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“Extended” Bottle Conditioning at or above 18deg C

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What is a reasonable time? 3-6, 6-8 weeks etc., for something around ~1.055 – 1.65 OG?, 6.5%-7.5% ABV. How long is too long and at what point does yeast autolysis really start to noticeable at temperatures around 18-20?

I see there are a few rules of thumb floating around the internet, generally based on OG or related to ABV for conditioning but often the recommendation isn’t accompanied by defining the temperature range. I’m also getting feedback from other brewers that once the carbonation is complete get the beer refrigerated and do the waiting with it in there.

Coopers recipes often clearly state that additional conditioning is required at 18+ for strong brews, I assume the reasoning is to either a) maintain yeast activity or b) accelerate the conditioning timeframe, or both. Are some of the fusel alcohols converted to esters during a prolonged conditioning phase and is this what reduces the warm alcohol taste with conditioning high ABV beers? Or should I expect a high alcohol taste to smooth with extended aging at refrigeration temperatures as well?

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You'd be doing well to have enough fridge space to store entire batches of bottles at a time. I'm not sure you'd even notice autolysis type flavors in bottle conditioned beers either because there's not enough yeast in them. If you ferment at the proper temperature there shouldn't be any fusel alcohols, these are created more by high fermentation temps.

For long aged beers I'd probably use a compromise between the two. Leave them for 2-3 months at 18-20ish then put them in the fridge after that if space is available. I never did this because I didn't have the fridge space but noticed no issues with leaving them at room temp for 6-9-12+ months before chilling them for a few days and drinking them.

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2 hours ago, rac said:

Coopers recipes often clearly state that additional conditioning is required at 18+ for strong brews,

We suggest to condition at +18C so the yeast can perform secondary fermentation promptly, minimising oxidation. 

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So if a have good carbonation no need to condition any further at room temperature?

 

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That's right - you don't need to but you can if it suits your purposes and taste.  Look at our naturally conditioned commercial ales as an example - Coopers Pale Ale and Coopers Sparkling Ale.  Both are ready to drink once they have been cleared for sale (usually on the Best After date).  However, I prefer Pale when young (up to about 6mths) but I like Sparkling with some bottle age (it starts to sing at 9mths).

On the other hand, I think almost all bright beers (packaged with fizz) are as good as they can be on the day of packaging so I keep them in the fridge!

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Thanks. I made a dunkelweizen with too much ABV by accident (~6.5%). The alcohol content is noticeable and not quite balanced relative the beers other flavours at 2 weeks.

Hoping it will blend in / improve with time,  I’ll drink 1 per week (stored at room temp) and monitor for change…

 

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Coopers RIS recipe made nearly 4 years ago still drinking beautifully. Stored at ambient. At least as far as I can remember.

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13 hours ago, Cerveja said:

Coopers RIS recipe made nearly 4 years ago still drinking beautifully. Stored at ambient. At least as far as I can remember.

How do you keep a beer for 4 years?  Mine is normally drunk by 5 months.

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Put them somewhere and forget they're there was my method ?, I recently found some 6 year old brews I did; the pale and amber ones were oxidised but there were a couple of 4 year old porters and a 5 year old stout that were beautiful. The stout was largely flat despite being bottled in glass, but I got a nice creamy head on it with help from a syringe.

Cheers

Kelsey

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+1 to what Kelsey says. And avoid inviting a particular mate over that drinks it by the long neck (it's about 14%).

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