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How long will my beer last?

Home brewers:

I need a bit of advice. I’m a casual home brewer. I’ve produced eight or nine batches over the last year or two. I really enjoy it. But I’m still basically a novice who uses extract kits, etc.

My fiancee and I are getting married in July 2012. I’d like to create a ‘wedding brew’ – not for people to guzzle at our reception, but as ‘favors,’ in which every guest takes home a nicely wrapped 22 oz. bottle of home brew at the end of the night.

We may very well have 200 guests. So this is going to be something of a challenge.

I figure that I’m going to have to brew 8-10 times between now and July in order to produce the necessary volume of beer. So I’d like to get started soon. But I’m also wary of starting too soon, and then my beer losing its hoppiness, going bad, etc, by the time we get married.

What I’m looking for is advice on a good, relatively inexpensive, relatively easy Northern Brewer extract kit that I could begin brewing in November, that will still taste delicious in July. I’d originally wanted to do a wheat beer or an IPA, but I realize their flavors may go south quickly. Am I better off with something darker? Is there a good IPA that will do the trick? Etc.

Thanks much in advance for your help.

How about something designed to be aged for a while? Like a barleywine. You could label it as an “anniversary ale” and “best if consumed on July XX, 2013 or 2014 or 2015” where XX is your wedding date.

Thanks! Anniversary ale is a great name. But I’m really hoping to do beer instead of barley wine. Have a beer recommendation?

I would do a Belgian. Try NB’s Patersbier. It’s a fantastic beer. Very simple to make (1 grain, 1 hop, 1 yeast, water) and gets better with age. I assume the extract version is even easier than the all grain. But if you have a stove, 2 large pots and a mesh grain bag, you can easily do the all grain version. Just google ‘All grain BIAB’. It’s quite easy. I’ve been using this method for about 6 months now with great success and great beer!

Terrific. Thank you! I’ve actually brewed NB’s Patersbier before, and really like it. Glad to hear that it gets better with age. I may very well go with that option. Thanks.

That’s the one I’d go with. It’s easy, ages well and is the most well received beer I’ve made so far in terms of everyone liking it. It’s a crowd pleaser. BMC drinkers like it because its “light” but with some great flavor and craft beer drinkers like it because it has a pretty complex flavor from the Trappist yeast that can be appreciated by all.

Congratulations in advance. :cheers: Barley wine is beer. It’s strong and ages well. Not a beer for everyone, though.

If you are going to brew 8-10 batches and all the same type, I would suggest you buy in bulk rather than kits. Before I went all grain, I would purchase 50 lb bags of DME. It came out to $2.05 per lb. buy your hops by the lb. you will cut your price in half, especially if you harvest and re-use your yeast. I still kind of miss the days when I had bulk DME. I could brew on a whim and from the time I decided to brew to clean-up was 2.5 hours. I am still trying to fine tune my all-grain method, but I taking my twice the time the extract took. I enjoy it, it just takes more planning

Thanks so much for your help, guys.

Barleywine is beer.

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