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01/11/06 11:15 PM  
Bottling a Triple/Golden
I have been anxiously awaiting the bottling of my most recient belgian ale. It's crazy because I have been kegging for a while, but I only use the Picnic Taps.. and my experience tells me it might be a pain to keg this beer. Also.. I feel that's crazy talk, for some reason. Currently I have the crappy plastic red capper, and have been using standard domestic non-twistoff bottles, Primarily of New Belgian origin. This beer should have between 3-4 volumes of CO2, and I hesitate using my regular bottles. I do have some (amber, 20?22oz) Fisher swing tops.. and grolsh bottles, but I am not sure the max. pressures for those bottles. -

Should I root around at the local good beer bar for tons of westmalle bottles(well.. yes I should.. I 'spose). or aim for 3 volumes and use my 12oz NB bottles? -

Side note.- This was

10lb pale,

.5 of both Aromatic and Cara-pils (.5lb each)

and 3.5 lbs of cane sugar-

mashed at 148 for 65 min

90 min boil. OG 1.074 - Wy3787-Trap.

64f to 68 day 5 to 72 day 8, and back to 66 for day 10, It's a lot of ramping but.. I have high hopes.

This yeast is amazing. This was my first batch in my 6.5 gal carboy. I have always used buckets. Every few days I will give it a few good swirls to get that yeast in suspension. There has been the thickest 2" of kreusen in there I have ever seen. It's there today and it's day 10. I would like to see it fall a bit before going to secondary at 48f for 2 weeks or so.

01/12/06 07:16 AM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
I'm not sure where you're going with this Brendan, is it your feeling that you could not get away with as much internal pressure in a New Belgium bottle as you could with a Westmalle bottle?
01/12/06 10:44 AM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
If you are concerned about higher volumes of CO2 there is always the champagne bottles. I use those fairly regularly for big Belgians, and other beers as well. You can get a good supply at the hotles/restaurants that have a Sunday brunch thing. They sometimes even have the small lil' ones too. Those are cool. I use the plastic corks. They work very well.

I don't think that the Wesmalle bottles are going to be any stronger than the NB bottles.

01/12/06 11:30 AM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
<<I don't think that the Wesmalle bottles are going to be any stronger than the NB bottles. >>

I agree completely, and would add they are probably not measurably stronger than Duvel bottles either. IMO any beer with more carbonation (and the associated pressure) than Duvel should cut it back a notch, just how difficult would one want there brew be to pour?

01/12/06 11:50 AM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
For some reason I was under the impression that standard domestic bottles will rupture above 3.5 vol. Thinking by typing here..

I know by looking at the rims that the RIMs of the Westmalle bottles are thicker. I can't measure it, but at the rim..it looks thicker. On the bottle it says .33l 45mm- which I don't get. The Westmalle bottle is taller, their bases are ~equal, yet the Westmalle bottle holds less? by .8 fl oz. The neck is a bit longer on the W, and the shoulders are lower on the NB.

Also, it seemed that the Westmalle I just had last night was far more carb'd than the NB tripel I have had is weeks past. But I plan to find the vol. of CO2 which the NB Tripel is bottled at, or.. the max pressure a standard bottle can handle.

Steve's point on Duvel is right on, you don't want to "grrrr" while pouring such a delicious beer.

Does anyone have a clue where the "stats" of such bottles might be found..

I am off- INTERNET CHALLENGE:can I find it with google?

thanks for the help folks!

01/13/06 11:05 AM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
I was unable to find any vital stats on the bottles.

I might just go with about 3 volumes... and call it good.

Thanks folks.

