Mature - Before of After force carbination

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Blue Mountains NSW
I wanted to get a general idea from those very experienced out there.

I'm shifting from bottling to kegging, but will ultimately bottle from the keg after (not always).
I wanted to know if anyone knows any difference with having the beer mature in the keg before or after carbonation.

The way i see it I can
a) keg and let the beer mature (Room temp_RT 1 month) then force carbonate 4C for 5 days and bottle at 4C.
b) keg and force carbonate immediately (4C for 5 days) , then let it mature (RT 1 month) , then bottle it at 4C.
c) Keg and force carbonate (4C for 5 days), bottle immediately (4C) and let mature in the bottle (RT for 1 month)
The way i see it, does it really matter where you let the beer mature? Assuming that the yeast does not do any of the maturing, its a set of chemical reactions what would happen quicker at RT than 4C anyway. I have 2 weeks in the primary and secondary vessels already to allow the years to "clean-up". See below.

Below is my general brew cycle for Pale Ale.
Brew and transfer to Primary fermenter for approx 1 week until fermentation is fully finished
Transfer to secondary and dry hop for a week.
Transfer to to bulk container and bulk add dextrose and bottle.
Mature and natural condition (carbonate) in bottle for 1-2 months RT

For the sake of argument lets call RT a steady 20C

Interested in peoples opinions, considering I will ultimately bottle in the end, my goal is to have a force carbonation in the keg and bottles without any yeast or sediment and better control the carbonation level.
Obviously bottling from carbonated kegs brings its own challenges, like having all the equipment at 4C, like tubes and bottles and such, when my garage is really 20-30C. So if anyone has any advise on bottling without foam and maintaining good carbonation and PSI flow rate from a single beer gun at a higher temperature Id' be interested to know that too.
Many thanks, would love to hear from you.

Droopy Brew

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My understanding is beer conditions faster in larger volumes. I found this to be the case moving from bottles to keg.
Conditioning is also best done (IMO) at cold temps.
So- ferment>coldcrash>keg> force carb> drink.

As for filling the bottles, I suggest doing it as and when you need to. Do a search for counter pressure filling- there are a number of options. You should not need all of your equipment and bottles at the same temp to prevent foaming.
The biggest issue I have found with counter filling is oxidation. Even taking a lot of precautions and purging with CO2 etc, I have still experienced oxidation in bottles. Not all the time mind you but regularly enough to piss me off. Hence why its best to bottle as close to drinking time as you can.


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d) Keg condition, add the right amount of fermentable (sugar, dex, wort, dme...) to the keg and let it clean up and carbonate at the same time.

Droopy, I think beer matures 'Better" rather than faster, so its more drinkable sooner (which can be mistaken for faster maturation) but the best beer comes from being patient even with larger volumes.

Have a look at "counter pressure fillers", a good one is really the best way to fill bottles from kegs.


Standing up for the Aussie Bottler
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Glenorchy, TAS
Odd way of doing it really.

I'd gently rack from your primary vessel into another, seal and leave around 0.5 deg for at least 2 weeks. Then keg, leaving as much extra crud as possible, fill headspace with co2 (or priming sugar as per MHB), then keep cool/cold for another 2-4 weeks. Force carb if needed over several days (so avoiding quick shake/roll methods). There's any number of ways you could do it but basically the cooler the beer and the less contact with oxygen, the fresher it will stay. The clearer it is into the keg, the quicker you'll get clear beer in glass or bottle.

Then bottle using high quality counter pressure as required. Any reason you're bottling an entire batch at once from the keg? If it's to take elsewhere (party/dinner, etc) or to give to friends, I'd just do as needed. Kegs resist UV more than even the darkest bottles.


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I started off my recent brewing kegging as I hate bottling having done it in the past, on my first brew I had more than 19L so I filled a few bottles as well. Out of the keg I thought the brew was OK not as good as I was hoping for but still very drinkable, it all got drunk after a few weeks. When it was all gone I switched to the bottles and I was very surprised, it tasted much better from the bottle. Now this could just have been a case that it was more mature. I've done the same with my last couple of brews so I'll be interested to see if I think the same again.

Even if I think the bottles taste better in future I doubt I would go to bottle only, just too time consuming, I'll probably invest in another keg first so I can increase my rotation and age the beer a little before drinking.

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