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Old 03-12-2013, 02:48 PM   #1
Halbrust
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Default Perfect age

I'm stumped as to figure out (guess) when a beer will be at that perfect age.
I know high ABV beers like barley wines need more time.
I know hefes need less time, but don't know why.

Is there a way to look at a recipe and make a reasonable guess of "that should age ____ months before you drink it?"

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Old 03-12-2013, 03:59 PM   #2
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There are no absolute rules but generally ipa's and hefe's are generally better when young(read after 3 weeks of conditioning or as soon as carbonated).

Some porters and stouts take longer to carb up so their peak starts later. An average alcohol stout generally tastes as good as its going to get at 5-6 weeks.

All of this goes put of the window when you crank up the ABV. Anything over 6% alcohol is generally going to take longer I carb up and reach their peak. Most big beers like stouts, quads, and barleywines reach their peak somewhere in the 6-18 month range. These vary significantly and also depends on your preference.

In general the longer you age, the less hops you'll taste, and as you get toward a year or so oxidation might creeping in.

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Old 03-12-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
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Sadly, it depends on a LOT of factors. I have learned through experience that my BGSA is best between 5-7 months old. My Saison-Brett is best at 6-8 months old. My low gravity pale ales are best as soon as I can drink them, roughly 15-45 days from brew day. And the lambics, well, they're always good.

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Old 03-12-2013, 05:16 PM   #4
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It really does depend on the beer. My English brown ale was good after four weeks, but at four months, it was like something clicked. My Belgian blonde likewise took awhile to really "get there".

I have an imperial but brown ale that the recipe creator said was good in six months, great in nine, amazing in a year. I tried mine at eight months and it was good. A year was better, but not just amazing. Fourteen months in, and now, I'm beginning to see promises of that amazing.

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