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Old 12-08-2012, 05:42 PM   #1
Malichaidog
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Default Do i need to age my AG beers?

When I did extract I always aged the beer to let it mellow out. I have been doing 10gal AG batches for over a year now (80+ gallons) and I recently have been doing less aging. I mostly brew ipas and pale ales. 10-14 days in primary and 1-2 weeks in a secondary (maybe dry hopping) then straight to keg, cold, carb, and serve. Would I be gaining anything by letting it age warm in the keg? Obviously I would prefer not to wait but if waiting would improve the beer noticeably then so be it.

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Old 12-08-2012, 05:43 PM   #2
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Let me add that I have not noticed a difference between aging or not, just curious what other people think, or perceived differences in their own beers.

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Old 12-08-2012, 05:44 PM   #3
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If you're fermenting at the right temp, a lot of beers (especially those meant to be consumed young. IPAs, etc) are fine packaging at 3 weeks, assuming fermentation went well.

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Old 12-08-2012, 07:03 PM   #4
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There is no hard and fast rule about aging. Some beers benefit from it, some don't. Ultimately it comes down to what your own tatse buds tell you.

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Old 12-08-2012, 07:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malichaidog View Post
Let me add that I have not noticed a difference between aging or not, just curious what other people think, or perceived differences in their own beers.
I think you answered your own question! If you're happy with it, that's all that matters. And IMO there's no difference in aging requirements between all grain and extract, assuming you're nailing ferm temps and using proper pitch rates (as others have mentioned).

I think it's very, very style dependent. A hoppy IPA or pale ale is best very fresh, as is a yeasty hefe. A homebrew IPA is never nearly as flavorful after 3-4 months, and a hefeweizen doesn't taste as fresh or bright with some age on it.

If you were exclusively making a BDS or RIS, I'd say yes, you need to age them. But with the beers that you're making you should be fine.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:56 PM   #6
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Why would you think there would be a different need for an Ag beer as opposed to an extract? It's still beer, no matter whether you mashed the grains or a maltser mashed the grains for you (that's all extract is) the final product is the same....

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Old 12-08-2012, 07:59 PM   #7
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I found that with specialty beers like my pumpkin ale, it does need time, about 6 weeks for flavors to blend and mellow. I've tried my pumpkin at 4 weeks and again at 6.....big difference in smoothness.

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Old 12-08-2012, 11:01 PM   #8
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I've always noticed my beer getting better with age, but it's pretty good (I'm heavily biased of course) right out of the gate. honestly, if my beer's aging, it's because I'm not a huge fan of a particular style, so I'll drink a fistful and leave it sit, and come back to it a month or two later. I have some ESB from the summer I brewed that I'm thinking about dragging out.

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Old 12-09-2012, 01:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
Why would you think there would be a different need for an Ag beer as opposed to an extract? It's still beer, no matter whether you mashed the grains or a maltser mashed the grains for you (that's all extract is) the final product is the same....
Good point. No good reason, I just had in my head that the magic of all grain would eliminate the need to age it. I have two 5 gallon fermenters full of India brown ale. Ill have to age one longer than the other and see if there is a difference.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
There is no hard and fast rule about aging. Some beers benefit from it, some don't. Ultimately it comes down to what your own tatse buds tell you.
In addition to following your taste buds, which is the #1 thing I would recommend, too, consider the beer and how you made it.

Aging doesn't fix all mistakes, of course, but it can help mitigate them.

A properly made ale with a "normal" OG can be ready to drink very soon. But even a properly made barley wine might be best in 9 months.

But if the yeast is underpitched, or the fermentation temperature is too high, or the beer has some undesired harshness, those are the mistakes that very well may improve with some aging. Of course, if you don't make those mistakes, you don't have to age out off-flavors.

I have one "normal" ale that needs a bit more aging than my others (mostly pale ales and IPAs and hoppy ambers). My oatmeal stout needs a couple of weeks longer for the flavors to meld and blend and for the roastiness to subside to a nice beer. My typical fermentation schedule for most ales is 10-14 days in the fermenter, dryhop 3-5 days (if doing), then into the keg. I do the same with the stout, but let it sit about two weeks. Then it goes into the kegerator with the others.
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