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Old 02-24-2008, 03:42 PM   #1
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Default Aging / Conditioning Questions

I gave some homebrew to a friend and explained that it will be better if he allows it to age for a while. He asked why.

Of course, I made up some pseudo-intelligent bullsh*t answer and made a mental note to find out the REAL answer for next time someone asks.

What exactly is happening in the aging process? Aside from some last-minute fermentation and the yeast supposedly "cleaning up after themselves," what happens during long-term aging that makes a beer more mature?

Is there a published "timeline" somewhere showing each style and its changing characteristics over time?

Also interested in the same questions regarding wine.


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Old 02-25-2008, 12:19 AM   #2
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Of course, I made up some pseudo-intelligent bullsh*t answer and made a mental note to find out the REAL answer for next time someone asks.
It is best to answer truthfully and say that you are new to this and just know that it is better. The answer is that yeast is working on the beer and is cleaning up unwanted byproducts of fermentation which make the beer smoother and with less off flavors. There are a lot of posts about conditioning, aging and lagering beer on the web and on homebrewtalk. I suggest you read them and become informed. The best part is that after a while you will see for yourself the effects of aging beer and that is the best teacher.

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