I have 5 gallons of RIS that I just kegged to bulk age until December. My plan is to age it before cold crashing / gelatin to give it the most time to really fill out in flavour.

Is that the right method, or should I cold crash and gel it and then age it?


I generally age the beer on the yeast cake 7 to 21 days after fermentation is complete, at fermentation temperatures. (Typically I ferment in the 65-67F range.) The flavor of all beers change during this time, but it is very noticeable with Porters and Stouts.

Because there are so many variables, it's really impossible to give an exact aging time. My suggestion is to taste it, and actually observe the changes in flavor. (I really didn't care for the flavor of the first porter I brewed, but after three weeks it was very very nice.)

Note though, clarifying agents like gelatin work by bonding with haze forming proteins which make them settle more quickly to the bottom of the keg / fermentor / bottle. If you are going to keep this keg cold (as in a degree or two above freezing) until December, you probably can skip the gelatin because with that length of time even the cloudiest of beers should clear on their own. (Just don't shake the keg!)


Cold crashing is about clearing up the beer. It encourages the yeast and other protein to drop out of solution and fall to the bottom. Ideally you would cold crash in your secondary fermentor and then transfer it to the final vessel (keg or bottle) for aging.

Generally the timeline would be

  1. Primary Fermentation
  2. Secondary Fermentation
  3. Bulk Aging (basically extended #2)
  4. Cold Crash (with or without gelatin)
  5. Bottle condition

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