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ARRGH! Need to age my beer longer!

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Beerthoven

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I brewed a robust porter last August. I stashed the last three 0.5L bottles in the fridge a month ago and opened one up tonight. Its awesome! Its perfect! Way more coffee-chocolatey-roastiness than before. Now I only have two left! I really need to be more patient. And brew more.
 

doubleb

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This is what I'm starting to realize too. Two weeks ago, I went over to my parents place with no homebrew in hand, but they had homebrew that I had brewed on 4/3/07. So my pop and I each had one and man I was so happy with it. I hadn't had that beer in like 5 months or so. It inspired me and it was mine.

The way I see it is... the more full fermenters you have, the easier it is to be patient. If you have a lot of beer fermenting then the choice is yours as to which one you want to drink in 3 weeks.

My equipment is totally cramped and I swear when I finally get a place with a basement I'm gonna take a week off of work and brew all week till the basements full of my fermenting beer. No better way to break in a new place.
 

shafferpilot

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I've given up on trying to convince people of this. Everytime someone asks a question about how soon they can drink their brew, I throw out timeframes in terms of months. and every darn time, someone steps in and talks about how they always drink their brew 3 weeks after brew day. The fact remains that it's always infinitely better after a couple months. I love your week long brew session idea! Just be careful walking into that basement after a couple days, there might be enough CO2 to make your head spin:drunk:
 

Evan

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i'm right there with you. I just went up north to visit the parents and they had some beers that i left them, but they never drank, so i took them back. right this moment i'm drinking an irish red that i brewed november of 07 and its amazing!

so now i'll drink/give away half within 2 months after bottling and try to keep the rest in the closet and try not to think about it.
 

landhoney

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I completely agree, I think most beers improve with age. The answer to the problem is not that unpalatable either: BREW MORE. Brew enough/often that you can tuck a couple six packs away(bottle a few if kegging) and not run out of homebrew. If the finances and time will allow you've got more beer and more beer that is in its prime.
I don't know if this helps anyone else, but I cellar wine and it has taught me to be patient. When your keeping bottles of wine for 10-20+ years a few months or years for beer is cake.
 

Finn

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The beauty of this advice is it's so easy to follow if you screw up a lot. My pilsner, lagering away quietly until Spring, is severely skunked. I ain't gonna wait and let THAT age. Down the hatch it's gonna go, just as soon as it's ready. My first crack at a nut-brown ale is hopelessly bland and insipid. Great! Set 'em up and knock 'em down! It takes the pressure off the really good beers when you have plenty of mediocre ones sitting around.

So the moral of the story is, don't just brew more -- brew CRAPPIER!:tank:
 

CBBaron

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Finn said:
The beauty of this advice is it's so easy to follow if you screw up a lot. My pilsner, lagering away quietly until Spring, is severely skunked. I ain't gonna wait and let THAT age. Down the hatch it's gonna go, just as soon as it's ready. My first crack at a nut-brown ale is hopelessly bland and insipid. Great! Set 'em up and knock 'em down! It takes the pressure off the really good beers when you have plenty of mediocre ones sitting around.

So the moral of the story is, don't just brew more -- brew CRAPPIER!:tank:
I'm just the opposite. My beers that I have not cared for sit around until I have nothing else to drink or I need the bottles for a new batch. The mid sized and small beers that I enjoy go quick. The big beers I've found I don't have the taste for everyday but when I am in the mood they are great.
As long as I keep ahead of my self with GOOD beer then most of it gets sufficient time to age.

I need to get another session beer in the fermenter soon :D

Craig
 
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Beerthoven

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CBBaron said:
I need to get another session beer in the fermenter soon :D
I think that's the key for me. Most of what I've brewed to date has been 1.060 and up. I'm trying now to alternate session beers with larger brews so I have something to drink while the bigger beers age.

I've also realized that not using a secondary leads me to drink my beers faster. Using a secondary is like enforced discipline. I can't drink it if its not in a bottle.
 

Revvy

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I TRY to take one of the 2 cases and keep it as long as possible (and as far from me as I can). I think the trick is to have as much beer in the pipeline as you can.

The stuff justs tastes better the longer you wait...Even just holding off for 5 or 6 weeks as opposed to 3 can improve the brew immensely...

I brewed a small batch of Pumpkin Porter around thanksgiving..I couldn't find any recipes for P P's anywhere, just ales...so I didn't want to risk a full batch...I fiddled around with it til it looked like it's be a good recipe, then took it to one of my lhbs's and the owner tweaked it a bit more...

So I brewed it...and bottled it in some 22 ounce pet bottles leftover from the mr beer days... After the third week of bottle conditioning I popped one in the fridge for a few days... Tasted like ****e...

