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Old 01-29-2013, 01:08 PM   #1
Jay1
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Default 21 beer

My brother in-law and brew partner is gonna have a kid. I mentioned to him about a country that would age a beer until the kids 21st birthday and we both got really excited about this. We plan on making a 15% barly wine.

Has anyone ever aged a beer for a really long time?

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:18 AM   #2
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Am I the first one to do this? Nobody has aged a big beer for a couple decades?

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:22 AM   #3
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I haven't, (yet) but it sounds like a helluva idea, especially for a child to reach 21. I have heard of meads that old, and currently have one mead that I hope has a few bottles last that long, we shall see. Good luck!

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:27 AM   #4
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Your biggest concerns are probably going to be (initially) attenuation/alcohol tolerance of your yeast, and then oxidation over 21 years- if you can get to 15% with all malt (consider brewing on a 10g system and boiling down to 5g) you'll be a rare brewer. I'd like to humbly suggest that you go with high attenuating, high alcohol tolerant yeast that is NOT WLP099 for the best results. Mash at a moderate temperature (152-153) for a LONG LONG time for best attenuation.

I would also bottle with oxygen-absorbing caps, in bottles with slightly less heaspace than usual, and wax the caps to prevent as much oxidation as possible.

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:28 AM   #5
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That is a wild idea, but I don't think I could hold something for that long.

I imagine that when my kids reach that age, we'll brew something up that they want to drink. Not sure a barleywine was what I wanted on my 21st. It is a neat idea though for other milestones in life.

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:36 AM   #6
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What a cool idea: Time Capsule Barley Wine. Make sure to save several bottles and include a note lest someone gets thirsty in the meantime.

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:45 AM   #7
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You're probably gonna want to cork it like a champagne bottle, or dip the crown cap in a couple layers of sealing wax. Just about every commercial "aging beer" in my cellar comes one of those two ways, because just a naked crown cap won't keep the oxygen out over a multi-year timespan.

I imagine champagne-style corking is out-of-scope, but I seem to recall stumbling across a couple threads here on wax sealing...

I'd also not bother much with hops or spices -- I've had hoppy or spiced beers around five, seven years old, there wasn't much left at that age, I can't imagine there'd be anything there after two decades.

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Old 01-31-2013, 05:12 PM   #8
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I'm really excited to do this. We're gonna take some pictures of us making it and probably throw a couple other things in. Thanks for the info on oxygen absorbing caps and waxing the top. That is a must! I'm thinking about finding some sort of box that I can put it in and putting some of those Silica bags in it that your not supposed to eat, or some other type of moisture absorbing material.

I've done 15+ beers before with a ton (1 straight package and one in a 1.8L starter on a stir-plate) of 1056 and everything turned out great.

I only have a 10 gal Igloo for a mash-tun so, I'm probably gonna max out the mash-tun and then do a BIAB side by side. I'll keep some DME on hand just in case I don't make it.

Brewing is an art and a science. I want to plan this out as much as possible but there will be a time that I just let go and brew and see what happens.

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Old 01-31-2013, 05:20 PM   #9
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Can I throw a suggestion at you?


Why not a sour?

A lambic, or geuze.

It would take you 2-4 years to even bottle that.

BTW, cool idea.

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Old 02-01-2013, 01:15 PM   #10
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Some meads can stay in secondary for years. I've heard of one in particular that was in for nine years.

I love this idea too. I'm going to do this for my 3 month old. Probably a sour.

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