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Author Topic: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?  (Read 1488 times)

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Offline nase

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Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« on: May 13, 2008, 09:24:04 PM »
This is an off-the-cuff poll..less interested in yes vs. no than just seeing what beers/vintages you guys have had experience with..

Recently for me:

Alesmith Decadence 2006: Waited a bit too long
HOTD Doggie Claws 2006: Waited too long
HOTD Adam Batch 59: WAY too early (still VERY carbonated and VERY boozy) I intend to hold onto Batch 67 for at least five years after this bottle.
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Offline Tip Top

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 09:25:05 PM »
Generally no so far, but this could change as I drink more of the cellar.

Offline KingG

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2008, 01:30:52 AM »
I've been pretty on the money for the most part.
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Offline Kegergator

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2008, 09:41:13 AM »
HOTD Doggie Claws 2006: Waited too long

No you didn't
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Offline Fred

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2008, 12:14:46 PM »
HOTD Doggie Claws 2006: Waited too long

No you didn't

I haven't had one fresh, but wasn't impressed with the 2005 I tried.  Maybe I just needed to give it more time?
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Offline mr. furley

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2008, 12:23:30 PM »
i don't even know how to answer this one.

have people really sampled enough vintages of particular beers at different stages to say when they're good and not good?

something like a Bell's Third Coast, OK.. after 6 months it's probably dead. but something like Third Coast Old Ale :shrug:.  is it best right away? after 6 months? a year? 5 years?

what characteristics are to be looked for in a beer like that? at a year is the toffee coming out? what if i don't like toffee?

did Larry Bell make the beer to bloom at 3 1/2 years and no sooner or later?

:coffee:
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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2008, 12:42:02 PM »
HOTD Doggie Claws 2006: Waited too long

No you didn't

I haven't had one fresh, but wasn't impressed with the 2005 I tried.  Maybe I just needed to give it more time?

We had an '01 at the San Diego tasting and it was really great.
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Offline nase

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2008, 07:57:48 PM »
I'm having a hard time finding a good source of information for the science behind aging beer.  Any suggestions?

My take on HOTD Doggie Claws 06 was that a) it wasnt very boozy, b) it was already quite sweet, and c) the mouthfeel was a little thin.  It seemed to me that the alcohol had already done its due diligence to this bottle, then again, I'm still trying to figure out just how aging works.
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Offline KingG

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2008, 08:16:13 PM »
In general, an aged beer is COMPLETELY different than the same one fresh and thus should be treated as a completely different beer. 
For example:
Double Bastard fresh (1-6 months):
Appearance: Nice off-whiet head with tons of lacing. Amber/red colored brew that's clear.
Flavor: Grapefruit and piney hops, caramel and crystal malts in the background.
OVERALL: True American Strong Ale with a big hop presence.

Double Bastard Aged (1.5-5 years):
Appearance: No head. Very murky, rust and brick-colored.
Flavor: Rich, caramel malty flavors. Toffee with subtle chocolate. Thin hop presence.
OVERALL: Turned into a malt bomb barleywine/Old Ale.

Completely different beers and should be treated as such, whether you prefer the fresh one or the aged one.

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Offline KingG

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2008, 08:22:30 PM »
BTW, I truly believe that most aged beers are an acquired taste.
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Offline Westside Threat

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2008, 08:57:27 PM »
I'm having a hard time finding a good source of information for the science behind aging beer.  Any suggestions?

My take on HOTD Doggie Claws 06 was that a) it wasnt very boozy, b) it was already quite sweet, and c) the mouthfeel was a little thin.  It seemed to me that the alcohol had already done its due diligence to this bottle, then again, I'm still trying to figure out just how aging works.

There's a guy on RB who has devoted a site to it.  Be damned if I can remember his user name or site.  I'll IM someone over there and get the url
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Offline Westside Threat

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2008, 09:06:54 PM »
Here it is

Brew Basement
Should we take a cab home, Jesus?
Shit man, we can hoof it from here.
I know you can walk on water...
But can you walk on this much beer?

Offline nase

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2008, 10:56:36 PM »
Here it is

Brew Basement

Perfect!  Is diacetyl literally buttery?  There has sometimes been a "stale" taste to some of my beers; just not sure if it has anything to do with diacetyl.  I'll give the brewing science articles a read.
[urbanhack] 12:17 am: i worked golf coruse maintenance in high school and used to masterbate to the women's league in the woods

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Offline KingG

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2008, 11:29:31 PM »
Here it is

Brew Basement

Perfect!  Is diacetyl literally buttery?  There has sometimes been a "stale" taste to some of my beers; just not sure if it has anything to do with diacetyl.  I'll give the brewing science articles a read.
That sounds like oxidation, kinda like wet cardboard.
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Offline mr. furley

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2015, 02:38:58 PM »
just about 1 year was perfect for the CW 17
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Offline Initiative

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2015, 12:51:46 AM »
just about 1 year was perfect for the CW 17

Agreed, had one about 3 weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. 
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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2015, 01:29:52 AM »
What was it like fresh?
How did it change?
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Offline mr. furley

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2015, 07:12:51 AM »
What was it like fresh?
How did it change?

to my tastes, it's hot, pretty boozy and not very nuanced. the steam seems to have gone out of the burn.  it was silky smooth, the bourbon was more in the background instead of dominating the entire experience.
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Offline JJ

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2015, 07:44:14 AM »
Speaking of this anyone have a Founders Deca recently?
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Offline Initiative

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2015, 12:19:10 PM »
Speaking of this anyone have a Founders Deca recently?
I am curious as well, but don't have high hopes for it.
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Offline skinnyguy

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2015, 10:54:43 PM »
Here it is

Brew Basement

Perfect!  Is diacetyl literally buttery?  There has sometimes been a "stale" taste to some of my beers; just not sure if it has anything to do with diacetyl.  I'll give the brewing science articles a read.


Stale, dusty, wet cardboard, "zesty," papery, are all descriptors of oxidation.

Diacetyl is literally buttery. It is the same chemical used for movie theater popcorn. It can come across as butterscotch as well. Sometimes you may not taste it (and everyone has different levels of sensitivity to it), but you can get it in the texture. It leaves a slickness on the tongue.

Edit- The most common cause of diacetyl is incomplete fermentation. The usual culprit is temperature, being either too cold or falling as fermentation tails off. I always raise temps slightly as things settle down. Infection can also cause diacetyl, as some bacteria are notorious producers. Watch for craft tap lines at bars that don't sell much craft, as the taps can be full of diacetyl.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 11:08:32 PM by skinnyguy »

Offline skinnyguy

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Re: Do You Age Beer Too Little or Too Long?
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2015, 11:01:26 PM »
And for the OP question, I definitely have a lot of stuff aged too long. Too much trading for a long time, and an unwilingness to open things without someone to share it with left me with many things with too many years on.

Oxidation is the number one enemy of cellaring too long. Packaging by the brewer is the biggest factor in a bad aged beer in my opinion. Avery has some issues with that. Even some sours can have bad oxidation issues.

Otherwise, things can get too muddled and the alcohols can get too vinous but I usually don't find that too be an issue. Personally I like barleywines and imperial stouts once the hops have faded and the alcohols have had a chance to oxidize a little bit (in a good way with the tiny amounts in the bottle naturally), taking on vinous, peppery or fruit notes.

One of the best beers I've had was a ten year old sour. I would almost never age something unless I was able to try one relatively young as well.