how long do you age your beers ? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:39 PM   #1
becksbolero2
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so I've been kegging my last 6 or 7 batches
but only having three kegs and with the speed that me and my girlfriend and our friends go through them they are usually not lasting much more than 2 or 3 weeks after they are carbed I know some beers like heffes are ready to be consumed early. and barley wines and others need a year or so to age properly. but what is a good time frame i should shoot for ?

ideally i would have a dozen kegs and a big chest freezer to age them in, but alas that isn't happening anytime soon

how long do you all age yours for ?


do you notice a big difference after a certain period of time ?

thanks guys,

~joe



 
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:14 PM   #2
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I'm like you, most of the time my beer doesn't last very long once it's been carbonated. The few times that I have let the beer age 2-6 months I was very pleased at how smooth they were.


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Old 08-20-2009, 12:04 AM   #3
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Depends what it is. Brown ales, or ambers, 6 weeks. Bocks, three months or more. Big Belgians, 4-6 months. It helps if you have a pipeline going.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:16 AM   #4
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This is one reason I still use a secondary even though I do a long primary and my beer is clear at that point. It's a lot easier for me to let it age in bulk in the secondary than it is for me to keep my mitts off it once it's actually in a drinkable form.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:17 AM   #5
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In general I bottle stuff with an OG over 1.060 and keg stuff that OGs under 1.060.

Bottled stuff over 1.060 I like to leave at least three months on the shelf.

My pipeline is now over 50 gallons, so I can afford to be patient. But I can only fit two kegs in my kegerator, so I have to think before I put some big heavy whatever in a keg and have one of my taps tied up for however long. I tend to keep a pale and an amber on tap with several bottles of selection in the fridge door.

For balanced ales under 1.050OG or so, I don't see much point in aging them much past carbonation. A big IPA with a bunch of hops, yah, some shelf time will smooth it out. OTOH if you want lip peeling, hit it at three weeks.

I am not a certified judge. To my untrained palate OGs over 1.060 and absolutely over 1.080 do better, taste better with a good long rest in secondary before packaging. My 888RIS went about three months in secondary before I bottled and they are holding up well.

I have never tried a beer with an OG under 1.050 aged more than year that I know of. I would imagine under ideal cellar conditions it might be "just as good" as when fresh, but I wouldn't expect it to be dramatically better.

Keep playing with it. I leave my batches under an airlock until the tell me they are ready. Then package and carb, then cellar until I drink them.

I just pulled a very pale ale (OG 1.042) off the serving shelf and put it on the storage shelf with a 08-19-2010 label. I'll get back to you.

 
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uechikid View Post
I'm like you, most of the time my beer doesn't last very long once it's been carbonated. The few times that I have let the beer age 2-6 months I was very pleased at how smooth they were.
Cheers! I just had a porter disappear in five days after it was carbed in bottles. I usually don't get to the whole aging topic.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:04 AM   #7
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I have some bottles of stouts that are over a year old that are awesome. Most of mine right now are in the 6 month range BUT - I bottle so it is MUCH easier to age brew.

Yes - there is a BIG difference and most of my friends say my brews start to taste like real beer at around the 4 month mark. Before that mark that are green.

BTW - I start drinking then at the 2 week after bottling, one here one there but I put half the batch away in storage so I can't touch them.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:38 PM   #8
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My pipeline is usually dry, so my beers rarely get to age much longer than 2-3 weeks. I am trying to build pipeline up though for the winter so hopefully that changes.

At least with my lagers the rancid egg smell keeps me from trying them too early.

 
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petep1980 View Post
At least with my lagers the rancid egg smell keeps me from trying them too early.
Ha!

Yea, unless I can get a few batches ahead, they usually start disappearing the day after bottling or kegging. somtimes right out of the bottling bucket.

Cider though I manage to age. (most of the time)

 
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petep1980 View Post
My pipeline is usually dry, so my beers rarely get to age much longer than 2-3 weeks. I am trying to build pipeline up though for the winter so hopefully that changes.

At least with my lagers the rancid egg smell keeps me from trying them too early.
that is my approach now. brewing quantity now so I can keep a fair amount and actually taste it months later. It's hard to do when you just have one ready at a time i've noticed


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