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LeverTime 06-07-2012 03:14 PM

Cellaring at 75
 
I brewed a Château Northern Lambic Grand Cru two days ago. I recently built a fermentation chamber, and it's currently bubbling away in there at 65. However, I'm going to want to brew some other beers with the chamber, so I cannot keep this thing in there for 1-3 years.

My basement gets up to 75 in the summer, and drops to around 55-60 in the winter. After this beer has completed primary fermentation, is it ok to secondary in this kind of environment for a couple of years?

TopherM 06-07-2012 03:53 PM

The BIGGEST factor in cellering/aging long term is to keep the temperature CONSTANT. Ideally, you want to be at about 50-55F and be able to hold it there. The fluctuations in temperature in your basement is going to be adverse to the longterm quality of your brew. 75 is also way too high for long term storage. Temperature is a catalyst to the chemical processes that both improve a beer and start degrading a beer. At 75, there's no telling when the beer is going to peak and when it is going to start getting worse, but both will happen much more quickly than 1 year at that temp.

You really need to invest in a fridge/mini fridge that's big enough to hold this guy closer to the 50-55 long term. You can probably find one on Craigslist for under $50.00 (i see free ones all the time in my area), which is going to be a very good investment into the quality of this brew and future brews! Newer fridges (post 2004 or so) use very little power, about $60-80 a year or so.

LeverTime 06-07-2012 04:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TopherM (Post 4151727)
The BIGGEST factor in cellering/aging long term is to keep the temperature CONSTANT. Ideally, you want to be at about 50-55F and be able to hold it there. The fluctuations in temperature in your basement is going to be adverse to the longterm quality of your brew.

Could you invest in a fridge/mini fridge that's big enough to hold this guy closer to the 50-55 long term? You can probably find one on Craigslist for under $50.00 (i see free ones all the time in my area), which is going to be a very good investment into the quality of this brew!

The basement doesn't fluctuate daily between those temperatures, it is fairly steady in the short term. It does fluctuate as the seasons change though.

I suppose I could buy a fridge and a controller, but that seems like a huge investment just for one batch of beer. I also don't have a ton of extra space in there, and there are no outlets on the side of my basement I'd have to put it on.

I could build a styrofoam cage around the secondary fermenter, to help control temperature fluctuations. That wouldn't require any electricity, so I could put it wherever I wanted.


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