01/13/06 11:24 AM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
I don't know if this helps at all Brendan, but a lot of terrific beers come in Duvel bottles. I don't know that it is any sturdier than other bottles, but if it can pass the Duvel test it is definately sturdy enough. I personally never throw out such bottles, I always soak 'em to delabel them and stash them away. In the event you want to ever enter a contest a Duvel type bottle would be a far better choice, Westmalle bottles would not be considered acceptable (rules always call for no identifying demarkations on the bottle and Westmalles have "Westmalle" embossed on the side). Oh, by Duvel bottles I mean the smaller one, not the 750.
Jim Keaveney
01/13/06 11:38 AM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
"and my experience tells me it might be a pain to keg this beer."


i also dont understand all the fuss about caps, bottles and you even rip your capper. Are you attempting bottle bombs here? i don't think you will have a problem using any of the bottles, caps and capper that you already have unless you completely overshoot your desired range of 3-4 vol.

i really like 3787 as well. what is your target fg and where are you now? are you planning to add add'l yeast at bottling?

01/13/06 02:12 PM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
Totally, I know exact which bottles you mean. I can get those at the local GOOD BEER bar. Thanks Steve... it's RDWHAHB type thing I guess. - true..westmalle would not be good for comps.

re:- pain for kegging. - it's not the kegging, but the dispencing thru a picnic tap, and not having a dedicated keggerator. - so the kegs stay at 50 degrees in the basement. - so I would need to keep the CO2 at 25psi, at the least.. maybe closer 27-- to reach an equilbrium, right?- for 50f?

and then with the picnic tap..

I'd need to add how many feet for resistance?

that seems like a "pain" not to mention that I'd like to send some of the beers off... to friends and future comps.-

I AM NOT attempting bottle bombs!- I am curious about that question.- Doesn't it seem that my questions are directed to prevent such occurances?

I am surprised at how long the kreusen has hung on there. it's day 14, and still an inch of caramel colored schtuff there. -

The og was 1.072 and two nights ago it was 1.024, still high. I was hoping for closer to 1.012 or maybe below. If it doesn't drop I plan to bottle a couple, split the batch and then add some cultured and stepped up dregs of Biere De Mars for some Brett. Claunseii?- the starter was dead for 2 weeks, then all of a sudden it took off. The starter is still a bit sweet at 3weeks+ but it's got some aroma.

I wasn't planning to add a bottling yeast, but I might use some nottinghams, if I can ever get this thing in a secondary- and in the basement (cold) to clear for a few weeks.

01/13/06 03:53 PM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
<<re:- pain for kegging. - it's not the kegging, but the dispencing thru a picnic tap, and not having a dedicated keggerator.>>

Man, I can't really imagine dispensing without a keggerator. I can imagine that would greatly limit what kinds of beer you could draught.

I think you're right about the pressure calculations, I don't think I would ever be tempted to run lines upstairs. When people are over and the tap heads are open I bring the kegs upstairs. A little extra work but a ton of headaches are avoided.

Hey, so now-a-days is a bottle bomb an exploding bottle or a gusher? I always called those "glass grenades". Jim might have a point Brendan (if "bottle bomb" means "gusher"), targeting high CO2 levels can be a heart breaker. I've made a few batches where I aimed too high and had to "burp" every bottle in the batch a few times to ward off the gyser. No explsions along the way, but you need to chill the bottles way down, nudge the cap to release pressure and immediate tighten the cap again. Three or four times in some case is necessary before the contents will stay put for 10 seconds after being opened for real. I hate that.

Oh, BTW, understand how lucky you are to have a local good beer bar! I don't think there is a beer menu within 20 miles of me that has Duvel or the like. If you can get bottles from them you're in absolute hog heaven!

01/13/06 04:34 PM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
Lincoln is quite lucky, Mr. Matt Dinges, turned me on to this site, and has played a large role in bringing beers like Fantome, Cantillon, Saison Voison-and Goliath-by g(h)eant. etc. The best part is that the bar knows there are homebrewers out there, and they also recycle bottles. You can go right behind the bar and pull out cool bottles, for filling or for just keeping. Overall, my favorite bottles are the .5l -hefe- spaten/paulaner types.. I would guess they are up to the challenge for higher CO2 volumes.

