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Old 02-14-2013, 09:59 AM   #1
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Default Beer Home Brew Age

Is there any such thing as too long leaving brew before cracking a bottled brew? I have had some tallies sitting for over 9 months.

Cheers guys!

Brett

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Old 02-14-2013, 10:30 AM   #2
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Depends on the style. You want to drink your hoppy beers early on to savor the taste. Big beers, stouts, porters, barley wines, etc. Will be great now and beyond a year.

What "tallies" do you have in storage?

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Old 02-14-2013, 10:56 AM   #3
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I have left stuff in primary longer than that. Drink it.

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:31 PM   #4
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I've had mixed results but as masskrug stated above a lot of it is dependent on the style and strength. I've had a tripel and an old ale - both over 8% a.b.v. - that were very good after two years in the bottle, but I have also had a milk stout - about 4.2% a.b.v. - that developed a nasty vinegar flavor after about 10 months.

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:35 PM   #5
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Just like commercial beers, a few age well (barley wines and Belgian tripels) but most don't.

One of the beer makers (can't recall which one) advertises they put a "born on date" on the can so you know to drink it within 90 days.

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:36 PM   #6
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To put it in perspective, 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.

This is a great thread about one of our guys tasting 4-5 years of his stored brew.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/revi...assics-160672/

And I brewed an og 1.150, 150 IBU barleywine that I won't be opening for 5 years.

Not to mention the fact that there are vertical tasting for certain beers like Stone epic, where people collect each years beer and then sample a flight of them going back in time.

I just had this expericence not too long ago... We tried 48 year old beer today. One was interesting and drinkable, and one was gnarly.

Now this isn't saying a beer won't change, or lose some of it's character. An IPA may become nothing more than a pale ale in a few months...but still a drinkable beer. Gravity and storage conditions are the two bigger factors. But beer isn't as short lived as for example Budweiser with their silly born on dates, would have folks believe.

9 months is nothing.....

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post

9 months is nothing.....
In my experience, beer does start to change and peak, and often before 9 months. A really tasty wonderful flavorful beer can lose much flavor and show some oxidative flavors by then.

Some beers age well, but most do not. Sure, they won't "spoil" and be vinegar, but that doesn't mean that they will still be at their peek.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
In my experience, beer does start to change and peak, and often before 9 months. A really tasty wonderful flavorful beer can lose much flavor and show some oxidative flavors by then.

Some beers age well, but most do not. Sure, they won't "spoil" and be vinegar, but that doesn't mean that they will still be at their peek.
I didn't say they wouldn't change....

Quote:
Now this isn't saying a beer won't change, or lose some of it's character. An IPA may become nothing more than a pale ale in a few months...but still a drinkable beer. ......
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
I didn't say they wouldn't change....
Ok, but the OP asked about "too long". I would suggest that indeed 9 months storage, especially at not-optimum temperatures might be too long for some beer styles.

Sure, they wouldn't be spoiled, but for many styles I'd drink them sooner rather than later. A 9 month bottled mild, for example, may be "ok" but not very good. Same with an IPA, APA, etc. But a barleywine or RIS might just be getting good!

For the majority of beer styles, aging them doesn't help them. Most beers ARE better when pretty fresh.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:51 PM   #10
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Hmmm, a Revvy/Yooper tilt. A rare treat!

Of course whether a beer changes/improves with age depends on the style.

The other factor is that oftentimes homebrew made by newer brewers has off flavours that seem to fade with time. So you have beer that may be losing certain "quality" characteristics as it ages, while showing overall improvement as any off flavours become less noticeable.

Bottom line, IMO the average homebrewer should not be afraid to age beers that have flaws or that tend to improve with age (my own experience with aging bocks is pretty positive). For other styles (light/hoppy), drink them young, especially if you are happy with the beer.

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