Author Topic: homebrew shelf life  (Read 3516 times)

Offline csu007

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homebrew shelf life
« on: February 29, 2012, 04:02:38 PM »
So i have pretty simple question. What is the self life of a Homebrew in bottles? I realize that most of the time the beer will be gone long before it spoils, but since there are no preservatives besides the alcohol, does anybody have a rough estimate for the shelf life. I would assume 6months or so not that it would last for six months, but some of my family wants me to save a few bottles of my first beer (bottled 1.22.12) I'm pretty close to finishing the two plus cases.
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: homebrew shelf life
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 04:15:27 PM »
Hops are also preservatives.  I believe that there are many variables to consider with the shelf life of a beer.  Some that come to mind are abv., amount of hops, malt, packaging, storage temp., etc.  Or you could taste some now and write down some tasting notes.  Then, save some for six months and a year and taste again and compare tasting notes. 
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: homebrew shelf life
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 04:17:09 PM »
Typical rule of thumb is that it's at its best within 6 months, still plenty drinkable at about 12 months, and then beyond that, it can begin tasting pretty stale.

Of course this also depends on storage temperature.  Beer stored at 70 F or more will taste like crap after 6 months.  Beer stored in the refrigerator at 35-40 F should last well over a year without any real problems.
Dave

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: homebrew shelf life
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 04:23:59 PM »
Too many variables.  Drew brewed a 30 year batch of beer for when his mortgage is paid off.

It won't go bad like food will, but it might pass a "best before" date.  Hard to say when that date is.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline majorvices

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Re: homebrew shelf life
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 04:32:46 PM »
The old analogy "how long is a piece of string" comes into play here. I have some high gravity barley wines that are from 2006 and they are still quite delicious. But most of the beer I brew is intended to be comsumed fresh.
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: homebrew shelf life
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 04:36:18 PM »
Mine has always lasted longer than it has lasted.

Suppose I could brew bigger batches, but then I'd have to brew less often.
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Offline euge

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Re: homebrew shelf life
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2012, 04:38:11 PM »
Six months is a good ROT to go by. I had a dubbel peak at about two years but after three years it just wasn't good anymore. Wasn't spoiled but had faded etc...

Hops were mentioned. The stronger and hopper the beer is the longer it will remain in its prime. Show me an IPA or Baltic porter or Imperial stout and Barleywines and I think longevity.

I had a case of lagunitas Barleywine that didn't taste right for several years.
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Offline richardt

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Re: homebrew shelf life
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2012, 08:03:57 AM »
Low gravity beers, wheat beers, and beers that emphasize hop aromas and flavor are best enjoyed young.

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: homebrew shelf life
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2012, 04:40:12 AM »
You can always ship them a bottle and they can try it now, while it's fresh.  Use fedex, not USPS.  Use tons of bubble wrap and a strong plastic bag around the bubble wrap.  Make sure there's no contact anywhere of the bottle to the outsides of the box.  Use TONS of bubble wrap!!!  Make it bomb proof.  There's a thread on these forums about shipping beer.

Offline snowtiger87

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Re: homebrew shelf life
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2012, 09:10:41 AM »
+1 on  the "too many variables" opinion. I have pulled out a barleywine at 13 years that was wonderful, but a pumpkin beer at 7 years had gone way south.
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: homebrew shelf life
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2012, 11:21:08 AM »
Controlling oxygen helps.  I recently found some bottles that I filled with a Beergun almost 4 years ago.  The hops had faded but the beer was still amazingly good.  It also helped that it was in the fridge for 4 years and not just on a shelf.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico