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Old 04-07-2009, 01:30 AM   #1
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Default Is there a rule of thumb for aging based on O.G.?

I know that smallish beers tend to be better young, while big beers can require months or even years to mature. And from what I've gathered, simple recipes can often be drank younger than more complex recipes (lots of specialty grains) which can take longer for the flavors to mellow.

What I'm wondering is if there is a good rule of thumb for how long to age an ale based on its original gravity. For instance, I'll generally crack open my first bottle from a batch with O.G. 1.050 about 6 weeks after brew day. My barleywine (O.G. 1.102) is bulk aging and I don't think I'll have my first taste until 9 months or a year. Should I let my 1.070 stout age for 3 months before drinking? Should my 1.095 Imperial Stout go for 5 months first?

I plan to allow all of these beers to continue to mature after I start drinking them (I try to ration myself as best I can...), but is there any way to make an educated guess when I can start sampling them? I mean, it seems like it would be a waste to open any bottles that are clearly still green. Does anyone have a general rule they follow after brewing a bigish beer for the first time, or do people just go with their "gut" feeling? I know this might be a tough question because it will obviously vary between styles and whatnot. Maybe I should qualify it with "all other things being equal." Thanks.

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Old 04-07-2009, 01:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jumbo82 View Post
I know that smallish beers tend to be better young, while big beers can require months or even years to mature. And from what I've gathered, simple recipes can often be drank younger than more complex recipes (lots of specialty grains) which can take longer for the flavors to mellow.

What I'm wondering is if there is a good rule of thumb for how long to age an ale based on its original gravity..
Not really. IPAs are generally fairly high gravity, but hops decay over time so they're best drunk pretty young. Many lambics are very low gravity but need a year or two (or more) to peak.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:00 PM   #3
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I would say its a combination of style and OG. Even low OG stouts and porters need more aging to allow all the flavors to blend and mature. Same with high OG simple recipies.

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Old 04-07-2009, 01:03 PM   #4
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Read my answer in here...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/big-...-table-110399/

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Old 04-07-2009, 01:04 PM   #5
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I usually follow this handy chart:








(Man, it's been a long time since I've been able to use that )

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Old 04-07-2009, 01:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by llazy_llama View Post
I usually follow this handy chart:








(Man, it's been a long time since I've been able to use that )
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:09 PM   #7
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That is one very nice chart Llama. I am going to print it out in case I need an estimate for when to bottle my beers.
=)

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Old 04-07-2009, 03:31 PM   #8
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Yes Llama, I will never have another regarding aging time if I use your handy chart. I think I am going to print it now and keep it in my back pocket actually just so I don't forget.

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Old 04-07-2009, 03:35 PM   #9
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Thats going on the wall in my brew room.

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Old 04-07-2009, 05:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Thanks, Revvy! Exactly what I was looking for. I wish I had been able to find that thread before I started almost the exact same one. At least I got to see a handy O.G. vs time chart this way
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