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Old 01-22-2013, 04:39 AM   #1
TalesSpin
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Default How long to age an "ale"?

Second batch of beer here and it's an ale. Wondering how long to let it age after I bottle. Is is best to wait # months before even trying it, and will it get better or worse with age after that?

Last time I made a stout and it aged for about 4 months by the time the wife and I drank it all and it significantly better with age.

EDIT: Oh sorry - it's a "honey ale" (2.5lb honey) and I mixed Cascade and Saaz (with cascade finishing) hops with a Pilsner yeast. Don't know if that helps..

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Old 01-22-2013, 04:41 AM   #2
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What type of ale? It could benefit from aging as little as 3 weeks. Or might need a few months to come together. A basic ale will be good in a couple weeks.

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Old 01-22-2013, 04:44 AM   #3
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Depends exactly what kind of ale. IPAs and Pale ales generally are a little better towards the fresher end of the scale i.e. 3 week ferment, week or so dry hop, 3 week bottle. Your darker ales tend to benefit more with age and allowing the flavors to meld. Which in IPAs you don't want, you want that intense hoppy aroma, which will mellow over time.

What kind of Ale was it?

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Old 01-22-2013, 04:47 AM   #4
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Painting with a broad brush, I would say most of my homebrews hit their sweet spots between 2 and 2 1/2 months. Of course browns, porters, and stouts taste better at 3 and beyond. They are definitely drinkable and even tasty early on, but they tend to be better a bit later. i keg my beer and find that I often have drunk a 1/4 or 1/2 the keg when it finally "blooms". I have recently been holding back on taking my "tasters" until the 2 month mark. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:41 AM   #5
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Oh sorry - it's a "honey ale" (2.5lb honey) and I mixed Cascade and Saaz (with cascade finishing) hops with a Pilsner yeast. Don't know if that helps..

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Old 01-22-2013, 08:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clonefan94 View Post
Depends exactly what kind of ale. IPAs and Pale ales generally are a little better towards the fresher end of the scale i.e. 3 week ferment, week or so dry hop, 3 week bottle. Your darker ales tend to benefit more with age and allowing the flavors to meld. Which in IPAs you don't want, you want that intense hoppy aroma, which will mellow over time.

What kind of Ale was it?
What about a dark IPA? Aka a IPA with roasted barley/chocolate/Carafa/etc....

Lol ill be doing one to get marked by bjcp judges and with it being like > 1.065 im thinking like 8-9 weeks total..4-5 weeks fermenting, 2-3 weeks aging/carbing in cold keg, then a few days dry hopped before bottling from keg....but with such a high gravity beer i cant help but wonder if i should go longer on the aging...
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