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Old 07-11-2012, 07:46 PM   #1
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Default Beer For An Unborn Kid

My wife and I are expecting our first kid next February. As many others have already done on the forum, I'd like to brew a special beer to commemorate the occasion that can be put aside for the kid to have on his/her 21st birthday (as well as other special occasions). I want to make a beer that can not only handle that kind of aging, but thrive under it. Here's what I've come up with.

Baby's Beer

OG 1.088
IBU 58
SRM ~12-16
ABV ~8.5%
5.5 gal batch

16 lbs. Warminster floor-malted maris otter
0.75 lbs. Carastan (Baird's)
0.25 lbs Pale Chocolate Malt (Crisp)

I'll do a kettle caramelization with a gallon or two of the first runnings to richen things up a little.

1.5 oz Brewer's Gold 90 min
1 oz Northdown 30 min

Wyeast 1084 (suggested by Wyeast when I asked them what would age well under these circumstances)

I'm also going to age it on some home-toasted oak (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/how-...k-beer-287013/) and probably bottle with cork and cage.

Some of my favorite beers are Riggwelter, Hobgoblin, and Traquair House Ale. This beer should have elements of each of them together with enough strength to hold up to extended aging. And I've heard the Warminster maris otter is amazing. This will be my first time with it. Hopefully the kid likes it.


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Old 07-11-2012, 09:42 PM   #2
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Based on the title, I thought you were looking to barter.


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Old 07-11-2012, 09:44 PM   #3
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Based on the title, I thought you were looking to barter.
Lol
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JonW View Post
Based on the title, I thought you were looking to barter.
What have you got in mind?
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:01 PM   #5
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You think it will hold out for that long? I wanted to do the same thing, my son was just born on June 16th but I didn't have faith in something aging that long and tasting good.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:13 PM   #6
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Very cool idea. I think you should up the gravity and hops if you are set on making this go the distance. A wine or mead might be a better choice.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:23 PM   #7
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Very cool idea. I think you should up the gravity and hops if you are set on making this go the distance.
+1. look into brewing a 10-12% barleywine, and up those IBUs. you could crank 'em up to over 100, they'll be well faded by the time you crack one open.
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Drinking: Tripel'ish, oud bruin, gueuz'ish thing, saison bottled with ECY34, imperial chocolate stout, dubbel
Carb'ing: local sour cherry kriek
Aging: TYB saison brett blend, Tripel'ish with brett, sour cherry mead, rye sour ECY20/ECY34 split, several other sours, acerglyn
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mr_Pear View Post
You think it will hold out for that long? I wanted to do the same thing, my son was just born on June 16th but I didn't have faith in something aging that long and tasting good.
I don't see why it wouldn't hold up that long. I've heard of beers going much longer and being great.

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Originally Posted by ashplub View Post
Very cool idea. I think you should up the gravity and hops if you are set on making this go the distance. A wine or mead might be a better choice.
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Originally Posted by sweetcell View Post
+1. look into brewing a 10-12% barleywine, and up those IBUs. you could crank 'em up to over 100, they'll be well faded by the time you crack one open.
I contemplated making it stronger when I was first coming up with the recipe. I was also tossing around making it with just the Warminster floor-malted maris otter since that stuff is supposed to be so good. But in the end, I decided to make something more along the lines of what I find enjoyable. I find beers in the 8-9% ABV range much more balanced to my taste than beers in the 10-12% ABV range. And there are plenty of beers in the 8-9% range that have aged exceptionally well. I don't know that the extra few % would necessarily help a beer that much. I was also contemplating upping the IBUs, knowing that they will drop over time. But then I decided that that would be part of the fun. That the beer will be totally different in 20-odd years. I'll be having bottles now and then throughout the years following its progress.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:02 PM   #9
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It *will* help the beer. You're going 20+ years... not many brews age gracefully in that timeline. Two decades is nothing to scoff at... you should really do everything possible to help your beer make it. How disappointed would you be if in 2033 you opened the bottles and they sucked? It's really not worth taking chances.

Since you're looking at kettle caramelization, I'd recommend going with a massive Wee Heavy. Barleywines, and some Quadrupels/Belgian Dark Strongs have the potential too. I'd aim for at least 12%... that would go a long way towards helping it remain great. That's not a small increase... That's a full 50% higher than what you've planned. There's a bit of a threshold for this kind of thing though, and with such epic aging, I guarantee you that 8-9% is on the wrong side of it.

Also keep in mind that hop character will fade to almost nothing in that time frame, so going bigger than you think you should is actually probably a good idea. If you want to restrain the bitterness, going with a portion of aged hops (a la lambic) might be something to consider.

Also, be very careful about oxygenation with this brew. Hot side aeration may not be something you normally care about, but for such a long-term beer it might be prudent to be careful... there's no "next time" for a special beer like this. And obviously, be careful with transfers. Purge bottles with CO2 before filling, if possible. Maybe even add a bit of ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C... but buy "ascorbic acid" in powder form, preferably from a HBS) to the priming solution, as it's an antioxidant that could very well help it remain drinkable after all these years.

Other than that, good luck!
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:06 PM   #10
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O2-absorbing caps are a must.


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What hops should I grow? Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: Tripel'ish, oud bruin, gueuz'ish thing, saison bottled with ECY34, imperial chocolate stout, dubbel
Carb'ing: local sour cherry kriek
Aging: TYB saison brett blend, Tripel'ish with brett, sour cherry mead, rye sour ECY20/ECY34 split, several other sours, acerglyn
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