Author Topic: Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers  (Read 1705 times)

Offline gglammi

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Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers
« on: January 05, 2012, 03:37:47 PM »
There is absolutely no place inside of my house where during the winter the temperature goes down to proper cellaring tempurature.  Certainly, living in a fully heated house is nothing to complain about, but even the unfinished storage room in my basement is normally warm because that's where the heating unit is.  I've tried cabinets, closets, etc.  Short of buying another fridge or another temperature controlled wine/beer storage unit, does anyone have any suggestions to create a cooler environment in an enclosed space like a storage cabinet under a wet bar in the basement? ???
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Bottled & drinking or drank: Christmas Ale, Macha Fuerte Tripel, Whole Grain Goodness Oatmeal Stout, Hard Working Man WeizenBock, Surly Smoke Clone, Dry Hopped Saison A & S, Better Dead Than Red IPA, 104 Degree High Noon Cream Stout, Mile Zero Blonde Ale

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Re: Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 03:53:11 PM »
search for son of fermentation chiller. It's a fairly inexpensive DIY cool cabinet. Also the Ghetto Chill 9000 article in the recent zymurgy might work. I keep mine in an interior closet, going on the better not cool enough but stable philosophy
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2012, 04:39:23 PM »
How big of a space are you looking for, and how much of a temperature drop?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline gglammi

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Re: Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2012, 06:21:28 PM »
The space I have them in now is 2 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft, a cabinet in which I have maybe 22 12 oz and 22 oz bottles.  Probably room for 15 more but don't plan on cellering more than that.  The current temp is 69.  Would want to get closer to 55 or so ideally. 
One year of homebrewing
Bottled & drinking or drank: Christmas Ale, Macha Fuerte Tripel, Whole Grain Goodness Oatmeal Stout, Hard Working Man WeizenBock, Surly Smoke Clone, Dry Hopped Saison A & S, Better Dead Than Red IPA, 104 Degree High Noon Cream Stout, Mile Zero Blonde Ale

Offline bluesman

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Re: Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2012, 07:39:07 PM »
Ideally... I recommend buying a used refrigerator or freezer and a controller. My cellar is currently at about 60F and will dip down to 55F at the peak of winter which is suitable for ales. Lagers even cooler. I wish I knew of a better way to store beer.

Whatever you decide to do, store your beer in a cool area, away from direct light, sources of heat and in a constant temperature environment. Beer benefits from cool constant temperatures usually around 50-55F is ideal for most beers. Higher temperatures and you'll risk shortening the lifespan of your beer, lower and you'll induce chill haze (cloudy).

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Offline euge

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Re: Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 01:30:18 AM »
That leaves the garage?
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Offline cheba420

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Re: Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 03:15:57 PM »
I tried laying down a few bottles of imperial pale ale a few years ago and when I opened them a year later they were horrible. The fresh beer was great but that time did not do the beer any justice. I havent tried cellaring anything since then.
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Offline gglammi

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Re: Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 04:49:26 PM »
Thank you for your thoughts I figured just getting and old fridge and a temp control was best solution but figured I would tap into home brewer's endless creativity to be sure.


Ideally... I recommend buying a used refrigerator or freezer and a controller. My cellar is currently at about 60F and will dip down to 55F at the peak of winter which is suitable for ales. Lagers even cooler. I wish I knew of a better way to store beer.

Whatever you decide to do, store your beer in a cool area, away from direct light, sources of heat and in a constant temperature environment. Beer benefits from cool constant temperatures usually around 50-55F is ideal for most beers. Higher temperatures and you'll risk shortening the lifespan of your beer, lower and you'll induce chill haze (cloudy).


One year of homebrewing
Bottled & drinking or drank: Christmas Ale, Macha Fuerte Tripel, Whole Grain Goodness Oatmeal Stout, Hard Working Man WeizenBock, Surly Smoke Clone, Dry Hopped Saison A & S, Better Dead Than Red IPA, 104 Degree High Noon Cream Stout, Mile Zero Blonde Ale

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2012, 10:01:14 PM »
I tried laying down a few bottles of imperial pale ale a few years ago and when I opened them a year later they were horrible. The fresh beer was great but that time did not do the beer any justice. I havent tried cellaring anything since then.
Cellaring hoppy beers rarely works out well.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline erockrph

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Re: Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2012, 11:58:16 AM »
Cellaring hoppy beers rarely works out well.

+1

FWIW - I've had great results cellaring beers in the basements of my past 2 houses. Both have been raised-ranch style, my current basement is completely unfinished/unheated and my old house had one room that was unfinished. Up against the concrete wall that is deepest underground holds the most constant and cool temps. I haven't checked the temps regularly, but it holds in the mid-to-upper 50's most of the year, maybe pushing low-60's during a real heat wave in the summer.

The best beers for aging tend to be big ales, barleywines in particular. I usually stash away a 4/6-pack of my favorite barleywines each year and come back to them every year or so. My prized possessions are a 4-pack of 2004 Thomas Hardy Ale and a 1997 Sam Adams Triple Bock. I also recently acquired a 1986 Thomas Hardy, but I don't think I will be aging that one much longer.  ;D

As far as the shelf life of homebrews goes, i was wondering a bit about that myself. I'm just about to brew my first batch of homebrew myself and once I get a few under my belt I was planning to brew my first vintage barleywine. Aside from being really careful about avoiding oxygenation, is there anything else that a homebrewer can do to increase the shelf life of their beer? Would wax-dipping the caps be helpful for brews you're intending to age for several years?
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Offline gymrat

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Re: Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2012, 10:15:15 AM »
I keep mine in a dark closet in my basement. It stays a constant 66 degrees year round. I haven't had a beer go bad yet. They usually stay in there 4 or 5 months before consumption.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Cellaring Homebrewed and Purchased Beers
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2012, 02:32:38 PM »
Cellaring hoppy beers rarely works out well.

+1

FWIW - I've had great results cellaring beers in the basements of my past 2 houses. Both have been raised-ranch style, my current basement is completely unfinished/unheated and my old house had one room that was unfinished. Up against the concrete wall that is deepest underground holds the most constant and cool temps. I haven't checked the temps regularly, but it holds in the mid-to-upper 50's most of the year, maybe pushing low-60's during a real heat wave in the summer.

The best beers for aging tend to be big ales, barleywines in particular. I usually stash away a 4/6-pack of my favorite barleywines each year and come back to them every year or so. My prized possessions are a 4-pack of 2004 Thomas Hardy Ale and a 1997 Sam Adams Triple Bock. I also recently acquired a 1986 Thomas Hardy, but I don't think I will be aging that one much longer.  ;D

As far as the shelf life of homebrews goes, i was wondering a bit about that myself. I'm just about to brew my first batch of homebrew myself and once I get a few under my belt I was planning to brew my first vintage barleywine. Aside from being really careful about avoiding oxygenation, is there anything else that a homebrewer can do to increase the shelf life of their beer? Would wax-dipping the caps be helpful for brews you're intending to age for several years?

While I really like the way wax dipped caps look, and I suppose it might protect the caps from moisture I don't think it will do much for the actual beer. I think just being really careful to avoid oxidation as you say and conditioning in the bottle with some fresh yeast so any o2 that gets in there gets scavanged. the o2 absorbing caps might also be a good idea, just to get any o2 in the headspace out of there. I have aged a barley wine for 4 years so far just by having it in the cardboard box the bottles came in on the floor in a place where it's out of the sun and not to near heaters or windows. works pretty good so far.
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