2 weeks later did it again...still tasted lousy...a couple weeks later and...."hmmm...not bad! I think I'll have another one just to make sure it was a fluke...nope, that one is pretty good as well."

I left them alone til last week...Nearly three months in the bottle and now the best descriptor is "WOW! I Made this!!! Too bad I didn't make a full batch!"

Sadly I have one little lonely one left...but I have enough now in the pipeline that I can leave it alone and see how it will be in another 3 months....or maybe longer.

The interesting thing about it is, although I think it is good...I know I can make a much better recipe next time....Because I'm not the same brewer I was back then...I've learned more since then (especially from this place), I improve my process with each batch I make, and the more I learn...

I've recommended to some n00bs to try this experiment. After 2 weeks in the bottle to chill ONE for 2 days...Taste it and take notes about the flavors, the aromas, etc. Don't panic if it tastes funny, just write down what you think.
7 days later do it again (at the 3 week mark).

Of course somewhere in here they should have brewed another batch of beer...Hopefully at the same time they moved their first batch to secondary...

Do it again at the 4 week mark, and if you're will power holds out do it for the 5th and 6th weeks... Then start drinking it, but leave one bottle aside and pull it out 3-6 months later along with the notes they took over the 6 weeks of bottle conditioning...Look over the notes they took while drinking this more mature beer.

Doing this you really get a good idea about the process the beer goes through while it's in the bottle...
 

ohiobrewtus

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I pull a 6 pack of everything I brew and put it aside. I recently opened up a bottle of my second brew that's almost a year old now and while it wasn't my best beer it was certainly much better than I remember it.

I'll agree that beers get better with age, but it's impractical to expect someone who brews once a month or so to be able to let beer age for months. They brew it and darn it, they want to drink it.

Hell, I brew 40 times a year and it's impractical to expect me to let anything more than a 6'er see any significant aging time! :mug:
 
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Beerthoven

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Revvy said:
I think the trick is to have as much beer in the pipeline as you can.
ohiobrewtus said:
I'll agree that beers get better with age, but it's impractical to expect someone who brews once a month or so to be able to let beer age for months. They brew it and darn it, they want to drink it.
I'm really trying to get up to 2 brews a month from 1 brew a month, which is why I've "gone back" to doing extract batches now and then (as you can see in my sig). Having more beer in the pipeline is definately the goal.

Its not just me drinking my homebrew, its also my wife. If its carbonated, she'll drink it :D
 

Revvy

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BierMuncher said:
I'm trying...I'm trying...
I'm so trying not to be jealous...:mug:

Not just for the amount you have going, but that you have a basement to put it in.

My biggest problem is space...I live in a loft with 2 big rooms and a small kitchen and bathroom...I only have 2 big closets...so that means I don't have a lot of storage, for either brewing equipment, carboys and cases of aging beer, or things like clothes or the vacuum cleaner (Which got moved into an unobtrusive corner of the living room and when I started brewing.)

I've got 4 carboys and 1 ferm bucket (plus a bottling one and a sanitizing one) as well as 6 cases of beer or empties waiting for beer crammed into the bottoms of the closets...
 

zoebisch01

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Where I do agree that many beers improve with age, it is very recipe dependent. And depending on which characteristics you were really shooting for in that particular recipe, the time frame that this will occur can vary dramatically. Like, for instance I had a NutBrown Ale that tasted not all that great up to oh I dunno, like 1.5 months post bottle, but then it magically went through this 'window' for like a month where it was really good. Then it turned, although it didn't get 'bad' it just lost the magic. My house ale recipe is like a Chameleon, no kidding. It seems to constantly morph in the early 2 months, I personally felt it was at its best at 3 months and didn't improve after that.

I need to take notes. It's all in my head now, but I think I should become more serious on writing down time frames as I think it is absolutely key. So what I am getting at is, I believe every beer has its own 'magical window' where it may peak then fall off, or may peak and not improve at all after that point. Or it may just keep morphing if you keep it around long enough.

This is coming from the strict bottle conditioned viewpoint.
 

Revvy

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zoebisch01 said:
Where I do agree that many beers improve with age, it is very recipe dependent. And depending on which characteristics you were really shooting for in that particular recipe, the time frame that this will occur can vary dramatically. Like, for instance I had a NutBrown Ale that tasted not all that great up to oh I dunno, like 1.5 months post bottle, but then it magically went through this 'window' for like a month where it was really good. Then it turned, although it didn't get 'bad' it just lost the magic. My house ale recipe is like a Chameleon, no kidding. It seems to constantly morph in the early 2 months, I personally felt it was at its best at 3 months and didn't improve after that.

