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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: ckpash88 on April 23, 2011, 09:25:06 PM

Title: shelf life of beer
Post by: ckpash88 on April 23, 2011, 09:25:06 PM
So I was wondering what's the normal shelf lifr of home brew is. I normally store them at room temperature in kegs that I force carbonate. How long does it take till there not drinkable anymore?
Title: Re: shelf life of beer
Post by: denny on April 23, 2011, 10:07:11 PM
If you've packaged it properly, it can be years.  In general, the stronger and hoppier it is, the longer it'll last.
Title: Re: shelf life of beer
Post by: speed on April 23, 2011, 10:24:23 PM
i've got a few bottles of an iipa that have been stored at room temp for over 3 years and they are still good. if you plan on storing for any length of time make sure of your sanitation practices and don't introduce oxygen at any time.
Title: Re: shelf life of beer
Post by: mabrungard on April 23, 2011, 10:36:16 PM
Homebrew is probably not going to hang in there as long as a mega brew with high levels of oxygen control and quality control.  But if you're storing at a nice cool cellar temperature, then you should be able to keep many styles for a year and strong styles for years.  There are some styles that I think are truely products of youth and they will suffer age effects in as little as 6 months and a brewer shouldn't be planning to keep them around for that long.
Title: Re: shelf life of beer
Post by: morticaixavier on April 23, 2011, 10:41:35 PM
to quote the owl

"one...two... Three CRUNCH"

I have yet to find out. with the exception of a few special bottles of pretty high octane stuff that i have saved for special occasion my homebrew doesn't stick around that long.
Title: Re: shelf life of beer
Post by: ckpash88 on April 24, 2011, 01:56:48 AM
What kind of flavors should i expect of a beer thats too old. B/c i have a Grand Cru and a extra pale ale that i brewed about this time last year and i was wondering if i shouldnt waste my time and just dump it?
Title: Re: shelf life of beer
Post by: speed on April 24, 2011, 04:53:38 AM
the most common flavor is wet cardboard,i.e. oxidation. or sour, contamination.
Title: Re: shelf life of beer
Post by: tumarkin on April 24, 2011, 11:35:06 AM
What kind of flavors should i expect of a beer thats too old. B/c i have a Grand Cru and a extra pale ale that i brewed about this time last year and i was wondering if i shouldnt waste my time and just dump it?

DO NOT DUMP YOUR BEER, at least until you're sure that's warranted. Certainly not without tasting it and being sure that it's bad. A year is not that long a period for beer to survive... you may find that your Grand Cru has actually benefitted from the aging time. Many higher gravity beers will (assuming good brewing technique & sanitation, and reasonable storage conditions).
Title: Re: shelf life of beer
Post by: jeffy on April 24, 2011, 12:16:16 PM
What kind of flavors should i expect of a beer thats too old. B/c i have a Grand Cru and a extra pale ale that i brewed about this time last year and i was wondering if i shouldnt waste my time and just dump it?

You would actually dump a beer simply for being old?  By all means take the time to taste it!  It might be your best ever.
Title: Re: shelf life of beer
Post by: Mark G on April 24, 2011, 12:27:52 PM
Yeah, definitely never dump without tasting first. If anything, it's a good way to learn off-flavors.
Title: Re: shelf life of beer
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 08, 2011, 08:55:08 AM
So I was wondering what's the normal shelf lifr of home brew is. I normally store them at room temperature in kegs that I force carbonate. How long does it take till there not drinkable anymore?

As others have said, it depends on the style.

The beer killers are temperature and oxygen levels. Homebrew is going to have much higher levels of dissolved oxygen than properly made commercial products (less than 0.1 ppm dissolved oxygen). Under room temperature storage, pro-brew is going to start showing oxidative notes within 100 days, so you can assume that your brew is likely going to lose condition faster than that.

That brings in the other big factor: temperature. If you can keep your beer at freezing or near freezing temperatures (32-39 F) then storage stability will be massively improved. Pro-brew kept at those temperatures can remain stable for up to 3 years.* Cold storage also slows down rates of microbial infection, if you're afraid that a beer might go bad.

So, if you can, get a refrigerator for your kegs!

* Data from C. Bamforth, Scientific Principles of Malting and Brewing.