Author Topic: Aging  (Read 1549 times)

Offline DrewG

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Aging
« on: March 02, 2012, 02:16:46 PM »
How long do you age before you consider a beer is at its best flavor? I know this varies a ton between  different styles, but maybe pick one, or even a couple.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Aging
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 02:46:36 PM »
anything of 'normal' gravity that is not meant to be consumed very fresh (milds, bitters, IPA's etc) about 1-3 weeks after packageing I find them to be in the sweetspot (although I have really enjoyed an ordinary bitter that was just a day or two old).

Anything of 'normal' gravity that is meant to be consumed very fresh (weizens, wits etc) as soon as you can, particularly with styles that include a lot of suspended yeast in the flavour profile (hefe, wit). after just a couple weeks these, in my experience, tend to start losing something. if bottle conditioned some of this can be got back by inverting the bottle prior to pouring or swirling and dumping the last of the beer into the glass after pouring.

Anything with high gravity and lots of hop aroma/flavour (IPAs, IIPAs, American barleywines) give them a few weeks to mellow but not too long because those hops start to fade quickly.

Belgian strong ales (doubles, BDS, Tripple etc.) opinions vary. I like them fresher ( a few weeks to a couple months) doubles tend to age a little better than triples, BDS slightly better still.

high gravity malt driven beers (wee heavy, english BW, dopplebock etc.) some of these age really well for years (bw for instance) others I think start to lose it after a year or so (dopplebock in my limited experience). I don't really know how a wee heavy would go though.
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Offline DrewG

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Re: Aging
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2012, 03:23:03 PM »
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anything of 'normal' gravity that is not meant to be consumed very fresh (milds, bitters, IPA's etc) about 1-3 weeks after packageing

If you were bottle conditioning, would you include the 10 days or so it takes to carbonate?
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Aging
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2012, 03:25:28 PM »
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anything of 'normal' gravity that is not meant to be consumed very fresh (milds, bitters, IPA's etc) about 1-3 weeks after packageing

If you were bottle conditioning, would you include the 10 days or so it takes to carbonate?

Well... I usually start drinking as soon as it is carbed up nicely but generally no. I would consider the carbonation time as sort of a secondary fermentation so I would start the clock after those 10 days or so is up.
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Offline EHall

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Re: Aging
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2012, 03:26:55 PM »
When I was only bottling, I found that the flavor really improved if I left them alone for at least 60days... these days I mostly keg but anything that I make over 6.5% gets bottled and they sit for a minimum of 60 days... the higher the alcohol the longer I let them sit and age.
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Offline DrewG

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Re: Aging
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2012, 06:58:41 AM »
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the higher the alcohol the longer I let them sit and age.

Even hoppy beers?
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Aging
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2012, 07:11:14 AM »
Just saying that my normal gravity lagers get better with longer lagering times.  Like 8 weeks or more.

My normal gravity p-lambics take years to hit the peak.

It really depends on the beer, there is no one answer.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Aging
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2012, 08:36:59 AM »
Just saying that my normal gravity lagers get better with longer lagering times.  Like 8 weeks or more.

My normal gravity p-lambics take years to hit the peak.

It really depends on the beer, there is no one answer.

having nuver done a lambic or a lager I cannot speak to these but what you say conforms with my understanding of those styles.
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Aging
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2012, 09:00:53 AM »
I've found that my smoked beers take a couple of months to develop their flavor potential.  Many of them have no smoke flavor at all when I keg them but are delicious after 60-90 days.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline euge

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Re: Aging
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2012, 09:48:39 AM »
Depends on your preferences. You may like the taste of the young fresh beer in any of the styles. I think Bitters, Pale ales and IPA's taste great right out of the fermenter. They morph a bit with conditioning and sometimes change a lot.

Regardless, I believe it is important to taste the product at all phases- particularly as soon as it is racked and once carbonated. Going by advice or a "rule of thumb" just gets you into the ballpark. You need to figure it out yourself by tasting and drinking sooner than later. Then you can make decisions as to quality and how it may change over a few days, weeks and up to years.

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Offline DrewG

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Re: Aging
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2012, 11:01:08 AM »
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Regardless, I believe it is important to taste the product at all phases- particularly as soon as it is racked and once carbonated. Going by advice or a "rule of thumb" just gets you into the ballpark. You need to figure it out yourself by tasting and drinking sooner than later. Then you can make decisions as to quality and how it may change over a few days, weeks and up to years.

I do taste them all through the process, but I'm always curious what other folks think.

My recent observations on a Citra/Amarillo Pale Ale we did were interesting. I was afraid I had some chill haze a week after they had carbed nicely, and I suppose it was chill haze as they were clear going into the fridge then hazed up. I didn't let them warm back up to see if it left or not. At three weeks after carbing up the haze is gone, cold or otherwise.
Early on the bitterness was harsher, and hop aroma was stronger.
Hop flavor and bitterness is much more present the colder this beer is
After it warms in the glass its much mellower, and the caramel malt pops through a lot more.

All in all it seems at about 3 weeks it was more "complete" if that makes any sense.
"Well, the Mexicans got a saying - what cannot be remedied must be endured."

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