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How long does your beer last? Does it even get a chance to age?

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Nubiwan

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I've made 3 batches in the last 4-6 weeks. They averaged 6 gallons each. I get about 40-50 x 450 ml grolsch bottle from each batch.

I always put a beer in the fridge after a week in the bottle, to give it a try. They usually taste decent. Several more will then go in the fridge during week 2. Of the 80 or so bottles I had, from my first two batches, I am down to perhap 40. Only been in the bottle 2-3 weeks. Still around 40 of my last Cream Ale remain.

Bottles don't generally get to the 6 plus week mark in my house. The only ones I do have are a Wheat Beer, which I simply dont like. I'm going to ditch them all.

Just bought grain to do 2 more batchs and replenish the stock.

I am always reading about beer aging and getting better over time, but I confess, my beer rarely gets a chance.

How long does your beer last?
 

3 Dawg Night

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I'm the only beer drinker in my house. I share a few with my father-in-law, but he only drinks 2-3 per week. I'm 1-2 per day. I give three weeks in primary (no secondary), three weeks in the bottle, then it takes me 6-7 weeks to get through a batch. So, I'm 12-13 weeks grain-to-gone. However, I can attest to the claim that your last pour from each batch will always be your best.
 

grampamark

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I’m the only beer drinker in the house. If I only have one keg on tap, and I don’t have any guests, or fill growlers, the keg will last 3-4 weeks. If all 3 of my taps have a keg on them, I almost never run out. I do notice that, if I’m keeping the kegerator full, the oldest keg can be close to 3 months old before it kicks.
 

seatazzz

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Sorry but that made me seriously laugh my arse off. My beers last maybe two weeks; both of us love them, and probably drink more than we should. I share with friends but most is for home consumption. I killed my last lager keg in less than 8 days because it was so darn good. Oldest beer I have in the kegerator right now was brewed mid-May, and will probably last another month as it's pretty strong. The lighter ones go quick.
 

Brewmasher

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That’s why I am exploring Kveik. 5 days primary / secondary, then bottle. While the bottles were drinkable after 2 weeks, there was a big improvement after another week. Now to see how well they do cold conditioning.

I try to start another batch as soon as I have enough bottles. Hopefully that will allow me to stash a few bottles away for aging. An advantage of bottling!
 

kevin58

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It depends on the beer whether conditioning will be beneficial. Your cream ale most likely not benefit at all by any long term aging. I have a barleywine and an imperial stout that I made a year ago last July. They were very good over the Christmas holiday but I expect they will be even better this coming Christmas.
 

Jim R

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I typically ferment for 2 weeks and then let it mature in the keg for 1 week before I start drinking. Then 5 gallons will last me about 6 weeks (little over 1 beer per day average).

This is probably considerably longer aging though than most commercial and microbrewery beers which are rushed out the door as fast as possible. They probably can't make much money with a longer maturing process like I do at home.
 

Hwk-I-St8

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I brew a variety, but mostly IPAs. If it's just me and my wife (she loves my IPAs) it takes about 7-8weeks to get through a keg. Very little degradation in that time frame.
 

Dland

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I make two ten gallon batches most months, and usually have at least 12 kegs(5 gallon) somewhere in some stage of being consumed, conditioning, lagering or spunding. Most of time 3 or 4 kegs are in some stage of being consumed. I enjoy a fair a mount of beer and share some, also like having more than one flavor going at a time. Other than an occasional slow mover, most kegs are kicked a couple of months after tapping.

I agree there is very little degradation in two months if steps are taken to avoid post fermentation oxidation, spunding also helps, as the CO2 is more pure than bottled.

As to aging, lagers always benefit from 3-6 weeks cold crashed, some full flavored recipes even longer. And while it is likely not the consensus in these times of hazy ales, to my taste even a cream or blonde benefits from at least a solid week cold crashed to clear up and sparkle. If one is at the age and consumption level to be aware of purines in ones diet, letting the yeast settle out is also a benefit.
 

srussell999

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Since December 1st I've brewed 19 corny kegs of beer and one keg of cider (actually the cider isn't in the keg yet). Currently I have 4 kegs in the keezer (saison, dubbel, American amber & hefeweizen) and 5 kegs in storage/lagering (2 kegs of märzen, 2 kegs of Mexican lager & 1 keg of hefeweizen). The three empty kegs I have are one for the cider and the other two for American amber to be brewed on July 5th. The goal is to not brew after the 5th until mid to late September. So we're going through about 1.5 kegs a month. There are three of us drinking the beer. My next door neighbors pay for half the ingredients and he helps brew every brew day. They come over for beer about 5 times a week. Longer term goal is another 4-tap keezer and 8 kegs in storage. That means I'll have to buy some more kegs. Since the bars are closed again here, this has been a great advantage during all this COVID-19 mess.
 

