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Fresh Beer Possible without Bottle Conditioning

Updated: May 3, 2023

If you ask a typical brewer how to carbonate beer, you will receive the answer that there are two ways to do it, either by forced carbonation in a brite tank or by bottle conditioning. But you will get a different answer if you ask a German brewer who follows Reinheitsgebot.

In fact, both of the above mentioned methods are off-limits for the Purity Laws of Bavaria dating from 1516 and still followed today, because they do not allow the addition of anything beside the 4 ingredients of malt, hops, yeast and water. Even CO2 cannot be added, nor obviously the sugar typically added to the bottle for conditioning.

So how do they get the right levels of carbonation at Brauerei Göller? Under Reinheitsgebot there are also two ways you can do this. One is by adding a "speise" to the bottle, where a little bit of fresh wort is added. It is actually a type of bottle conditioning, but no sugar is added as is typically done in the USA. The other way is to add a bit of wort to the secondary fermentation tank. This method, followed by Göller, is called "kräusening." In both cases, the wort added starts a second fermentation and thus adds natural CO2 to the beer.

Göller prefers kräusening because it delivers the best tasting beer, and the proof is in the bottle.

Here are some of the advantages of kräusening versus bottle conditioning. First, the process can be more closely controlled all the way to the final product in the bottle. With bottle conditioning, there is a bit of guesswork as to what the final taste will be in the bottle sent out, as it is still being conditioned as it travels to its destination. With kräusening done in the large secondary fermentation tank, the entire batch can be tested to perfection before bottling.

Second, the large tank where it reaches its final state of perfection makes a better product. The smaller volume in a bottle has less of chance to mellow out, as it has less material to work with.

This is just one more reason Göller beer has a fresh taste and a long shelf-life. Since they do not pasteurize, the final product is just as fresh as any bottle conditioned beer, but the conditioning is fully accomplished in the secondary fermentation tank before bottling. Placed in the bottles uncooked and fully ready to drink, the beer can easily outlast the 12 month shelf-life that we promise.

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