Topics Topics Help/Instructions Help Edit Profile Profile Member List Register  
Search Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Search Tree View Tree View  

Visit The Brewery's sponsor!
Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through September 09, 2004 * Fruit beer conditioning < Previous Next >

  Thread Last Poster Posts Pages Last Post
  ClosedClosed: New threads not accepted on this page        

Author Message
 

Ariel Baez
Junior Member
Username: Homebru358

Post Number: 50
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 07:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

OK, this past Monday was two weeks I had my fruit beer priming in bottles. So, last night I decided to put all the bottles in my basement fridge and let them cold condition for a few weeks. The temperature is set at coldest, and the thermometer is reading in the 40 degree range.

But, I'm wondering if this is the proper approach to condition a fruit style beer (or any, for that matter). I was actually thinking of turning up the temperature to the 50 degree range.

Can anyone give me some suggestions, shed some facts on the correct method, or tell me how you typically condition your fruit beers?
If you're gonna' brew on - BREW HAPPY!!
 

Brandon Dachel
Senior Member
Username: Brandon

Post Number: 1187
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The first question I'd pose is what are you trying to accomplish by 'cold conditioning'?
 

Ariel Baez
Junior Member
Username: Homebru358

Post Number: 51
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, even though I keep my bottles in the basement while priming, in the summertime the average temperature down there is still in the mid 60's. So, I figured they would condition, or age, better in the fridge. Also, I believe I'll get a cleaner flavor from lagering the beer even if I turn the temperature up some more (in the 50's).

If this is a dumb approach then please someone let me know. And, if there's any other methods to aging beer in the right temperatures in situations such as mine, I'm all ears (and eyes)!!
If you're gonna' brew on - BREW HAPPY!!
 

Brandon Dachel
Senior Member
Username: Brandon

Post Number: 1190
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmm..I'm not sure if what you're trying to do is going to accomplish much. You do mention a 'cleaner' flavor. What do you mean by this? Here's a couple of guidelines (not hard and fast rules) though...

a. Homebrew has live yeast in it so the flavor *changes* over time. Note that I didn't say better or worse.

b. Generally speaking, once an ale is done (no longer green) the beer is at it's prime. Some styles, particularly high gravity ones, tend to benefit from extended aging.

c. Hop bitterness tends to fade with time. Cold conditioning ales tends to diminish the estery flavors. This may or may not be acceptable depending on the style.

d. Lagers are by definition cold conditioned.

e. Some people 'cold condition' ales for a day or so simply to help the beer drop bright quicker. This is simply a substitute for waiting.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 437
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 02:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cold conditioning tends to diminish flavors, including some that may be undesirable, but it also reduces the levels of esters that are the main flavor/aroma components of the fruit. So you may well be diminishing exactly what you are trying to encourage. I suppose it's possible that you want a very clean beer with only a hint of fruit character; in that case cold conditioning would serve your purpose. But otherwise you probably want to store the beer in a relatively cool--but not cold--place.

The best way to produce more fruit character is by reducing or eliminating the ingredients (hops, darker malts, phenolic yeast strains, etc.) that compete with the fruit. That, and using more fruit to begin with. It takes 2-3 lbs. of most fruits per gallon of beer to achieve a substantial fruit presence. You can also add fruit flavorings at bottling/kegging, although some people would say it's not quite the same thing as real fruit.
 

Ariel Baez
Junior Member
Username: Homebru358

Post Number: 53
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 02:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Some people 'cold condition' ales for a day or so simply to help the beer drop bright quicker. This is simply a substitute for waiting."

Could you elaborate more on this?

Today would actually be two days I've had the beer in the fridge so, with what you mention on (e), would you suggest removing them and placing them in the coolest area I find to continue aging? Or, as I mentioned earlier, I could even turn the temperature up in the fridge since I'm only using it for brewing purposes.

Bill, from what you said, could just two days in cold temp have already done too much, or am I not too late when I remove them out later?

(Message edited by Homebru358 on September 02, 2004)
If you're gonna' brew on - BREW HAPPY!!
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 439
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 02:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cold conditioning encourages flocculation of yeast and settling of other material in suspension, Ariel. This promotes clearing of the beer. But it also diminishes some of the flavor and aroma. In the case of lagers and beers where the goal is a "cleaner" flavor, this is desirable. But it is often not so for many ales. The point is that usually a week or two of aging in secondary or in the bottle or keg at 50-60 F will result in clear beer with less effect on flavor and aroma.

(Message edited by BillPierce on September 02, 2004)