Is there a rule of thumb for aging based on O.G.?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Jumbo82

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
499
Reaction score
4
Location
Plymouth
I know that smallish beers tend to be better young, while big beers can require months or even years to mature. And from what I've gathered, simple recipes can often be drank younger than more complex recipes (lots of specialty grains) which can take longer for the flavors to mellow.

What I'm wondering is if there is a good rule of thumb for how long to age an ale based on its original gravity. For instance, I'll generally crack open my first bottle from a batch with O.G. 1.050 about 6 weeks after brew day. My barleywine (O.G. 1.102) is bulk aging and I don't think I'll have my first taste until 9 months or a year. Should I let my 1.070 stout age for 3 months before drinking? Should my 1.095 Imperial Stout go for 5 months first?

I plan to allow all of these beers to continue to mature after I start drinking them (I try to ration myself as best I can...), but is there any way to make an educated guess when I can start sampling them? I mean, it seems like it would be a waste to open any bottles that are clearly still green. Does anyone have a general rule they follow after brewing a bigish beer for the first time, or do people just go with their "gut" feeling? I know this might be a tough question because it will obviously vary between styles and whatnot. Maybe I should qualify it with "all other things being equal." Thanks.
 

SumnerH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
2,057
Reaction score
44
Location
Alexandria, VA, USA
I know that smallish beers tend to be better young, while big beers can require months or even years to mature. And from what I've gathered, simple recipes can often be drank younger than more complex recipes (lots of specialty grains) which can take longer for the flavors to mellow.

What I'm wondering is if there is a good rule of thumb for how long to age an ale based on its original gravity..
Not really. IPAs are generally fairly high gravity, but hops decay over time so they're best drunk pretty young. Many lambics are very low gravity but need a year or two (or more) to peak.
 

TheTower

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
115
Reaction score
3
Location
Silver Spring, MD
I would say its a combination of style and OG. Even low OG stouts and porters need more aging to allow all the flavors to blend and mature. Same with high OG simple recipies.
 

lowlife

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
648
Reaction score
13
Location
Chicago
That is one very nice chart Llama. I am going to print it out in case I need an estimate for when to bottle my beers.
=)
 

humann_brewing

More Humann than human
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
15,503
Reaction score
358
Location
the sun
Yes Llama, I will never have another regarding aging time if I use your handy chart. I think I am going to print it now and keep it in my back pocket actually just so I don't forget.
 
Top