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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: ne-brewer on November 27, 2009, 12:08:39 AM

Title: Wheat Beers - short lived?
Post by: ne-brewer on November 27, 2009, 12:08:39 AM
I remember reading something about wheat beers having a very short life and that they should be consumed young.

I like Hefeweizens and Dunkelweizens but now sure just how long is too long  ???

Although they may not last very long at all ;D, I was wondering just how long they would be good for.  Will they just gradually go downhill and lose its banana and clove features or will they just go bad (such as taste bad)? :'(  Are we talking 3 months? 6 months? or a year? They will be kept refrigerated all the time.

Thanks
Title: Re: Wheat Beers - short lived?
Post by: bonjour on November 27, 2009, 03:30:18 AM
The esters will definately lessen over time and as such will loose the character of a hefe.  If that is bad then yes it will turn bad.  It certainly should be drinkable

Fred
Title: Re: Wheat Beers - short lived?
Post by: tygo on November 27, 2009, 03:44:13 AM
I think what he's asking though is the timetable for degradation.  I'm interested in the responses in general to this question.  In my (somewhat limited) experience homebrews that have been properly cared for (no excess oxidation, etc) seem to last a long time.

Just the other day I drank the last of a Denny RyePA partial mash that I brewed over three years ago and it tasted delicious.  What are the effects of age on our beers and how long does it take the bad things to happen?  The big beers are obviously going to have more staying power so its a function of gravity but are there any general guidelines?
Title: Re: Wheat Beers - short lived?
Post by: majorvices on November 27, 2009, 02:02:56 PM
German style wheat beers lose their character fairly quickly and should be consumed relatively fresh - certainly within 6 months and preferably much sooner. That really has nothing to do with the wheat malt but is entirely a quality of the yeast. As Fred mentions, the esters and other flavors produced by the yeast fade and leave a rather bland beer in its place.
Title: Re: Wheat Beers - short lived?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 27, 2009, 09:39:20 PM
There was a claim that continental Pilsners peaks in 3 months and should be consumed in that time period.
Wheat beers are in similar SRM and 3 months period might also apply here.
Title: Re: Wheat Beers - short lived?
Post by: majorvices on November 28, 2009, 01:06:06 PM
Personally I think most beers are best under three months. Even many high gravity beers that people think need aging, such as Tripels. The beers that really improve past this time are few.
Title: Re: Wheat Beers - short lived?
Post by: ne-brewer on November 28, 2009, 03:28:44 PM
Thanks Fred, Major, etc...

That is what I was looking for.

"IF" any remains at the end of 3 months, I will "FORCE" myself to drink them ..... ;D
Title: Re: Wheat Beers - short lived?
Post by: akr71 on November 28, 2009, 04:52:33 PM
My wife found this out last night.  I found a half a dozen wheat beers in the cellar that I brewed late summer.  She loved them then, but last night, but only had a few sips and said it just doesn't taste 'crisp and clean anymore.'  I told her she just need to drink more and finish the batch when its fresh!  ;)