Can beer be aged/conditioned for to long?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by ihideinyoursocks, Jun 15, 2020.

  1. ihideinyoursocks

    ihideinyoursocks New Member

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    I see a lot of posts on here that stress how important patience is in brewing, especially when aging or conditioning beer. This makes a lot of sense to me since I love things like barrel aged beers. So waiting a long time to enjoy isn't an issue. But I have also seen some talk about beer going stale. So I am trying to figure out if and when patience can become to much of a good thing. Or can beer condition basically indefinitely if left at a stable temperature in a dark area?
     
  2. BrewPatgonia

    BrewPatgonia Well-Known Member

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    that depends a lot on the type o beer and the ingredients.
    If it is a dark beer, Porter or Stout... then yes, they age nicely and can get better with time as long as they were treated well in the making and packaging (bottles only). typically 2 years... but some can continue aging for 12 years.
    If it is an IPA, you should consume soon as the hop flavors and aroma will subdue with time. (Less than 4 months, and that is probably pushing it)

    I have beers in bottles 3+ years, trappist tripel, and they don't taste as well as the first year, but they still get a lot of compliments..... although I (personally) am not thrilled with them this old.
    Patience is necessary in brewing and can make for nice beers; but overall (other than special Imperial Stouts), I wouldn't really plan on keeping them more than 12 to 16 months.

    This is a tough question to get a clear answer to.. and varying opinions on this..... opening up a can of worms:rolleyes:
     
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  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Interesting thread topic.
    Anything hoppy obviously isn't worth aging.
    I'd say anything low abv on the light side is also best drunk within a month or two of packaging.

    Most my brews don't sit for no more than three months at most so I really can't offer any solid advice.
     
  4. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I'd only age it if it's imperial strength or has Brett or Pedio (or both). If it's hoppy I prefer to err on the side of too fresh.

    I'm only just starting to fee like I can create a beer that can cope with more than 12 months age and that's mainly to do with the packaging process rather than the brewing/fermentation. The last few of my latest batch of sour browns I'm not touching for another year to see how they change.
     
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  5. ihideinyoursocks

    ihideinyoursocks New Member

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    Weird, I always thought that that IPAs were meant to last for a long time. Didn't they come about in order to keep for the six plus month journey to India?
     
  6. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Some big hoppy beers actually do very well with some age on them. Not these newer hazy beers, or your typical IPA, but some of the imperials with really high IBU's, do very well. Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA is an example.
     
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  7. ihideinyoursocks

    ihideinyoursocks New Member

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    While I hope I'm not jist believing you just because it is what I want to hear, but it does match up with my understanding of why IPAs are they way they are. I always thought the orginal point was to almost over hop them as a preservative. But I can also understand that if the modern drinker wants a very hoppy beer, than letting an IPA age for to long could ruin that by mellowing it out.
     
  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Your right but my bet is that most of the aroma has dulled a bit let's say 6 months in.
    I'm guessing here but I bet the historical British IPA had a tun of hops early in the boil and maybe mid boil not all piled into the whirlpool and dry hop like is the new norm now?
     
  9. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    The hops are of course going to fade and it's not gonna be your everyday drinker IPA. These are big beers I'm referencing. Huge IBU's and boozy.
    High alcohol content beers are usually (not always) best bets for aging.
    Here's a 2019 Lagunitas Waldos I'm sitting on. I bought a 6'er and every once in awhile I break em out and see how they've changed. Still dank as f*ck, but a lot of the original in yer face hops punch has mellowed. 15922688863386071138352370779121.jpg
     
  10. BrewPatgonia

    BrewPatgonia Well-Known Member

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    yes sir, you are correct.
    The originals were hopped aggressively to preserve them on their long journey across the pond.
    If you are after bitterness and not flavor nor aroma, then an IPA could be enjoyed a year or possibly more after packaging.... but I understood the question was leaning toward the flavors maintaining or improving over time.
     
  11. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    IPAs weren't invented for the trip to India. They were just one of three or four beers that were sent to India. The India bit is just marketing. I've seen ads for pretty much the same heavily hopped, boozy pale ales being called Australian Ale.

    At the time any beer that was being sent in barrels via boat was heavily dry hopped, possibly to control secondary fermentation or to amp up the flavour. They were actually doing it for decades with dark beers before they started sending the pale ales to India.

    Quite a lot of the pale ale of the era had 12-24 months on them before they'd be drunk. Mainly to allow the brett to hit a flavour profile that people enjoyed. It was often sold by the really appealing name of stale beer (as opposed to mild beer, which was sold fresh enough that lacto and brett hadn't changed the flavour yet).
     
  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Yeah hop flavour doesn't last for shit. The antibacterial functions definitely help.
     
  13. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    And the other thing to remember about the huge hopping rates of the 17th & 18th century beers is that it's always with noble hops. Very different character to a modern hoppy beer.
     
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  14. ihideinyoursocks

    ihideinyoursocks New Member

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    Interesting, I never knew the type of hops changed.
     
  15. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Using Yakima hops wasn't really an option back then for the English.
     
  16. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Funny guy!
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Beer is food and food has a shelf life. Even in aged beers, they change over time. Some get better, some don't. Even those that get better will eventually turn and go the other way. By "patience", we're talking about a few weeks for the beer to finish fermentation, for the yeast to complete their work. But it will eventually go bad.
     
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  18. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Then you call it a Lambic and people pretend it's tasty!
     
  19. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Most of the lambics I've tried have required suspension of disbelief....
     
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