When I think of bottle bombs I think of glass granades. NO Way to I or any other brewer wants those. But gushers.. I think I will try to aim for closer to 3 volumes.

thanks so much for the help.

01/13/06 05:25 PM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
>>.5l -hefe- spaten/paulaner types<<

Also a fav of mine. Have a big ole collection. They can absolutely take way more pressure than is practical.

Pleasure to have you here Brendan, say hi to Matt for me!

Jim Keaveney
01/17/06 11:58 AM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
"Doesn't it seem that my questions are directed to prevent such occurances?"

Actually, yes it does. ;-) I just don't think you will have a problem using "normal" bottles, caps and capper unless you go way overboard.

But lets talk about the beer. 1.012 is certainly a realistic goal and quite possibly lower. You might want to take it back up into the 70s to bring down the gravity. That yeast does well at high temps. (I think the stated range for it goes into the upper 70s and I have gone there with good results) Even tho you have seen good krausen, I don't think your beer is done fermenting. One thing you might consider next time is some yeast nutrient when using a significant amount of sugar.

The reason I mention bottling yeast is that I generally get very thorough fermentations from 3787. If it were to get down to 1.008 or so, I would consider using a bottling yeast to get that carb level you want.

Good luck,


P.S. I didnt know what you meant about kegging. Yes that would be a pita with that setup. These beers are generally served on the cold side with high carbonation which makes them ideal for kegging if you have the right setup.

01/20/06 01:21 AM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden

Thanks for the advice. I did use the wyeast nutrient with this batch. One thing I am thinking about is that I have heard that some first batches aren't as attenuated as prior generations. Have you found this to be true? The beer is still at 1.022 or so and has gone from a real tropical fruit aroma to something more as intended. I brewed another and it's fermentation has been far more wild. my 6.5 gallon fermenter has about 3 gallons ( of about 7.5 gallons) and has filled to the brim with foam. similar recipies.

I plan on racking the first brew to secondary soon, maybe a keg after all, either as a "bright" vessel, or maybe I will split some to bottle... We'll see how it ferments. If it remains sweet for what ever reason (too high a mash temp/incomplete fermentation) I might try to blend it a bit with future batches.

I would love to have a tap of a good tripel. I will one day soon. right now my basement is great for most ales~50f but it'd like it a bit cold for this beer.

Thanks for your help,


Jim Keaveney
01/20/06 11:35 AM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
"I have heard that some first batches aren't as attenuated as prior generations."

Do you mean subsequent batches? Assuming so, sure if you use all of the yeast on a second batch, there should be significantly more viable cells which could lead to more attenuation. OTOH, some warn that with a high gravity first batch, you may stress out the yeast for the subsequent batch(es). I don't find that to be true with 3787. It has a high alcohol tolerance. So if you are in the 1.080s or even 90s, it wouldnt stop me from reusing.

That said I have had great attenuation on the intial batch. I pitch plenty of yeast, aerate well and use nutrient. With my belgian strong golden I get down to the 1.008 to 1.012 range (depending on fermentation temp). Then I reuse for a Belgian stout which finishes in the 1.012 to 1.014 range.



01/20/06 12:59 PM  
Re: Bottling a Triple/Golden
boy.. one to many homebrews.. yes.. later batches are better than the first ones. That's what I was trying to say.

I have been nursing a starter, using 3/4 and adding fresh 1.040+nutrients wort, and the second batch is fermenting far more agressivly, and is several points lower in OG.

How long did it take for your beers to get to 1.010-ish. I am wondering if it was my mash this time since this beer has been at 1.020-1.024 for almost a week. The first 3787, had nutrient and fermented warmer than the second, and had some warm spikes, so I was expecting to see the yeast plow right through. I don't have a good mechanical aeration device, but I do shake my buckets like mad for 5 minutes. it's not the same as O2, but it's what have to work with.

Along with maybe blending if the gravity doesn't decrease, brett is calling my name, that will get the gravity down for sure. I will keep you all posted.

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