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Kealia

One year later - how are they holding up?

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Last year I began tucking away 2 brews from every batch to let them age and see if they improve dramatically (or even get worse) with a year of aging.

I'm now starting to drink those brews so I have a good variety of beers to choose from - and to satisfy my curiosity.

FWIW, I'll be posting how they taste and the associated recipes (not full details unless somebody wants the full recipe) in case somebody here is brewing something similar and wondering how long they will store.

These have all been stored at about 60 degrees after their initial carbing and conditioning at room temps.

The first one I had the other night was:
1 can Cowboy Lager
1 can Pale UME
1/2 lb light DME
1/4 lb agave
1 TSP corriander
3/4 oz sweet orange peel

I remember this being "not great" after 4-6 weeks in the bottle but REALLY good after about 8 weeks. The bottle I just had was "ok". The orange and corriander have really subsided and it's now just a decent beer with a hint of aroma.

No complaints, but the flavor profile really lessened in terms of the spices and fruit over the past year. I think brews like this might be better young like wheat beers.

More to come.

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A couple of weeks ago, I drank a couple of bottles from a couple of batches I brewed last August & September. No difference, they did not seem to benefit from the extra time, but did not suffer because of it either. The bottles have been sitting in my garage, where the temperature seems to remain very stable, since my garage & first floor are basically underground. I live on a steep hill, with the second floor at ground level. I don't have any super 'big' beers conditioning.

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Most of my brews are great 2-2-2.

I started saving a couple bottles from each batch, but I got tired of having two beer storage areas, and I drank the extras I was saving, heh heh.

I'm saving three bottles of my sticky wicket special that I made a few months ago, for a beer tasting thing in July with my friends. That should be good.

Otherwise, most of my brews, once past 2-2-2, are fair game. But, many get aged a bit longer, due to the pipeline. So, average driking age is usually 2-2-4 (2-6), or six weeks in the bottle.

I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO MORE OF YOUR REPORTS ON YOUR YEAR OLD BEERS. I'll bet some are great.

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This is awesome, I have read elsewhere that a lot of people just start drinking after 2-3 weeks in the bottle unless it is a huge beer. I have struggled with keeping some for a long time or just drink them after 2-2-2 or a little more like Tabasco said. If I brew something big then I know to store it for a while, but with the lower ABV I have a question.

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I have a couple of really BIG beers that have passed the 1 year mark. The last ones I had from each batch was awesome. I have 2 batches that are intact (none consumed) that are set for one year conditioning, one is 6 months old the other just 3 months in bottle. I have read that it is best not to do long term storage on beers under 8% ABV because they can go skunky even in darkness.

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Last night's first test: a 1-year old PM hef - not good. At all.

It smelled a bit off when I poured it but I couldn't quite nail the smell. The initial taste wasn't too bad but I was immediately hit with a distinct taste of wine. Aahhhhh, no likely. Down the drain it went along with it's twin. Two more bottles back into the rotation. This solidifies my thinking that wheats are best young (I typically drink at 3 weeks in the bottle).

Since that didn't count as a beer for the night I moved on to an 11-month old Velvet Velociraptor.
This held up pretty good, but I wouldn't say that it's better now than it was 11-months ago. It does have a can of WW, so maybe the wheat base is why it hit its peak already. Definitely still drinkable, but no need to let it age this long. the raspberry nose and flavor did stay with it, so I was happy to have this one to finish the night with.

More coming...

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Interesting read... keep 'em coming. I was wondering about this kind of stuff.

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Last night's test: May the Schwarz Bier With You.

Verdict: Smelled and tasted like wine, too.

I recognized the smell immediately when pouring since I had the same smell with the Hef. I tasted it and yep - there it was. It's not 100% wine, but definitely on the aftertaste and it's not good.

I'm starting to wonder if it's the higher ABV brews that are doing this. The hef was a little over 6% IIRC and the Schwarzbier is 6.9%. The lighter ale was good (lower ABV) and the Velvet Velociraptor was 5.4% and was still good as well- interesting.

