Originally Posted by brewscoe
Sweet. I appreciate your help. I will be dabbling with aging my next few but for these two I wanted to have a sort of baseline to compare versus aged. how long do you typically age for and what does it do for the flavor of your brew?
I don't really have a set timeframe, every brew acts differently. Aging does a lot of different things for cider/apfelwine/mead. It gives it time to clear completely, the alcohol mellows out so it's not as "hot", the underlying flavors that sometimes seem to be lost right after fermentation slowly come back. In meads the more subtle honey characters become more pronounced, often a little more sweetness comes back. All flavors from any additions like spices marry and provide the depth and layers of flavors you want. That's why a mead that may seem drinkable, even moderately enjoyable after only a couple few months will be good in 6 months, great in a year and if you can cellar some it'll be amazing in a few years.
There are a lot of factors to consider, a lower gravity beverage or ones with fruit additions tend to be drinkable quite a bit sooner that say a sack mead. The type of yeast used will influence it. The storage temperatures. There are just a lot to consider, best method I've found is judge the appearance, flavors, aroma, all of which will tell you when it is ready to be bottled or when it is ready to be enjoyed.