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Old 12-05-2011, 01:50 AM   #1
mccann51
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Default Aging commercial beers

I recently decided I'm going to start aging some of my favorite big commercial beers. That said, I'm not totally sure of the point other than having some good beers around if the apocalypse comes. The beers I'm putting aside are all malty ~10%ers (none hoppy of course), but they're all delicious now, so I'm curious as to how they'll improve or change. For those who buy beer to age, what is the biggest draw to doing so? What kinds of organoleptic changes should I expect from my humble stash? Any criteria other than ~10% ABV and malt-emphasized that I should keep in mind for squirreling-away beer?

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Old 12-05-2011, 02:04 AM   #2
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I'm no expert on aging as I don't have a ton of experience myself, but I would think that any "big" beer would improve with age, at least up to a point. I myself have put away a few beers to see how they are down the road, a couple Belgian Tripels & some Barleywines. I don't know if 10% is the magic number, I would think that even slightly smaller beers (like 8% and up) would also improve for at least a couple years.

I'll let someone with more knowledge of the science of aging answer your question though.

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Old 12-05-2011, 02:16 AM   #3
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I age most beers 9% and higher and any sour beers. Aging the beer long periods of time brings out complexity in it that isn't in a fresh bottle. The best way i can describe it was a comparison i did between 2 different vintages of dfh old school barleywine. I had a 2011 bottle and a 2003. The 2011 just tasted genericly malty sweet and had a boozy kick to it. the 2003 on the other hand had almost no alcohol bite to it and i could taste an array of new and specific flavors (caramel, figs, dates, toffee). pretty incredible if you're patient

I hope that answered your question to some extent

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Old 12-05-2011, 02:54 AM   #4
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So would it be worth it to put away beers as low as 8%? Interested to see how this turns out.

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Old 12-05-2011, 02:59 PM   #5
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Is there any benefit to aging at refrigerator temperature vs cellar temp? How about if I already have some refrigerated and wanted to move some to cellar?

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Old 12-05-2011, 03:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccann51 View Post
So would it be worth it to put away beers as low as 8%? Interested to see how this turns out.
yeah give it a try. If something is really malty and has a lot of flavors going on go for it. I've aged some of my ipas at 6% for over a year and they still taste great

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Is there any benefit to aging at refrigerator temperature vs cellar temp? How about if I already have some refrigerated and wanted to move some to cellar?
you don't want to age in the fridge. the cold will slow down the process. the best temp is right around 55-60. if you have a cellar that'll probly be best. I've taken some out of the fridge and dropped them in the cellar with no issues.
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:33 PM   #7
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Really, you've aged IPAs with success? I was of the understanding that most of the hoppiness fades pretty quickly. Good to know I can age lower ABV though.

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Old 12-05-2011, 04:36 PM   #8
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I should clarify that i aged my homebrewed ipa's. I had one i brewed to about 160 ibu's and while it was still palatable i wanted to see what would happen if I aged it. It mellowed out big time and tasted awesome.

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Old 12-06-2011, 12:28 AM   #9
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Gotcha! Makes sense.

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Old 12-10-2011, 03:51 AM   #10
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I had heard that even as low 7% ABV can be successfully aged, but generally, the higher ABV the better.

As Jester mentioned, aging will mellow out some of the bite of the alcohol. The existing flavors can blend and sometimes new ones can appear. The waiting is hard, but can be worth it.

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