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Question about aging and kegging?

I am relatively new to kegging. I am getting ready to keg several batches which are fermenting.

With bottles I had always left them at room temp or basement temp to age a little bit and they generally get better with a little bit of aging.

With kegging will the aging process be slowed due to putting it under cold temps and carbonating instead of sitting at room temp in bottles? Do you guys find you have to let your kegs age a bit before drinking with bigger beers?

i usually do 1 week fermentation, 2 weeks secondary, 3 days cold crashing.

You can age at room or fridge temp, just takes longer if cold.

There are 3 categories of things that happen when conditioning a beer. The first is fermentation related, which is yeast activity to attenuate the beer and clean up fermentation byproducts like diacetyl and acetyldehyde. Fermentation related activities happen faster at warmer temps. The second is physical settling of fine particles out of the beer, aka clarification or cold conditioning. Fine particles will make a beer hazy and do have a subtle flavor impact. This happens best at cold temps. The 3rd is staling reactions, i.e. oxidation, which happens faster at warmer temps.

Ideally, you would have 2+ weeks warm (fermentation temps and optional higher temp rest) followed by cold storage until the beer is gone. The beer is chilled when all the fermentation activity is complete, the beer has reached terminal gravity, tastes good, and has no trace of fermentation byproducts. The attenuation and ‘warm conditioning’ can take longer if fermentation health is less than ideal (unhealthy yeast, low oxygenation, low pitching rate) or if the beer is highly alcoholic. Normally you don’t want an excessive amount of time warm conditioning because this exposes the beer to more staling.

For some beers, however, some oxidation is desired (although optional), such as with highly alcoholic beers like barleywine. The oxidative character can lend a pleasant sherry note to the beer if it is not excessive. It’s not uncommon to keep a secondary at room temp for 6 months or more for big beers. It’s up to you to determine if you prefer it this way, or would rather preserve the beer in its original state by refrigerating.

If you don’t have the space to keep your beer cold, don’t worry too much about it. Even warm stored beers can have a low amount of staling after 6 months.

thanks for the info! I will continue with me 1 week pri, 2 weeks secondary, 3 days Cold Crash before kegging and in to the keezer.(assuming all my gravity checks are good during the process)

[quote=“sethhobrin”]thanks for the info! I will continue with me 1 week pri, 2 weeks secondary, 3 days Cold Crash before kegging and in to the keezer.[/quote]Just for kicks, try leaving a batch in the primary for three weeks and skipping the secondary entirely - more time on the yeast, one less transfer, and less to clean/sanitize.

I second the three weeks in primary and skipping the secondary. I’ve done it for my last several batches and have had great results.

One week in primary is never enough to finish fermentation, including clean up. Leave it on the yeast for at least two weeks. I still secondary many of my beers (I am a hop head and do a lot of dry hopping, plus that allows fruit adds for wheats and belgians as well as flavor additions like nibs to stouts). I secondary warm for a week, cold crash for two days, add gelatin, three more days, then keg. I bring my cold beer into a sanitized cooled keg then pressurize. I wait one more week, minimum, for full carbonation and to let the beer settle and balance a bit in the keg before drinking.

That is absolutely not true. Most average-gravity ales will ferment out in a matter of days, and it’s routine for low-gravity ales to be on tap in a week or less.

That is absolutely not true. Most average-gravity ales will ferment out in a matter of days, and it’s routine for low-gravity ales to be on tap in a week or less.[/quote]

While its true that low gravity ales finish fast, a smak pack pitched home brew of low gravity or any of average gravity without a starter will not finish diacetyl clean up that readily. Commercial brewers pitching lots of yeast or homebrewers pitching starters can get them on tap that quickly with good bright tanks/cold crash and filtration.

I’m picking up what you’re throwing down. It was the “never” that confused me.

LOL. I use absolutes too readily. My bad.

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