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Old 06-01-2009, 02:22 AM   #1
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Default A brew to age...for 10+ years!

To commemorate a special event, I'd like to brew a fermented beverage that will withstand prolonged aging. I know there have been a few discussions about this in the past, but I'm not certain that anyone has had any measure of success. I'd love to hear from anyone who has successfully aged a beer, wine, or other fermented beverage for 10-20 years.

As for the recipe - I'm leaning toward a fortified wine of some sort. Making an authentic port is very attractive, but finding an appropriate brandy seems nearly impossible. Instead, I'm considering using a high quality red wine kit (variety TBD), fortifying it with Everclear or other high ABV neutral spirits, and aging it on oak before bottling.

Other ideas include a BIG barleywine or a dry mead.

What would you do?

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Old 06-01-2009, 02:28 AM   #2
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i've been sitting on a bottle of muscidine wine for 8 years. didn't brew it. but that's all i got. i'm just hopin it gets better with age :-\ that muscidine wine is some tart stuff

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Old 06-01-2009, 02:34 AM   #3
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Yuri, if you have access, 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.

I would think a huge barley wine would be great in 10 years. Also in one of the basic brewing VIDEOS (not audios) they taste a 10 year old mead that was brewed in commeraton of one of their marriages, and was being tapped for te 10 year anniversary...so a mead would be another interesting option.

Hope this info helps. If you can't lay your hands on the zymurgy article, I can try to scan it and email it to you if you want.

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Old 06-01-2009, 02:37 AM   #4
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Something to consider...

I recently visited the Brasserie Cantillon Brouwerij and, after some discussion of old gueze, the brewer/owner showed me some 16 year old vintage Cantillon Gueze bottles...I didn't get the opportunity to taste it but he claimed a true lambic will age well for 20+ years due to the high acidity and high [old] hop rate (despite a moderate 5% ABV).

I'm seriously considering brewing my own vintage gueze now for a "special" event.

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Old 06-01-2009, 02:45 AM   #5
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RJ Spagnols ( Amarone della Valpolicella Classico )

My GF says this one is likely to be okay to age for 10 plus years. She has a batch currently in a carboy after fermenting on the french oak, I think she's going to put it into a Hungarian oak barrel for an extended time, then bottle it with synthetic corks.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:04 AM   #6
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I vote for a dry show mead. Something with a special honey, like strawberry blossom honey, Blueberry blossom, or White sage.

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Old 06-01-2009, 03:17 AM   #7
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gplutt - you've piqued my interest with the Amarone kit. Mosti Mondiale makes one that looks really nice.

I'm going to shy away from the funky sour beers for this one. I've never made one, and I don't want to bet the farm on my first attempt!

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Old 06-01-2009, 03:19 AM   #8
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I've still got a couple batches of mead from 1999 - the one with "Champagne" yeast is high alcohol and was pretty good at 4 years. The one I did with beer yeast is just now coming into its own.

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Old 06-01-2009, 08:07 AM   #9
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I say brew a sour anyway in addition to whatever else you're making. Makes it easier to commit to making gueze if you can't drink it for 10 yrs anyway.

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Old 06-03-2009, 03:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
gplutt - you've piqued my interest with the Amarone kit. Mosti Mondiale makes one that looks really nice.

I'm going to shy away from the funky sour beers for this one. I've never made one, and I don't want to bet the farm on my first attempt!
She said that if its just the juice, then you are better off with a premium kit with skins/grapes. Apparently you get a lot of flavor extraction from them.

She did say most of the Mosti Mondiale stuff is good.

She has the RJ Spagnols kit going right now. Quoted from their site.

"Fermented on Sangiovese Genuwine Winery Dried Grape Skins and toasted French oak chips, this is an assertively full-bodied wine with a delectable nose of black cherries, dark chocolate and well balanced oak. It offers ripe dark fruit flavours cradled by firm tannins culminating in an almost endless finish. "
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