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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > What happens after carbonation?
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:49 AM   #1
notahopguyyet
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Default What happens after carbonation?

After the yeast eats all the priming sugar(no more carbing going on), what happens to the beer with aging? Why do the flavors mellow and taste 5 times better? Just found out after three months later with my first brew(honey amber ale, OG 1.043 FG 1.009).

I'm now going to be an age'r with all my homebrew, probably waiting too long, if that's possible.

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Old 06-23-2012, 05:55 AM   #2
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My theory has always been that two things happen;
1) Yeast will eat their own bi-products which helps the beer taste better after they've had a while to do that.
2) Some particles (whatever they may be) that can cause off flavors will eventually settle into the sediment/yeast layer on the bottom of the bottle.

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Old 06-23-2012, 12:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by notahopguyyet View Post
I'm now going to be an age'r with all my homebrew, probably waiting too long, if that's possible.
It is possible to age too long. Take a Mild. They are ment to drink young. Once it's carbed it's ready to drink. Now take a RIS. This beer wil most likely need 6 months or more of ageing. The point is different beers have different needs and to get to know them.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:09 PM   #4
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It does depend on the style, but most beers do well with at least a couple/few weeks of aging after carbonation is complete.

My brown ale was a good beer at three weeks. I saw slight improvement after that, but nothing major. At four months, it suddenly became AMAZING. Of course, the bottle count is gettin sadly low...

My Belgian blonde was pretty good at 4 weeks, better at 6, excellent at 8... favors were very different. It's an 8.4% ABV, though... it may still improve.

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Old 06-23-2012, 08:21 PM   #5
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It is different for different styles. Some, such as Belgians do really improve with age. Some, like IPA's or a wheat beer taste good younger.

To use a food analogy. Think about a batch of Chili. It tastes pretty good the day you make it, but after a few days for the flavors to meld it is much better. Same thing for beer.

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Old 06-24-2012, 05:58 AM   #6
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After carbonation comes consumption.

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Old 06-24-2012, 06:30 AM   #7
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Not all flavors mellow. Smoke gets more intense after 4-6 months, and even after 16 months my apple wood rauchbier is still very smoky, much more than it was at 3 months old.

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Old 06-24-2012, 07:12 AM   #8
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Not all flavors mellow. Smoke gets more intense after 4-6 months, and even after 16 months my apple wood rauchbier is still very smoky, much more than it was at 3 months old.
not to play anything but devils advocate but is it that the smoke gets more intense after 4-6 months or is it that every other flavor mellows and the smoke stays true from the beginning?

personally im not much of an oaked or smoked fan... but the flavoring profile intrigues me none the less..
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stauffbier View Post
My theory has always been that two things happen;
1) Yeast will eat their own bi-products which helps the beer taste better after they've had a while to do that.
2) Some particles (whatever they may be) that can cause off flavors will eventually settle into the sediment/yeast layer on the bottom of the bottle.
1: more complex than that. Yeast produce enzymes that facilitate the reactions that turn sugar into alcohol and co2, but as you've alluded to that isn't a direct or perfect transition.

Some leftover intermediary products and some leftover enzymes find each other. Also, some byproducts that are very volatile may come out of solution and linger in the headspace in gaseous form. acetaldehyde in particular may leave your beer either way.

Also, there is still free sugar, there is still some oxygen, and there are still live yeast. They keep at it. For a real long time. Even under refrigeration.

2: yeah, stuff will continue to clump and fall for a while.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcticBear View Post
not to play anything but devils advocate but is it that the smoke gets more intense after 4-6 months or is it that every other flavor mellows and the smoke stays true from the beginning?

personally im not much of an oaked or smoked fan... but the flavoring profile intrigues me none the less..
I wonder about the same thing, but my smoked helles bock are pretty lightly hopped so there's not a lot of other flavors going on in there. Plus when I keg my smoked beers there's really only a hint of smoke if any. The first time I brewed one I was very disappointed in the lack of smoke in the beer, but after it had lagered a couple of months there it was, nice and smoky.
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