle out without the risk of overcarbonation. This technique is commonly used in Dopplebocks where there is a high residual sugar content as well as a number of high gravity Belgian styles.
Make your next beer (or spirit) a local one!!!!

Eric Watson
Head Distiller & Brewer

Seven Fathoms Rum
Georgetown, Grand Cayman
Cayman Islands
User avatar
Mesa Maltworks
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2001 11:16 pm
Location: Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island


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