Longest aged beer?

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anotherbeerplease

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How long have you aged your homebrew?

I am wanting to brew a high grav stout (13%) every winter and bottle it - a few bottles for now, a few for later, and quite a few for much, much later.
As the years go by I am hoping to get a vertical tasting going, featuring each year.
Just curious what is realistic for max aging with home brew? Has anyone tried to age their homebrew for 5 to maybe 10 or more years?
 

JohnSand

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I haven't. I did keep a Belgian Strong for four years, it was quite good through three. That beer was about 8% iirc.
There are threads on HBT recounting the tasting of very old beers, but usually the aging was accidental.
Keep us posted.
 

NoCornOrRice

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I have tried verticals of bottled Barley wines from two homebrewers, involving beers up to 20 years old. For my part, I have a kegged Triple IPA / Barley wine hybrid from 2013. I tried it a couple of years ago and it was still very good. I have also aged multiple stouts in kegs for up to 4.5 years with no problems.

Edit: Imperial stouts that were all over 11.5% abv
 
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How long have you aged your homebrew?

I am wanting to brew a high grav stout (13%) every winter and bottle it - a few bottles for now, a few for later, and quite a few for much, much later.
As the years go by I am hoping to get a vertical tasting going, featuring each year.
Just curious what is realistic for max aging with home brew? Has anyone tried to age their homebrew for 5 to maybe 10 or more years?
Just a few years. I made a strong scotch ale that was terrific, and improved by the time I got to the last bottle after several years.

I did buy a stout and hold onto it for 24 years. Then on a whim, shared it with some friends.

 

mashpaddled

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I have some sour beer I brewed that the oldest bottles were ten years old at the time I consumed them. They held up well. I have a lot of homebrew both sour and not sour that I've had five or more years old. No real issues with the age which undoubtedly is the benefit of bottling with yeast consuming the oxygen introduced with bottling. Ideally you would want to bottle through a keg to minimize oxidation if you can but I haven't been disappointed with bottles packaged out of a bottling bucket.
 

jerrylotto

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My next is going to be a Belgian Strong and I'm wondering what the MINIMUM aging period should be. I'm thinking a couple of months at least...
 

Dr_Jeff

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I have a big monster RIS that I have a few bottles left from 2012-13 and a vertical of Belgian Quads from 2014,15,16,17 and a Dubbel from 2013?
I also have a bottle from 2004 of a big beer that a friend gave me years ago, it was packaged with a cork, then a crown cap on top of it.
And a bunch from various styles from 2015, mostly sours, I believe.
Likely have others, I'd just have to search through the bottles that I have stashed away.
 

bwible

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I try to brew a barleywine once a year now. I have some left from the last 3 years. I’m looking for those more in the winter when its cold outside.

We did a vertical tasting in 2020 with some commercial barleywines. One was a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot from 2000. The last one I had. The concensus was it was just ok and probably was way past its prime. Even the big beers don’t last forever. People like to age wine, too. But the truth is most wines are ready to drink when they are released (or the winery would not have released them) and only a few, very expensive bottles really benefit from aging. And again, they still don’t last forever.

I just read an article about the world’s oldest bottle of whiskey being sold at auction for a ridiculous price. They are not even positive what year it is from.

As with anything homebrew, sanitation and general handling will be a variable with your own beers that are older, too.
 

Murph4231

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I have one bottle of Sam Adams Triple Bock from 1994 left over from purchasing all that I could get my hands on at the time. Some friends and I shared one bottle per year for the next 12 years. With each year of age it got better and better. I plan on drinking that last bottle in 2024. It will be 30 yrs old then. I look forward to drinking that beer.
 

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Not a beer, but last year I had the last bottle of an 18 year old mead that was real good. And the last bottle of a 16 year old mead, also good. Both were 18%.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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I have one bottle of Sam Adams Triple Bock from 1994 left over from purchasing all that I could get my hands on at the time. Some friends and I shared one bottle per year for the next 12 years. With each year of age it got better and better. I plan on drinking that last bottle in 2024. It will be 30 yrs old then. I look forward to drinking that beer.
How do/did you store the bottles?
 

davidabcd

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I make those and old ales (similar to scotch ale) and it seems, each time, three months in the bottle gives a noticeable improvement. I've never had one last past a year since they get drunk.
 
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I have been doing the same vertical idea with my barley wines and RIS's; which reminds me I need to make more for 2021.

Slightly off-topic, but I have a 2005 Utopias from Sam Adams. Should I drink this soon?
 

Murph4231

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I have been doing the same vertical idea with my barley wines and RIS's; which reminds me I need to make more for 2021.

Slightly off-topic, but I have a 2005 Utopias from Sam Adams. Should I drink this soon?
I don't know about drinking that alone. Maybe you should get together with @ 3 Dawg Night and I just to be certain it is palatable.
 

3 Dawg Night

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I don't know about drinking that alone. Maybe you should get together with @ 3 Dawg Night and I just to be certain it is palatable.
@JAReeves Prior to COVID, I was travelling to the Torrance area a couple of times a year for work, so I'm sure we could have worked something out.

**BREAK**

I'm interested in this thread, because I've been considering brewing a barleywine with my kids and putting it away until they're of-age in 10 years. I have in my mind that it would be a nice Christmas tradition to pull out a bottle or two to share as a family. What I'm seeing from this thread is that 10+ years might be a bit of a stretch. I'll probably do it anyway, just for curiosity, but I'll probably brew a batch every few years so that I have a vertical for comparison.

