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Offline Tolann

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What do I need to start cellaring?
« on: November 14, 2009, 06:27:02 PM »
OK, nothing too fancy.  I don't plan on aging anything much past a year or 2.  Besides a dark, dry place where the temperature doesn't fluctuate too much, what else do I need?  Well, beer, but that's a different topic.  Anyone have some tips to share?  What style do you think age best?  Any newbie cellar must haves?  I once kept a bottle of Deschutes XX for about 1.5 years (this required jedi mind tricks to hide it from myself) then tasted it with some friends next to a fresher XXI and wow what a difference!
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Offline Oxymoron

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2009, 07:53:58 PM »
A beer closet. 

Ideally it would be nice to have a freezer/fridge with a temp controller.  BUT for just starting out just up some good beers that would age well.  Certain styles are key here.  Higher ABV and bug beers.  Pick out 4~5 (more if you want) and just buy anywhere from 6 to a case and put in your closet.  Buy them every year for at least 3 years.  The hard part is just to forget about them.

We have a lot to chose from in CO.  GD, Avery, Deschutes, Lost Abbey, Bruery, Odells, Goose Island BCS, Russian River (specialties), plus a boat load more.

I have a buddy who buys a case of Bigfoot every year.  On Feb 21st every year, he opens one up of each year.  Has a traded for a few prior to starting his case collection, but has been going since 2001.

Offline Oxymoron

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2009, 07:55:36 PM »
certain beers you can trade for or buy online.  For instance I buy Bell's Expedition from Archer Liquor online.  And Alesmith from South Bay Drugs.

Online howardf

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2009, 07:57:45 PM »
Unfiltered Lambics/Gueuze, Imperial Stouts, Barleywines.  Those new 4-packs of Yeti would work really nice to have one a year.  Bigfoot is also a nice value option.

Offline Lum

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 06:27:37 PM »
+1 for Bigfoot

Any barleywine, really.  And sours.  Sweet Baby Jesus, sours are a must  :yes:
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Offline Phish

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2009, 07:41:08 PM »
+1 for Bigfoot

Any barleywine, really.  And sours.  Sweet Baby Jesus, sours are a must  :yes:
Gueuze Marriage Parfait, Girardin Black Label, Cantillon Lou Pepe Gueuze.

Offline NFLMVP

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2009, 09:11:04 PM »
+1 for Bigfoot

Any barleywine, really.  And sours.  Sweet Baby Jesus, sours are a must  :yes:

GD I wish I could get on the sours bandwagon.  Everyone seems orgasmic over them and I just want IN.
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Offline smellysell

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2009, 10:39:42 PM »
+1 for Bigfoot

Any barleywine, really.  And sours.  Sweet Baby Jesus, sours are a must  :yes:

GD I wish I could get on the sours bandwagon.  Everyone seems orgasmic over them and I just want IN.

Do you like sour food/candy?


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Offline NFLMVP

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2009, 10:58:36 PM »
+1 for Bigfoot

Any barleywine, really.  And sours.  Sweet Baby Jesus, sours are a must  :yes:

GD I wish I could get on the sours bandwagon.  Everyone seems orgasmic over them and I just want IN.

Do you like sour food/candy?

 :meh:
Take good care of your beer and your beer will take good care of you.

Offline Lum

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2009, 07:18:11 AM »
+1 for Bigfoot

Any barleywine, really.  And sours.  Sweet Baby Jesus, sours are a must  :yes:
Gueuze Marriage Parfait, Girardin Black Label, Cantillon Lou Pepe Gueuze.

ANY Cantillon  :pickle:
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Offline Tolann

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2009, 07:19:20 PM »
Thanks for the replies!  I have a small collection growing:
Deschutes Abyss
Barrel Aged Hibernation
GI Bourbon County Stout
Redhook  Trebelhook Barley wine
Bells Expedition Stout
Founders Breakfast Stout
Alesmith 2008 Decadence (Barley wine)
Surly 2009 Darkness

Any that you'd recommend drinking now and not trying to age?  Its going to be hard to keep my hands off them for a while.  I don't plan to age them too long, maybe a year or 2 is all. 

