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Old 01-02-2009, 03:17 AM   #1
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Default Shelf life of homebrew

ive packaged up a 12 pack of all of my batches o beer so far and tucked them away in the basement so I can forget about them and let them age. What is the general shelf life of home brew? When should I crack these babies and taste a fully aged, not getting any better homebrew? Does the beer spoil?


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Old 01-02-2009, 03:27 AM   #2
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It really depends on the sanitation level, temps and type of brew.

Some lagers are better after 6 months. Heavier/stronger brews such as dubbels, tripels, and barleywines only become good after 2 years or more.

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Old 01-02-2009, 03:33 AM   #3
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If you have a hefe, you best drink that thing now! That's the only style I'd worry about. A guy at work had a Hooegarden(sp?) that was in his basement for 7 years. It pretty much had no taste, but it didn't taste bad either,and it didn't make me go blind.

As for style and aging, without seeing a list of what you packaged it'd be hard to tell. Generally the stronger(ABV%) the beer the longer it'll improve, but there are some exceptions.
Looking forward to brewing some beer
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:47 AM   #4
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+1 Homebrewer_99 said...

I generally look at the alcohol level.

Hefes, American Wheats & Belgian Wits, are generally ready to drink as soon as the are carbed.

Ales in 3.2-4.5% are real good at 2-4 months but they can last up to a year or more if stored in a cool dark place.

Lagers 3.2%-4.5% are equally good 6-8 months and longer with good storage.

Higher gravity ales/lager (ABV above 5%) start getting better, less hot in alcohol, at 4-6 months but can get significantly better with time. I think 2 years they top off quality-wise. I gather there are exceptions to this. Good storage is key. Cool & Dark.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:14 AM   #5
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A well sealed glass bottle will go for some time, i have heard of 2-3 years, obviously stronger darker brews last longer.
PET bottles will last max 18 months as they lose carbonation through the skin.

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