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

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Postby jayhawk » Sun Nov 03, 2002 4:07 pm

I brew ales, and I am wondering if there is a way to speed conditioning. Typically, I will leave beer in the secondary for 10-14 days @ 20C. After bottling, the beer doesn't hit its peak for another 3-4 weeks. It turns out good, but usually I have consumed most of the batch by then. Is it worthwhile to have an ale at a cooler temp during secondary? Does this speed conditioning? What is the best temp range? Does cooling the brew increase flocculation, and is it wise to repith before bottling?
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Bottle Conditioning?

Postby l48shark » Sun Nov 03, 2002 5:26 pm

Are we talking about bottle conditioning and carbonation? I had trouble with poor carbonation in my bottled brews and found it helpful to bring the bottles to room temperature and also tousle them occasionally. This helped a lot as far as carbonation goes. I do not repitch yeast, I just add 3/4 cup of priming corn sugar before bottling. Of course, the easiest method is to keg and force carbonate, but that is another thread entirely.

As for consuming batches before they hit their peak, the only solution I have found is to increase my brewing schedule so it has to sit around longer before consumption. (Provided I don't throw a party.)

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Postby stouts » Sun Nov 03, 2002 6:34 pm

to the best of my knowledge, ales condition best at room temp., and I don't know of anyway to speed it up, but the suggestion of keeping more in stock sounds like a good idea, think I'll do the same thing...
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Speed conditioning, no. Why?

Postby Brewer2001 » Sun Nov 03, 2002 9:17 pm


Different styles of beer and ale condition/mature at different intervals. English cask conditioned ale is at its peak within two weeks after brewing (this is why so many brewpubs brew ales). Lagers require at least 28 days in the secondary tanks before bottling (many of the good lagers take much longer). Belgian bottle conditioned ales (ex. Lambic) condition for 2 or 3 years.

Your on the right track for your secondary. The purpose of the secondary is to clear the ale (secondary is not required for ale production). This is the homebrewers equivelant to the pros 'bright tank'. In the secondary, ale is allowed to clear using gravity (Stokes Law)and temperature. Cooling the secondary aids and decreases the settling time to clear the ale. Try to drop the ale to about 10C or lower.

Here is a good bottle conditioning regiment.
Rack the ale from secondary to a bottling 'bucket' (I have installed a tap on mine) leave behind all the sediment (I want clear ale). Add the amount of sugar for the carbonation desired and bottle. Raise the temperature to 20C for two days to get the yeast going then store the bottles in a temperature between 4 - 10C. Wait. Sample. Wait! The "bigger" (more complex) the ale the longer it should be allowed to mature.

I have not found the need to repitch any yeast prior to bottling. Cooling also aids CO2 absorbtion in the ale. Mass produced beer is force carbonated at 0.5C to aid this process.

If you drink all your "green" beer and ale you may never know how good it really is....let it age.

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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Generally quicker

Postby niburech » Wed Nov 06, 2002 12:57 pm

Throw in more priming sugar.
I've always found that if you toss in a little extra, it speeds the process. I've gotten very foamy and tasty beer after 2 weeks and even a little earlier by using a little more priming sugar than the recipe calls for and leaving the bottles at room temp the whole time.
Don't go overboard with this idea, please, but if you use 3/4 cup to prime 20 litres (about 5 gallons), heap the cup. If the recipe calls for 300grams, throw in 350. It's perfectly safe and it works.
That said; Brewer2001 is right, the truth is that the beer tastes better if you wait.
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I'm with you

Postby jayhawk » Wed Nov 06, 2002 9:18 pm

Beer does taste better with age, no doubt. I just find my appetite for liquid bread is so great that once the beer gets to its peak, it is almost gone. I was just hoping there was a way to get it there quicker. Guess I will just have to brew more, too bad ;)
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