ncbrewer

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I don't have room for kegging and use a very basic bottling process, so I have to accept that some oxygen will be in the bottles. Since I don't brew any high gravity beers that need to age, I don't brew ahead any more. When a batch runs out, the next is just ready to drink. That's how I want it - I just don't give it time to oxidize.
 

porterguy

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Rarely gets to age. Have actually had to purchase beer.😱 It's a tough life.;) During Covid consumption has increased a little. With spouse off work that also increases consumption. Glad I just recently discovered Kveik yeast. I'm trying to brew a number of batches in a short time to build up some inventory and get back to regular "pipeline".
 

srussell999

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This is what's great about HomeBrewTalk. Everyone has a different answer because beer and brewing beer is so versatile. What works for one person, for a multitude of valid reasons, doesn't work for all. All the beers I listed are moderate to low alcohol but come fall, it's back to wee heavy, Belgian Dark Strong, Imperial Stout, and anything else I can make with a 9+% ABV. The people that only brew low alcohol beers are doing what works best for them. You gotta love it.
 

NightFlight

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I only brew low abv. But I’ve yet to able to figure out how to stay ahead of my keg kicking. I usually have a week or two gap from kick to fill. Mostly because I’m so new and don’t have a brew schedule. To fill the gap I inevitably end up buying store bought and being pretty disappointed. I drink 2-3 beers a day most weeks, but starting to think about cutting back and feeling a little more healthy. Beer takes its toll on me.
 

OzGolfPro

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I found I wasn’t lasting more than a couple of weeks, mostly personal consumption but the occasional gift to friends here or there. Doubled the size of the brewery to do double batches (44L) hoping to keg half and bottle half to age. Not an alcoholic per se, but I am Australian - Read in to that what you will. I know for sure the beers that sit in bottles for a couple of months taste better though
 

beersk

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Once my beers are kegged they usually last 3-6 weeks. I'm generally the only one drinking my beers with the occasional friend that pops by and occasionally taking a growler to someone's house to share. I have 5 kegs and a 5 tap kegerator. I'm thinking about picking up a couple more kegs to have for backups. Couldn't hurt...
 

BrewMan13

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Once kegged, 4-6 weeks. I slow carb, so that takes a few days to almost a week in some cases to get to a good level. I brew every other week and am the only beer drinker in the house. In the past I always loved giving some away, which helped empty them faster; not so much lately.
 

gnef

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It looks like I'm the outlier in many respects. I don't actually drink all that quickly, and I like having a variety around. The quickest I get through a particular keg of beer now is usually around the 6-8 month mark. The oldest I've stored is around 11 years or so for beer, and even older for mead, around 13 years.

I have a total of 90 kegs, with about 70 of those in the walk-in, with 14 in the walk-in on tap through the coffin box. All 14 taps are always flowing; whenever a beer does finally kick, I just put on another one in its place.

In addition to the 'regular' brewing, I also have some solera projects that I've been working on, one is a Flander's red in a Jack Daniels barrel that we started in 2015 doing partial pulls and refills regularly as a single vessel 60 gallon solera. The other solera that I started is a multi-vessel barleywine solera that I started in 2017 using sanke kegs on a 2 year cadence, so I have the first two vessels filled, a full sanke each. I will do a third vessel in 2021, and then just do a 5 gallon cascade drain and refill with the set of three from then on - but at that point I'll have 45+ gallons of barleywine aging!

On a related note, before the pandemic when our club would meet in person, I would regularly bring what I called a mystery beer, with two questions: what do you think it is? and how old do you think it is? It was a fun game for the club, as I have a very wide variety aging, and it is interesting to see how things age over many years.
 

NightFlight

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Gnef, wow. Do you think 6-8 months is because you have so much choice? Right now I'm drinking heavily because my marriage just went boom. But today is a new day and I'm taking a break. It's good to have comparisons to get my bearings. Thanks everyone.
 

JimRausch

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I brew one or two,, occasionally 3 batches each month from September through June. Take the summer off because even in Maine it's too damn hot to slave over a BK for an hour. I also bottle and store in styrofoam lined boxes in my coolish garage. So at any one time, I might have partial cases of as many as 18 different varieties that I've brewed over the previous year or two. Occasionally get a stale one, but mostly they last pretty well. I do give a lot away as well. Return clean empties for fulls!
 

gnef

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Gnef, wow. Do you think 6-8 months is because you have so much choice? Right now I'm drinking heavily because my marriage just went boom. But today is a new day and I'm taking a break. It's good to have comparisons to get my bearings. Thanks everyone.
Oh man! Sorry to hear about your marriage, that is a really stressful situation.

