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Conditioning at 12C or 4C... Whats the difference?

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HeavensBrew

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I have 2 books of recipes. The first is 'The Big Book of Clone Recipes' and it does not mention a thing about post-fermentation temperatures.
The other is 'Home Brew Beer; and that is specific about the post fermentation/conditioning temperature for every recipe.

Lacking a fermentation fridge, I choose recipes that ferment at a temperature I can maintain. That's currently 20-22C. Then I put the bottles/5L SS kegs in the fridge, which will be about 4C.

So, looking at a random recipe, 'Patersbier' ferments at 22C, but the recipe wants 3 weeks conditioning at 12C. What difference will it make if I condition at 4C? Will it be more bitter, lose hop aroma, be lighter in colour, deter father Christmas from bring me any presents this year?

Considering that one book does not give a toss about this topic, I might assume that it matters only a little. Anybody have any real knowledge on this?
 

Zephyr259

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Well the initial time after bottling should be done warm so the yeast carbonates the beer, after that storage temp may or may not matter. Most of the HBB recipes will condition around 12c as that's what a traditional cellar temperature would have been I think, the ones that want colder are lagers generally and the lagering phase is done close to 0c if possible.

If my fridge is busy with another beer then I'll leave my bottles somewhere warm in the house, during the summer the upstairs is rather warm which is great for getting bottles to carb up out of the way. Once they are carbed they go into my beer cupboard which is on an external wall so in winter it can get down to 8 - 10c and in a summer heatwave (for Aberdeenshire) it barely hits 18c, so it's great for storage.

One of the important things with beer is to keep it at a reasonably stable temperature, it won't thank you for big swings in temperature.

Hope that helps.
 

Hopsteep

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Time! The cooler the faster a beer conditions in my experience. But that said, I’ve had some incredible beers Force carbed after a day or two straight out of the FV! 🍺
 

jjsh

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13° as a) that's my ideal serving temp and b) then I can use any spare space in my Kegorator to ferment stuff with Kolsch / Californian Common yeasts.
 

phildo79

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I believe it really only matters if you bottle your beers. Storing them at room will help the yeast carbonate the beer. Once that is done, you can keep them at whatever temp you like.
 

HeavensBrew

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Thanks for your thoughts on this topic. I will run an experiment when I get a fermenting fridge
 

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