Fermentation Schedule

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hambrook
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Fermentation Schedule

Post by hambrook » Thu May 14, 2015 3:11 pm

So I'm 13 brews into my All Grain Brewing adventure, the last 6 using my Braumeister. But one area I need to understand better is the fermentation schedule. I have a brewfridge controlled by an STC controller and most 4.5% - 5% beers I ferment at 23 degrees for 48 hours then drop down to 20 degrees and it sits in the same FV until day 13 when I crash cool it to 10 degrees, into the bottling bucket, batch primed and bottle it.

But I have questions:
1) Most commercial breweries seem to only have beer in the FV for 7 days then into cask and away. Should I be doing the same for bottling or is that unsafe / chance of exploding bottles?

2) Ive only ever used one FV during fermentation. I was advised to leave it in the same FV for 2 weeks as the yeast cleans up after itself. If so, why do commercial breweries only leave for 7 days

3) Commercial breweries sometimes use "Conditioning tanks" - why and when do they use these and should I look at just using a spare FV as a conditioning tank rather than bottling or kegging everything at day 14?

4) Is there any advice or table on Fermentation schedules and effects on flavour? Is 20 degrees to high to keep ale for 14 days?
- Former owner of The Emsworth Brewhouse -
Now back to home brewing of a Braumeister 50L

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Befuddler
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Re: Fermentation Schedule

Post by Befuddler » Thu May 14, 2015 3:33 pm

hambrook wrote:So I'm 13 brews into my All Grain Brewing adventure, the last 6 using my Braumeister. But one area I need to understand better is the fermentation schedule. I have a brewfridge controlled by an STC controller and most 4.5% - 5% beers I ferment at 23 degrees for 48 hours then drop down to 20 degrees and it sits in the same FV until day 13 when I crash cool it to 10 degrees, into the bottling bucket, batch primed and bottle it.

But I have questions:
1) Most commercial breweries seem to only have beer in the FV for 7 days then into cask and away. Should I be doing the same for bottling or is that unsafe / chance of exploding bottles?

2) Ive only ever used one FV during fermentation. I was advised to leave it in the same FV for 2 weeks as the yeast cleans up after itself. If so, why do commercial breweries only leave for 7 days

3) Commercial breweries sometimes use "Conditioning tanks" - why and when do they use these and should I look at just using a spare FV as a conditioning tank rather than bottling or kegging everything at day 14?

4) Is there any advice or table on Fermentation schedules and effects on flavour? Is 20 degrees to high to keep ale for 14 days?
1) They do this for cask ales, which are going to keep fermenting in the cask to build condition. Casks can hold a fair bit of pressure without popping the shive and they get vented before being served to make sure they aren't over-carbonated. You can't do this with a bottle, so it would be a bit unpredictable to bottle before hitting your FG with some certainty.

2) There's probably no benefit to leaving the beer on the yeast cake for extended periods. When commercial brewers rack off to cask, there is still plenty of yeast in suspension to build condition and clean up any unwanted products. Again for reasons of predictability home brewers like to make sure their yeast has finished its work before bottling. Some will rack off to a secondary fermenter, leaving the yeast behind. Others don't bother.

3) Conditioning tanks are normally used for kegged or bottled beers. They are sealed tanks which allow the beer to build condition before transferring under pressure to the final package. You can use a corny keg to do this if you want, but on our scales it's just as easy to carbonate with top pressure from a co2 tank.

4) Depends on the yeast strain, but generally, lower temp = cleaner flavour, higher temp = more fruity esters. 20-23c is quite high for most English or American yeasts, but perfectly normal for Belgians.
"There are no strong beers, only weak men"

TheSumOfAllBeers
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Re: Fermentation Schedule

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Thu May 14, 2015 3:45 pm

Commercial breweries pitch at much higher levels than home brewers. They can hit FG fast and predictably.

23c is a bit high for English ales. If you have temp control, pitch lower, at day 18 and let it rise to 20c on its own, for a cleaner flavour.

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Goulders
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Re: Fermentation Schedule

Post by Goulders » Thu May 14, 2015 3:51 pm

The 23c he is referring to is specifically for a Gales HSB clone he is trying to master, which is apparently key to getting the esters using the Gales yeast in that beer. The 23C was for 24 hours only.
If you have a cheap pressure barrel, you can always use that as a "conditioning tank" as well.

hambrook
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Re: Fermentation Schedule

Post by hambrook » Thu May 14, 2015 4:07 pm

Good point. I have 2 King Kegs getting little use - I could condition in there before bottling / Kegging
- Former owner of The Emsworth Brewhouse -
Now back to home brewing of a Braumeister 50L

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