Long term beers

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jeffpn, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,553
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Here's a survey question. How many of you have (or had) a batch that takes months, or even a year or more, to prepare? I've seen where people lager their batches for months on end. To me, it's hard to justify spending several times longer to make a batch than it takes to drink it. How many of these long term batches do you have going at once? How big are these batches? I brew 5 gallon batches. Even with a batch of ale, I can't make it quicker than I can drink it. And that doesn't consider me sharing my homebrew, which I do. It's hard for me to justify spending months or a year to make something that could only take 2 weeks for me to drink. It really gives me an appreciation for distillers who age for years. Must be some warehouse!
     
  2. Bowhunter64

    Bowhunter64 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    NW wisconsin
    I'm kinda new to this Brewing game but I agree! I'm a fairly patient man but I still want to taste the fruits of my labor within a reasonable amount of time which is why Ive been sticking to ales! I have plans to lager at some point so we'll see.
     
  3. bilhelm96

    bilhelm96 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    The longest term beers I make is are my Oaktoberfest and Barleywine. I put oak in the kegs for each so they need to sit a few months in keg for the oak flavor to develop and mellow before I serve them. I make the Oaktoberfest in the July timeframe and put on service in late September. I don't make the barleywine at a specific time, but it ages in keg for 4 months or so before I serve it.
     
  4. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,553
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Follow up question: for those of you who do a lot of long term brewing, do you always have something ready to serve, short term brew or otherwise?
     
  5. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    940
    Likes Received:
    356
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    LHBS owner
    Location:
    NOLA
    i'm in the 18th week or whatever of a doppelbock i brewed last year. and i'm sick of it, i hate looking at that damn carboy every time i open the fridge. i'm set to bottle it 2 weeks from this saturday. Not sure what compelled me to lager for 5 months, but this is definitely the last lager i attempt for a long time.
     
  6. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,553
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Today I racked my favorite recipe, Munich Helles. I usually do a 4 week lager after my final temp is reached. This time, I'm going to try only 2 weeks to see if it's worth waiting more time or not. But I'll also be kegging it instead of bottling, so there's that, too.
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,582
    Likes Received:
    3,560
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    none of my beers are aged longer than 30 days, I see no point and have taste tested several beers that many people age and found no reason to age any further "but" I age at 34f so that speeds the process up
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    8,121
    Likes Received:
    4,939
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    I have some long-term beers, generally higher ABV brews that require a bit of time for the chemistry to work and for everything to balance out. If you have the patience, it can be worth the wait but, as mentioned, I'd always have something ready to drink in the pipeline. Running out of beer while your strong brown is improving over time is a good way to run out of the strong brown....
     
  9. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,362
    Likes Received:
    1,630
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rosedale, MD
    I generally don't age my beers longer than a month or 2. Even that's unintentional, I usually have enough brewed or on hand to keep a steady supply.

    I am trying to hide away a few bottles of a sour I did a few months ago to see how that may change.
    There's a reason I don't make wine, sometimes I can barely wait a week for a beer to somewhat carb up before I try it

    Edit: perhaps the bottle bombs of barleywine I had a while back turned me off of long term aging. There were other issues with that beer too
     
  10. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,044
    Likes Received:
    1,935
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Back in the mountains
    I will be brewing my Octoberfest this month to lager til September(4 months?).
    In the late fall the last few years I have been brewing what I call my "seasonal" beer that is usually over 12%. These go in the cellar and once in a while on special occasion I will bring a couple out. Big Belgians need time to smooth out and meld their flavors together as do some barley wine's IMO. I'm still new at these so each batch is a fun challenge to dream up. I tasted a barley wine that was 20 years old and was hooked on this type of keeper beers. Of course there has to be beer in the keezer to keep me out of the cellar or the aging wouldn't happen.
    There are some odds and ends of stouts, saisons, etc. just to see how well they age. The oldest beer in there is 2013.
    On the other hand there are lots of ales that hit the tap in 14 to 21 days. Hefe's are best when still full of yeast.
    Patience is worthwhile, sometimes.
     
  11. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,553
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I would have no problems with an extended time for a seasonal beer, like an Oktoberfest. It's the "Let's make this now and see what it tastes like in a year" thought process that baffles me. I'm not saying it's wrong. I just don't get it.
     
  12. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,044
    Likes Received:
    1,935
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Back in the mountains
    I don't attempt to brew long term beers to see what they taste like in a year. I attempt to brew them to get better with age however long that may be. When you open a bottle once a year of the same beer for three years and it tastes better every time, thats my goal. Different yeasts, malts, hops, temperatures, they all factor in. Its part of brewing and its one of the brewing challenge's I'm up for.
    In the mean time let the Black, Red, English, American IPA's, Pilsners, Browns etc. fill in the space while you wait. They are fun to brew too. And tasty :D
     
  13. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,553
    Trophy Points:
    113
    For the intent of my post here, I consider what you said to be another way to say what I said. I'm just wondering how many people here do long term brewing. I'll chalk you up as a 'yes.' :D
     
  14. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,553
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Another way, besides seasonal brews, that I could see myself doing long term brewing is if I regularly had them coming on line (meaning becoming ready to drink). That would take a whole lot of carboys, bottles, or kegs!
     
  15. UgliestLemming

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Saint Paul
    I don't normally do long term beers. Although I do have about a 6 pack of 2 year old barleywine in the back of the fridge, a 1 yr old Orval Clone (this I'm drinking this weekend though for the birthday), and about 2.5 gal of a sour that's about a year old. But I decided it wasn't worth the hassle about a year ago and haven't made any long term beers since.
     
  16. griz

    griz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Jeff, I make my lagers and pilsners during the winter months so that I can use my garage to do my long-term lagering (I live in Montana). After my initial fermentation, I transfer my batch to another carboy and set it in my garage. I cover my carboy with a blanket and let sit for 6-8 weeks. I stagger my brew batches during the winter so that I will always have a batch ready to keg. This is my second winter home brewing and have made great lagers and pilsners thus far. I never go beyond 8 weeks for lagering (usually lager 6 weeks). In fact, I'm drinking a czech pils now that I started in Jan. There are a ton of recipes out there for lagers and pils that don't require a super long lager period. Good luck!!
     
  17. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,553
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Even your lagering time is long compared to mine. I've only lagered for 4 weeks so far. I'm considering trying 2 weeks for my current lager that is in the secondary, but not yet quite to final lagering temperature. I'm quite pleased with the taste for only a 4 week lager, and I don't feel it's worth it to me to tie up the equipment for a longer time.
     
  18. UgliestLemming

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Saint Paul
    This lagering method is one that I've read many good things about - and cuts down on time spent fermenting.
     
  19. Tar and Feather'em

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I hear ya on the patience I'm pretty much a 10 to 14 day ale guy, and I love my milds. But I think I am going to do a barley wine very soon and I am think 4 plus months on it. I like the taste of them and they take that long so to me the thought is that easy. Keeps your ales on tap in the meantime.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white