Originally Posted by Duffy85
I've been working on some ideas for a new boch style beer. And been trying some barley wine which I really like. So I've been wonder, how long can you keep a beer in the secondary fermentor? Does all the yeast ever die off? To keep it all there and then not be able to carb it would be a waste to me. I just think it would be cool to have a beer that I can day " oh yeah, I started that 2 years ago, no biggie" lol.
You can keep it a long time in secondary. Many beers will get worse after a while, but a big oaked barleywine or BDSA or Russian Imperial Stout can benefit from prolonged aging--I'm planning a barleywine soon that will stay in secondary until December. Certainly some Flanders Reds and other sours are bulk-aged for a year or more. Oktoberfests are traditionally brewed in the spring.
Generally with a long secondary, people re-yeast at bottling time (often by putting just a few grains of a clean dry yeast into each bottle).
OTOH, for a hop monster or wheat or rye beer, I'd want to drink it pretty young.
On deck: Little Bo Pils, Bretta Off Dead (Brett pale)
Secondary: Oude Bruin, Red Sky at Morning (Sour brown ale)
On tap: Saison Duphunk (sour), Amarillo Slim (IPA), Earl White (ginger/bergamot wit)
Bottled: Number 8 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Eternale (Barleywine), Ancho Villa (Ancho/pasilla/chocolate/cinnamon RIS), Oak smoked porter (1/2 maple bourbon oaked, 1/2 apple brandy oaked)