Bottle Conditioning

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Bill Hilton, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton New Member

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    Dear Brewers, I have been looking to put some science into my priming. Current practice is to add (with my pointed favourite teaspoon & funnel) about a 3rd teaspoon ordinary caster sugar to each 500 ml bottle. I can hear you saying that's not accurate but I have test weighed many samples with my favourite spoon and the variation is surprisingly little and makes a consistent 1.5g/bottle. The first question 'is it enough' I find in the winter when my bottling is cold (always done outside in the garage) I need to wait at least 8 weeks before sampling, however in the summer this time is approximately halved. Now I have read carefully
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/beer-priming-calculator/
    and it seems that 3.96g/L (or 1.98g/500ml bottle) provides 2.1 Volumes of CO2 or 31.5 lbs/square inch pressure at 0°C. From the table I can see that British style ales typically range from 1.5-2.0 Volumes CO2. By this information I estimate my beers have 1.6 volumes CO2.
    The next question is 'how long do I want to keep my beer maturing' away in the garage? If I were to follow the instructions given and aim for 2 volumes CO2 I'm pretty sure I would have explosions eventually. Currently I have 10 different beers (approximately 200 bottles) awaiting consumption. The oldest is 50 weeks and the youngest is 2 days in the bottle. There is a beautiful and varied maturation of the malt flavours over time, which I will probably have to study for the rest of my life. How long do you expect to keep your beers for? Do you aim for 2 volumes CO2 and intend to finish drinking it in 3 months?
    Apologies if you think this is all too complex but I will continue to aim at 1.5 Vol CO2 and patiently wait for the conditioning to show. I am rigorous at sterilisation and haven't had any beer go off and to date have never had an explosion. I will try a batch priming next brew to see if it is easier and offers any more consistency. Approx 65g caster sugar/21 Litres beer at 20°C. Anyone know what volume of CO2 this will produce?
     
  2. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    I'm a bit of a nube but remember what you are doing to get the carbination in the bottle...you are feeding the yeast and for yeast to be active, you need to have them at a temperature where they are going to be awake enough to eat the sugar so depending on the yeast you are using, cooler temps may be putting your yeast to sleep, slowing the process. I have had better success when I batch prime and I condition at a little warmer (22-23) than your 20 degrees C but for an ale yeast, it should be fine. I am usually drinking mine in a few (3) weeks.

    But 200 bottles? I hope you tried some of it since that's a lotta brew to be waiting on not knowing if you've done it right. You are much more confident than me!
     
  3. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    First off, carbonation at room temperature usually takes about 2 weeks. Second, bulk priming will give you better consistency. Third, If your beer has fermented completely, you won't have a problem with bottle bombs unless the beer is infected.

    All of that said, if you're happy with your results, why change. Like the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
     
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  4. RobCrossland

    RobCrossland New Member

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    As a newb I started using coopers priming tablets to sort of guarantee the consistency but will attempt priming sugar into secondary for bottling next ( a raspberry wheat beer).
     
  5. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty easy to figure out....unless, as I also have, bottle conditioning takes "a while". (carbonation increases in my bottles significantly over an 8 week period, although FG doesn't change more than 0.1-0.2° Plato in that time :-/ )
    That being said, as long as you are roughly within limits (FG reached before bottling, limited bottling sugar, etc), you won't risk bottle bombs.
    What I eventually ended up doing, and is really easy as long as you have ~1L freezer space, is a poor-man's version of "krausening". I freeze a half liter of gyle and just thaw and add it back to the finished beer before bottling. No mucking about with measuring / disolving sugar, and still easy enough to measure accurately for the desired result.
    As stated, my conditioning takes a while, so 3-6 weeks in bottle are optimal drinking, both taste and carbonation-wise. After 6 weeks, hop aroma starts to diminish and carbonation increases beyond what I prefer (low-med for an IPA).
     
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  6. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    200 bottles...holy crap. The last time I primed anything close to that many bottles was the last time I bottled. Bill, I’m impressed with your patience and perseverance. Cheers!
     
  7. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Love the screen name. The group W bench brings back memories of Thanksgiving and the massacree.
     
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  8. N0mad

    N0mad Well-Known Member

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    Right to the point...
     

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