what is the best way to age a beer?

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Hi!

What is the best way of ageing a bottle of beer? Is it okay to just put
the bottle in the fridge and keep it there for, say, a year or so, or
is it best to leave it at room temperature in a dark place? I have a
high alcohol beer from last Christmas in the fridge that I am going to
open this Christmas, I am also planning to age one bottle of all my
other batches.

Thanks,

Richy


Re: what is the best way to age a beer?



If you put your beer in the fridge it will not mature at all. The fact
that
homebrewed beer matures in bottles is beacuse of the yeast working in
the
bottle. The temperature in the fridge is too cold for the yeast, and it
will
simply go dormant to the bottom of the bottle.

So the answer to your question is either room temperature or slightly
cool
place in the dark.


--
hevimees
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Re: what is the best way to age a beer?


Actually what you are thinking of is bottle conditioning, allowing the yeast
to build up CO2 levels to naturally carbonate the beer inside the bottle.

The original question of allowing the beer to mature isn't academic,
allowing an ale to sit at room temp for over a year, it may or may not keep.
Any beer will mature when cooled...and lagers should be cooled.

Basically....just sitting around waiting is allowing it to mature.  Much
like a bottle of wine.

Kent

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Re: what is the best way to age a beer?


If you're talking about Samichlaus (or any lager for that matter), you
should put it in the fridge since it will need to lager, but you say
"christmas" and "high alcohol beer" I think of Samichlaus.

If it is Sami, it has already been lagered for a year before it was bottled,
but like wine Sami gets better with age.

Kent

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Re: what is the best way to age a beer?



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Depends upon the beer.

Most don't need *ageing*, and don't benefit. Beyond conditioning, they
are ready to drink immediately, and will only improve slightly for a
few weeks. Some higher alcohol, and more complex brews will benefit
from being kept at around 50F or so, in the dark. They will keep quite
a long time, but won't necessarily improve much.

Barley wines can benefit from longer maturation.

hth

steveb

Re: what is the best way to age a beer?



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Aging beer, almost qualifies as a contradiction in terms, especially
for a home-brewer. brew it, condition it, drink it.  If you don't like
it, change recipes, then brew it, condition it, drink it.  If your are
a purest ignore my advice, and good luck.

Avery
Brew on brother!
SW US desert

Re: what is the best way to age a beer?


How is aging/maturing beer a contradiction?  All "big beers" (high
gravity/high alcohol) and many Belgian beers (Lambics & Gueuze & Barleywine
for example) as well as many lagers (look up the word lager some time)
actually do acquire better & different tastes as they mature, most mellow
and smooth out.

I keep using Samichlaus as an example, this beer has an ABV of up to 14% and
has an OG of over 1.100.  This actually puts it in a class with wine (aside
from being made from grain & not grapes).

Here's a great article
http://www.sallys-place.com/beverages/beer/vintage_beers.htm as is this one
http://www.hairofthedog.com/bottlecondition.html and finally this one
http://realbeer.com/library/beerbreak/archives/beerbreak20010208.php that
supports aging & maturing beers.

For the most part, yes, most beers should be drunk within a short period of
time to retain their fresh tastes but there are many exceptions to the rule.
Much the same as I'm the only one who provided any support to my claims.

Kent

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Re: what is the best way to age a beer?


Thanks for the articles....very informative.  So a American style hoppy pale
ale is probably best served on the fresh side....2 weeks- 1 year old.

Pete


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Re: what is the best way to age a beer?



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I find that hiding it where I can't find it to be quite a good way to age
it...

Mike



Re: what is the best way to age a beer?


Richy wrote:
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For the first year that I was brewing, I kept 2 16oz. Grolsche style
bottles from every batch in my basement, and opened them a year after
bottling.  A few tasted better, most tasted about the same, but none
went bad.

--
Michael Herrenbruck
DragonTail Ale
Drunken Bee Mead

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