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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: jaybeerman on October 28, 2010, 08:28:09 PM

Title: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: jaybeerman on October 28, 2010, 08:28:09 PM
Having just read the "aging beer" thread while sipping on a year old 14% abv braggot I figured that it would be interesting to see how long everyone else is aging their brew.  Currently, I fall in the "1-2 year" category; I have a keg of 12 1/2 month old RIS and this braggot.  Within the month though i hope to start a batch of "bastard flemish something" and a batch of tripel (think tripel karmeliet), both of which will see significant aging.  If you fall in the 5+ years category; please tell us about the changes in flavor along the way and any other details you're willing to share.

[edit] I guess I should have mentioned that I have an autumn wheat on-tap, an ipa in secondary and a session stout in primary.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: ryang on October 28, 2010, 09:34:38 PM
Difficult to answer the poll...  usually, don't age my beers.  Just wait for them to carbonate, and start drinking.  Others I will age until their gone.  :P

My oaked imperial stout is collecting dust though... I plan to keep it as long as I can keep my greasy fingers off it.  So far, it's a little over 1.5 yrs old.  I've got a bottle of my second batch of beer ever back from 2008.  The beer sucked, but haven't got myself to dump it or try it.  I'm not sure what's going to happen to it.   ???
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: denny on October 28, 2010, 09:46:42 PM
It all depends on the individual beer.  There's no "one size fits all" answer.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: tschmidlin on October 28, 2010, 10:05:14 PM
Yeah, I have beers that I drink right away, and others that need (or that I want) to age.  I'm not sure how old the oldest ones are, I'm doing a good job of pretending they're not there. :)
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: jaybeerman on October 28, 2010, 10:08:45 PM
NOTICE

I rephrased the poll.  For the sake of this poll I'm speaking of brews that are appropriate to age (i.e. if you have a two year old mild ale, I don't want to hear about it :) )
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: tumarkin on October 28, 2010, 10:19:00 PM
Yeah, I have beers that I drink right away, and others that need (or that I want) to age.  I'm not sure how old the oldest ones are, I'm doing a good job of pretending they're not there. :)

that last part is the key, pretending they're not there or having the willpower not to drink them even when you know they're available can be a b****. but if you've got the willpower, it can be incredibly rewarding. though I've got a few of my homebrews cellaring, most of my aged collection are commercial beers....... mostly barleywines, RIS, and belgians of a variety of styles. I've got a few that date to the late 80's, but most are significantly younger from babies to 10-12 years old.

when I first started dating my wife, she found my beer closet and had moments of wondering if she'd gotten involved with an alcoholic. I'm trying to build my stash, but it's difficult - space, money, limited willpower. I'll never get to be like my friend Jim Ritchhart, though I'd really like too!! He's got cases of beer, some  going back to the 60's-70's, possibly a few significantly older than that.

luckily, he's willing to share. we've did a vertical tasting of Thomas Hardy going back to the first examples in the mid-60's, 1965 was the first I think. That was truly an amazing afternoon.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: jaybeerman on October 28, 2010, 10:19:21 PM
It all depends on the individual beer.  There's no "one size fits all" answer.

Thanks for pointing out the obvious Denny. ;)  Do you have multiple brews aging long term? If so, I'd like to hear about them.  Thanks
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: jaybeerman on October 28, 2010, 10:31:31 PM

I'm trying to build my stash, but it's difficult - space, money, limited willpower. I'll never get to be like my friend Jim Ritchhart, though I'd really like too!! He's got cases of beer, some  going back to the 60's-70's, possibly a few significantly older than that.

luckily, he's willing to share. we've did a vertical tasting of Thomas Hardy going back to the first examples in the mid-60's, 1965 was the first I think. That was truly an amazing afternoon.

Ok, you've nailed the spirit of this thread/poll.  I remember the first time I had a properly aged beer, it was a six year old Hibernation Ale and it seriously brought tears to my eyes.  Since then I've had many TH's dating back to '87 which is an incredible experience, one that more brewers should have the opportunity to experience.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: majorvices on October 28, 2010, 10:34:40 PM
I have a few beers over 6 years of age. Most of the beers I brew are brewed to be consumed young, though.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: tubercle on October 28, 2010, 10:44:55 PM
I voted session even though I may age a few month at times.

I don't guess drinking out of the fermenter counts as aging :'(
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: jaybeerman on October 28, 2010, 11:10:26 PM

I don't guess drinking out of the fermenter counts as aging :'(

No, but don't feel that you're alone
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: witsok on October 28, 2010, 11:14:00 PM
I have a barleywine going on nine years, down to the last few bottle.  I also have a RIS that is going on seven years.  It not uncommon for me to have stuff around that is 2-3 years old.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 28, 2010, 11:55:33 PM
I have a couple of bottles of 8 year old AM. barleywine.  Last time I a had one from this batch, it had some sherry notes, and had mostly malt left in the flavor.  What you would expect for one of these.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: maxieboy on October 29, 2010, 12:04:57 AM
I voted session even though I may age a few month at times.

I don't guess drinking out of the fermenter counts as aging :'(

Your liver might differ...  ;D

Just kicked the 2nd keg of an Old Rasputin Clone (1.2 yrs old) aged in the basement in mid-Mi at ambient. Deelish. My oldest beer to date. Loves me some fresh IPA's primarily...
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: Tim McManus on October 29, 2010, 12:52:32 AM
I have a 12-year-old maple syrup porter.  It tasted like rocket fuel when I made it, so I decided to age it in a keg.  I left it in the corner and gassed it every month to make sure it was still under pressure.  Right now it tastes very similar to Sam Adams Triple Bock, the ones in the blue bottles.  I serve it in 9 oz. glasses around the holidays and have about 1/4 of the keg left.  It's got a serious kick to it.

Normally we age ales 1-2 months, and they last 3-4 weeks after they're tapped.  Lagers go about 3-4 months in the fridge, and they too only last about 3-4 weeks in the keg.  We have a scotch ale that's been in the carboy for 10 months, and that's long for us.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: bluesman on October 29, 2010, 01:20:28 AM
Again as Denny pointed out, it all depends on how the beer is designed.  I like to age my barleywines, the older the better in most cases.  I like most of my lagers fairly young as well as APA's and IPA's.  Old Ales are designed to be aged at least a year or two. We could down the list but I think you probably get the point.  I pretty much go by the book but that's my style for the most part.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: majorvices on October 29, 2010, 01:37:34 AM
I consider IIPA a session beer...
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: beersk on October 29, 2010, 01:54:55 AM
I have a IIPA from January 2009.  Getting down to about 3 or 4 bottles of that left.  Pretty good stuff.  I don't typically like to age my beers though, especially since I've started kegging.  They age as long as they last in the keg, which is usually about 2-5 weeks.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: tumarkin on October 29, 2010, 02:29:31 AM
I can't stress enough how important yeast and bottle conditioning are to aging beers. That's not to say that kegged beers won't age well, but in general you really want to bottle condition beers that you're intending to cellar. It makes a huge difference over the long term.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: jaybeerman on October 29, 2010, 04:37:28 AM
Brews that are eight, nine and twelve years old, I'm impressed!  For the last 5 years I've thought about work and that's about it, no time for brewing.  Now it's time to replenish the aging homebrew that I use to have in storage. 
   
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: 1vertical on October 29, 2010, 05:05:34 AM
My older beers are some of my first I ever brewed. My lack of good technique has yeilded some
oxygenated beer.  However in the interim, I have 1 bottle of Flemish Red that is 2+ Yr old ...last
tasting of it was still good.  My current cherry beer in cask will be coming one year this spring
and it is prolly not even started .... the solera is a living continuing project.  

I have some sparkling (?) mead that is 8 yr.old Need to try a bottle and see how that is holding up
to the test of time.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: rabid_dingo on October 29, 2010, 05:35:22 AM
I have a tradition of brewing my holiday beer the year before I serve it. I has a lot of fans.
I opened a 3+ year old bottle today. It was good. Being that I don't bottle much anymore I
need to make an effort to bottle a handful and squirrel them away and Ron Popeil them!

I have a 3 year old mild...:D
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: tschmidlin on October 29, 2010, 05:39:45 AM
Ok, I checked the kegs I easily could, and the oldest one I saw is a Fred clone from 2004.

I have some older commercial brews for sure, but those are harder to get to so I don't know exactly what the earliest years are for the JW Lee's and Thomas Hardy, or the Alaskan Smoked Porter.  I have some Jubel 2000, and some Old Boardhead from the late 90s.  Hard to remember.   :)
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: euge on October 29, 2010, 06:12:34 AM
This is a great subject.

I've got six bottles of my first Barleywine brewed in Feb 08. Also a Saison, a Tripel and a lot Braggot from about the same time. Another keg of cider and Barleywine that is at least 14 months old and 3.5 yo Ginger cider in 750ml bottles.

I don't like the Braggot. Age has "improved" it but can't drink more than one. I think the Saison and the Tripel may be past their peak. Could be oxidation and I've sensed a loss of carbonation in the Tripel. :-\ The Saison has won me shrewd looks of reappraisal and complements from my amazed epicurean friends. That made me feel pretty good, because that particular beer showed progressive positive changes in character over the course of time.

Mostly I brew for immediate consumption and have no problem drinking beer that is days old. My average beer is about 3-4 weeks when I officially start on it. Since I tend to brew 12 gallons I get to see how the beer changes (or doesn't) over the course of 2 kegs and various force-carbings in PET bottles.

I planned on extended aging with all the aforementioned beers, but most of my brew doesn't last more than a couple months at most.


Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: alikocho on October 29, 2010, 09:29:59 AM
I have no aged beers. They all got drunk, but I have some Saison I intend to age, and will brew an Imperial Stout soon.