Maybe this is a function of the minor aeration that occurs at bottling preventing them for storing for a long time - but if that's the case I would expect the 'wet carboard' smell and taste, though.

Perhaps it's because I don't use oxygen absorbing caps.

Maybe it's the extract brews - I haven't tried an AG aged brew yet.

Or maybe it's the beer gods telling me to drink my beer quicker!

In any case, I'll keep updating as I work my way through these.

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i like these posts. they don't make me feel bad about drinking all my beer quickly.

i start out with every intention to save a few but at about 6 weeks in the bottle they all just taste too darn good.

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And the trend continues with Big Ed's Red.

This has been in the bottle just shy of 1 year and it had that same hint of "wine" to it. Dang.

I've ruled out the possibility of infections through sheer numbers. I've yet to have an infected batch/bottle and I find it hard to believe that the few bottles I stashed away just happen to be infected - besides, they don't have the typical band-aid smell/taste.

I'm leaning more and more towards the higher ABV brews not lasting well for some reason.

This recipe was designed to sit for 6 months (per the instructions) and was awesome at the 6 month mark.

Maybe they would be significantly different if they were stored in the fridge versus @ 60, but I don't have that kind of room to spare and I'll likely just keep drinking the rest young.

We'll see if the couple of lower ABV beers are any different or if I can find an AG or two in the mix to see if there's anything there.

#disappointed

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I havecseveral bottles of ADIPA that were bottles a year ago March that I should toss in the fridge and check out. Really curious now after reading your reviews.

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I am calling it early, but this confirms my guess that letting beer go (that is not high ABV beer) is a mistake and it should be drank within 3 months. Thank You Kealia for doing this experiment because it really helps a lot of us. Now I don't think that drinking beer green is the way to go, but letting it go too long is no help either.

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I once kept a Jamaica Mon in a plastic Pepsi bottle for 1 year as an experiment. Was headless but tasted fine.

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I had a whispering wheat that was about a year old and it was fine.
I have also had several recipes that were about 8 months old and they were as good as the 3-4 month beers which are better than 2-2-2 or 2-2-4 beers. I think that 3-6 months in the fridge is optimum.

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If you plan on letting a beer age this long than you should cap with oxygen absoption caps. That should help. A beer at 1 year shouldn't really go "bad".

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ronnydobbs wrote:

I am calling it early, but this confirms my guess that letting beer go (that is not high ABV beer) is a mistake and it should be drank within 3 months. Thank You Kealia for doing this experiment because it really helps a lot of us. Now I don't think that drinking beer green is the way to go, but letting it go too long is no help either.

I rarely stick a beer in the fridge unless it has been in the bottle for 4 months. Before I stretched my starting point to 4 months, I drank a fair amount of beer that just wasn't ready yet.

Having said that, I've been sticking beers in boxes for longer conditioning for the past year. I was going to bring them to a family reunion at the end of June, but now I'm thinking that might not be such a good idea. Maybe I'll just start drinking them and see how they held up.

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bpgreen wrote:


Having said that, I've been sticking beers in boxes for longer conditioning for the past year. I was going to bring them to a family reunion at the end of June, but now I'm thinking that might not be such a good idea. Maybe I'll just start drinking them and see how they held up.

That's part of what I was doing - stocking up for a big party. Boy am I happy that I tested these...

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I have 2 bottles set aside from every batch that I have made and so far I have had a few the were well over a year old and they were pretty good but not as good as when I was drinking them.I still set aside 2 from every batch but may start drinking them from 6-8 months old.

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Tonight's tester was a Nut Brown with Mellow Amber plus some steeping grains that was almost a year old to the day.

It was great. Clear, crisp and really enjoyable. Better than a year ago? hard to say, but very good. This was a 5.6% ABV so it wasn't exactly low, but it wasn't as high as some of the others recently so there still may be some credibility to the lower ABV beers lasting longer.

Glad I was able to salvage another one from this case of aging beer.

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