Bottle conditioning question

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

Moderator: slothrob

Bottle conditioning question

Postby HardcoreLegend » Sun Nov 10, 2002 9:29 am

I have a quick question aboutd a porter I brewed in late September, and bottled in early October. The recipe I created used A half bottle of molasses, and some brown sugar as adjunct ingredients. I had some problems with this batch, and the finishing gravity was slightly too high. Now, the beer has been in the bottle a little over a month now and is still pretty sharp in flavor. I think it is the molasses. Is it normal for these ingredients to take longer to balance out in a bottle conditioned ale? If I move all the bottles to cold storage in my garage now, will the coller temps help the conditionong? For your information, OG was 1.045 and FG was 1.016 and this was an extract based brown porter. The final gravity was high because I racked to secondary before primary fermentation was complete. Any advice on these questions will be greatly appreciated.
HardcoreLegend
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Roscoe, IL, US

Relax...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sun Nov 10, 2002 11:30 am

"OG was 1.045 and FG was 1.016"

You really weren't that far off the mark for a Brown Porter... the style range is 1.040 ~1.050 SG/ 1.008~1.014 FG. So your OG was directly in the middle. Your FG is the result of unfermentables in the molasses. Brown sugar ferments just like sucrose (table sugar) but leaves a little flavor behind.

"the beer has been in the bottle a little over a month now and is still pretty sharp in flavor. I think it is the molasses. Is it normal for these ingredients to take longer to balance out in a bottle conditioned ale?"

Yes, unrefined and less refined sugar sources such as molasses and treacle do require more aging to smooth their flavors and that is regardless of the packaging method. You can expect that it will take a minimum of two months conditioning to begin to hit it's stride.

"If I move all the bottles to cold storage in my garage now, will the coller temps help the conditioning?"

Yes... cold storage of conditioning beer of any style will facilitate more rapid and better conditioning. But remember to only do this after you have given the beer sufficient time to carbonate (via gyle or sugars) before moving the beer to an area below 65 deg. F.

"The final gravity was high because I racked to secondary before primary fermentation was complete."

I am sure that was not the cause... as stated before, it was the molasses.

As an aside...

I prefer to transfer the beer 3 times before the brew goes terminal.

The first transfer is after day 1. The function of this one is to get the beer off the protein, vegetative matter and less viable yeast which do nothing for the beer but increase conditioning time and add risk of contamination and off flavors.

The second transfer is done when the brew is within 2 points of the planned final gravity. Example: if planning a FG of 1.012, transfer to the third vessel at 1.014. The reason for this transfer is to get the beer off the flocculated yeast and any additional trub matter. The yeast at this stage that has flocculated will either be dead or beginning to go into dormancy which can also negatively impact flavor.

The yeast that remain in the 3rd transfer vessel are the ones that are the healthiest and will quickly nibble out the final gravity points, reabsorb diacetyl and floc out. If you harvest yeast for repitching, this is what you want to harvest because the slurry will be almost completely devoid of trub and therefore will be less likely to contain contaminates.

Following this regimin will produce VERY clean beers that condition quicker. With the addition of cold storage, it will work even better.

Now some cautions: Transfering this often carrys some risks... introducing oxygen that will later lead to staling and introducing bacteria. So, transfer with as little turbulence and splashing as possible and exercise very good sanitization practices.

Try this... it may seem a pain, but I guarantee you will find the results worth it !


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

Thanks Again!

Postby HardcoreLegend » Sun Nov 10, 2002 4:52 pm

Thanks for your definitive and educatinal answers. You take such good care of us all!
HardcoreLegend
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Roscoe, IL, US

fining and filtering Q's

Postby Gravity Thrills » Mon Nov 11, 2002 7:44 am

Mesa (and anyone else with advice),

I am working toward adopting your "3 transfers and out" fermentation strategy, but for the first two transfers I'm actually not planning on transferring beer but dumping trub and/or yeast out of a Fermentap inverted carboy setup. From a thread a month or so back, I know I might not be getting the benefit of moving beer away from the nearly spent krausen by not actually transferring to a new secondary fermenter, but I can live with that. Experience also suggests that just droping the volume in the fermenter by removing the yeast slurry as FG is approached should leave some of the foam and associated off-flavor compounds stuck to the carboy sides, up and away from the beer.

My question concerns the addition of a fining and/or filtering step at the end of this fermentation protocol (BTW, I think this could be a good subject for one of your in-depth profiles). Do you fine of filter in your home setup? What about at the brewery? I used to occasionally add gelatin at racking, but usually didn't worry about haze
Gravity Thrills
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2001 10:12 pm

Two cents

Postby Freon12 » Mon Nov 11, 2002 2:36 pm

I filtered from one corni to another using a spun filter at 5 micron. As Mesa will tell you the filters are not rated very close to this. It worked well for chill haze if I filtered cold beer before force carbonating.


I have dropped the use of finings and filtering except for irish moss and clear my beer in the corni kegs now.

I have corrected some brewing errors causing my problem and now I get !@#$ clear beer in the third transfer(Corni keg).

After transfer to my secondary I crash the yeast at -1c, transfer to the keg and in about two weeks of storage at +1c, after the first pint its clear beer until the last pint which is ugly.(or could be started).

You can read the news through my belgian triple!
One vote for no filter.


Steve
Freon12
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 404
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2001 8:27 pm
Location: WHITELAND, IN, US

Thermally challenged

Postby Gravity Thrills » Tue Nov 12, 2002 9:36 pm

First off, send me one of those Tripels and I'll see if I can indead read the paper through it - As President TheGippper once said, "Trust but verify." Better yet, send me a couple and then I'll have a hard time reading anything at all :-)

My tired beer fridge only happily gets down to about 36-38F; set lower than that it just runs and runs and costs a bajillion dollars (1.3 bajillion dollars Canadian), but never really flirts with freezing temps. Hey, call me Anti-Freon.

I have done pretty well my last few batches fining after secondary and then colling from seconrdary fermentation temp to 40F for 48h before racking into kegs. Filtering may be an unnescessary step - the classic solution in search of a problem.

Then again.... My wife asked me, "what's that you're putting in the beer?" "Bentonite," I said. "It looks like mud," she responded. "Well, er... it's actually very special charged clay-sized particles that will leave the beer crystal clear." "Whatever.... but I don't want to drink beer with mud in it."

If the wife's happy (and well-supplied with cervesas), the brewing is tolerated. For that reason alone, maybe I'll pursue filtering as a follow-up to the bentonite if I continue using it.

Thanks for your thoughts on teh matter. Here's mud in 'yer beer.
Jim
Gravity Thrills
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2001 10:12 pm

ahemm....

Postby Freon12 » Wed Nov 13, 2002 2:07 pm

Harleyheritage@netzero.net


X-nay on the talkaday of Senday.
Freon
Freon12
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 404
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2001 8:27 pm
Location: WHITELAND, IN, US


Return to Techniques, Methods, Tips & How To

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron