Membership questions? Log in issues? Email

Author Topic: Thinking ahead…for the long haul  (Read 1869 times)


  • Guest
Thinking ahead…for the long haul
« on: January 04, 2011, 12:16:12 am »
So I’m back to thinking about showcase, massive, complex, all out, don’t even think about me for a couple (dozen) years, brew (e.g. Thomas Hardy’s, Courage RIS or Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout).  They’re not the brews I make or drink that often but when the moment’s right they’re hard to beat.  Right now I’m sipping on a homebrewed year old RIS and while I’ve brewed a couple RIS that were fantastic (and would continue to improve with age had I not consumed them) IMO some of them were too nice.  I think most of us know and use the basic procedures that lead to a quality brew but has anyone else given thought to ingredients that would leave a RIS (or barleywine, burton ale, old ale, etc.) still gigantically robust after years of aging?  If you’ve had a brand new Thomas Hardy’s and one that’s ten years old, you know what I’m talking about.  If we get some dialog going on the subject, I’ll add more observations from this last homebrewed RIS.  Cheers,  j

I read the burton ale article in zymurgy and have been following the ballantine thread as well.

Offline speed

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 339
  • Thedford nebraska
Re: Thinking ahead…for the long haul
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 09:00:45 pm »
well i don't have mnuch to add other than i am drinking one of my 1 year old ris's right now and i plan on saving some of it for a few more years just to see how it ages.

Offline corkybstewart

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1368
Re: Thinking ahead…for the long haul
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2011, 10:55:31 pm »
A friend of mine brewed with me occasionally and what we usually brewed together was my big Imperial stout, an all grain 1.120 monster using 43 pounds of malt for a 10 gallon batch.  I would keg my half and help him bottle his.  Being a much more advanced and patient brewer i would leave my 5 gallons in the keg for months while he would drink his as soon as it was carbed.  The problem was that his bottled beer was as good after 3 weeks as my kegged and "properly" aged beer was after 6 months  It took him 3 weeks to drink his 50 bottles.  My keg lasted over 2 years and it really was never any better(or worse).  Unfortunately this is the kind of experiment that cannot really be done with any kind of objectivity.
Life is wonderful in sunny White Signal New Mexico


  • Guest
Re: Thinking ahead…for the long haul
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2011, 02:10:52 am »
Cheers and thanks for the responses.  I guess what I was getting at is this - I've brewed a few RIS and have aged at least some of each batch to at least a year.  I've also had fantastic commercially made brews that had been aged for 10+ years.  After sampling this last batch of my RIS I recognized that whereas some hops varieties fade out gracefully others may remain aggressively present for much longer than I would have guessed.  I also noted that black malt, chocolate and roasted barley age differently.  Eureka for me, that's all. 

Corky, all beer ages and changes in character, some gracefully and some not so much.  I suspect that most brewers could taste the difference between a 3 week and 2 year old RIS

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 10689
  • Milford, MI
Re: Thinking ahead…for the long haul
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2011, 06:39:30 am »
You could also look up an article by Ant Hayes on British IPA.  I have done on similar to the article.   1.070 OG about 65-70 IBU's to bitter with EKG (alomost a pound for 10 gallons), fermented with 1.028.  Aged this one for about 10 months, then dry hopped in a carboy.  Tranfered to a keg and added dry hops to the keg.  It turned out fantastic, and vanished quickly.

This one tasted, well, not so good when young.  I think it was the tannins vegetable mater from all of the low AA hops.  Once it matured and dropped very, very bright, it came into its own.  When the pound of EKG arrives this week, it is time to brew this one again.

Jeff Rankert
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!