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Ageing home brew

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by dethTr0ll, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. dethTr0ll

    dethTr0ll Disciple (70) Delaware Dec 7, 2010

    Ok so im brewing an ipa tomorrow and I would like to age it untill the summer. My question is how long can you age home brew before it starts to go bad?
     
  2. stakem

    stakem Champion (870) Pennsylvania Feb 20, 2009

    If your sanitation practices are good, you can age your brew as long as anything you can purchase commercially. I have home brewed imperial stouts, barleywines, old ales and sours/wilds that are several years old and are tasting as good as ever (or better in some cases.)

    Why brew an ipa now and wait until the summer to drink it? I would just hold off on brewing it if you dont want to drink it for that long. Most people tend to drink hoppy brews asap before the hops fall off.
     
  3. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (790) Texas May 21, 2010

    Yeah, I would skip aging an IPA as you'll probably lose hops flavor over that much time. Age something with 8% or higher ABV that's not heavily dependent on hops for flavor and character. Barleywine, stouts, American strong ales etc tend to age well. IPAs do not.
     
  4. Brew it now if you want (Spring might be better for the late boil additions), but don't dry hop it until ~ month before serving...critical for an IPA, IMHO.

    This all assumes your process and packaging includes purging/oxygen elimination
     
  5. Soneast

    Soneast Savant (470) Wisconsin May 9, 2008

    When you say "bad", I assume you mean un-drinkable vs. loses it's hop character. Sanitation and C02 are key to aging homebrew. Keep the bugs out and have a layer of C02 over your beer during transfers and you'll be golden. As far as hop character dropping out, like commercial IPAs that'll happen with a month or two depending on your taste preferences.
     
  6. dethTr0ll

    dethTr0ll Disciple (70) Delaware Dec 7, 2010

    Thanks for all the input guys. I think I will just drink the ipa when its done and try ageing a diffrent brew.
     
  7. If you purge C02 on top of the bottle you should be able to age it as long as you need, but if you leave just the layer of oxygen on top I don't think long time aging is the best practice.
     
  8. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (435) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    The beers that age well tend to be ones with roasted barley, dark malts and a decent amount of crystal malts. They tend to have a simple bittering addition at the beginning of the boil and maybe a small late addition so you can drink it within 6 months. Lagers, Russian Imperial Stouts, and Barley Wines tend to follow these patterns.
     
  9. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Advocate (535) Minnesota May 11, 2007

    If you want something to take a bit of time, make a lager if you can. A couple of years back I took a favorite IPA recipe and lagered it, then dry hopped it at kegging (or a week before bottling). Comments were that it was like a hoppy blonde dopplebock, I called it an IPL. Took a couple months to brew, and two days to drink...damn thing was too tasty.
     
  10. Or there are the old British IPAs that I tend to make once a year. British malt and hops, 1.070 OG and about 65-70 IBUs from EKG. These are harsh early, but after 8 to 12 months are really great. You can then dry hp if you wish. There are many recipes on the "Shut up about Barkley Perkins" site.
     
  11. The reason Lambics can age for 20+ years is due to the low pH.
     
    inchrisin likes this.

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