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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > 21 Year Strong Ale?
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:45 PM   #1
scottlindner
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Default 21 Year Strong Ale?

My first son was recently born and I want to brew something big this year that will bottle condition nicely over 21 years so I can give it to him when he turns 21. I know not all styles would be good for this sort of thing. Does anyone have any ideas of the best style to shoot for? Any recipes to share?

Cheers,
Scott

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Old 06-13-2009, 03:55 PM   #2
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You might find the info in this thread helpful...the thread is one by one of our mods, and an extremely experienced brewer.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/brew...hlight=zymurgy

And if you can get a hold of it, in the Dec 07 Zymurgy Charlie Papazian reviewed bottles of homebrew going back to the first AHC competition that he had stored, and none of them went bad, some had not held up but most of them he felt were awesome...We're talking over 20 years worth of beers.

I even think that he put a couple of the original recipes in the article of the ones that helpd up the best, and even improved. If you go the beer route, looking at that article my be helpful, at least in terms of what worked and what didn't work so well.

But yeah you need to consider an extremely high gravity beer....in fact there is a pseudo Utopia clone recipe thread floating around here.

This would be kinda what you are shooting for...
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/way-...a-clone-91463/

One thing you might wanna consider, if you don't have the setup to handle that much grain, you could consider doing a smaller batch...that way you could fit it into your cooler, and brew on your stove top (if you haven't mastered full volume boils yet) I've done some ehigh gravity 2.5 gallon beers, which I've fermented in a 3 gallon better bottle.

And even on the Basic Brewingâ„¢ : Home Brewing Beer Podcast and DVD - Welcome podcasts, they have done 3/4 of a gallon barleywines in 1 gallon jugs....

You don't need to make a ton of this....you could even do enough to fill 2 or 3 or even one for that matter champaign bottles and stow it away.

hope this helps.

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Old 06-13-2009, 04:14 PM   #3
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I would do an RIS or a barleywine. Well I wouldn't do a barleywine because I like them hoppy. I've never had any other beer, regardless of size, that I thought got better with age past 6-12 months (I know a lot of people would disagree with me but at least this is an indication that these styles age gracefully).

Consider pre-evacuating the bottles of oxygen (by filling with an inert gas, eg C02) even though it will be a pain in the ass.

Store in a temperature stable, cool dark environment (a basement). If you don't have a basement, find someone who does.

I would crown cap and then wax. You get maybe a marginally better seal but even if it does nothing for you, it looks cool.

Try filling multiple sizes of bottles (up to a magnum at least). It is interesting to taste a magnum and 750 of an older vintage of wine side by side (the magnum is always less aged), would be interesting with beer too.

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Old 06-13-2009, 04:30 PM   #4
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Remilard brought up some good points.

Another thing I would do on top of both previous answers, would be to invest in those oxygen absorbing caps....the ones that you wet, and over the first few days of it being in the bottle they will make an impervious seal. For normal beers I wouldn't bother, but if you are going to go through all the steps of purgin bottles, and brewing a stron beer, then it wouldn't hurt to insure it...

Also you ned to consider the environment the beer will be stored in for the next 20 years. You don't want too high of a temp fluctuation....Are you always gonna have a cool basement (if you have one now?)

Good luck.

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Old 06-13-2009, 05:53 PM   #5
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I remember reading a blurb somewhere, years ago, about a Porter I believe, that the Brits brew when a son/child is born and they put it up until the child is 18 or 21. It would probably have been written by Papazian or Byron Burch. Sorry I can't be more specific, but it's all I can remember. Let us know what you find out. Luck - Dwain

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Old 06-13-2009, 05:55 PM   #6
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I have had a 16 year, and a 20 year brew made by homebrewers in the past. I am no longer in touch with those folks so I cannot recall what it was they made. I'll try to reach out to them. I know this can be done.

I have a perfect place in the basement that has a very stable temperature that I plan on putting them. I'm currently using it as a poor man's wine celler. Does a stack of wine cases in a hard to reach place count as a cellar?

I fully intend to do a small batch. I don't expect this to be something you drink a whole lot of. So whatever can fit in my 10gal Gott style tun is what I'll go with. I wonder what OG I should shoot for? 1.200?

Oxygen caps will be a must. Using the wax is a great suggestion!

So it sounds like some mega version of a barley wine. I have the Zymurgy magazine in front of me. I'll give that a shot.

I'll do a bit more research and post a couple of recipes for comment before I attempt this thing.

What are the odds this forum will still be around in 21 years so I can dig up this thread and comment on the success of the project?

Cheers,
Scott

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