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Dave I
06/30/06 09:03 PM  
Aging Blond Belgians & Tripels . . .
Have any of you aged your pale-colored or Pilsner/Pale Malt-only Belgian Beers? I am curious how long you are able to age Belgian beers (or beers in general) without a large amount of hops and still have them taste good.

The reason I ask is that I have read there MAY be some coorelation between darker grains (i.e. roasted grains, crystal malts, etc.) and better "age stability." I am curious how this affects beers such as Tripels, Belgian Strong Blond Ales (often just Pilsen & sugar), or beer recipes such as Westvleteren (Pils/Pale, sucrose, and dark candi syrup) when they sit around at cellar conditions for extended periods of time (i.e. anywhere between six-months and multiple years).

Any experiences or theories?

-Cheers

Cisco
07/02/06 03:16 PM  
Re: Aging Blond Belgians & Tripels . . .
I seem to brew way more than I can drink every year so in a 10 gallon batch I usually end up with a 5 gallon keg and a few bottles from each batch that are over a year to sometimes almost two years before I get to them. No problems with the triples, my latest for the triple swap is now a year and a half old and is still outstanding. The beers that seem to age well for several years all have a high levels of alcohol (8% to 9%) which seems to protect the beer more so than the color of the beer or amount of hops.
Jim Denier
07/02/06 07:09 PM  
Re: Aging Blond Belgians & Tripels . . .
Cisco,

How do you store your bottled beers (e.g., fridge, basement); and at what temperature? And do you store the corked ones upright or on their sides? I'm getting a little nervous as I accumulate 750 ml bottles and store in my basement and crawl space.

Jim

Cisco
07/02/06 08:02 PM  
Re: Aging Blond Belgians & Tripels . . .
I store my corked bottled beers in crates and stack them upright in the spare bathroom bathtub. The house remains a constant 76F. If anyone wants to stay overnight they have to help move te crates out of the bathtub. Sure wish I had a basement!!
SteveG
07/04/06 09:30 PM  
Re: Aging Blond Belgians & Tripels . . .
Wow Cisco, that amazing set up but no basement!!

I think its a lot more complicated than dark grains and stability. I won a blue ribbon from BURP last year with a kriek I made in '95. I did learn 2 weekends ago from an older brother though that very dark beers are rich in anti-oxidents. He's a chiropractor, a health nut and in staggering shape for a man 15 years younger. And though he (predictably) does not drink much, when he does order a beer Guinness seems to be his choice ... cause its good for him!!

According to him it is the darker side of the grist that contributes the health benefits. Anti-oxidents ... hummm. How could that be a bad thing for aging?

Brian Richards
07/06/06 01:45 AM  
Re: Aging Blond Belgians & Tripels . . .
I just brewed a Delerium Tremens clone from the Beer Captured book and it says that this beer will last for up to a year at cellar temps. (9.1 ABV) and I looked at the recipe for Chimay Grand Reserve that is 9.0 ABV and it says this beer will age for up to 10 years at cellar temps. That is a big difference and the Delerium even has more alcohol. There must be other factors, obviously hops being one of them because of its preservative qualities but I don't think that alone would make that much of a difference.
SteveG
07/06/06 07:27 AM  
Re: Aging Blond Belgians & Tripels . . .
A DT clone only lasting a year?? I'm sure they are wrong on that. I still have some cave aged Hennepins, it must be coming up on 5 years since I bought them and that one was released after 8 months in a cave. The DT clone would have nearly 1.5X the abv.
Ipaguy
07/06/06 02:49 PM  
Re: Aging Blond Belgians & Tripels . . .
There's some pretty good evidence out there that dark malts, with their anti-oxidants, can improve flavor stability and shelf life.

http://www.scientificsocieties.org/jib/papers/2005/G-2005-0330-275.pdf

TedJ
07/14/06 05:53 PM  
Re: Aging Blond Belgians & Tripels . . .
My tripels (9-10%v, 30-35 IBU) age well, usually a bit rough tasting the first year but improve. The June 03 batch took 1st in MCAB this past Feb. The '98 batch was almost five years old when finished and was still tasty at that time. Stored upright with crown caps in cellar (50F for 6 months of year, rises near 70F in summer). This year's batch (made from all pils blonde barleywine second runnings) was corked and is laying down.
 
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