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Old 11-08-2010, 01:46 PM   #1
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Default Aging ...

I was hoping that some old pros could clear something up for me ....
I have had some people tell me (and I found sites that agree with them) that indicate ALOT shorter shelf life for beer and wine than I had thought.
For beer I have been told that it goes bad after about 6 months in the bottle and wines - within 3-5 years.
This seems awfully short ..... Is this right? or does it depend on different factors? If so - what factors?
If these figures are right .... am I making a mistake trying to build up a stock of both beer and wine? Should I only make what I can drink soon?

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Old 11-08-2010, 01:51 PM   #2
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It really depends on the gravity of the beer, and how it was stored.

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/

Beer's like wine, a lot of them improve with age....That's why stone has "vertical epic" with vintage, and people have vertical tasting parties

I made a beer that won't even be opened before 5 years go by on Sunday. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/help...recipe-195096/

It's really not a matter of "beer going bad," beer rarely goes "bad" it just may lose some of it's originaly character and it may chance....but that is not always for the worse.

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Old 11-08-2010, 01:57 PM   #3
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Beer advocate also has some great info.

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/store

http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/2792157

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Old 11-08-2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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I'm not a pro, very amateur but thought I'd toss in a few more links.
Most of the 6 month timeframe I see is in regards to commercial beers, and many things in a can. (Anything I drink from a can that's been in the basement always tastes metallic.) There are some beers that are meant to have lots of hops, rather than be aged, since it seems that hops are meant to mellow out. They pretty much say a stored IPA and a fresh IPA will taste very different.
There's two other articles I like in regards to this. One is from this month's Imbibe http://www.imbibemagazine.com/Cellaring-Beer and the other I can't seem to find. I swear it was one of Charlie Papazian's on examiner.com that I had found when I was trying to figure out what the difference was between a barelywine and certain IPAs.

Not to say that some other beers don't store well either. It seems that I have a case or two of Leinenkugel beers that have been in a basement for 5-6 years and had someone taste test one of them (a red, or a stout) a few months ago and they said it tasted fine, despite the beer not being anticipated for a long storage.

My vote is on making more than you can drink and storing it. Some will turn out well with different flavors, some may not age as well. Just take notes & recipes and tell us how it goes.

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Old 11-08-2010, 03:20 PM   #5
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As Revvy said, ABV and storage conditions are two of the biggest factors. Generally speaking, I would age any beer over 8% ABV with the exception of DIPAs. I have commercial old ales, wheat wines, and BSDAs aging at home right now.

As far as wines go, it again depends on what type of wine along with a few other factors. I don't claim to be an expert, so I won't try to go too in depth on this, but generally speaking, reds can be aged longer than whites, and oak also contributes to aging potential.


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Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
I'm not a pro, very amateur but thought I'd toss in a few more links.
Most of the 6 month timeframe I see is in regards to commercial beers, and many things in a can. (Anything I drink from a can that's been in the basement always tastes metallic.)
If you're drinking directly from a can you'll taste the can, but if you pour it into a glass it shouldn't be at all metallic. Oskar Blues makes an imperial stout that is in a can, and many people age it with success.
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:34 PM   #6
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+1 to everything above.

Would just add that in general, I seem to find:

<5%, drink around 1mo-6mo
6%, drink around 2mo-9mo
7%, drink around 3mo-12mo
8%-12%, drink around 9mo-5yrs.
13%+, drink around 2yrs-10yrs.

Really, just drink things whenever you want, I have only had a few beers that have gotten a lot worse over time, and they weren't very good to begin with. I have never had a beer go bad.

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Old 11-09-2010, 12:58 AM   #7
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Great % reference, I'll keep that in mind.
That Imperial sounds interesting, but not likely gluten free. When I had mentioned commercial/can beers, I was thinking of Labatt's or Miller or Budweiser. Stuff that seems to have been in my dad's basement (and still seems to be). I just couldn't remember the names of them.
Before going gluten free, I had tasted it from a glass and didn't find it palatable either from bottle or can, (fresh or not). I was more of a Red/Stout fan anyhow, so it could be my perception. (I probably would have tried a stout like Guiness in a can if I had it in the basement for 5 years, if it wasn't for the gluten thing.)

Saw some articles that said the same thing about mead, how some aged well, some went a little past their prime, and how some, even after 10 years kept getting better.
Plus, if you do make a bit too much and you don't think it's going to age well, I can't imagine it would be too hard to find people willing to help you finish up some beer.

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