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Old 05-01-2009, 02:48 AM   #21
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,796
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I read once that Chimay is in the bottle for 18 months before it's eligible to be sold...
HB Bill

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Old 05-01-2009, 04:28 AM   #22
Poindexter's Avatar
Oct 2007
interior Alaska
Posts: 1,195
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I generally still find, after about 40 batches that I am not aging my beers long enough, or at least that they would benefit from more aging.

I agree in general that big beers need to age longer.

I am curious to someday find a basic brit style bitter that OGd around 1.038 and spent about two years in my cellar at 1.014 or so.

I made a batch of a Roggen spring 2008 that lasted about two weeks once I tapped the serving keg. It was getting better even as it kicked. I still wonder how it would have done with just two more weeks aging... fixin to find out ;-)

EDIT: I kegged a big IPA with dry hops and priming sugar 04-2008. I stuck it in the hold of a friend's boat with a note "tap 12-2008", what with the old sailing ships taking 8 months to sail one way to India. That keg still isn't tapped, so I'll have to get back to you. FWIW the boat just got back to St. Augustine from the Bahamas.

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Old 05-01-2009, 04:40 AM   #23
Laughing_Gnome_Invisible's Avatar
Jan 2008
Posts: 12,250
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I'm working on ordinary bitter. I can get quite a decent one ready to drink (Bottling) in 4 weeks. I'm talking 3.5% ABV session beer. Sure, the carbonation would be more stable at 6 weeks, but the overall taste is about the same. My point is, that all styles are different. There is no golden rule. Bitter is meant to be drank young, other styles are not. I think that for the homebrewer, it is less about convention, and more about gauging the requirements for the beer that YOU brew, rather than the norm for that style.

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Old 05-01-2009, 03:11 PM   #24
jkarp's Avatar
Jun 2008
Elizabeth, CO
Posts: 2,112
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Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
I read once that Chimay is in the bottle for 18 months before it's eligible to be sold...
Somebody pulled your leg.

Chimay rests in the refermentation cellar for 3 weeks before being shipped out. Verifiable via their own website or read Brew Like a Monk.

Also from Chimay's FAQ:

* How and for how long can one keep Chimay Trappist beers?

Preferably in a vertical position so that the yeast remains at the bottom of the bottle, at a temperature of 10-12C (50 to 53,6F).

The consume by date given on some labels is a recommendation but does not mean that the beer cannot be drunk after that date. It can never, in fact, go "bad ".

Chimay Blue/Grand Reserve being vintage, some connoisseurs keep them for 10, 15 or 20 years. It will oxidise in the course of time.

The Red/Premier must be consumed more quickly and we recommend that you drink Triple/Cinq Cents as young as possible so that it retains a maximum of bitterness. The personal taste of the drinker will influence the storage time of our beers.

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