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Cellaring beer

UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA:Redwood City, CA Icrontian
Ever since @ryanmm gave us that excellent opportunity to try some of his more rare cellared beers at Expo this summer, I've been thinking a lot about starting my own collection of rare, one-off, and spectacular west coast beers. I have pretty easy access to some pretty spectacular stuff out here (like Firestone Walker, Stone and Lagunitas) and I'd like to try my hand at holding on to some bottles and seeing how they turn out in a year or so.

Currently I have the following beers stashed away
-Firestone Walker Parabola (2013 vintage)
-Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout (2013 vintage)
-Samuel Adams New World Tripel (2012 vintage)

I've got two questions for those who currently cellar beer:

1. Does storing temperature matter? I've got my beers stashed away in a closet out of view of any sunlight (don't have a basement, lolapartments). As such, I cannot control the temperature in there in any way.

2. Would a barrel-aged tripel, such as the New World Tripel I have, age well at all? I know most beers that age well are quads, stouts, barleywines and other big beers like that. I know high ABV beers last long when aged, but I have no clue if this beer will improve at all over time, especially considering it's a barrel aged tripel. If the returns aren't worth it, I think I may just crack it open and drink it.

Any other general tips from those in the know?
GnomeQueen

Comments

  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Oh god I know where this is going and I'm not ready.
    TeramonaUPSLynxGnomeQueen
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    Lincoln said:

    Oh god I know where this is going and I'm not ready.

    haha! In five years it'll be the California V Michigan beer cellar showdown with me and Ryan trying to one-up each other.

    I want to be this guy some day:



    No seriously. I want that someday.
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    Bump.

    So I've done a little bit of research, and I think I'm going to break out the Sam Adams and open it in another month or so. The beer is bottle conditioned, so aging will have changed the beer, but after talking with some others who have had it or held on it it for a little while, it seems like 6-12 months is the prime age range for a beer like that. Much longer and you get diminishing returns.

    So hmm.. October 4 or 5 might be a good day to open it....
    midgaGnomeQueen
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian
    edited Aug 2013
    UPSLynx said:

    Bump.

    So I've done a little bit of research, and I think I'm going to break out the Sam Adams and open it in another month or so. The beer is bottle conditioned, so aging will have changed the beer, but after talking with some others who have had it or held on it it for a little while, it seems like 6-12 months is the prime age range for a beer like that. Much longer and you get diminishing returns.

    So hmm.. October 4 or 5 might be a good day to open it....

    Why? Is something important happening then? :p
  • oni_delsoni_dels Drunk French Canadian Montréal, Québec. Icrontian
    obviously temperatures matter, try to leave them in slightly cooler than room temp, in a dark cool dry room.
    best if they have cork, they can last for 10 years in some cases...

    also, i'm keeping a 750ml bottle of Fin du Monde (corked bottle) for ten years. i'll bring it to ICExpo in then.
  • BandrikBandrik Elkhart, IN Icrontian
    edited Aug 2013
    image

    Yet another reason one of these would be handy. In a week you have 7-year aged IPAs. A month goes by, and you have all-you-can-drink of 30-year scotch.

    Oh, the possibilities.
  • oni_delsoni_dels Drunk French Canadian Montréal, Québec. Icrontian
    Bandrik said:

    image

    Yet another reason one of these would be handy. In a week you have 7-year aged IPAs. A month goes by, and you have all-you-can-drink of 30-year scotch.

    Oh, the possibilities.

    the scotch would have to be made inside the chamber; once bottled it does not aged since it's not fermenting anymore, it's distilled.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)> Icrontian
    edited Aug 2013
    oni_dels said:

    Bandrik said:

    image

    Yet another reason one of these would be handy. In a week you have 7-year aged IPAs. A month goes by, and you have all-you-can-drink of 30-year scotch.

    Oh, the possibilities.

    the scotch would have to be made inside the chamber; once bottled it does not aged since it's not fermenting anymore, it's distilled.
    You wouldn't want to distill it inside, but you would want to take the barrels in afterwards to age.
  • BandrikBandrik Elkhart, IN Icrontian
    midga said:

    oni_dels said:

    Bandrik said:

    image

    Yet another reason one of these would be handy. In a week you have 7-year aged IPAs. A month goes by, and you have all-you-can-drink of 30-year scotch.

    Oh, the possibilities.

    the scotch would have to be made inside the chamber; once bottled it does not aged since it's not fermenting anymore, it's distilled.
    You wouldn't want to distill it inside, but you would want to take the barrels in afterwards to age.
    Bingo. :)
  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian
    :life:
    oni_dels
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    @lincoln you really gotta fix that smiley, I miss using it. (at least, it's definitely borked on dark theme).

    @pirateninja goddamit. I knew someone wouldn't be able to resist.

