Conditioning before bottling

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Almundo
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Conditioning before bottling

Post by Almundo » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:45 pm

Any advice on post primary fermentation and before bottling?

Read few few bits but doesn't seem to be consistent. I have been racking to a king keg for a week before the priming and bottling.

This is my 2nd AG and I'm holding the conditioning at 20deg C before I then batch prime and bottle.

It's a bitter recipe with MO & crystal.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

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MarkA
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Re: Conditioning before bottling

Post by MarkA » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:05 pm

I leave the primary fermentation to run for 2 weeks, upping the temp by a couple of degrees for the last few days to make sure it's finished. The yeast will clean any fermentation byproducts up in that time, then I bottle. Racking to another vessel adds more risk of infection, not to mention the effort involved in cleaning additional gear!

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Re: Conditioning before bottling

Post by RobP » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:18 pm

There isn't a real consensus on what is best for that stage of the fermentation process. The answer is, do what works for you. What I do varies depending on what the beer is, the strength and how I'm going to package it. For example...
Beer for pressure barrel: For me will be sub 4%, will transfer to barrel, fine and prime after two weeks fermenting.
UK style beer, few or no dry hops: Leave in fermenter for four weeks to allow as much yeast as reasonable to settle out, might cold crash a few days. Left no more than four weeks because of autolysis. Don't bother with racking (other than for batch priming).
Heavily dry hopped beer: bottle as soon as possible, trying to keep the hop taste fresh.
Beer to be lagered: Ferment, rack off yeast, lager, rack, lager a bit more, prime and re-seed with new yeast, bottle.

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FUBAR
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Re: Conditioning before bottling

Post by FUBAR » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:33 am

Yeah whenever I bottle the beer gets transferred form FV to PB and put somewhere cool for about a month,then vent the PB 24 hours before bottling .It was Graham Wheeler's preferred method and he stated that even the worst commercial breweries would send the beer to conditioning tanks for a couple of weeks before bottling .
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Re: Conditioning before bottling

Post by Meatymc » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:15 am

For me, depends on what the style is and if I'm dry hopping or adding extra's such as coffee or fruit etc - in which case always transfer to secondary beforehand. Does mean you then have to transfer again to botting bucket unless you're very careful.

As already said, any additional step increases possibility of infection plus of course it extends the time from pitching to bottling. I always cold crash now for a couple days but you must then allow it to return to fermentation temp before bottling otherwise, because the colder the liquid the more gas it can hold, when you eventually come to open a bottle you'll most likely have a very foamy pour and will probably need at least a couple of glasses to try and hold it all!

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HTH1975
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Re: Conditioning before bottling

Post by HTH1975 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:01 am

I used to leave the beer in the FV for two weeks with the thought that the yeast will clean up the beer and it would be finished fermentation for sure.

These days, I don’t find that’s necessary at all. My process is to ferment out for 5-7 days, then crash cool for another 2-3 days before bottling. Ideally grain to bottle in 7-10 days, then carbonate for the same time again.

Any dry hopping is done in this same time period.

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Re: Conditioning before bottling

Post by Meatymc » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:07 pm

HTH1975 wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:01 am
I used to leave the beer in the FV for two weeks with the thought that the yeast will clean up the beer and it would be finished fermentation for sure.

These days, I don’t find that’s necessary at all. My process is to ferment out for 5-7 days, then crash cool for another 2-3 days before bottling. Ideally grain to bottle in 7-10 days, then carbonate for the same time again.

Any dry hopping is done in this same time period.
Ditto - even with dry hopping, cold crashing/clearing and returning to fermentation temp, I expect to be done within 14 days max and that's only so brewing and bottling fall on weekends - often ready to go middle of week 2.

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Re: Conditioning before bottling

Post by Kingfisher4 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:53 pm

I have finally got proper temperature control available so advice on cold crashing would be great. There seem to be conflicting ideas out there! When FG is reached ( mainly bitters / golden british ales currently) how long and at what temperature is cold crashing optimal? do I need to return to fermentation temp before bottling and how do I control potential suck back through airlock as gas volume contracts with chilling?

I bottle and prime to aim for 1.3-1.4 vol CO2, rarely dry hop currently.

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Re: Conditioning before bottling

Post by Meatymc » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:39 pm

I do the oddball brew occasionally but am predominantly an IPA man. Ferment at 18 degrees, cold crash down to 2, add gelatine, leave for 3 days, then take back to fermenting temp. I've ended up at 60g of brewing sugar for carbonating just by trial and error but there is an element of how you like your beer. Don't use an airlock but always spray Starsan on everything before opening the fridge (door, hands etc).

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Re: Conditioning before bottling

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:11 pm

Kingfisher: blow off tubes are better for controlling suck back as the beer chills and contracts.

I have a pressure transfer setup on my FV, so I can easily attach a low pressure co2 source to my fv to stop suck back, or otherwise top up the headspace

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Re: Conditioning before bottling

Post by Kingfisher4 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:27 pm

TheSumOfAllBeers wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:11 pm
Kingfisher: blow off tubes are better for controlling suck back as the beer chills and contracts.
Thanks, I'm guessing that's because of the greater dead space volume in the tubing before liquid sucks back into the FV. I'll change over as I made up a blowoff tube recently.

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Re: Conditioning before bottling

Post by Kingfisher4 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:24 am

Another potential issue has just occurred to me. My previous FV was a Fastferment plastic Conical shaped with a yeast / trub ball that could be isolated then carefully batch primed in the FV before running off direct from FV to bottles.

With my shiny new Grainfather Conical I can now control temperature properly, dump yeast/trub and draw the beer off from above that level direct to bottles. Cold crashing will drop most of the yeast out of suspension and I will dump after that. I would plan to batch prime in the FV (carefully to minimise oxygen ingress) but without wasting lots of completed beer how do I prevent re suspension of any settled yeast which hasn't dumped?

May seem a daft question but 1st batch will be ready to cold crash and bottle this week so would prefer to minimise waste and maximise quality rather than find out gradually by trial and error.

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