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Aging

I am finding that my beers are much better after aging for about a month in the bottle. I did a Dead Ringer IPA and it was horrible after two weeks, four weeks just so so really did not care for it. Two months in the bottle awesome. I did a Irish Red two weeks in the bottle so-so. Month later much much better. My question comes down am I rushing the beer thru the primary and secondary or is that just the nature of the beers I have chosen. Secondly if/when I go to kegging will I have the same “issues”. Or is kegging better for “lighter” beers?

How long do you have it in the primary/secondary?

Each beer is going to have it’s peak time. Keg or bottle should make no difference.

If you are letting beer alone for 6-8 weeks from the day you brew it - that is not really “aging.” I find that the majority of my beers are never at their best in less than 6 weeks. Depending on the beers, 6-12 weeks is their “prime.” Lighter beers, dry hop beers, maybe in the 6-10 weeks. Bigger beers, higher alcohol, more flavors, etc. 8-12 or even 16, 20 weeks. Unless you are getting at least 6 months, and more likely year+, that would be more in the realm of “aging.”

Most “normal” beers (under 1.060, no spices, unique additions, etc.) do not benefit from “aging.” But if you are drinking your beer in 3-5 weeks of the day you brewed it, you are likely pulling the trigger a little on the quick side in my opinion.

not much difference in keg or bottle in this regard, although you can carbonate faster in keg.

I usually leave in the primary until the krausen has settled and the gravity is constant at least two weeks. Secondary is usually 2 weeks sometimes three. Bottle condition for minimum of two.

My thought is that my beers are finishing in the bottle (if that is possible). I really would really like to keg but holding a keg for a month or two before starting to drink seems a little long.

It’s not just the beers that you have chosen. In my experience, I find that most beers really taste the best after about 6 weeks from brew day to drinking. I usually leave them in primary for at least 2 weeks, sometimes 3 then keg and “try” not to drink them for at least 3 weeks. They are drinkable but after sitting for 4-5 weeks in the keg is when I really think they are best. Some bigger, heavier, hoppier beers tend to need a little more time than that.

I had the same experience with bottles. Others will probably chime in with “brew more, more often” so you always have something coming ready every week. It’s great advice, I now have 10 kegs filled and 4 more batches in fermentors right now so I will have something new to try every week for about 10 weeks!

[quote=“mainemike68”]It’s not just the beers that you have chosen. In my experience, I find that most beers really taste the best after about 6 weeks from brew day to drinking. I usually leave them in primary for at least 2 weeks, sometimes 3 then keg and “try” not to drink them for at least 3 weeks. They are drinkable but after sitting for 4-5 weeks in the keg is when I really think they are best. Some bigger, heavier, hoppier beers tend to need a little more time than that.

I had the same experience with bottles. Others will probably chime in with “brew more, more often” so you always have something coming ready every week. It’s great advice, I now have 10 kegs filled and 4 more batches in fermentors right now so I will have something new to try every week for about 10 weeks![/quote]
This bears out in my experience as well. I’ve only been brewing for a couple of years, but I’ve not yet tasted a beer that I thought was at its best less than 8 weeks from brew day (although I do not brew a lot of hoppy beers). For most beers below 1.060, I will ferement for two weeks, secondary for two weeks to clear (lots of varying opinions on this step), and bottle condition for four weeks. Over 1.060, I will usually let the beer sit for 12 weeks (2, 6 ,4) from brew day before drinking. Bigger beers would get more time in secondary.

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