How long will bottled home brews stay good? I plan on putting some bottles away (cool dark basement) for a while just to see how they develop. Is a year too long, or can they sit indefinately if stored properly?
To me it kind of depends on the style of beer. Bigger and more complex beers can age very, very well where as a light blonde ale should be drank sooner rather than later. Hop flavors also tend to fad after a while so those should be drank sooner as well. That said I have a IIPA with a ton of bittering hops and a pretty complex grainbill that should age a bit like a barleywine so I’m testing that out.
It all depends on style of beer really, i know higher ABV and IBU beers last longer, I had a bottle of NB all grain dry irish stout that had been on a buddies shelf for every bit of 6-7 months and it was amazing this beer is neither real hoppy or high abv, so I try to stick to around 6-7 months, but sure a bottle can last longer under ideal conditions. So basically I say all that to say just depends dont really know but 6-7 months your beer should still be fine for most brews. hope it helps
All depends on style.
I have Bourbon Barrel porter with high alcohol, fair amt. of bourbon, smoked malt and toasted oak cubes that is 1,2,3 years old. To be honest, the 3 year old is now not as good as the 1.5-2 year old stuff.
Just bottled a barley wine that I brewed 6 months ago. Plan on letting it sit another 6 months in bottles without drinking any (ok, maybe one “just to see.”) That is a beer that could be fine in bottles for 3-5 years maybe (maybe more?)
“normal” beer - less than 6 months if you want it to be at its best. It will not turn to poison or anything, just that it is going to lose flavor, oxidize, etc. if you leave it too long and will not get “better.”
If bottled and stored correctly the beer will not oxidize or go bad for many years. Using the O2 scavenging caps helps, too.
I agree with the advice given above. I also will add that I have several bottles of RIS and BW’s that still drink fine at 3yrs. I won’t even touch a bottle of BW before its had a year to age.
I have 2004 barleywines still in decent shape. They have gone somewhat downhill. The '09s are drinking awesome.
I’ve some 3 year old bottle conditioned wee heavy that is excellent. It was terrible in the beginning but couldn’t bring myself to throw them away.
I still have a few bottles of my very first home brew I did 6 years ago. An american wheat 5% ABV.
Opened one about 3 months ago and still had full carbonation and tasted just like i remembered it.
These are standard brown bottles and for the last 4 years has been stored in the back of our fridge.
I had some Barley Wine in my attic for over 10 years (I forgot about it :oops: ) and it tasted great. YMMV.
Here is a post by Martyn Cornell about a strong Burton Ale brewed in 1875, drunk this year. Pretty amazing that some beers can still be drinkable after 137 years.