I do have cider and mead aging from last year though, both in my house in the UK and in a basement in New York.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: SiameseMoose on October 29, 2010, 10:56:20 AM
My current oldest is from early 1999. My club planned ahead for a "Millennium Party", for the turn into the 2000's. Members were asked to brew a beer of at least 100 gravity. (Note: this was an overnight party. Bring a sleeping bag, turn in your keys.) I brewed a Belgian "Quintuple", or a "Double Tripel", which fairly accurately describes what I was going for. OG was about 1.130, FG about 1.030. It's bottled in champagne bottles, originally to about 7 volumes CO2, but the last one I opened (last month) was mostly flat. The biggest surprise to me is how much the color has darkened. It was golden, it's now a medium-dark amber. It's picked up a strong sherry note, but unfortunately has an unpleasant oxidation note also. I've still got a few bottles left, which come out for homebrew gatherings.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: morticaixavier on October 29, 2010, 03:01:42 PM
IU think I still have a couple of bottles of 'BW' I brewed back in 2006 stashed away in back vermont. It's an extract brew and wasn't really great for the first year or two. Last I tried it was christmas 2009 and it was pretty nice. My mother in law who is keeping them for me has apparently been enjoying one now and again, and she usually is a hefe fan so it can't be all that bad. It's darker than I meant it to be, might even be closer to a RIS. I also have an RIS here in CA that has been in the bottle for about 9 months, also extract. I had a lot of problems with that one including one bottle 'bomb' (not really that bad, just aone weak bottle I think) that is starting to get really drinkable now that there are only 2 bottles left. other than that they don't usually last more than a month or so in bottles.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: rjharper on October 29, 2010, 03:11:14 PM
I generally keep a bomber of two of every batch for the "archives".  Recently opened a 2yr old bottle of oatmeal RIS that I oaked with Jack Daniels smoker chips.  It was good when it was fresh, but it was divine after two years
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: denny on October 29, 2010, 03:14:02 PM
It all depends on the individual beer.  There's no "one size fits all" answer.

Thanks for pointing out the obvious Denny. ;)

I excel at that!


 
Do you have multiple brews aging long term? If so, I'd like to hear about them.  Thanks

I've got some BW that's 3-4 years old. and some coder that's 5-6.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: tumarkin on October 29, 2010, 03:18:54 PM
I generally keep a bomber of two of every batch for the "archives".  Recently opened a 2yr old bottle of oatmeal RIS that I oaked with Jack Daniels smoker chips.  It was good when it was fresh, but it was divine after two years

Great to hear that. Sounds like you've got a good plan going.

One other thing to throw out here. For those of you into competition, it's a great idea to set aside beer (of appropriate styles) to age before you enter them. Just think about this example, think about the scores this RIS might have gotten when young as compared to what it would have gotten after aging.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: redbeerman on October 29, 2010, 04:35:39 PM
I have a barleywine that's about 2.5 years old and am currently drinking an oak aged RIS that's about a year old.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: jaybeerman on October 30, 2010, 05:59:19 PM
I have a 3 year old mild...:D

I knew someone would, mmm tasty :D
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: boulderbrewer on October 31, 2010, 03:26:51 AM
It is almost 12 years old, I taped it and it was good but a bit oxidiezd
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: devilpanda on November 04, 2010, 06:54:04 PM
I have nearly two cases of a 'bourbon barrel' porter that tasted terrible when I brewed it three years ago.  Threw both in the crawl space and forgot about them.  Pulled one out last month for s***s & giggles and couldn't believe how much the beer had improved.  Got me a 2nd place in Smoke & Wood-Aged category at the Chicago Beer Society's Spooky Brew comp.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: tumarkin on November 04, 2010, 08:27:37 PM
I have nearly two cases of a 'bourbon barrel' porter that tasted terrible when I brewed it three years ago.  Threw both in the crawl space and forgot about them.  Pulled one out last month for s***s & giggles and couldn't believe how much the beer had improved.  Got me a 2nd place in Smoke & Wood-Aged category at the Chicago Beer Society's Spooky Brew comp.

Congratulations! As I'd said before, aging beers for competition can be a big plus. In this case you started out with a 'reject' batch which improved greatly. Imagine what can happen when you age a good beer!
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: jaybeerman on November 05, 2010, 05:20:15 AM
Thanks to everyone who voted.  I’m very impressed with the numbers; it's good to see that some homebrewers (more than I would have guessed) still have the patience and wherewithal to properly age their homebrew.  I know it helps to have the time and room but the reward of cracking open a well aged homebrew far outweigh the hassle.  Now that I'm thoroughly jealous I'm ready to brew a couple big beers.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: jeffy on November 05, 2010, 11:11:24 AM
Thanks to everyone who voted.  I’m very impressed with the numbers; it's good to see that some homebrewers (more than I would have guessed) still have the patience and wherewithal to properly age their homebrew.  I know it helps to have the time and room but the reward of cracking open a well aged homebrew far outweigh the hassle.  Now that I'm thoroughly jealous I'm ready to brew a couple big beers.
I think there should be a distinction between "properly aged" and "not poured down the drain yet."
I never suggested that my really old homebrew was actually any good.
Title: Re: Aging Homebrew Poll
Post by: jaybeerman on November 05, 2010, 06:06:35 PM
I think there should be a distinction between "properly aged" and "not poured down the drain yet."
I never suggested that my really old homebrew was actually any good.

full agreement, you'll note that I used that language in my second post