Thanks for the style suggestions too.  I'm not big into sour beers.  I guess I have much more to learn about them to really appreciate them.
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Offline Fred

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2009, 08:38:03 PM »
Thanks for the replies!  I have a small collection growing:
Deschutes Abyss
Barrel Aged Hibernation
GI Bourbon County Stout
Redhook  Trebelhook Barley wine
Bells Expedition Stout
Founders Breakfast Stout
Alesmith 2008 Decadence (Barley wine)
Surly 2009 Darkness

Any that you'd recommend drinking now and not trying to age?  Its going to be hard to keep my hands off them for a while.  I don't plan to age them too long, maybe a year or 2 is all. 

Thanks for the style suggestions too.  I'm not big into sour beers.  I guess I have much more to learn about them to really appreciate them.

The Bourbon County and Expedition can essentially age forever.  They will last as long as your willpower does.
The Darkness should be drank fresh.  It is a hoppy beer and that will fade within 4-6 months.
What year is the Abyss?  Opinions range on it, and each year has been different enough from the previous ones that it will make a difference.
The barleywines should be fine for 2-3 years, but I have no experience aging any of the ones you've mentioned.
Breakfast Stout will begin to lose the coffee flavors after about a year.  6+ months for aging, tops.
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Offline Tolann

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2009, 01:40:51 AM »
Thanks for the replies!  I have a small collection growing:
Deschutes Abyss
Barrel Aged Hibernation
GI Bourbon County Stout
Redhook  Trebelhook Barley wine
Bells Expedition Stout
Founders Breakfast Stout
Alesmith 2008 Decadence (Barley wine)
Surly 2009 Darkness

Any that you'd recommend drinking now and not trying to age?  Its going to be hard to keep my hands off them for a while.  I don't plan to age them too long, maybe a year or 2 is all. 

Thanks for the style suggestions too.  I'm not big into sour beers.  I guess I have much more to learn about them to really appreciate them.

The Bourbon County and Expedition can essentially age forever.  They will last as long as your willpower does.
The Darkness should be drank fresh.  It is a hoppy beer and that will fade within 4-6 months.
What year is the Abyss?  Opinions range on it, and each year has been different enough from the previous ones that it will make a difference.
The barleywines should be fine for 2-3 years, but I have no experience aging any of the ones you've mentioned.
Breakfast Stout will begin to lose the coffee flavors after about a year.  6+ months for aging, tops.

the expedition stout and the breakfast stout will be hard for me to keep too long.  so keeping them even longer than 6 mo would be hard cuz I really love these beers.  Aging them is kind of an experiment with them to see if they'll get even better.

The Abyss is new this year.  I just picked it up.   

Hibernation I love this time of year.  The Barrel age is a lil extra special that I thin would benefit with some time on it.

Surly Darkness will be hard to keep away from too.  I'm really excited for it.  I'll have a bottle to try fresh and a bottle to put away for a few months or as long as I can stand.

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Offline James Kitchens

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2009, 07:22:03 PM »

Breakfast Stout will begin to lose the coffee flavors after about a year.  6+ months for aging, tops.

Mine have been fine for up to 2 years with the coffee and other flavors. I actually have bottles from 2006 to 2008 (have the 2009s come out yet? I should really know this....). The 2006 bottles were still showing notable coffee even earlier this year. I only have a few of the 2006 ones left, so I'll see soon enough how they've done lately.

As for where I store them, I keep most of them in the wine storage unit I have, and keep it at 57'. All the bottles are in the basement which is around 55-57 year round here. I also have a case-plus of Stone RIS on the shelves now, since I couldn't find room in the unit for them. I think those are a year old.

