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Old 01-25-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
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Default Beer life span

I know the point if making brew is to drink it but I was wondering what the lifespan of a home brew is if not consumed quickly. Right now I have 4 cases + another 5 gallon fermenting right now. Are there any tips to prolong longevity. Thanks

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Old 01-25-2013, 02:22 PM   #2
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Usually, just keep it out of light and out of temperature swings, and you'll be ok. Many people on here age their beers for years (Barleywines, Apfelweins, Meads, etc..) I wouldn't age indefinitely in primary, but once it's off the yeast and sealed up, you're good to go for quite a while.

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Old 01-25-2013, 02:23 PM   #3
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Never had it last that long. I found a couple of bottles my wife had hid in the fridge to keep me from drinking them and they were 4 months old and tasted GREAT.

Now I got to brew her a brew just for her
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:30 PM   #4
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Beer will keep indefinitely if you sanitized well and did not introduce oxygen into the beer when you bottled it.

Some styles are best when they are young, like IPA's that have a nice fresh hop flavor and aroma. They will keep but the flavor and aroma will fade. Some other beers do better with age on them. bigger beers, darker beers like age for the flavors to mellow. Belgian beers are great for aging. I have a few that have been in the bottles for over 2 years and they continue to age.

With good brewing practice and storage without big temp swings you don't have to worry about you beer.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:33 PM   #5
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Beers have lasted and been drinkable for hundreds of years in bottles, if stored properly. Our own Mbowenz recently tried a beer that was brewed in 1852. There are still drinkable bottles brewed for Napoleon.

Beer is really no different than wine, homebrew or otherwise. Properly stored it can last and be drinkable for 100s of years.

To put it in perspective, in the Dec 07 Zymurgy Charlie Papazian reviewed bottles of homebrew going back to the first AHC competition that he had stored, and none of them went bad, some had not held up but most of them he felt were awesome...We're talking over 20 years worth of beers.

This is a great thread about one of our guys tasting 4-5 years of his stored brew.


And I brewed an og 1.150, 150 IBU barleywine that I won't be opening for 5 years.

Not to mention the fact that there are vertical tasting for certain beers like Stone epic, where people collect each years beer and then sample a flight of them going back in time.

I just had this expericence not too long ago... We tried 48 year old beer today. One was interesting and drinkable, and one was gnarly.

Now this isn't saying a beer won't change, or lose some of it's character. An IPA may become nothing more than a pale ale in a few months...but still a drinkable beer. Gravity and storage conditions are the two bigger factors. But beer isn't as short lived as for example Budweiser with their silly born on dates, would have folks believe.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:50 PM   #6
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I found a bottle of my first DIPA a few months back. It was about 2 years old and It was great.

I've gotten into the habit of kegging, and letting stuff condition in my basement for 4-6 months minimum.

I just tapped a ZD clone I brewed back in May. Originally it was kinda harsh, so I put it away. It's really mellowed out now. It lost some of the hop aroma, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be.

I also tapped a Centennial Blonde I did in June. It was very good too. I'd been told that a lighter beer wouldn't hold up longer than a few months, but it's perfect.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:07 PM   #7
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I wish I would have set aside more of my brews for long term aging along the way. The only somewhat old one I have is the Belgian strong ale I brewed for my daughter's baby shower. It's 2.5 years old now, and I have about a 12 pack left. I crack one open once every few months, and it just keeps getting better and better.

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