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mtsoxfan

What's wrong here???

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I know someone chimed in a while ago regarding conditioning times, basically saying if you have to condition more than a month(?), (I forgot the timeframe) you build it wrong. The beer that is...

Well, here's the thing. He/she can't be far off. I mean, look at the large brewers, do they have the real estate and capital to be conditioning beer for 6+ months? I know the kits I've used benefit from extended condtioning, sometimes up to a year. I have my first high gravity AG fermenting now.... But how do the big boys do it?

Is it that they have the money and resources to develop great tasting brews that don't need the extended conditioning times? Ingredients...processes.... What do you think????

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Only difference between thier beer and ours is quantity and forced carbing. Forced carbing reduces if not eliminates the need for conditioning because you arent restarting the yeast. I can keg and force carb and it is good with no conditioning time at all.

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Even with stouts etc? I'm starting out force carbing, so if I can drink now, instead of waiting.... why not?

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On the other hand, the Big Boys (BMC) don't make very good beers! They are lagers for the most part and do not make many ales - which have greater variety of forms and flavors. There is something to be said for not force carbing. Let the brews carb and condition on their own terms.

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While we are all in the hobby/obsession/pursuit to make beer I don't think there's a one of us that wants to make beer like the big breweries do. We want to make as good of a beer as can be made while the big breweries want to make as much beer as they can.

Quality versus quantity. They are willing to make compromises in one to achieve the other. We aren't.

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And do not forget that at least one is being sued for watering down the crap they sell. Why do you even compare your beer to the P!$$ that is sold in this country as beer, by the big boys. When my cousins are visiting from Germany they will drink what I brew but not what is widely available here. Unfortunately they tell that the same SH!T is being force on them now. As the local breweries are being driven out of business.

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I agree with you, I am trying to make quality not quantity... BUT.... I do love quite a few bought beers. Let's take Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, one of my favorites. They are making quantity AND quality IMHO. Just trying to figure out the magic....

I have and will continue to be patient while waiting for a brew to come into it's own.I have tasted some of my brews and thought, "this is damn good" and by the time this single beer drinker in the house finishes 2 cases of said brew, it's even better. This is where my question originates.

If there is a process to make a beer just as good without the wait, why not do it and enjoy the same quality, earlier...

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In Brew Masters, Dog Fish Head said that they take a beer from concept to the pub in 3 weeks. That's decent craft beer. I always wondered if it was true or just a bit of injected drama as the show followed him through the process.

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"mtsoxfan" post=387621 said:

I know someone chimed in a while ago regarding conditioning times, basically saying if you have to condition more than a month(?), (I forgot the timeframe) you build it wrong. The beer that is...

Well, here's the thing. He/she can't be far off. I mean, look at the large brewers, do they have the real estate and capital to be conditioning beer for 6+ months? I know the kits I've used benefit from extended condtioning, sometimes up to a year. I have my first high gravity AG fermenting now.... But how do the big boys do it?

Is it that they have the money and resources to develop great tasting brews that don't need the extended conditioning times? Ingredients...processes.... What do you think????

Could've been me who chimed in. I'm pretty skeptical that long conditioning times improve a beer. It may reduce the off flavors of a flawed brew. I've commented that if I don't like the beer after a few weeks conditioning, I won't like it regardless of how long it's conditioned. Just as with everything else, there are exceptions, but I still find that to be 'generally' true.

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I've asked this question a few years back to Scott Vaccaro Head Brewer & owner of Capt Lawrence Brewery here in NY. His pale ale is ready to go in 3-4 weeks or less. The reason is they have so much control over the brewing process that they can finish fermenting in 7-10 days. They have a centerfuge , hop back & filtration systems too. The yeast they use & cultivate is top quality & works very predictably. Then they chill in their bright tanks & force carb so it's ready to go immediately. The hard part for the brewer is to make their beers taste good after all they go through after the beers leave the brewery. It's a real science with these guys. Cheers Beer Brothers! :cheers:
[attachment=14285]IMG_20121106_183911_2013-07-18.jpg[/attachment]

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BeerLabelMan... I think we mostly all can agree that if we had the same controls/equipment as the big boys our ales could be ready to drink in 3-4 as ours are ready now in close to that.....

My question is geared more towards the more complex higher abv maltier brews and how they get them to be ready so soon. Same processes as the pale ale you described?

RebelB/Gymrat from your replies it sounds like I may have been referencing somthing you wrote in the past. It sounds like you guys are able to drink your beers early, and I'd like to be there too. IMHO, all my heavy beers need extended conditioning times, and recently I brewed a cream ale that I felt should have been able to drink after 2 or so weeks conditioning due to the simplistic grain bill. After 2 weeks, tasted more like a fizzy club soda, 4 weeks much better, and 5 weeks drinkable/enjoyable. (Not too enjoyable, won't be brewing that again)

So, in the name of becoming a better brewer, I'm trying to figure out what I can do differently to have my brews reach there potential earlier.

As a side note, I purposely over pitched a washed and starter-ed us -05 in a brown ale that was damn good at 2 weeks and fantastic at 3. It has stayed there... not progressing after 3 weeks conditioning. I had crafted the recipe for it to have a bit more body so I anticipated an extended conditioning time, but wasn't needed.