    Anyways, in my recent research, it seems a lot of people cellar 12oz bottles just as much, if not more than bigger 1pt 6oz bottles. I was under the impression that the larger bottles were mostly the only thing people cellared since that's often the only way to get the limited, big beers that breweries make. I'm seeing a lot of collections with sixers of specific beers in their cellars. This would make it easier to test the beers over time and find their prime age range, but it seems like a lot of these aren't bottle conditioned. So I'm starting to think bottle conditioning is important, but not the only worthwhile factor when deciding to age a beer.
    oni_dels said:


    best if they have cork, they can last for 10 years in some cases...

    It's interesting, I've seen conflicting reports on the corks in my research. Some say they're great, some say they can ruin the beer. Either way, everyone agrees that they need to be stored upright so the beer doesn't touch and saturate the cork, that'll kill it long time. I had initially stored my New World Tripel on its side (which is corked with a cage), but have since set it upright. Putting bottles on their side also offsets the yeast sediment, so when you go to pour eventually, you can ruin the taste with yeast poured into the glass. Also, if the cork isn't caged, they can be forced out over time and leak beer if they're stored on their side.

    The more research I do, the more I'm fascinated by all of this. I can't wait to get a real house someday, build shelves and temperature control and do this for real.
  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian
    @upslynx I had it fixed and broke it again for a minute (I blame GitHub). Fixt now.
    UPSLynx
  • oni_delsoni_dels Drunk French Canadian Montréal, Québec. Icrontian
    UPSLynx said:



    It's interesting, I've seen conflicting reports on the corks in my research. Some say they're great, some say they can ruin the beer. Either way, everyone agrees that they need to be stored upright so the beer doesn't touch and saturate the cork, that'll kill it long time. I had initially stored my New World Tripel on its side (which is corked with a cage), but have since set it upright. Putting bottles on their side also offsets the yeast sediment, so when you go to pour eventually, you can ruin the taste with yeast poured into the glass. Also, if the cork isn't caged, they can be forced out over time and leak beer if they're stored on their side.

    The more research I do, the more I'm fascinated by all of this. I can't wait to get a real house someday, build shelves and temperature control and do this for real.

    so, yes you have store them standing up, unlike wine. don't worry, the cork is hourglass-shaped so that it won't dry and leak air into the bottle, unlike wine which is why you have to store them in an upside down angle to maintain humidity on the cork

    next, IF you live in a Bacchus forsaken land and your beer cork aren't caged, well try duct taping them or do a makeshift cage with paper clip (i'm half-serious here.)
    to be honest i'm not sure about this one since here all our 750ml bottle, which are called Quille, the french word for bowling pin, are corked and secured with metal caps & wires. Most notably the Unibrou products, but also french and belgium imports.
    UPSLynx
  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Not as tall as Bobby Tallbeer. Twilight Sparkle is overrated. Meechigan Icrontian
    Speaking of Unibroue, I had a Terrible last week and OMGTEHBEST.

    I now have 2 favorite beer styles:
    Barrel aged (Imperial and standard) porters/stouts
    Belgians of all kinds.
    oni_delsUPSLynx
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    I keep my beers in totes in my basement. It stays around 65* down there.

    I only tend to hold on to BBA and special release stouts for the most part. I do a lot of trading on Reddit.com/r/beertrade for stuff that I cant find local.

    UPSLynx
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)> Icrontian
    Woah woah woah. Hold up. Beertrade? This sounds like about the most bestest thing ever ever.
    JBoogaloo
  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian
    YOU ARE CELLAR SHOULD BE
  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian
    image

    Hoarders.
    midgaoni_delsUPSLynxJBoogaloo
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    Hoarding done properly :)
  • oni_delsoni_dels Drunk French Canadian Montréal, Québec. Icrontian
    edited Aug 2013
    BuddyJ said:

    image

    Hoarders.

    i have this in bottles, not cans. without duplicates... (although all empties)
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    MAGIC said:

    I keep my beers in totes in my basement. It stays around 65* down there.

    I only tend to hold on to BBA and special release stouts for the most part. I do a lot of trading on Reddit.com/r/beertrade for stuff that I cant find local.

    whoooooaaaaa. This is a really, really great resource. Thanks for the link!!

    I'm hearing purists say that 58 degrees, NO HIGHER!!!11 for cellar temp, but I'm of the mind that I don't care -that- much. I doubt I'd notice a difference between an aged beer at 65 degrees compared to 58. Eventually, if I have a home and the means to control temp I'd probably stick closer to 58 just for fun sake, but basement temps sound just fine to me.
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    Yeah, I've kept beers for over a year at or around 60-65 and have had no problems.
  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian
    Cellars. Basements. Must be nice...
    UPSLynxmidga
  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian
    RyanMM said:

    I'll have to add "cellaring beer post" to my to-do list.

    And it will go on the front page. :D

    PirateNinjaGnomeQueenBobbyDigi
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