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Old 02-23-2011, 12:08 AM   #1
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Default Longest period of Conditioning

I'm just curious, what is the longest period of time anyone has let a brew condition. I read a couple of recipes in "Radical Brewing" that had maturations listed in the 4-12 month range, and then said the brew would be ready to drink in 5 yrs, or one that said "brewed at the birth of a son, then saved and savored when he reached majority." Which by my estimation is at least 18 yrs. Has anyone let a bew sit this long? Will it actually keep? If so, I really want to try this when I have my first kid.

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Old 02-23-2011, 12:57 AM   #2
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With proper packaging, the sky is more or less the limit. I've got beers that are 3-4 years old now and are getting better and better every year. That said, it depends significantly on the style. For long term aging, think more barleywine or lambic and less IPA or lager.

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Old 02-23-2011, 01:41 AM   #3
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The brews I refered to were an Imperial Pale Ale, Barleywine, and a Doble-Doble. I haven't attempted an all grain brew, but I'm thinking about doing it with one of these styles.

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Old 02-23-2011, 01:55 AM   #4
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I have a barleywine 2+ years in the bottle. I don't like it, so I think it will get lots of time to age (it has won awards 2 years in a row, but I don't like bw's). This is nothing compared to some of the guys here.

I bought and stored a bottle of a stout for 24 years and drank it about 6 months ago. That was a commercial beer.

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Old 02-23-2011, 11:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
The brews I refered to were an Imperial Pale Ale, Barleywine, and a Doble-Doble. I haven't attempted an all grain brew, but I'm thinking about doing it with one of these styles.
Barleywines are a prime long term aging style, as are big stouts and porters. IIPAs tend to be drunk young, certainly at less than a year of age. Dubbels should probably age nicely, though it would be worth cracking one periodically to see how it is coming along. I have tended to find that the yeast character of abbey ales changes significantly and unpredictably as they age, but I've never kept one much longer than a year.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:44 AM   #6
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I just drank a Czech pilsner that a friends dad brewed 18 years ago. It was amazing. Tasted and smelled like fresh grain, the hops were completely gone.

As far as my own brews, I've saved a few bottles back from each of my batches. Just had the last one from my first AG, three years ago.

As said above, with proper sanitization, it'll last a really long time.

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Old 02-23-2011, 11:24 PM   #7
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Thanks for everyone's input. I was a little concerned with waiting 10+ yrs to consume a batch of beer, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

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Old 02-24-2011, 01:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Thanks for everyone's input. I was a little concerned with waiting 10+ yrs to consume a batch of beer, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try.
If you can, sample periodically as you go. Every year or two, pop a bottle. If it's starting to oxidize or otherwise go downhill, invite over a few friends you really, really like. Patience is an art with brewing. Enjoy!
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:30 PM   #9
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"brewed at the birth of a son, then saved and savored when he reached majority."
I am doing that with a Barleywine for my daughter. We will crack one open on her first B-day and then at 14, 15, etc. till she is 21. Assuming that the world doesn't end in 2012 and that HBT and the internet are still around 20 years from now I'll let you know how it went.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:39 PM   #10
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I would assume the temperature you are storing the beer would make a difference. My first beer I made was from a box kit, a Belgian Wit, and after I bottled they were stored in my basement at about 70 F. I would then just put beer in the refrigerator as I needed them. About 6 weeks later the beer started to get a butter flavor. This got worse and I ended up throwing about 4 beers away.
I don't know if storing temperature had anything to do with the butter flavor, but what temperature are you guys storing your beers at?

Scott

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