Yes, part of the length of time for me is the sheer selection I have, and over the course of a year, I probably only average 3-5 beers per week, with some weeks at zero, and other weeks drinking a couple every day. Because of my selection, when I rotate through beers at 14 on tap at a time, it takes me quite a while to get through a single keg. There are sometimes that I gravitate more towards one or two beers, depending on the season. I do enjoy taking small tasters of multiple beers though, and I think it is one great advantage of having so many on tap at a time - I never really get bored of a particular beer. When I had fewer taps, there were times when I would get tired of the beer(s) I had on tap, but felt stuck with them.
 

henchman24

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I have 5 beer taps that I rotate through. My wife will drink occasionally and I'm a ~2ish a night person mostly. If friends come over, taps can drain quickly. 2 are dedicated to sours... those tend to last a while (~3 months) as it is just hard to slam 4-5 a night, even when you want to get hammered. Those are typically around 4-4.5 gallon fills as I bottle some to age. The other 3 rotate in a 5-6 week pattern. Typically I have a pipeline of beer ready to put on a tap (sans the clean hoppy tap where I just brew when one pops and it is dead for a week or so). I keep an extra lager or two in the kegerator that probably gets a month or two of age before it taps. Sometimes I have a beer I pitch some brett into at kegging that may sit around for 3-9 months. I find an every other week brew schedule keeps up pretty well with the consumption. Just have to stay on that track. Taking a month or six weeks off causes taps to stay dead for a bit.
 

beersk

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Gnef, wow. Do you think 6-8 months is because you have so much choice? Right now I'm drinking heavily because my marriage just went boom. But today is a new day and I'm taking a break. It's good to have comparisons to get my bearings. Thanks everyone.
Man, that's a bummer. Sorry to hear that. I recently broke up with my girlfriend as well. She had been quarantining here at my house with her son. So I'm on my own now and drinking a bit too much. Thing is, I don't really get drunk ever, but I'll drink 4 or 5 beers a night all too often. But my consumption really didn't change. I still drank that much, if not more when she was here. It's more fun to drink when someone else is around to share it with you.
 

catdaddy66

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I definitely get mine to age! I am the only person that drinks beer in my house, unless I invite people over. Now the good ones can be gone in 4-6 months I have had some MEH products go two years and still were... meh.
 

DoninDEN

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I'm the only beer drinker in my house. I share a few with my father-in-law, but he only drinks 2-3 per week. I'm 1-2 per day. I give three weeks in primary (no secondary), three weeks in the bottle, then it takes me 6-7 weeks to get through a batch. So, I'm 12-13 weeks grain-to-gone. However, I can attest to the claim that your last pour from each batch will always be your best.
Define batch size please.
 

DoninDEN

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I’m the only beer drinker in the house. If I only have one keg on tap, and I don’t have any guests, or fill growlers, the keg will last 3-4 weeks. If all 3 of my taps have a keg on them, I almost never run out. I do notice that, if I’m keeping the kegerator full, the oldest keg can be close to 3 months old before it kicks.
Five gallon kegs or regular 1/2 barrel kegs?
 

grampamark

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Why do you ask? Do you actually know of homebrewers who regularly brew half-barrel batches?

Five-gallon corny kegs, which I use, are almost universal among homebrewers who keg. One would have to be brewing at nano brewery scale to justify half barrels.
 

DoninDEN

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Why do you ask? Do you actually know of homebrewers who regularly brew half-barrel batches?

Five-gallon corny kegs, which I use, are almost universal among homebrewers who keg. One would have to be brewing at nano brewery scale to justify half barrels.
I have a BrewMagic and used to brew 15 gallon batches. The ssystem is apply named. I’m on the brink of getting back into it, but have a high schooler in the house. Once I get going again, the first step is building a small cooling room in part of my garage. It will have to be wider than deep, I’m planning four kegs wide by one keg deep, with two levels, kegs on the bottom cornies on the top. I usually would primary and and secondary in full kegs and then rack to cornies for aging and serving. I know how I am and fear/recognize the power of the rabbit hole. I was trying to wrap my head around volumes.
 
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I normally have 3 kegs on tap. If something isn't going to be drunk regularly, I will bottle it and get it into our Troll Closet (under the stairs) to make room for something else.

Some beers go fast, I did a Maris Otter-Azacca SMaSH that only lasted 2 weeks; and a SMaSH Maris Otter-Huell Melon that took two months, so not so fast. I share as much as I can with friends and co-workers, but for safety's sake, that is not as often as it used to be.

The wines go straight to bottle, the ciders and sours go into a keg only to carbonate and then get bottled. I just started using a carbonation lid with my kegs, so that speeds up carbonation from two weeks to 1-2 days.

I'm not sure we can fairly judge each other's alcoholism, especially when one is chained to the desk in the living room for 12 hours a day ;).
 
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