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I've got a lager that's been in my garage for the last month (generally hovering between 30 and 36F), and I saw a question relating to temperatures for bottle conditioning a lager, but I'm wondering as far as the actual bottling if the beer's temperatures should be raised beforehand, either to awaken the remaining yeast to ensure carbonation and/or to prevent thermal expansion when the bottles do warm up (I'm not sure how big a factor, if at all, that last one would be).

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Beer absorbs more CO2 when it's cold than when it's warm. Since your beer has been cold, it's reabsorbed some of the CO2 created during fermentation. You need to take that into account, whether bottling or kegging, or your beer will be overcarbonated. Most priming calculators let you enter the temp of the beer to ascertain the amount of priming sugar or volumes of CO2 to use. Or you can simply let the beer warm up to room temp before bottling or kegging. As the temp rises, the dissolved CO2 will come out of solution so you don't need to take it into account.

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