Most of the ones I have I've bought myself, but several are through trades. I also focus on Old Ales as a style that cellars well. The Founders Curmudgeon is a great example of that. As is the North Coast Old Stock. Don't have much experience with porters personally. However, I can say that the Cantillon Lou Pepe is amazing with some age. I think I still have one bottle left of the 2001. And over the years, that one has changed from remarkably mouth puckering tart, to just sour tart, to a ruby red grapefruit type sweet/tart. Simply an amazing bottle. Wish I could find more of it.

I have also done my fair share of experiments with other styles that don't really cellar well. And Furley does a lot of experimenting with aging Double IPAs for years. Feel free to ask him. However, the Goose Island Imperial IPA does decently well with age. It's not uber hoppy as usual, but still very enjoyable. Same for Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. Almost turns into a super barleywine. But then again, it's 21% ABV.


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Offline beastiefan2k

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2009, 02:34:56 AM »
Thanks for the replies!  I have a small collection growing:
Deschutes Abyss
Barrel Aged Hibernation
GI Bourbon County Stout
Redhook  Trebelhook Barley wine
Bells Expedition Stout
Founders Breakfast Stout
Alesmith 2008 Decadence (Barley wine)
Surly 2009 Darkness

Any that you'd recommend drinking now and not trying to age?  Its going to be hard to keep my hands off them for a while.  I don't plan to age them too long, maybe a year or 2 is all. 

Thanks for the style suggestions too.  I'm not big into sour beers.  I guess I have much more to learn about them to really appreciate them.
I guess here are my 2 cents.  I never age barrel aged non-sour beer.  They are usually already pretty damn oxidated, so I don't need more.  I do not like to age Impy Stouts, with roast and sharp malt flavors the key in those beers, age will just not add anything I want.  Of course there are always exceptions to the rule and people seem to love aged BCS.
I would agree on drinking the Darkness, its just so good with the fresh hoppiness, I frankly couldn't care what happens with time.  I thought very differently about last years version.
I am pretty sure Treblehook is pretty damn filtered and not bottle conditioned, but age it anyway since its sucks badly as is.

I would recommend aging Samichlaus (7-20), Rogue Old Crusty (5-8), traditional lambics (as long as you want), and Orval (1-5)

Offline everetends

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2009, 08:11:02 PM »
Just start off with a beer closet, that is pretty much what I have.  I put up some sheets to further insulate and keep the temp from fluxing. 

As far as what beers to age, I most stick with big stouts, barleywines and whatnot.  Basically if I try it and I think it is a bit too crazy in one direction or the other, I throw a bottle in the cellar and try to keep it there til the temptation is too much.  Cellaring is really good fun once you get into it and it gets easier with time.  Once you have a cellared beer next to a fresh one, cellaring kind of becomes a little bit of game.  Its good times.  :beerbang:
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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2009, 08:15:06 PM »
Once you have a cellared beer next to a fresh one, cellaring kind of becomes a little bit of game.  Its good times.  :beerbang:

This. I'm putting me together a couple of six packs of aged Expedition. Major event when it's finished.
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Offline Lum

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2009, 09:48:24 AM »
Once you have a cellared beer next to a fresh one, cellaring kind of becomes a little bit of game.  Its good times.  :beerbang:

This. I'm putting me together a couple of six packs of aged Expedition. Major event when it's finished.

Sweet Jesus - I just stickied myself.
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Offline blackdog1101

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2010, 04:55:24 PM »
On a related question to the OP's, my house doesn't have a true "cellar" per se.  The part of the house that's below grade is all finished and heated, so there's no part of the house that's a nice constant 60 degrees.  I don't intend to go big into cellaring, but I'd like to put back some bigger barleywines to let them age a bit and lose the 'heat" from being so fresh.  Is a 70 degree closet OK for this?
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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2010, 04:58:16 PM »
On a related question to the OP's, my house doesn't have a true "cellar" per se.  The part of the house that's below grade is all finished and heated, so there's no part of the house that's a nice constant 60 degrees.  I don't intend to go big into cellaring, but I'd like to put back some bigger barleywines to let them age a bit and lose the 'heat" from being so fresh.  Is a 70 degree closet OK for this?

