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Author Topic: Aging/Cellaring Beer  (Read 1920 times)

Offline miguelpanderland

  • Cellarman
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  • Posts: 96
  • Glendale, WI
Aging/Cellaring Beer
« on: March 28, 2011, 06:48:34 am »
So, I brewed a barleywine on Saturday planning to begin sampling it in December.  Here's my question: when aging beers do you need to keep them in the carboy that whole time or after fermentation is totally wrapped up can you just bottle and then wait until you want to drink it?

One sees 3 year old barleywines for sale all the time.  I can't imagine brewers are tying up fermenters for three years before bottling.

What I'm anticipating is holding the brew in the fermenter for three months (or so) and then bottling and holding.  What I'd like to do is reserve a fair share of it so I can stretch the sampling out to five years or more.  

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Is my thinking accurate?

Additionally, does anyone have any guidance as to when its appropriate to add yeast at bottling for a big beer?

Offline tumarkin

  • Brewmaster
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  • Posts: 666
Re: Aging/Cellaring Beer
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 06:58:55 am »
Your right on track. Aging in the bottle is the most common practice and works just fine.

Things to consider for cellaring (aging) -
Best at cellar temps - ie mid-50's
If no cellar is available - next best is dark, cool place with stable temps. (I use an interior closet, minimizes temp variations)
Keep bottles upright - not on side, even if corked.
Aging is a crap shoot based on number of factors including your beer (with all its faults & glories), storage issues, etc. Big beers will generally keep developing/improving for many years, but you can reach its best point & then begin to decline. So sample occassionally & keep good notes. If it starts to drop off, consume it. Otherwise, you'll probably be pleased to see positive changes for many years.

Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL