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Taste curve for big beers

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BrewDey

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Patience is definitely a virtue with homebrewing-even for normal gravity beers. For big beers, it's essential (and it's been difficult!). I was wondering if anyone has experienced a relatively rapid improvement in flavor after a certain time period for big beers, and if that curve keeps its steepness as more time goes by.

A Dubbel I brewed last October took about 5 months in the bottle to actually taste like a Dubbel. It was still a little hot, and the flavor was pretty one-dimensional...this was the case for a while. After 10 months, it tastes MUCH better and more complex. I've had one about every couple of weeks, and each one tastes better than the last. I only have a 6-pack left, but will it get even better if I hide it for another 6 months or a year..or does it reach a plateau?

I also have a Traquir House clone that has been bottled for 5 months. It has started to improve and lose some of its bite. I'm hoping that the same pattern follows-but it's hard to keep from testing them out!
 

CBBaron

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I think it really depends on the beer. If you keep the fermentation temps under control and have a healthy fermentation then the hot alcohols may not be as bad and the beer will be good earlier. My 08-08-08 RIS did not change noticeably from 3 to 6 to 9 months. However I have had beers and even more so meads and wines that show significant differences between 6 months and a year. I don't have much experience beyond a year of aging.

I would say try to save at least a few for 1 year or even 2 years. A beer like that won't likely get worse and you will get the chance to experience for yourself the changes that may or may not take place.

Craig
 

steelerguy

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I brewed a Belgian Golden Strong Ale that tasted like Duvel and rubbing alcohol after 3 months (most in secondary). After 6 months it is awesome, I'll stash some away to taste a year out or so, maybe keep a bottle for a couple years...but it will be difficult!
 
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