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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * December 9, 2003 * How long to age HG beers? < Previous Next >

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Joe Verona (152.163.252.67)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 12:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've got a 1.070 Dubble and a 1.065 Oatmeal Stout fermenting right now. My usual schedule is 10-14 days primary, 14 day secondary, 7 day cold conditioning, by then it's force carb and drink.

When I started this hobby, the novice info provided said drink your beer fresh. Now as I am getting more advanced, I read that it is better to let HG beers age for months, even years! I brew 10 gallons at a time and that lasts about 4-5 weeks. I don't know if I can wait that long!

What will I be sacrificing by drinking these beers young? I have brewed a 7% Saison that had an alchohol bite when young that mellowed after a few weeks. A little distracting, but I can live with it.

What do you all do? I usually have 2- 5 gal primarys, 2 secondarys, 2 kegs conditioning and 2 kegs tapped at all times.
 

Jeremy S (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 02:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I brewed a 1.086 strong irish ale that finished off at 1.020 and it was the most discusting beer I had ever tasted...untill I let it age for 2 weeks and it tasted better. Now I have 3 bottles aging. I'll check it out at 3,6 and 9 months.
 

Mike Vachow (216.170.178.59)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 03:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

High gravity beers get better with age. . . .but I'll qualify that statement several ways. First, in general, high gravity beers lose their alcohol bite after several months' conditioning. They mellow and flavors tend to blend into a unified taste. Leave them a few months longer, heading toward a year and they develop complex flavors that many folks describe as sherry or brandy-like. Now, here's the qualification. For my taste, I think big beers start turning the corner after a year. The flavors in a 1.090 barleywine (Bigfoot, for example) that develop after a year just don't turn me on. Hop accentuated beers also lose a lot as time goes by. Hop flavor and aroma are short-lived elements; for this reason, I prefer this year's Bigfoot over last year's. Also, some flaws simply don't go away. An over-attenuated beer will likely be even drier down the road and an underattenuated beer will simply be cloying in a vaguely different sort of way. Assuming well brewed beers, however, it's really a matter of taste with high gravity beers after a year, sort of like smoked beers.

I recommend going out and finding some beers of various vintages. Unibroue dates its beers. Dig around and see if you can find a year old Maudite or Fin du Monde and a young bottle of the same. Buy a bottle of two year old Bigfoot--date's on the cap--and a bottle of this year's.

Last, I recommend bottling some of your big beers. It's easier to stick them away and not them get them caught up in your equipment cycle.

Mike
Lake Bluff, IL
 

Jeremy S (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 04:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What about Fullers Vintage Reserve? I'm thinking about getting a bottle. I can get either 2000 or 2001 vintage.
 

don price (65.32.41.166)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 04:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1.070 & 1.065 aren't that big. 2-3 weeks or 2-3 months should do it.

You just need more kegs.

Don
 

Joe Verona (152.163.252.67)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 04:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yea, I thought about bottling half a batch using those priming tabs, but I know that I would just as soon crack them open rather than buy some crap or shell out $7-$12 a pint for imported brew.

I'm not a hophead- I go more for Belgians with yeast and spice character, sweet stouts, and German weisens and bocks, so that's not an issue.

I guess if I want to brew a special Triple or Barley Wine I should wait until I have a surplus of kegged beer and bottle it.

My question is what styles/ gravities is appropriate for consumption 5 weeks from conception?
 

Hophead (172.169.26.250)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 04:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe 1.070 isn;t big per se, but let it secondary for a month, and you will see a difference.

I would say up you cold conditioning from 7 days to 6 weeks, and you may be pleasantly surprised. Up your brew schedule to accomodate...
 

Hophead (172.169.26.250)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 04:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe 1.070 isn't big per se, but let it secondary for a month, and you will see a difference.

I would say increase your cold conditioning from 7 days to 4-6 weeks, and you may be pleasantly surprised. Up your brew schedule to accomodate...
 

Joe Verona (152.163.252.67)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 05:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Don/Hop. That's what I kinda thought, but I had to read it to belive it.

LHBS has cornies on sale for $13 but I feel guilty buying stuff for myself this time of year. If I ask for cornies, I'll get flakes. If I ask for "cornelius kegs" they will just think I'm drunk and get me a tie.

Meanwhile, I will relax and enjoy a homebrew :)
 

Mike Vachow (216.170.178.59)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 06:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have occasion every few weeks to drink beer with a expat Brit, who, beyond being good company, helps me recalibrate my American (i.e. Texan, essentially) sensibilities. I often bring along a few homebrews or craft beers which he usually compliments but just as usually knocks for the relatively high ABV. These are beers that inevitably weigh in at the 1.050 level.

All of which is to say that 1.070 is plenty big. Homebrewers, and Americans in general, like to push the limits--with hop levels, with OG--but often to silly effect. That said, I think your 1.070 dubbel will be tasty at 6 weeks, but I'll bet it will be outstanding at 6 months.

Styles that would be good to go at 5 weeks?
Wit
Belgian Pale
Weizen
American Pale/American Bitter
Stout
Porter
Mild
British Brown
American Wheat
Cream Ale

Mike
Lake Bluff, IL

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