I don't think this is a thread hijack, but what seems to be the sweet spot for aging barleywine?
 
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@JAReeves Prior to COVID, I was travelling to the Torrance area a couple of times a year for work, so I'm sure we could have worked something out.

**BREAK**

I'm interested in this thread, because I've been considering brewing a barleywine with my kids and putting it away until they're of-age in 10 years. I have in my mind that it would be a nice Christmas tradition to pull out a bottle or two to share as a family. What I'm seeing from this thread is that 10+ years might be a bit of a stretch. I'll probably do it anyway, just for curiosity, but I'll probably brew a batch every few years so that I have a vertical for comparison.

I don't think this is a thread hijack, but what seems to be the sweet spot for aging barleywine?
My oldest bw so far is going on 3, only a few bottles left. I have about a case left of the 2 year old. I need to make one a year for this vertical idea as well. As well as an annual RIS. The last one at 1 1/2 years old is really popular, and almost gone.
 

Steveruch

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I'm interested in this thread, because I've been considering brewing a barleywine with my kids and putting it away until they're of-age in 10 years.

I don't think this is a thread hijack, but what seems to be the sweet spot for aging barleywine?
The sweet spot for aging depends on several different things.
1: be scrupulous with cleaning and sanitation.
2: the stronger the better.
3: dark beers tend to age better.
4: hop the heck out of it, while hop presence fades hops act as a preservative.
5: steady temperature is better than wild swings.
I'm sure there are others, but these are all that come to mind to me at this moment.
 

greyghost

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I have one bottle of Sam Adams Triple Bock from 1994 left over from purchasing all that I could get my hands on at the time. Some friends and I shared one bottle per year for the next 12 years. With each year of age it got better and better. I plan on drinking that last bottle in 2024. It will be 30 yrs old then. I look forward to drinking that beer.
I too am a triple bock fan. 1 bottle of 94 left. Just drank a 97 it was better than a 2019 utopias we also tasted
 

Dr_Jeff

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@Dr_Jeff As you might expect, there's not a lot (read: no) Utopias to be found in Alabama. I really want to try it one of these days.
I was willing to drive to Atlanta or Nashville.

I even asked the fellow that is able to get me "hard to find bottles" in Anchorage to be on the lookout for one last fall.

It looks like last year wasn't the year, it's this year, on Nov. 15
 
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As much as I want to enjoy the Utopias (I was saving it for a kid's college graduation or something equally as celebratory, so I could share it with a group), my family is pressuring me to sell it as we have a 2nd kid entering college in a few weeks.
 

3 Dawg Night

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As much as I want to enjoy the Utopias (I was saving it for a kid's college graduation or something equally as celebratory, so I could share it with a group), my family is pressuring me to sell it as we have a 2nd kid entering college in a few weeks.
@Dr_Jeff, I totally missed that you're in Henagar (sometimes).

@JAReeves How much you want for it? Maybe @Dr_Jeff and I will split it.
 
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Thank you for the offer, I will look into it. Kind of sad, though, that this might be the only chance I have to taste it myself.
 
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As much as I want to enjoy the Utopias (I was saving it for a kid's college graduation or something equally as celebratory, so I could share it with a group), my family is pressuring me to sell it as we have a 2nd kid entering college in a few weeks.
That'll pay for 1 book. I'd save it.
 
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My oldest beer is an RIS from late 2018, it has really developed in complexity with nice raisin and sherry notes. I used a Belgian yeast which brought some phenols but then it needed a bunch of time to smooth out. Has me wondering if just dosing with sherry before bottling would 'help' it get there in just a year or so. Also, bottling with corks promotes aging through very slow O2 ingress. Otherwise it takes ages for the tiny bit of exposure at bottling to do it's thing.

On storage conditions, I keep beers that I want to age in the garage year-round. The daily temp swings in warmer months pushes chemical reactions along, while the extended chill of Chicago winters makes the beer feel forgotten about. That's the trick IME, when bottles of beer feel unattended, thats when the magic happens.
 
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3 Dawg Night

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On storage conditions, I keep beers that I want to age in the garage year-round. The daily temp swings in warmer months pushes chemical reactions along, while the extended chill of Chicago winters makes the beer feel forgotten about. That's the trick IME, when bottles of beer feel unattended, thats when the magic happens.
That's an interesting concept. I'm planning to brew a barleywine in a couple of months. After I bottle it, maybe I'll store half in my closet, which stays between 68-76 year round, and the other half in my garage. Here in Alabama, that's a swing from ~40F to ~90F over the course of the year. I'll be interested to have a side-by-side comparison in a few years.
 
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That's an interesting concept. I'm planning to brew a barleywine in a couple of months. After I bottle it, maybe I'll store half in my closet, which stays between 68-76 year round, and the other half in my garage. Here in Alabama, that's a swing from ~40F to ~90F over the course of the year. I'll be interested to have a side-by-side comparison in a few years.
In R&D, we often subject prototypes to "rapid aging" which recreates the effects of several years of use in just a few weeks. There are several variables going on at once but temperature fluctuation is chief among them. Duplicating annual temp swings in month-long cycles using a heated and cooled chamber could possibly compress the aging effect even further.
 
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