Originally Posted by skunkyboy
ok cool so you wouldn't recomend putting it in an ock barrel then ? unless i am either going to drink it about that time or bottle it after (14 days)??
If you want to barrel age beer, you really have to design the beer with the intention of barrel aging it. Generally, it will need either:
1) a higher alcohol content to prevent spoiling (i.e. a Barley Wine or Imperial Stout, Double Bock, etc...)
2) be built to intentionally sour with lactic bacteria (i.e. a Lambic)
3) be dry hopped in the barrel (i.e. an IPA)
If what you brewed is just a standard amber or pale ale from a kit, it probably will not barrel age well. Besides, you need enough beer to fill the barrel without any head-space left over. If you still really want to barrel age it, then you could dry-hop it (add a few ounces of whole leaf hops to the barrel while it ages) and it might turn out OK in 6 months, as long as you can fill the barrel to the top.
Otherwise, it will age fine in the bottles, if you bottle it right now (assuming it is done fermenting and has settled out). It will tend to lose hop bitterness as it ages, and will eventually oxidize. You will still want to drink it within 6-9 months, but it will hold up better in the bottles once it has been bottle-conditioned than it will in your carboy.