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Many craft brewers age for extended time. Many produce a large beer and market it fairly quickly, but those that appreciate these beers age them on their own for quite a long time as they improve in the bottle.

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Like Beer Label Man says it is a science; well actually sciences.

The micro breweries have to pay a lot more attention to the sciences at work because they have to turn out a consistent product. So they spend big bucks to insure precision and control.

We know we are converting starches, shortening protein chains etc but if our mash temps aren't spot or some small change occurs from one batch to the other we still made beer and will drink it when it is ready.

A minor screw for them could cost big bucks so they have high tech equipment that makes us look like we are wearing skins and carrying clubs.

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"mtsoxfan" post=387736 said:

BeerLabelMan... I think we mostly all can agree that if we had the same controls/equipment as the big boys our ales could be ready to drink in 3-4 as ours are ready now in close to that.....

My question is geared more towards the more complex higher abv maltier brews and how they get them to be ready so soon. Same processes as the pale ale you described?

RebelB/Gymrat from your replies it sounds like I may have been referencing somthing you wrote in the past. It sounds like you guys are able to drink your beers early, and I'd like to be there too. IMHO, all my heavy beers need extended conditioning times, and recently I brewed a cream ale that I felt should have been able to drink after 2 or so weeks conditioning due to the simplistic grain bill. After 2 weeks, tasted more like a fizzy club soda, 4 weeks much better, and 5 weeks drinkable/enjoyable. (Not too enjoyable, won't be brewing that again)

So, in the name of becoming a better brewer, I'm trying to figure out what I can do differently to have my brews reach there potential earlier.

As a side note, I purposely over pitched a washed and starter-ed us -05 in a brown ale that was damn good at 2 weeks and fantastic at 3. It has stayed there... not progressing after 3 weeks conditioning. I had crafted the recipe for it to have a bit more body so I anticipated an extended conditioning time, but wasn't needed.

I don't know what I can tell you as far as what I might be doing differently. But I have had very few beers that weren't excellent brews after 2 weeks in the bottle. And those beers the problem was either the bittering hops were still too bitter, or the flavors hadn't quite melded together yet. Even my milk stout and my bourbon barrel porter were great after 2 weeks in the bottle. My bourbon barrel porter was so good after 1 week in the bottle that I ended up putting another bottle in the freezer to chill it so I could drink it after I finished my first one. Then I put 2 more in the fridge for the next day.
I rarely ferment for more than 2 weeks. But I am extremely anal about getting lots of oxygen in my wort and my pitching temperature. I don't like to pitch over 68 degrees and much prefer pitching at 60 degrees. I generally have bubbles in my air lock in less than 24 hours in spite of never rehydrating my dry yeast.
The only time I have used an adjunct since my Mr Beer days was when I used Lactose in my End of the World Milk Stout. I do all grain brews.

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I think there are two big factors that apply to both Homebrewers and pros; healthy yeast, and fresh ingredients. I thought about that connection last night when I drank 2 'strong ales' brewed several weeks apart. One I bottled on 5/26 always kinda bothered me, almost a faint cheesy aroma I suspected was from some Colombus hops. Drank a bottle of that last night, same taste. Another one, bottled on 6/16/13 at 7.9% ABV, was awesome after 2 weeks conditioning, still awesome after 4 weeks conditioning.

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Gymrat... it sounds like I'm moving in the right direction, making sure I airate the heck before pitching, pitching at a lower temp, was 75*, now 65*..... the Brown ale I mentioned earlier was my first for lower pitching temps.
I'll keep the bittering hops in mind, I just bought For the love of hops, waiting for delivery. Thanks for that suggestion in another post...

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I've been in wheat beer brewing mode all summer and they have always tasted great as soon as they where force carbonated. But, I've had similar results with my 10% beers too, although those did seem smoother more homogenized when 2 bombers were opened 6 months later.

I'm in the camp with the others when it comes to waiting for a lousy beer to ever taste good from extended conditioning time, be prepared to wait a very long, long, long time only to be disappointed.

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Almost everything I make is good to drink at 3-4 weeks in the bottle, but some of it doesn't *need* to be consumed that soon. If I was force carbing, I'd bet a week could be shaved off easily.

That said, strong beers that are not hop forward like an IPA age very well, IE strong Belgians, etc, so those are good things to fill up the deeper parts of my pipeline. Some beers like the ginger saison I made have improved a lot with age due to the ginger flavors mellowing out. I simply used a bit too much of it, and if I had used less then it would have been as good as it is now much sooner. That's just a process/recipe issue, where the big boys have nailed down the recipe through a bunch of experimental batches, sometimes many simultaneous ones. A luxury we do not have, nor do we have quite as much control over our ingredients and how they were treated before we got them. You can do some things to mitigate, IE my closest LHBS just has their hops in bags out on a rack. I'd rather they kept them in a freezer, but they do not, and what is on their rack is what they have. So I usually just buy whatever they were out of last time I was there - that way I know they are more fresh and they go right into my freezer. I buy the freshest yeast I can get and decide what to make based on that, vs. trying to force a recipe with what might be sketchier yeast. I just picked up some more WLP500 because it was brand spanking new and I can give it temps to make it happy.

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Mashani, that makes sense as well. I'm looking for the little things I might be missing that will add up. Lot's of little things to remember, but once they are locked in as part of the process, it'll be a natural process, not having to think about them.

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