In your case it's more important to not have temperature fluctuations than it is to have a 60-degree cellar.  A closet that's pretty stable and out of the light will be fine, but your beers will age a little more "quickly".
Quote from: J-Rod
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Offline KingG

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2010, 08:50:50 PM »
On a related question to the OP's, my house doesn't have a true "cellar" per se.  The part of the house that's below grade is all finished and heated, so there's no part of the house that's a nice constant 60 degrees.  I don't intend to go big into cellaring, but I'd like to put back some bigger barleywines to let them age a bit and lose the 'heat" from being so fresh.  Is a 70 degree closet OK for this?

In your case it's more important to not have temperature fluctuations than it is to have a 60-degree cellar.  A closet that's pretty stable and out of the light will be fine, but your beers will age a little more "quickly".
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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2010, 08:53:36 PM »
On a related question to the OP's, my house doesn't have a true "cellar" per se.  The part of the house that's below grade is all finished and heated, so there's no part of the house that's a nice constant 60 degrees.  I don't intend to go big into cellaring, but I'd like to put back some bigger barleywines to let them age a bit and lose the 'heat" from being so fresh.  Is a 70 degree closet OK for this?

In your case it's more important to not have temperature fluctuations than it is to have a 60-degree cellar.  A closet that's pretty stable and out of the light will be fine, but your beers will age a little more "quickly".
This

Yup.  Can coroborate this from experience.  My apartment closests are almost almost in the low to mid 70s for 2 years now and nothing has gone bad but some of the older shit tastes like it aged to quickly for my tastes :shrug:  You will learn what to do and what you like aged with practice, no one can really tell you any absolutes as far as how to cellar (since tastes vary so much from person to person) besides the basics (try to keep it dry, steady temp range, DARK).
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Offline crayz

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2010, 01:26:43 PM »
I just got my fiance a wine celler thing...Currently its running at 46 degrees.  It this too low to age things?  Should I not keep it in a wine cellar?

Right now i'm just putting beers I plan to drink soon in there...

Offline KingG

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2010, 01:31:21 PM »
I just got my fiance a wine celler thing...Currently its running at 46 degrees.  It this too low to age things?  Should I not keep it in a wine cellar?

Right now i'm just putting beers I plan to drink soon in there...

55 is the ideal cellar (and pouring) temp.

Are the bottles horizontal?
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Offline crayz

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2010, 02:24:06 PM »
I just got my fiance a wine celler thing...Currently its running at 46 degrees.  It this too low to age things?  Should I not keep it in a wine cellar?

Right now i'm just putting beers I plan to drink soon in there...

55 is the ideal cellar (and pouring) temp.

Are the bottles horizontal?

Yes, i've heard mix results...lately as long as their is a good seal, that horizontel is just fine.  Is that not the case?

Offline Lum

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Re: What do I need to start cellaring?
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2010, 02:50:06 PM »
I just got my fiance a wine celler thing...Currently its running at 46 degrees.  It this too low to age things?  Should I not keep it in a wine cellar?

Right now i'm just putting beers I plan to drink soon in there...

55 is the ideal cellar (and pouring) temp.

Are the bottles horizontal?

Yes, i've heard mix results...lately as long as their is a good seal, that horizontel is just fine.  Is that not the case?

Horizontal the beer has more exposure to the trapped air inside than it would if it were standing up - which increases the likelihood of early oxidization.

Make sense?  :yes:

Also, if the beer is on Lees (yeast), laying horizontaly it would be harder to serve without mixing a vast majority - if not all - the yeast in the pour.  Standing up - everything is settled at the bottom.  Hense an easier pour  :banned:

ETA: The constant contact of the beer on the inside of the crown when horizontal can lead to an increased chance of the crown corroding from the inside out ....
« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 02:53:05 PM by Lum »
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