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Old 02-09-2008, 05:16 PM   #1
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Default Aging in glass carboys

Here is the deal and I need some insight from you guys.

How long can beer sit in a glass carboy at room temp - 72ish.

Over the past couple of months I have been gathering addition carboys both primary and seconds. 6 primarys and 8 seconds and 6 cornys.
I am trying to keep my production line going so that I do not wind up with an empty keg. Well.. it has not been an issue when I was doing 5gal batches and beer was not sitting around ... then I started doing 10gal batches and now I am up to 60 gallons ... and my cornys are full... and I have beer justs sitting around... the issue is I am going to have a crawfish boil and one other party.. and 30 - 40 of those are going to be gone quick... so I am trying to "save" up and keep things in the the pipeline so to speak... so that I can quickly replace my empty cornys.

I have a fellow brew friend and he things letting beer sit in the secondary for say 4 weeks... not in the fridge... and he thinks that my beer is going to develop off flavors and not taste fresh.

Thoughts? You see my objective...
I wish I had something like Ed Wort has... where I could move them striaght to corny and carb them and keep them cool. but that is not the set up I have..

Any insight would be helpful.


I have Kegerator and an old beer fridge.

T Grier
Austin Texas

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Old 02-09-2008, 05:28 PM   #2
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A lot of my beer sits in secondary for months. I've found it ages better in bulk than in bottles. Bulk aging gets you very clear beer with great flavor development. I don't know the scientific details of why bulk aging creates such good flavors but it does. IMO, keep you pipeline full as planned and don't worry about it.

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Old 02-09-2008, 05:28 PM   #3
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Oh, you can keep beer in the glass carboys for many months, as long as you leave very little headspace, keep them covered (so light doesn't skunk), and keep the airlock with water or vodka in it. I leave wine for a year or so, and just have to check the airlock to make sure that it's not drying up. Cooler is better, but cool room temperature is fine.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:17 PM   #4
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I too have kept beer for months bulk conditioning. I have a cool crawl space though that is usually in the upper 40-mid 50's depending on time of year. It will also depend on the beer - bigger ones will be fine, I wouldn't leave a 1.036 bitter around for months...

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Old 02-09-2008, 10:48 PM   #5
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I just got through bottling my first AG batch.

I brewed it on 12-28 and moved it to a secondary on 18th of January.

So I had it sit in the Primary for almost a month and then another three weeks in the secondary.

And I took a sip of it as I was putting it into the bottle, tasted good.
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Old 02-11-2008, 03:32 AM   #6
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I've had beer sitting in glass for 2+ years (lambic) with no ill-effects. I don't cover my beers either, since they are in the dark for the most part. If you keep the airlock full, you will be ok.
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:25 PM   #7
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Consider starting a collection of corny kegs. They make great secondary fermenters! And cost about the same as glass carboys.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:28 PM   #8
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I have beers that have sat for up to 6 months in secondary.
And now we go AG!

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Old 02-11-2008, 04:45 PM   #9
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I've left a few of my beers in secondary or tertiary for a few months with no problems whatsoever. As mentioned earlier, I've found the flavors develop more evenly in bulk. We did a side-by-side comparison by bottling 3x22oz, 3x12oz, and leaving the rest un-primed and in the carboy. From bottle-to-bottle there were flavor inconsistencies, whereas the stuff that sat in the carboy all tasted the same. Strange, no?
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:51 PM   #10
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+1 your ok. I definitely agree that bulk aging makes better tasting beer than bottle aging...


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