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Old 04-30-2010, 02:20 AM   #1
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Default Aging Bad Beer

Last holiday season I tried my hand at brewing a spiced holiday beer. I have never been the biggest fan of this type of beer but I thought I would give it a try. I had no idea on quantities/types/amounts of spices so I used one I found on the internet. It involved Allspice, Cinnamon, Honey, Vanilla, and Sweet Orange Peel. It was a fairly high gravity brew ending up at 8.5 ABV, also 35 IBU with EKG and Willamette.

Well, when I cracked open the first one a couple of weeks before Christmas I wasn't that happy with it. I thought it was way overpowered by cinnamon. Anyway, with a grimace, I choked down most of the batch. But, I stashed away 8 of them in the back of my closet to see what happened. I haven't touched them since December, but for some reason tonight I decided to check the progress. And wow, it is a totally different beer. Still not something I want to drink more than one of. Very thick and syrupy, carbonation is perfect, the spice combination has really melded together, and you can even taste a subtle hop character behind the spices. I am excited now and have it in mind to keep the other 7 until December of this year. I just need to discipline myself since I have to wait 8 more months.


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Old 04-30-2010, 02:39 AM   #2
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Back when I was an extract brewer, I made an Imperial Stout that tasted like crap after 3 weeks in bottles - I forgot about it, rediscovered it in my celler after 12 months, and it was awesome. Too bad I drank it all so quick after I discovered this, 'cause I'm sure it would've been even better later on. My rule is never throw out a "bad" batch, because it might turn out to be pretty great after a year (or more) of aging.


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Old 04-30-2010, 03:30 AM   #3
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If I can add one caveat to this rule...if a batch is bad cause you screwed it up, just dump it. I've had two batches that were trainwrecks, due mostly to the fact that I was fermenting in the garage, and the temperature was fluctuating about 20F from day to night. I kept a sixer of one of those batches for a year to test the "age fixes everything" theory, and it doesn't...

But, if you have a well brewed beer that is harsh, or one dimensional, then letting it age for 6 months can sometimes really smooth everything out...
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:43 AM   #4
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You might want to think about cold storing them for the rest of the duration. A year in the closet can age a beer, but also ruin it.
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sedge View Post
You might want to think about cold storing them for the rest of the duration. A year in the closet can age a beer, but also ruin it.
That's a good point. Does anyone have experience with how long an 8.5% ABV beer can store at room temp? I know that, in general, the higher the gravity, the longer a beer can age and the more advantage that can be gained. When do you think I should throw them in the fridge until I am ready to drink?
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Old 05-05-2010, 01:50 AM   #6
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Personally I cold store everything I have room for. Out of curiosity, did you chill that bottle you tried when you posted this thread? If so, how long? I know when I chill a bottle overnight its different than when its chilled for a week, with the same serving temperature. Especially for bottle conditioned beers.

We tend to have too much yeast in our bottle conditioned beers as homebrewers, because we're not always precisely controlling that with methods like filtering and repitching priming yeast, or extended cold crashing before bottling. Many times I've bottle conditioned the beers came out alright but had a thick layer of yeast at the bottom, and the flavor changed rapidly for the bottles I couldn't fit in the fridge.

If you kegged/carbed/filled, then your mileage may vary, but lagering never hurt a beer as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:52 AM   #7
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Interesting thread Bump


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