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Old 12-18-2008, 09:05 PM   #1
monty67
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Default Brewing ageable beers

I'm somewhat new to brewing beer, as i've done about 5 or 6 batches over the last 3 or 4 years. I've been doing wine for a while but i wanted to get back into beer and was wondering what types of beers are good candidates for aging and how long can you age beer before it heads south. My wife is a big Wheat beer lover but from my understanding most wheats are not meant to be held that long, are the times different from storebought to homemade? Thanks for your replys.

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Old 12-18-2008, 09:08 PM   #2
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It really depends on what style of beer you have... generally, the higher the ABV (alcohol by volume) the longer you can keep it.

Wheat beers are best consumed within a few months, but they will last longer. I think a standard ale should be consumed within 6-8 months before it starts sliding.

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Old 12-18-2008, 09:48 PM   #3
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Yup, in general high ABV will age nicely. Using oak also lends itself to aging. Beers that profile hops often are best enjoyed earlier but in the case of hop heavy barley wine and IPAs you can go either way. Often they can be enjoyable after a few months and take on a totaly diffrent flavor a year later.

aging beer is like aging wine. Many will get better but some won't at all. The key is to keep them away from light and at a consistant temprature.

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Old 12-18-2008, 10:45 PM   #4
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High ABV and big malty beers. Barleywines are the most popular. Big stouts and Robust Porters. IPAs can be aged, but you will lose the aroma. Wheats, no. Bigger Belgians, yes.

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Old 12-19-2008, 06:03 PM   #5
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Ok, so doing like a Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout or Winter Welcome type beer could be a decent candidate to leave a few around for a year or two just to see how it ages?

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Old 12-19-2008, 06:10 PM   #6
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Those type beers would be fine - I would aim for a minimum 8% alcohol content for beer that I intended to age more than a year.

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Old 12-19-2008, 06:22 PM   #7
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so if the recipie i have for the oatmeal stout finishes out around 4.8 percent alcohol what would you do to bump it up without putting it out of balance?

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Old 12-19-2008, 06:28 PM   #8
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just double the recipe and you will come out with something that has higher alcohol. Back off on the darker stuff, maybe from 1# to 1.5# or something. Not quite double. The amount of alcohol means that you are using more base malt, so that is going to make it a little bit more malty, I would balance it by getting more IBU's and mare dark malt.

Good luck!

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Old 12-19-2008, 06:45 PM   #9
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I would look for an imperial oatmeal stout recipe. In the last BYO, there was a recipe for Stone's Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. That one would be a great candidate to butcher a little for a straight oatmeal stout recipe.

As people have said, big malty beers work best in the long run. Barleywine, Belgian dark strong, baltic porters, and the like will do you very well.

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Old 12-19-2008, 07:01 PM   #10
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This thread has taken an interesting turn considering the title is about agreeable beers and we are discussing BW and such...

Perhaps you should try a wheat wine like Bare Tree from Two Brothers brewing???

Also, high gravity brewing presents some interesting challenges with yeast handling, fermentation, and mash efficiency. You should do some reading on the topic if you intend to do 7%+ beers.

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