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13 month primary- Results are in!

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milesvdustin

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So some of you saw that I finally kegged a beer that had been in primary for over a year. I brewed it on April 12th, 2011 (Maybe off a day or two) and I finally put it in a keg two weeks ago. It is a sierra nevada pale ale clone.

Some things to note:
1: The beer darkened a decent amount in the primary. I am not sure why, but it looks a lot more like a dark amber beer than a lighter pale ale color.
2: The bitterness from the hops was completely gone. I tasted a sample before kegging and it was malty water with booze in it.
3: I dry hopped it in the keg with an ounce of cascade and it has barely made a dent in the serious malt flavor of the beer.
4: Im not sure if all my readings were off, but this beer gets me pretty smashed off of two pints. More testing (drinking) is in order.
5: I will try in the future to always remember my beers in the closet. This one is drinkable, although it is very different than the original intent. I will enjoy it for what it is.

So, to everyone who says a long primary will wreck your beer, I say NAY!!! Primary that sucker to your heart's delight, but unless it is a bigger beer, get it drank before the hops fade out.
 
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milesvdustin

milesvdustin

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Sorry, I am a little f'ed up from drinking it. It was 2011, and just over a year. The hops vanished but overall out of the keg it has a deep rich almost roasted flavor. Very interesting to say the least. It is very smooth. Quite drinkable, just not what you would expect from beer.
 
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milesvdustin

milesvdustin

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Better Bottle. No cardboard or any of flavors at all. I have been drinking it steadily for a few hours and it is a very smooth beer with a big malt body and a small amount of hop aroma at the end. Not my desired final beer but drinkable nonetheless.
 

biochemedic

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Sweet...another nail in the autolysis off-flavor coffin!

The OP's experience with increasing maltiness is not unexpected for me. I actually like to age a smattering of high gravity hop bombs...I think right now I have a couple Big Hoppy Monsters, a Hop Slam, and some Hercules DIPA aging. Just got some Hoptimum, and will probably put 1 or 2 of those away too... It's really neat how they turn into "malt bombs" after a while. Really tasty in general, but in a completely different way than when fresh.
 
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biochemedic said:
Sweet...another nail in the autolysis off-flavor coffin!

The OP's experience with increasing maltiness is not unexpected for me. I actually like to age a smattering of high gravity hop bombs...I think right now I have a couple Big Hoppy Monsters, a Hop Slam, and some Hercules DIPA aging. Just got some Hoptimum, and will probably put 1 or 2 of those away too... It's really neat how they turn into "malt bombs" after a while. Really tasty in general, but in a completely different way than when fresh.
Hoptimum is a really good beer. Doesn't it have motueka hops in it?

And I wish I had the space to primary a beer that long, cool experiment.
 

kh54s10

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I guess that also somewhat disproves that long fermentation in plastic will oxidize your beer.

I will probably never leave my beer in a plastic fermenter for a year but I do not fear oxidation when I use mine.
 
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milesvdustin

milesvdustin

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Yep no oxidation in the batch. Primary space isn't much of an issue for me as I have two buckets and four six gallon better bottles. Currently working on filling them all up!


Not for a year this time though....
 

pjj2ba

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Sweet...another nail in the autolysis off-flavor coffin!
.
Properly stated. The myth is not that autolysis doesn't happen, the myth is that autolysis results in what many people consider to be off flavors.

Autolysis is a normal process in the yeast culture cycle. When people were reporting lots of nasty flavors in what they claimed were beers that had undergone autolysis, there was more to it then that. I'm sure there was autolysis going on (it always is - technically speaking). The problem was there were other things going on (typically an infection) that created the off- flavors. Unfortunately they figured, AHA, autolysis, when in fact it should have been AHA, infection. Put it in print, spread the word, and it became autolysis = nasty flavors
 

pjj2ba

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autolyzed yeast is an ingredient in all kinds of food, couldn't be too nasty!lol
I don't know for a fact, but I'm suspicious that the reason that yeast (or protein) hydrolyzate is added to food is as a flavor booster, in the same way that adding MSG is. Glutamate is highly abundant in this stuff. This way they can get the same affect, but can say no MSG added. I think the number of people who claim to be sensitive to MSG dwarfs the number of people who actually are.
 
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milesvdustin

milesvdustin

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Drinking some more of this beer with friends and we are all enjoying it. A great sipping brew with enough abv to lubricate the party! A win in my book! They all said they like it too!

Edit: They say they like it and i believe they really do because they are pulling many more pints off that keg than my other cream ale.
 

InLimbo

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I don't have enough vessels to let something sit for a year, but this was entertaining to read nonetheless. Seems like a waste of hops to just let them fade away in this long of a primary. I think this experiment could have been more interesting had you brewed a style that wasn't intended to be imbibed fresh, then reported the results. What temperature was it stored at this whole year? If you're in Florida, I hope it had some sort of temp. control.
 
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milesvdustin

milesvdustin

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It was accidental that it primaried for so long. I may make a big beer this year and forget about for another year. Any style suggestions?

Oh, it was closet temperatures for fermentation. Mid to high 70s.
 

rednekhippiemotrcyclfreak

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Monday morning quarterback that I am, it seems like a good extension of this experiment would have been to throw a fresh batch of wort onto the yeast cake or pull some of the slurry and see if it would wake up in a starter.
 
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