Author Topic: Ageing different styles of beer.  (Read 1328 times)

Offline micah h

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Ageing different styles of beer.
« on: November 09, 2013, 01:16:06 PM »
I don't age any beer on purpose, but some times a bottle gets lost in the back of my fridge.

I was very pleased with how the flavor on my chocolate porter aged after three months. However anytime I open an IPA that is three months old I am not really happy with how it tastes.

Is there any reason why some beers age better than others?

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2013, 01:23:38 PM »
General rules of thumb regarding aging of beers.

High ABV ages better than Low - this is generally due to the "hot" alcohol flavors reducing with time, along with the sherry-type oxidation reactions generally being more pleasant in higher alcohol beers.

Dark ages better than Light - I have heard that the polyphenols in darker beers help slow down oxidation reactions.

Don't age hoppy beers - The hop flavor and aroma is the first thing to go in a beer, which is why IPAs are not aged, and many of the barleywines meant for aging (Bigfoot) are often heavily hopped when fresh.

That is all I know about aging, but it has served me well.
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Online duboman

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2013, 02:19:53 PM »

General rules of thumb regarding aging of beers.

High ABV ages better than Low - this is generally due to the "hot" alcohol flavors reducing with time, along with the sherry-type oxidation reactions generally being more pleasant in higher alcohol beers.

Dark ages better than Light - I have heard that the polyphenols in darker beers help slow down oxidation reactions.

Don't age hoppy beers - The hop flavor and aroma is the first thing to go in a beer, which is why IPAs are not aged, and many of the barleywines meant for aging (Bigfoot) are often heavily hopped when fresh.

That is all I know about aging, but it has served me well.
Pretty good summation:)
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2013, 03:44:55 PM »
+1 to the above. One thing to add regarding IPAs. I find that beers with big FWH or hop stand additions tend to hold on to their hop character longer than those without. Their still at their best when they're fresh, though.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2013, 04:36:14 PM »
General rules of thumb regarding aging of beers.

High ABV ages better than Low - this is generally due to the "hot" alcohol flavors reducing with time, along with the sherry-type oxidation reactions generally being more pleasant in higher alcohol beers.

Dark ages better than Light - I have heard that the polyphenols in darker beers help slow down oxidation reactions.

Don't age hoppy beers - The hop flavor and aroma is the first thing to go in a beer, which is why IPAs are not aged, and many of the barleywines meant for aging (Bigfoot) are often heavily hopped when fresh.

That is all I know about aging, but it has served me well.
Right on the money. Don't deliberately age an AIPA/IIPA on purpose as hop aroma and flavor desireable in the style will begin to dissipate fairly quickly. I hop stand then dry hop these styles heavily, accounting for the fact that what is left at the end of the keg will still be nicely hoppy, assuming that it gets drunk quickly ( and my hop crazy friends ensure that).  +1 to highly FWH'd and hop standed beers aging well, as well as highly dry hopped beers.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 11:46:58 AM »
You started a good habit. I think its beneficial to keep a few bottles of every brew back (if you can). You can experience 1st hand what age does to different types of beer and gauge your bottling technique/cleanliness.


FWIW I don't buy the FWH thing... hop flavor/aroma fade. Doesn't matter when they're added.
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Offline micah h

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2013, 03:51:25 PM »
Good advice from you all. Thank you.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2013, 05:10:56 PM »
Right on the money. Don't deliberately age an AIPA/IIPA on purpose ...

LOL.  I routinely bulk age my IPA for 8-12 months.
The commercial example I was weaned on many years ago got a full year of aging in wood before being bottled.  And it still  had more clean hop character than any IPA made today ;D

IPA was of course traditionally an aged beer.
Some current day commercial examples are quite good when consumed young, while others are vastly improved with some age.   As is the case with many aspects of brewing, there are simply no hard/fast rules.
Except for one: "Drink it how you like it"!
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2013, 05:21:36 PM »
Agreed on the historical aging of it. I prefer the early intensity of the hop aroma in the first month, but I've had older ones that were plenty good. It's a great style regardless, and the selection of premium ingredients today makes it even better !
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2013, 06:15:11 PM »
Right on the money. Don't deliberately age an AIPA/IIPA on purpose ...

LOL.  I routinely bulk age my IPA for 8-12 months.
The commercial example I was weaned on many years ago got a full year of aging in wood before being bottled.  And it still  had more clean hop character than any IPA made today ;D

IPA was of course traditionally an aged beer.
Some current day commercial examples are quite good when consumed young, while others are vastly improved with some age.   As is the case with many aspects of brewing, there are simply no hard/fast rules.
Except for one: "Drink it how you like it"!

I'm curious which IPAs you think improve after aging. I'm not much of an IPA drinker but I'd be interested in trying to figure out what attributes lend themselves to aging.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2013, 08:37:22 PM »
Right on the money. Don't deliberately age an AIPA/IIPA on purpose ...

LOL.  I routinely bulk age my IPA for 8-12 months.
The commercial example I was weaned on many years ago got a full year of aging in wood before being bottled.  And it still  had more clean hop character than any IPA made today ;D

IPA was of course traditionally an aged beer.
Some current day commercial examples are quite good when consumed young, while others are vastly improved with some age.   As is the case with many aspects of brewing, there are simply no hard/fast rules.
Except for one: "Drink it how you like it"!

I'm curious which IPAs you think improve after aging. I'm not much of an IPA drinker but I'd be interested in trying to figure out what attributes lend themselves to aging.

I had a few PTE clones that were great at year 4.  Bottled in 7 oz bottles that were "buried" in a fridge for the whole time.
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Offline repo

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2013, 10:53:47 AM »
PTE very plainly says not to age it, right on the bottle. Commercial examples  generally have a 6 month shelf life at most anymore. Tastes vary greatly, as does style interpretations, you can't argue with opinions. However,  if you want big hop aroma and flavor, you need to enjoy them fresh- that is a fact.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2013, 11:41:24 AM »
Right on the money. Don't deliberately age an AIPA/IIPA on purpose ...

LOL.  I routinely bulk age my IPA for 8-12 months.
The commercial example I was weaned on many years ago got a full year of aging in wood before being bottled.  And it still  had more clean hop character than any IPA made today ;D

IPA was of course traditionally an aged beer.
Some current day commercial examples are quite good when consumed young, while others are vastly improved with some age.   As is the case with many aspects of brewing, there are simply no hard/fast rules.
Except for one: "Drink it how you like it"!

I'm curious which IPAs you think improve after aging. I'm not much of an IPA drinker but I'd be interested in trying to figure out what attributes lend themselves to aging.

My experience is historic British IPAs brewed with a lot of low alpha hops, tannins and vegetal when young, with age they drop brite and are wonderful. Try some from Shut up About Barklay Perkins, or IPA from Steele. Also brew a Sister Star of the Sun IPA, that one gets better with time.

You can always dry hop after aging if you want some fresh hop aroma.

I am sure The professed was talking about Ballantine IPA, I did a clone based on a Jeff Renner recipe off the HBD, it needed time, and was very good. Another guy in the club got that recipe from me, and won the IPA category in the clubs competition, beating all of those contemporary recipes.


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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Ageing different styles of beer.
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2013, 04:46:53 AM »
PTE very plainly says not to age it, right on the bottle. Commercial examples  generally have a 6 month shelf life at most anymore. Tastes vary greatly, as does style interpretations, you can't argue with opinions. However,  if you want big hop aroma and flavor, you need to enjoy them fresh- that is a fact.

I know what Vinnie says, but I also know what I experienced.  The beer was much more mellow, but surprisingly, it held up well...just sayin'.   ;)
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