Hot out....Thinking of Winter

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Boonedog, Jul 15, 2013.

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  1. Boonedog

    Boonedog Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2013 Illinois

    Planning on brewing up a nice hoppy American Stout I can age and enjoy come winter. I guess now is the time to do it.

    One thing I read though is the beer needs to bottle condition in COOL temps. 40-50 degrees.
    Not sure I could find a place that cool to leave it.

    Is "cellaring" for 6 months in the upper 60's lower 70's OK?
     
  2. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2011 Washington

    I'm getting ready to brew an English Barley Wine so it's ready around the holidays. I can't answer your question on fermentation temps, but I've been wondering the same exact thing. From what I've read it seems like bottle conditioning for 4-6 months in the 60 degree range seems fine.
     
  3. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,002) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I condition all my bottles and store them in my cellar. It sits at about 65 in the summer and 60 in the winter. All my beers seem to do all right, homebrew and commercial brewed alike.
     
  4. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I would keep the bottles at room temp for three weeks or a month after packaging. Yeast have a hard time priming these heavy beers. After a month I'd move them to the coolest place I've got room for them. If they sit at room temp, they'll still be delicious.
     
    Boonedog likes this.
  5. pweis909

    pweis909 Meyvn (1,451) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Subscriber

    I think brewing a stout for winter is jumping the gun.
     
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  6. TheMonkfish

    TheMonkfish Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Chad


    I'm planning on doing a double batch imperial stout this weekend. 90* heat be damned. This puppy will be ready for trick or treaters.
     
    inchrisin likes this.
  7. Boonedog

    Boonedog Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2013 Illinois

    3 months perhaps instead of 6 then.
    Also found out my neighbor has a nice dry crawl space I could use. Stays in the 60's in summer and lower after that.
     
  8. sarcastro

    sarcastro Disciple (332) Sep 20, 2006 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    If you want it to be at peak hoppiness when you open it in the winter, I would wait, especially if it isn't going to be refrigerated. Hops fade in stouts just as they fade in IPAs.
     
  9. pweis909

    pweis909 Meyvn (1,451) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Subscriber

    Well, if it's a big high gravity affair, it may want a lot of time. But if it is more restrained, it shouln't need it. And if it is meant to be hoppy, better not to age very long. This is where my thoughts for the OP were coming from.
     
  10. Boonedog

    Boonedog Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2013 Illinois

    So, more of a Barleywine or RIS?
     
  11. pweis909

    pweis909 Meyvn (1,451) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Subscriber

    Sorry, I haven't been making my point clear. You said in your first post "I guess this is the time to do it" and you left me with the impression that you thought you needed to age this beer for six months. If you conduct a well-controlled fermentation, you shouldn't need this much conditioning time for something in the 1.060-1.075 range, which is what I am imagining this beer to be. You could brew this beer and age it for this long and it should be fine, as long as you do not expose it to oxygen. I caution you about the hops fading, though. I just don't think you NEED to brew it now.
     
  12. koopa

    koopa Poo-Bah (1,825) Apr 20, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    And to think I'm about to brew an imperial stout I intend to not drink until winter of 2014!
     
    Dennoman likes this.
  13. pweis909

    pweis909 Meyvn (1,451) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Subscriber

    As I tried to explain in my last post, my comment merely was meant to imply that he should not need to brew such a beer (described as an American stout, which I took to mean lower gravity than an RIS) so far in advance.

    Aside from the odd sour,brewing beers 6 months in advance is not in my nature. I tend to get thirsty.
     
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,777) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Supporter

    The OP stated: “Planning on brewing up a nice hoppy American Stout I can age and enjoy come winter.”

    If I were to brew a beer that I wanted to have a hop character to it (hop flavor/aroma) I would not age it. I would drink that beer sooner rather than later. If you brew that hoppy American Stout now it will have little hop character (hop flavor/aroma) in 6 months.

    I brewed a Belgian Strong Dark Ale (OG = 1.084) that I bottled on 5/14/13 that I intend to drink in the fall/winter. I must confess that I have been cheating a bit: I had a bottle this past weekend and this beer is already drinking beautifully. I really hope that I have the self-control to hold off drinking this beer.

    Maybe the OP should brew a higher gravity beer style that is not hop forward instead? And maybe you should give the bottled beers to a non-beer drinking friend, neighbor, or family member so that the beer lasts until winter. If I had somebody I could trust I would give them my BSDA beers to hold for me.

    Cheers!
     
    pweis909 likes this.
  15. udubdawg

    udubdawg Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2006 Kansas

    I've never tried this without a keg but I think some of the late hop character can be added later. There's just a few styles where I do this, most notably Imperial Stout and English IPA - I leave in a keg to age for months, then dry hop, then bottle. I prefer to keep them cool and as previously mentioned in a keg, but if one was careful and had a completely full secondary container they could age it at cellar temps without many concerns.
     
  16. koopa

    koopa Poo-Bah (1,825) Apr 20, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I've had plenty of great hoppy stouts and hoppy barleywines that were aged for a good amount of time and then dry hopped shortly before they were served to capture the best of both worlds.
     
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,777) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Supporter

    Since the OP mentioned: “Is "cellaring" for 6 months …” I assumed that he was bottling his beers and then cellaring them; I associate the term “cellaring” with beers that have been bottled. If he wants to “condition” his beer in a secondary (carboy, better bottle, keg) for 5-6 months and then dry hop just prior to packaging (and drinking) that would indeed work. I personally would not use the word “cellaring” to describe this process.

    Cheers!
     
  18. koopa

    koopa Poo-Bah (1,825) Apr 20, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    To me personally, the terms "cellaring" and "conditioning" both refer to the process of "conditioning beer by storing it at cellar temperatures" and the vessel used is of no consequence. (hair split!)
     
  19. jae

    jae Initiate (188) Feb 21, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I just finished my winter brewing with a nice big Dark Strong (an RIS & a dark saison before that). I bulk age in secondary to resist extreme temp fluctuations and will bottle in the fall.
     
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