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Old 04-28-2011, 03:25 PM   #1
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Default Is it possible to bottle condition too long?

I've only been brewing about 6-months. I've brewed about 8 different styles during that time. Each batch has bottle conditioned (and remains in the basement) @ approx 60F until ready to drink. Periodically I bring a couple bottles of each batch up and put them in the refrigerator a few days-week before drinking.

It appears over the past month or so the flavor of the beers continues to change... It seems that I enjoy most whatever is the current batch and as the beer continues to age it isn't as smooth as it was originally, maybe even becoming bitter?

So if the yeast are still doing their thing in the bottle, and that's the reason for the change in taste, should I refrigerate as many as I can, and since I only have one refrigerator, is it ok to put them back in the basement until I'm ready to drink them (and re-refrigerate)?

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Old 04-28-2011, 05:10 PM   #2
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As a general rule of thumb, higher ABV beers can stand up to some aging (and in a lot of cases, could do well with some). Really it comes down to storage environment -- if they're kept dark and cool there's no reason they won't last long enough for you to enjoy all of them. Even with modern transportation/shipping/etc. you're probably drinking not-quite-brewery-fresh beer from many brewers -- it's just the nature of the beast (unless you're drinking strictly local or homebrew ).

But yeah, beer will continue to change in profile as it ages. Some things will mellow (hop character, particularly) and other things may be introduced (depending on the storage, could be sherry-like notes among other things). Best thing to do is drink them at different intervals and decide what you like best.

Oh, and keep really good notes! You may think you'll remember this current batch's process, but 3 months down the road that beer might not be as memorable as you thought!

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Old 04-28-2011, 07:09 PM   #3
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Even with good brewing practices, home breweries are not perfectly sterile, and bacteria that you get in your beer will grow very slowly. I've heard some people say that beers that sit for a long time (long being something measured in years) will end up tasting worse due to that.

That said, I've drank some beers that I brewed last year recently and I didn't experience that. So who knows.

You will see that hop aroma fades very quickly (a few months) and beers focusing on this don't age as well.

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Old 07-26-2014, 09:02 PM   #4
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Dumb question but if you don't move to fridge after the 3 or 4 weeks will they just keep carbonating? Guessing the yeast will eat all the sugar and that's it. But hell if I know. Not even a year brewing yet. I've just noticed a lot of our beers getting more malty and a lot of head/carbonation the longer they sit (this could be to much sugar I'm guessing?)

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Old 08-12-2014, 10:47 PM   #5
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I figured this out. Calculations were wrong. I was not taking hugest beer temp during fermentation and accounting for co2 build up during that. My next batch I will lower the sugar based on that and see

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Old 08-13-2014, 09:22 PM   #6
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One oops I made several times and caused over carbonation was calculating my bottling volume before transferring. I calculated and made the priming sugar for 5 gallons and only had 4.5 gallons of beer actually move to the bottling bucket.

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Old 08-14-2014, 03:46 AM   #7
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Many people recommend drinking hoppy beers on the younger side, as hop aromas tend to fade over time.

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Old 08-14-2014, 03:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzy2133 View Post
One oops I made several times and caused over carbonation was calculating my bottling volume before transferring. I calculated and made the priming sugar for 5 gallons and only had 4.5 gallons of beer actually move to the bottling bucket.
Been there, done that, forgot to get the tee-shirt...
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:19 AM   #9
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As others have stated, the hop aroma tends to fade first (and rather quickly). You mentioned your beer tastes more bitter after aging a while. This is likely a taste-bud/perception issue rather than your beer actually becoming more bitter (absent some weird slow growing infection or something - which who knows what that would do). In general, as the hop aroma fades, the perception of bitterness increases, since there isn't as much balance as there was originally, tricking your palate into not noticing the same level of bitterness early on. As the initial hop flavor & aroma fades with aging, your taste buds tend to focus more on the underlying bitterness that's been there all along - it just wasn't as noticeable before when all the hoppy flavor & aroma was more prevalent. I've read some more scientific explanations on this - but I'm no scientist (so forgive me if this is over simplified). I have definitely experienced this in my own brewing and my own taste buds, though, especially for really hoppy beers that got aged for longer than intended.


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