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Old 02-13-2013, 03:23 PM   #1
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Default Long Term Bottle Aging

I recently became a father. When we first found out, I brewed an excellent Belgian Abbey Ale I call my "Belgian Baby Ale". My intention was to pop some for the day she was born to celebrate - which we did and it's amazing.

Now - I want to save the rest and open one bottle each year on her birthday. If I use the proper corks for long term aging, is this something I can realistically do? I've never heard of anyone else trying this, but the alcohol content is pushing 10%, and I would imagine it would age like wine. I currently have it kegged and under proper pressure and I intend to bottle it off my tap for storage.

Any thoughts are much appreciated!

Thank you!


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Old 02-13-2013, 03:32 PM   #2
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People age big beers all the time. Some for decades, people have tasted beers from Napolean's time. There's some good dicussions to be found in the similar threads box below. The bigger the beer the better. I'm leery about corks. The moisture on the corks need to be maintained or else they will shrink, and the beer could get ruined (just like some wines.)

I would instead opt for oxygen absorbing crown caps, and then seal over them with wax. That's what I'm doing for my 5 year aging barleywine for my 50th birthday.


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Old 02-13-2013, 03:36 PM   #3
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Revvy: Thank you - that's an excellent (and stylish) alternative. That way I don't have to worry about keeping them stored on their side and SWMBO can rest assured she wont lose space in the wine cellar.

I appreciate it!
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:12 PM   #4
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The keys are keeping them airtight and keeping them consistently cool.

For such a project, it would be worth dedicating a fridge on temp control so you could keep the beer at cellering temps (50-55F).
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:55 PM   #5
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+1
with both posts. Don't sweat it. I have bottles 4 and 5 years old, some by accident some by design. 10% abv, it could use a couple years jut to get to its prime. Use the good caps! Up north I'd just put it in a cool dark basement, but TX you may need to use climate control.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:00 PM   #6
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This month's BYO magazine has an article on cellaring beer. (March issue that arrived today).
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:16 PM   #7
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Wax the top of them, plus they look really cool too. Just put the wax in a empty can of veggies and dip them in.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:26 AM   #8
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With the size of a beer cork relative to the size of the hole in the bottle the cork is compressed so much I doubt it can shrink anymore. If you decide to cap instead, don't worry about the wax. Not necessary. I've had a slightly obscene number of vintage beers lately going back to early 2000s, all just capped and a-ok. As mentioned above, get the oxygen absorbing caps.


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