Our beer is crafted utilizing the finest hops, grains, specialized ingredients and pure artesian water. Additionally, our beer is bottle conditioned. This process allows for natural carbonation, akin to the Belgian style. Our beer is often cloudy with residual suspended yeast. With a conditioned beer, the flavor becomes better and more complex with age.
When a beer is said to be bottle-conditioned the process works a bit differently. Instead of artificially carbonating the beer, bottle conditioned beer allows the yeast to naturally carbonate the beer after fermentation is complete.
Deschutes Brewery, Bend and Portland OR (posted with permission)
“Small amounts of sediment in beer is natural and an often common occurrence in the brewing industry if the beer is not filtered or pasteurized. Usually what happens is that as beer sits on a shelf or in a keg, yeast and protein particles fall out of solution (the liquid) and end up at the bottom creating a thin layer of white particles that you can see. Most of the time, the older the beer, the more sediment it will have. Sediment is often dormant until poured into a glass and then begins swirling around the beer saying… “I’m FREE!” Yeast is full of B-vitamins so it will not harm you or make you sick so feel free to enjoy that beer sediment and all.
Now with that said, if you are still not convinced that you want to drink the white floaties, there are some steps you can take. First look at the bottom of your beer bottle in the light, if you see a layer of sediment, pour almost all of the beer at once into a glass and leave out the last 1/2 inch or so of liquid.
In any case, beer is a living thing. Bottle conditioning is happening more and more at breweries, including here at Deschutes, where a bit of sugar or wort is added into the bottle and the live yeast continue to feed on that sugar creating CO2 that stays inside keeping the beer fresher, longer. This is a definite advantage for craft beer fans as a mild fermentation process is still happening keeping your beer fresh and delicious but, can also be a source of sediment.”
Jester King Brewery, Austin TX (posted with permission)
“The initial pour is likely to be quite foamy, and we don’t recommend drinking to the foam before it has had time to settle, but it will settle out after a few minutes, and once it does, it should not result in any unintended off-flavors in the beer itself.
We choose to bottle-condition all of our beers because we feel that natural carbonation lends a lot more flavor and complexity than force carbonation, but bottle-conditioning can be somewhat of a tricky process, with a variety of factors that can cause individual beers, and in some cases, even individual batches of the same beer to develop greater or lesser levels of carbonation than we had expected. In the case of Commercial Suicide, the CO2 levels were already on the higher end of the target range when it was first released, but then, as they made their way to market, the yeast continued to ferment beyond the anticipated terminal gravity, resulting in higher than normal levels of carbonation.”
How to store and care for your bottle conditioned beer:
In order to enjoy your bottle conditioned ale, we recommend the following steps:
Always store and transport your bottles upright, with the cap facing up. Never store bottles on their sides.
When bottles have been transported they really need some standing time to allow the yeast to settle out again.
Store bottles in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Around 54 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimum temperature for storing.
Allow the sediment to settle before serving if it is visibly ‘floating’ or has caused an otherwise clear beer to become cloudy.
Pour your beer smoothly into a glass, not allowing it to ‘glug’ out, otherwise the yeast will become disturbed.
When pouring keep an eye on the trub. As soon as it creeps into the neck of the bottle, stop pouring… Unless you would like to pour some of the yeast into your glass.
By following these simple steps (especially the last) the quality of bottle conditioned beer will speak for itself.