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Beer Storage... "Cellering"

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by ZachKelly, Sep 9, 2013.

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  1. ZachKelly

    ZachKelly Devotee (431) Dec 25, 2012 Virginia

    So, this may come off as pretty dimwitted, but, after reading many and many posts about aging beers, I am in possession of a few that I would like to keep for a while.

    So the question is, how do you store your beers? Just put them in the liquor cabinet and let the magic happen? Or do you have conditions or ways that you like to set them up in?
  2. Lutter

    Lutter Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    Ya know, there's any entire forum on this...

    General consensus is at 55 degrees (with some variance up and down) in a controlled environment (fridge w/ temp controller, wine storage, temp controlled room, etc...).

    Some peeps just stick things in the back of their closet or in whatever area is the coolest in your house (see: cellar/basement if you're up north)... which is fine for short term aging, IMHO (1-2 years), but can really ruin a beer after that.
    tx_beer_man and ZachKelly like this.
  3. ZachKelly

    ZachKelly Devotee (431) Dec 25, 2012 Virginia

    Thanks, I was looking around for posts about it and saw a few things. Much like you, I am in a southern state and I don't have a cellar. Might look into buying a wine cooler type device or something for more long term storage.
  4. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2013 Florida

    Wrong comes to mind... put a thermometer in my pantry here in the devils urinal (florida), and its 60 Degrees there. aged BCBS for 5 years tasted like God's ejaculate.

    Lots of people dont grasp the resilience of beer. Yes there is a temperature that is ideal but that doesn't mean you need to climate control the area you keep your beer. As a general rule of thumb, just dont treat it like a jug of apple juice. but it in a nice dark area and loving crave it :slight_smile:
    youradhere and ZachKelly like this.
  5. youradhere

    youradhere Devotee (490) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I would say so long as it stays in a "lesser used" room, and it stays in the AC temp range (65-80) you should be fine. Yes someone will come along and say that temp range is blasphemy and will ruin all beer for everyone, but you know what? There is more than one way to skin a cat. IMO, the warmer temp will keep the yeast alive and active, so it isn't a bad thing. Que the chemist's input on chemical reactions; oh well, the beer tastes just fine to me and I've been doing my way of storing/cellaring beer for over a decade.

    Some beers you won't want to store forever, I'm sure you are aware of this already- just an anecdote, I love Abyss, however after many vertical tastings along with solo sessions I have come to the conclusion that I don't think it fairs well after 3 years. I just like it fresher. JW Lees and Tom Hardy? Bring on the tobacco and prunes, the older the better! I've only had one bad bottle of TH, it was a 1993 I believe, tasted like candied lunch meat- which is what yeast autolisis tastes like, from over heating and killing the yeast. I traded for that bottle, however my other TH, as well as many other brews have been stored at what would be considered the "high end" of cellar temps with no noticeable flaw.

    I'm just trying to convey to you the point that you don't need an expensive wine fridge for your collection, but this is a hobby of frivolity, so if you have your heart set on something, then I recommend you go all stainless, either True or Frigidaire commercial grade. None of this pansy Home Depot dorm fridge stuff :slight_smile:
    atone315, ZachKelly and Charlemagne like this.
  6. MikeT77

    MikeT77 Aspirant (207) Jul 2, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    I live in NY (Long Island). My basement is kept at 65 in the winter and usually doesn't stray far from that in the sunmer. We also keep a dehumidifier down there as well. In the unfinished section is where I keep my cellar. It's usually cooler there than the finished side (at the temps above). There's also a small window that lets in a little light, but that doesn't come close to where the cellared beer is stored. In the past 8-10 years I've never had a problem with a bad bottle due to the temperature.
  7. Dupage25

    Dupage25 Aspirant (283) Jul 4, 2013 Antarctica

    I would be nervous if the temperature was consistently above 80F or consistently below 35F. Otherwise, dark, still, and upright is the way to go.
  8. kdb150

    kdb150 Devotee (472) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    No. Time longer than 1-2 years is what ruins most beers. I've had 6-7 year old beers stored in what many would consider very poor cellaring conditions - we're talking temperatures that vary over the course of a year probably between 45 and 80 degrees, depending on the season. Some were absolutely sublime.

    I wouldn't recommend people store beer in this manner if they can avoid it, but any old cool dark place will serve just fine for the purpose of beer storage, even long-term.
  9. OldPenguinHunter

    OldPenguinHunter Initiate (0) Oct 13, 2010 California

    I agree, I think beer is more resilient than we think it is. That being said, I thing stability for long long haul is the most important. This is sort of the rule of thumb for wine: Cool, stable, dark, and slightly damp. On a side note: what I find interesting are the the sherry, Madeira, and Port notes beer gets when it is aged and that Madeira is really just improperly stored, oxidized fortified wine. So finding these notes in beer would lend me question how far you can really push a beer? Has anyone ever broken a barley wine from general storage (aside from leaving it in the car on a nice Texas summer day?), if so, what beer? how long, conditions, etc... Another question you have to ask yourself is how the store you bought the beer from stored the beer and how the distributor handled the beer before you got it...
  10. FightOnRaul

    FightOnRaul Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2013 California

    I'm definitely new to beer cellaring but I feel like I have most of the basics down: dark, upright, between x and y degree temps.

    I have a question about serving the beer when I bring it out of the cellar; do I serve it as is when it comes out of the cellar? should I stick it in the fridge for an hour or two and then serve? should i leave it in the fridge over night and then serve?

    Any tips are greatly appreciated!
  11. youradhere

    youradhere Devotee (490) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Beer Trader

    It just depends on your mood. Thomas Hardys I drink with about an hour of fridge time; Abyss is overnight in the fridge, then I let the bottle warm on the counter as I drink through it. Lambics I drink straight from the cellar. Your methods may vary, please drink responsibly, fat chicks needs lovins too.
  12. argyle324

    argyle324 Initiate (152) Aug 27, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I'm relatively new to cellaring, too. I recently moved and we took our refrigerator to the new house. I had previously stored my beers in a cooler in the crawl space. I kept two digital thermometers in the cooler and the cooler, and the temps ranged from 63-70 degrees. Now, I use the second refrigerator and the humidity and temperatures are lower (it just reached 45 degrees today, after slowly rising from 38 since we moved). We're using the refrigerator for other stuff, too, so I don't want to turn the temperature up too high. Is 45 degrees good for cellaring, or should I move back to my cooler?
  13. surlytheduff

    surlytheduff Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2010 Tajikistan
    Beer Trader


    That, and in cardboard boxes in my basement.
    BrettHead likes this.
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