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> Aging - bulk vs. bottling, opinions?
OhioMurb
post Dec 20 2008, 10:25 AM
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Are there any flavor impacts to long term storage in secondary vs. bottling?

I've got a barleywine that I want to leave alone for a long time and not sure if I should bottle or just keep in secondary. I like the bottle idea because then I can taste samples every few months, but are there other advantages/disadvantages?
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korndog
post Dec 20 2008, 11:37 AM
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I would say if there is no risk of oxidation to bulk age. It leaves you options such as dry-hopping or blending big, old beers.
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dagomike
post Dec 20 2008, 01:36 PM
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Kind of a classic point of argument.

I think if you leave the beer in the fermenter for a sufficient time, and provided the bottles and secondary are stored in the same conditions, it doesn't matter.
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TheProfessor
post Dec 22 2008, 12:32 PM
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Personally I like to bulk age strong beers. Anywhere from 5 to 12 months is my usual timetable. Usually, I will lightly force carb it and bottle it after this aging period.

Carbonation is not a huge issue here ...for me anyway. I will lightly force carb it under pressure in the cold for a few days then go to bottle. I hate very fizzy beer in general, and the best way to totally ruin a good barleywine, old ale, or pale ale is to give it typical American levels of carbonation, which tends to mask many of the wonderfully subtle flavors resulting from a long ferment and a long aging.

I've opened bottles of strong beer made in this way as old as 12 years (though it is rare that they sit around quite that long) and despite my beers being unfiltered, have never had a gusher. It does pick up some extra carbonation over time though, since there is still minute amounts of yeast present.
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matt6150
post Dec 22 2008, 01:23 PM
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My opinion would be to bottle. Its carbonated and ready to go. Its nice to occasionally open one to sample to know what you got. Also its easier to manage and move around if need be.
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Blizzbrews
post Dec 22 2008, 05:42 PM
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QUOTE(OhioMurb @ Dec 20 2008, 10:25 AM) *
I like the bottle idea because then I can taste samples every few months, but are there other advantages/disadvantages?


QUOTE
Its nice to occasionally open one to sample to know what you got.


I would argue that it's better to sample just a few ounces from a keg, rather than a full bottle, if you're just checking on how the beer is aging. On the other hand, you might think twice before opening a bottle but it's real easy to tap a sample. Before you know it, you've sampled your way thru a whole keg. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/sorry.gif) Maybe it's best to do both. Bottle most of it, and keep some in a keg for occasional sampling.




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