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Old 01-14-2007, 10:49 PM   #1
sonvolt
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Default Aging homebrew . . . meh?!

So, I just packed a box of beers to send to Brewsmith (we set up a trade). Anyway, I put in three of my own beers. Two of those were beers that I entered into competition and took a first and a second (an English IPA and an American IIPA). Since I had been aging these for some time, I decided to pop open one of each tonight to see just what the beer I sent to Brewsmith tasted like after this extended aging (about 7-8 months).

Meh . . .

The hop character has almost disappeared in the aroma and flavor and the beer is a bit oxidized. I have been storing these at a constant temperature in my fridge. I wish I would have drank them all about 4 months ago when they tasted amazing.

Any hints/tricks for better aging of ales?

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Old 01-14-2007, 11:04 PM   #2
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Well, the oxidation part is obvious. Don't let your beer get oxidized! Seriously though, there are ways to avoid most contact with oxygen. I've read some threads recently about using those carboy caps connected to CO2 and racking the beer with CO2 pressure, and with CO2 pumped into the receiving vessel as well. That brings your oxygen contact to almost nothing.

As for the hops, my understanding is that IPAs and such need to be drunk sooner rather than later because the hop flavor and especially aroma will fade over time. Everything I know says that the beers that age best are the ones that are least dependent on strong hop aroma and flavor, like barleywines and big belgians.

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Old 01-14-2007, 11:31 PM   #3
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I've got some very expensive no longer hoppy beers, a year was just too much. Good thing I have Freshops Hop Oil. Long aging beers tend to be huge and malty.

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Old 01-15-2007, 12:54 PM   #4
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On the oxidation front...spend a few extra cents and get yourself some oxygen-arresting caps next time.

Otherwise...as with wine, there aren't many beer styles that age gracefully. Eisbocks, barleywines, strong belgian ales, imperial stouts, etc. But the vast majority of beers are meant for quick consumption.

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