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Old 02-20-2012, 01:38 PM   #1
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Default home brew expiration period

ok, at the beginning of my brewing career I was wondering what's the shortest time from bottling to drinking, but since I became more serious brewer (brewing a lot 12 gal batches) now I wonder what's the longest time from bottling without any harm to the beer.

so, I'd like to hear experience from you guys.


what's the oldest home brew that you tried without noticing any off flavors or something like that?

in what time frame should I expect quality decrease?

of course - it has to do a lot with the style, so I'm mostly interested in average british and american pale ales, as well as european ales.

what about hefeweizen? is it really true that it's not so good even after one month? kinda hard to believe that...

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Old 02-20-2012, 02:19 PM   #2
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I once "lost" a keg of my Wounded Knee IPA in the keezer. It was 13 months old and tasted great before it was emptied. I think the key is refrigeration will go a long way in keeping homebrew drinkable.

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Old 02-20-2012, 02:20 PM   #3
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I recently found a case of Dunkel Weizen in my basement that I brewed over a year ago and it still tastes pretty good.

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Old 02-20-2012, 03:21 PM   #4
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I recently drank a couple bottles of a brown ale my boss' husband had brewed. The beer was excellent, a bit over carbonated and turns out 10 years old

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Old 02-20-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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i made a 1.034 bitter once. found a bottle two years later. it was awesome.

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Old 02-20-2012, 04:31 PM   #6
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The higher OG/alcohol stuff can last years...generally the hop aroma is the first thing to go but the beer can still be very good years later. Byron Burch told me he tried a 20 yr old stout that he had made and it was still very good.

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Old 02-20-2012, 06:21 PM   #7
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thanks for all the replies. what about hefeweizens? is it true that they taste really bad even after only couple of months? some people suggest that they should be drank within a month from bottling day....

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Old 02-20-2012, 06:24 PM   #8
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I bought some bombers and other equipment from a guy and some of the bombers were full...a couple were labeled ... Something brown porter...1992... Took a sip as I dumped them but was more afraid of dying then tasting... Still alive...still have about 6 bottles I haven't emptied yet...

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Old 02-20-2012, 06:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 400d View Post
thanks for all the replies. what about hefeweizens? is it true that they taste really bad even after only couple of months? some people suggest that they should be drank within a month from bottling day....
They're meant to be drank young. In my opinion, if they're stored cold they don't taste horrible when they get older...but the flavor does change some. The main thing I've noticed is the yeast starts to settle out. You can rouse the yeast by rolling the bottle a bit. All else being equal, if I had to choose between a young hefe and an older one, I'd pick the young one because it's going to taste like a hefe should taste. At the same time, if I stumbled across a forgotten bottle that was a few months old, I wouldn't hesitate to give it a try.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:44 PM   #10
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I recently found a hefe in my fridge that was about 10 months old. That's the longest I've ever kept one - it was hiding amongst a batch of tripel. It still tasted good, no off flavors or anything, but I would say more dull than it was last spring.

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