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Old 03-26-2013, 05:00 AM   #1
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Default Four months in storage: too long?

Hey folks,

I'm going to be away from home for four months this summer but I'd like to brew a batch and store them in my one litre bottles before I leave. The idea is that I'd have a batch of beer to drink immediately when I get back. This leaves me with a couple of questions:

1) Is four months after bottling too long to leave the beer? If not, how long is too long? What if I had not finished it all by month six?

2) Will temperature affect this? Is there a temperature at which I should or should not store? I'm in Vancouver so it never gets too hot but our place will not have A/C in the summer.

2) Is the length a beer can spend in a bottl dependent on what kind of beer I brew? If so, what type should I aim for? I was hoping to go for a nice dry hopped IPA but am open to whatever stores best (I do grain/extract brews).

Thanks!

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Old 03-26-2013, 05:16 AM   #2
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Four months in bottles will probably be fine for most beers. Some big beers are routinely cellared for months before being consumed. A big IPA is one style of beer that will probably suffer if left for many months. They tend to lose hop flavor and aroma over time and most people prefer them young. I would probably think about doing a Russian Imperial Stout, barleywine or something like that where four months will tend to greatly improve the beer. As far as temps, once carbed, I would store at slightly cooler temps rather than warmer temps if possible, but as long as you don't have extreme heat you will probably be fine. Great idea to plan ahead. Good luck

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Old 03-26-2013, 05:24 AM   #3
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What DirtyOldDuck said. If you have an area in your place that is cooler and dark, store them there. I often drink homebrew that's 6 months old.

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Old 03-26-2013, 05:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goonie View Post
1) Is four months after bottling too long to leave the beer? If not, how long is too long? What if I had not finished it all by month six?
Depending on the beer and brewing techniques, some beers can be kept for years. This is assuming that you use best practices (or at least pretty-good practices), like sanitation, non-oxidation, etc., which is what I meant by techniques.

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2) Will temperature affect this? Is there a temperature at which I should or should not store? I'm in Vancouver so it never gets too hot but our place will not have A/C in the summer.
The lower the temperature, the slower the beer will age. Just keep it in the coolest part of the house. Oh, and you'll want to make sure it's in the dark, too, of course.

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2) Is the length a beer can spend in a bottl dependent on what kind of beer I brew? If so, what type should I aim for? I was hoping to go for a nice dry hopped IPA but am open to whatever stores best (I do grain/extract brews).
From what I understand, IPAs don't age well at all. The beer itself will be fine and will still be beer, but you'll lose a massive amount of hop flavor and aroma, so you'll basically have an extra-bitter pale ale. In general, it seems that stronger beers age better, and I'd say darker ones, too, like browns, porters, and stouts.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:42 AM   #5
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Thanks for the great answers. Now I just need to pick a recipe...!

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Old 03-26-2013, 12:41 PM   #6
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Four months is not too long at all. In fact some of the Belgians I brew I don't even taste them until they have been in the bottles for four months.

AN IPA may not be the best choice because the hop flavor and aroma will fade, but there are many other brews that will age well.

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Old 03-26-2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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Good point on the Belgians. Maybe a trippel? Stouts or porters would def be a better choice for 4 months storage/conditioning. And a cool place like a basement that stays around 65-68F would allow them to condition,but slowly while you're gone.

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Old 03-26-2013, 08:59 PM   #8
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Ive made some beers like Barley Wine or a Baltic Porter with the intention of not even touching them for at least 6 months. That being said, I still drink from a bottled light 4% session ale that I brewed last June and its still fine.

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Old 03-27-2013, 05:02 AM   #9
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Belgian dubbel or trippel will just be smoothing out at four months.

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Old 03-27-2013, 05:06 AM   #10
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I'll throw my $.02 in with taking advantage of the enforced conditioning time and go with a beer that needs more time to really come into it's own. A big RIS, something belgian, maybe even a barleywine. Stay away from anything too hoppy or anything that's better young like a hefe.

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