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Aging Mid-Strength Beers

I know high strength beers generally need to be aged for months. Is there a rule of thumb for mid-strength beers (e.g., 6-8% ABV)

I have exclusively brewed <6% ABV beers since I started brewing about a year ago. I recently brewed one that finished at 7.1% and want to ensure I’ve got a good game plan. I package in bottles.

I just taste every so often & drink when I like it. I like to put a few bottles aside to forget about to see how they age over a long time. if I don’t drink them all first. :roll:

The rule of thumb is that there is no set rule. Personally, I like to age most beers over 6.5% for at least 3-4 months, but only you can decide when any beer ready to enjoy. I know brewers who brew big “Old Ales” and consume the batches before they even reach 2 months (mine age for at least 12 months+).

On a side note: is an 8% beer really considered to be “mid strength” these days???
That certainly pushes the old claim of beer being the “beverage of moderation” right out the door! :shock:
Just the American penchant for supersizing everything, I suppose.

Perhaps I should have phrased the question differently. I know I can taste test and each batch will perform a bit differently. I’m not completely devoid of common sense. :wink: I was just wondering if guys who have done enough batches in this range have developed general guidelines over time that they have found work well.

[quote=“The Professor”]
On a side note: is an 8% beer really considered to be “mid strength” these days???
That certainly pushes the old claim of beer being the “beverage of moderation” right out the door! :shock:
Just the American penchant for supersizing everything, I suppose.[/quote]

I’m sure if you ask 10 different people, you’ll get 10 different scales. I’m making this up as I type, but I would classify strength as follows:
<5% = session beer
5-6% = regular strength
6-8% = mid-strength

8% = high strength

Not that any of this matters.

On my own side note: It’s killing me that I can’t fit the beer that inspired this post into a specific BJCP style. Not that I’ll be submitting to a contest. I’m just a classification geek.

Perhaps I should have phrased the question differently. I know I can taste test and each batch will perform a bit differently. I’m not completely devoid of common sense. :wink: I was just wondering if guys who have done enough batches in this range have developed general guidelines over time that they have found work well.[/quote]
yeah, but those are my general guidelines. :lol:

[quote=“kcbeersnob”]
On my own side note: It’s killing me that I can’t fit the beer that inspired this post into a specific BJCP style. Not that I’ll be submitting to a contest. I’m just a classification geek.[/quote]

Don’t let it kill you! And if you’re not competition bound, don’t get too hung up on the BJCP stuff: the guidelines were developed for amateur competition. They serve a good purpose there (even if along the way they’re guilty of creating a mistaken belief that the guidelines are somehow the last word regarding “styles”). Of course, in the real world, they are of little importance.
There are and always have been great beers that don’t fit neatly into the sometimes nitpicky amateur competition definitions.
:cheers:

I like my dark stuff to age about 6 months (the first taste is around 3, though, which leads me to drink it around month 4). Lighter would go 3 months. I wait 1 week before consumption to dry hop my IPA’s. That helps me not drink them because they’re not ready without the dryhop.

:cheers:

Yeah. You’re going to get a lot of answers.

The way I have done it is this:

I usually just treat 6% beers like normal. Maybe 4 months and I’ll drink them.

Anything above 8% gets done this way. I put half of the batch in corked 750 ml bottles to age for a year minimum. The other half gets put into 12oz bottles to be tasted throughout the aging process.

The only problem, which isnt huge I guess, is that my storage space is limited, so I cant brew as many big beers as I’d like. I would love to have a really cool full on temperature controlled cellar cause Im a wine fan too. Day dreaming…

Thanks to all who shared their thoughts. My original plan was to be ready to roll for Thanksgiving, which will be about 3 months following brew day–so should be in good shape.

I bottled last night and it actually tasted very nice–much improved over the gravity sample I tasted at week 3. Will start stealing samples after a few weeks in the bottle.

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