I have a question concerning the role that temperature plays when bulk aging a beer.
Right now I am drinking a Barley Wine that I made last year, as well as an Octoberfest that I brewed back in May. The Barley Wine aged in bulk at basement temperatures for 8 months or so before bottling and further aging. The Octoberfest lagered in bulk at 35* for 3 months before bottling.
While I understand that primary fermentation needs to take place within specific and distinct ranges for both lagers and ales to accommodate the yeast, what I don’t understand is how temperature affects these beers after final gravity is achieved and the yeast have (mostly?) done their work. I age my lagers cold because that is what I was told to do, and age my bigger ales at basement temps because, well, they’re ales. But must it be this way?
How would the Octoberfest differ if it was fermented cold and aged warm. Would the Barley Wine be adversely affected if, after a warmer primary fermentation, it aged for 8 months at 35*? Would it turn out better under those conditions?
This aspect of the brewing process is a black hole for me.