Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: cheba420 on May 25, 2011, 02:17:32 AM

Title: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: cheba420 on May 25, 2011, 02:17:32 AM
I know we're all supposed to be the most patient people in the world. After all, we are all in a hobby that has no immediate gratification. The end result is always delayed. I've read some of the recent posts about turning a beer around within a week or two and it got me thinking about when some of my beers have been a little young. I've noticed that I can usually drink my house pale in 2-3 weeks after kegging, my ipa's are best after 3 weeks (although, I can never wait that long to tap them), Ambers seem to be in the 3-4 week range and wheats....I cant seem to figure them out. Some have been good after 2-3 weeks in the keg and some take a month and a half to two months to get right.

Is there a per style rule of thumb when it comes to serving time? Maybe a rule of thumb to style and ABV?? Just want to get my process dialed in even further and patience is not my strong point! I realize that I can drink it whenever I want but I'm looking for feedback on optimal time per style. Any help would be appreciated!

Cheers!
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: oscarvan on May 25, 2011, 02:33:13 AM
For me it depends on the beer..... the darker the more forgiving. Hoppier, a good excuse to drink green. Belgians will not be rushed, nor will lagers. If you want it clear you need to have patience malt hopper.

My Dutch brew friends have a rule of thumb. A week for every ten points..... ie, 1050 OG..... five weeks, provided there are no special aging requirements.
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: cheba420 on May 25, 2011, 02:42:34 AM
Good stuff, Oscar! One week for every 10 points. I like it. I havent gotten into brewing belgians yet and dont care for lagers much so I think I'm good there. Just trying to get a handle on aging ales. I want to drink them when they're the best! I always find that I enjoy the second half of the keg much more than the first half. I've just never had a "rule of thumb" to go by so I wing it.

Anyone else? Whatchu got?
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: a10t2 on May 25, 2011, 02:44:10 AM
I've heard of some breweries that follow a one day per degree Plato rule of thumb (for ales). In general though, I think experience will be your best guide. It seems like you have a pretty good handle on the conditioning times you like, so go with those.
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: denny on May 25, 2011, 03:44:54 PM
My rule is that when it tastes good, it's ready to drink.
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 25, 2011, 03:55:12 PM
The question I've been pondering lately is bulk aging vs. bottle aging.

I have an old ale that I'm ready to get off the yeast and age.  Am I better off bulk aging it in a keg/carboy?

Or should I go ahead and bottle and let it age in the bottles?

My recollection is that bulk aging is preferred, but I'm not using a cask (or any sour yeast) so I'm not sure it matters.

Any thoughts or experiences?
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: gordonstrong on May 25, 2011, 04:24:06 PM
The question I've been pondering lately is bulk aging vs. bottle aging.

I have an old ale that I'm ready to get off the yeast and age.  Am I better off bulk aging it in a keg/carboy?

Or should I go ahead and bottle and let it age in the bottles?

My recollection is that bulk aging is preferred, but I'm not using a cask (or any sour yeast) so I'm not sure it matters.

Any thoughts or experiences?

If you bulk age, make sure it's been racked since primary.  Unless you want your beer to taste like beef broth.

I age all my beers in either kegs or carboys.  A bottle is just an intermediate device that gets in the way of beer getting into my glass.  They serve a purpose for competitions, though.
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 25, 2011, 04:27:03 PM
My only preference for bottles in this case is that it will make the beer last longer.  Once I tap it, it could go quickly.

A couple of 12 packs of bottles I can easily lose in my cellar for a year or two or three...
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: gordonstrong on May 25, 2011, 04:39:32 PM
My only preference for bottles in this case is that it will make the beer last longer.  Once I tap it, it could go quickly.

A couple of 12 packs of bottles I can easily lose in my cellar for a year or two or three...

Sounds like you need more kegs.  ;)

Or a bunch of Idaho people are in town.  ;D
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 25, 2011, 05:56:05 PM
Sounds like you need more kegs.  ;)

I agree.  You can never have too many.  But I think the wife would object.

I must have twelve or so down in the basement.  Off the top of my head: light lager, honey lager, Chimay, dopplebock, saison, cider (one fiver and two 2.5 gallons), root beer, pumpkin ale, x-mas ale, ESB, carbonated water, maybe one empty.

Some of these, like the x-mas, pumpkin and cider, just need to be bottled so I can get the kegs back in service. 

Or I need to throw a party and empty a few of them.
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: denny on May 25, 2011, 06:05:12 PM
This might be enough kegs.  Skotrat's barn...

(http://hbd.org/brewsandviews/messages/20001/20952.jpg)
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 25, 2011, 06:13:40 PM
A LHBS in the area is expanding to another location so that they can up the online sales volume.  They have even more than Skorat in that warehouse.  It was one of those "WOW" moments.
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 25, 2011, 06:17:09 PM
My Dutch brew friends have a rule of thumb. A week for every ten points..... ie, 1050 OG..... five weeks, provided there are no special aging requirements.

For lagers I use one week for every 2 degrees Plato.  So a 1.048 lager beer would be 6 weeks.  A 1.080 Doppelbock would be 10 weeks.  Close to the Dutch guys' rule, but that might be long for ales.

The old German rule was a week for every degree Plato for lagers..
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: a10t2 on May 25, 2011, 06:18:02 PM
This might be enough kegs.  Skotrat's barn...

:o That's more kegs than our brewery owns.
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: bluesman on May 25, 2011, 06:43:25 PM
This might be enough kegs.  Skotrat's barn...

(http://hbd.org/brewsandviews/messages/20001/20952.jpg)

What's his plan for all of those kegs.  :o

That's probably the most I've ever seen in one location. I could also use several more.   ;)
Title: Re: General Rules of Thumb re: aging, conditioning and timing.
Post by: tschmidlin on May 25, 2011, 07:56:58 PM
Looks like the last time I did a keg buy :)  Mine are mostly gone though, I think I only have 3 or 4 left and I might just keep those.