I need to take notes. It's all in my head now, but I think I should become more serious on writing down time frames as I think it is absolutely key. So what I am getting at is, I believe every beer has its own 'magical window' where it may peak then fall off, or may peak and not improve at all after that point. Or it may just keep morphing if you keep it around long enough.

This is coming from the strict bottle conditioned viewpoint.
I'd like to read you notes when you figure it out...It has to be ingredient dependent I would think...Something is being affected by the infusion of co2 in the bottles...

I usually liken it to cooking...that certain leftovers; spagetti sauces, stews, chilli's taste better the next day or a few days after...like all the flavors marry together.
 

foxtrot

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Funny- I also have a brown ale that is morphing with age. After one month in the keg, I was like "man, this is flat tasting". Then after 2 months, I started getting the fruity/nutty notes. Now at 4 months, WOW! it's starting to take on a raisiny flavor that I did not expect. Hard to keep a corny around for 4 months, though...
 

jmiracle

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The key to my aging success is being too lazy to bottle. Of course that leads me to situations I'm in now, with 15 gallons in various fermenters and one lone hefe in the fridge. Still, those 15 gallons are getting to age nicely.
 

b33rm3

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I have a Belgium Golden Strong ale aging in a dark corner of my basement right now.
I hope to forget about it until at least spring. God why is it so hard to age beer?
 

landhoney

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BierMuncher said:
I'm trying...I'm trying...

View attachment 4507
But you're keeping up, you have to have a surplus. ;)
It like the opposite of losing weight, where you burn more calories than you consume. You have to brew more than you drink so there's a surplus left to age.

For me its the prospect of never knowing how good a beer could be that keeps my saving/cellaring. If you finish this great beer at 2 months in, how do you know how good it could have been if you'd waited? We're all trying our hardest to brew THE perfect beer, but we may be consuming all of it before its in its prime. You'll never know unless.....
 

doubleb

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homebrewer_99 said:
Some of the brews I have on-hand are over 1 year old...patience improves the flavor of most brews.
Yes I see. Your sig speaks for itself. You've been holding on to a ton of brew. :rockin:

Let me guess. The first number is the year and the 3 following numbers is the batch number within that year.
 

zoebisch01

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landhoney said:
But you're keeping up, you have to have a surplus. ;)
It like the opposite of losing weight, where you burn more calories than you consume. You have to brew more than you drink so there's a surplus left to age.

For me its the prospect of never knowing how good a beer could be that keeps my saving/cellaring. If you finish this great beer at 2 months in, how do you know how good it could have been if you'd waited? We're all trying our hardest to brew THE perfect beer, but we may be consuming all of it before its in its prime. You'll never know unless.....
Yeah I agree. It's also much easier to slowly sample your brews over time if you have a lot bottled. Much easier. As Palmer says, it's always enlightening to stumble across a 6 pack you forgot about (or something to that effect anyways :D).
 

Revvy

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If you all can find it, check out Charlie Papazian's "World of Worts" column in the Nov-December 07 issue of Zymurgy. The article is titled "Sipping through yesteryear." He cracks open and writes about a bunch of AHA commemerative brews going back to 1986...He must have kept copious notes when he first sampled them when they were new, because he talks in a lot of detail about the changes that each of these brews has undergone through the years...It's fascination reading...

He reviews;

A 1986 barley wine honey wheat lager.
A 1989 Claude of Zephyr (The first coriander spiced ale he ever had back in '89)
A 1990 Epicenter Imperial Stout
A 1991 Biere de Garde
A 1992 Lambic
A 1993 Oregon Nut Brown
A 1994 Hefe
A 1997 Mead
A 1999 Lambic-Gueuze
 

sirsloop

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I think this is why kegging is so much better than bottling. You can easily get away with like 8-10+ kegs and have A LOT of brew sittin around aging. If you have 10 batches worth of bottles, thats 20 cases...an enormous amount of bottles. Thats around 500 bottles. IDK how many bottles most people have, but I bet its not over like 5-6 cases which really limits your age-ability even if you are a moderate drinker.
 
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Beerthoven

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sirsloop said:
I think this is why kegging is so much better than bottling. You can easily get away with like 8-10+ kegs and have A LOT of brew sittin around aging. If you have 10 batches worth of bottles, thats 20 cases...an enormous amount of bottles. Thats around 500 bottles. IDK how many bottles most people have, but I bet its not over like 5-6 cases which really limits your age-ability even if you are a moderate drinker.
I have about 12 cases of bottles on hand, and I'm always collecting more since we also drink commercial brew. But, yeah, storing all those bottles is a PITA. I can imagine stashing 3 cornies in the back of my clothes closet and forgeting about them for a while. Not so with 6 cases of bottles.
 
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