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damienair

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Hello all. Just wondering what is the longest you have left some of your home brew bottled beers before drinking them? I have a couple of brews which were bottled just over a year ago. In your experience what is a rough expiry date from bottling. Cheers. 🍻
 
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I've some mixed fermentation sours bottled in 2018. Some historical IPAs brewed in 2021. It all depends on the beer. Saison, Bière de Garde, Lager, Stock Ale are by nature meant for keeping some degree of time before drinking. Some high ABV styles change in a none deleterious way over time. Anything hop forward or typically found on cask are best drunk at their freshest.
 
Thanks so much for the replies so far. That’s great. I’ll start moving my way through the older beers soon and get some of them out of the way. They are Pale Ales in around the 5% ABV mark.
 
Interesting enough (at least to me) was a extract kit beer that I found 4 years + later that was a cracking drink. Stored (or lost) in brown glass bottle in garage.

I don't generally worry about age of my beers as I make a lot more than I can drink so I am aften drinking from kegs or bottles that are well over 12 months old ( highly hopped beers do loose a lot of that hop bite, but end up being nicely rounded drinks).
 
my sours and impys/quads often reach 2 years+ @Rwilts - same experience as me with hoppy beers.

My barley wine is coming up to 3 years.

Impy's go thought a licorice stage then plummy and I not a fan of those so once they start turning licorice-y I leave them for a year to age into port & sherry notes which suits the beer perfectly
 
In your experience what is a rough expiry date from bottling. Cheers. 🍻
You can't really generalise - in general the more a beer depends on late hop flavour, the shorter its shelflife, whereas they last longer with higher alcohol and more malt-led flavours.

By accident I ended up doing an ageing trial on a stash of a classic brown best bitter from a local brewery - it needed about 3 months for the malt flavours to fully come together, the fruit flavours from the hops started to fade after about 5 months, leaving malt and bitterness. Which was not unpleasant, even up to 5 years later, it was just a shadow of what the beer had been at 3-5 months.

Whereas I've seen notes from a vertical tasting of Stille Nacht from Dolle, arguably the greatest of all the Belgian Christmas beers, where it peaked at 2 years and then again after 8 years, but that's a 12% beer that is all about the malt, it's a rare beer that can last that long.

So for something in the 5% range it depends on whether it's more hop-fruity or more malty, I wouldn't leave the hoppy more than 4-5 months and the malty one 6-9 months to get the best out of them, but they won't be actively unpleasant to drink for several years.
 
You can't really generalise - in general the more a beer depends on late hop flavour, the shorter its shelflife, whereas they last longer with higher alcohol and more malt-led flavours.

By accident I ended up doing an ageing trial on a stash of a classic brown best bitter from a local brewery - it needed about 3 months for the malt flavours to fully come together, the fruit flavours from the hops started to fade after about 5 months, leaving malt and bitterness. Which was not unpleasant, even up to 5 years later, it was just a shadow of what the beer had been at 3-5 months.

Whereas I've seen notes from a vertical tasting of Stille Nacht from Dolle, arguably the greatest of all the Belgian Christmas beers, where it peaked at 2 years and then again after 8 years, but that's a 12% beer that is all about the malt, it's a rare beer that can last that long.

So for something in the 5% range it depends on whether it's more hop-fruity or more malty, I wouldn't leave the hoppy more than 4-5 months and the malty one 6-9 months to get the best out of them, but they won't be actively unpleasant to drink for several years.
Thank you. I have 12 bottles of a full extract American Pale Ale which was bottled on 23/12/22, 12 bottles of a full extract Blonde Ale which was bottled on 06/02/23, 30 bottles of Cider which was bottled on 05/03/2023, 9 bottles of a full extract Hefeweizen which was bottled mid April 23. Everything after that is from June 2023 onwards. I’ll work through the older beers first. I haven’t been drinking any of my own beers since October due to a bit of a health kick and weight loss effort. But I’ll start enjoying the odd one again from next weekend.
 
At Christmas I drank an elderberry barley wine I brewed in 2015 (give or take a year?).

It was around 12%, not amazing but still enjoyable with a mature cheese.
 
I've some mixed fermentation sours bottled in 2018. Some historical IPAs brewed in 2021. It all depends on the beer. Saison, Bière de Garde, Lager, Stock Ale are by nature meant for keeping some degree of time before drinking. Some high ABV styles change in a none deleterious way over time. Anything hop forward or typically found on cask are best drunk at their freshest.
+1

What surprised me was a kviek voss beer. I always keep the last 6 bottles of a batch for an extended time just to see how they fayre. If they are aging beers I put at least a crate away. So the OJ of the kviek disappeared within about 6 weeks of being ready to drink, yet what was left 6 months later was a delicious different beer.
 
My Russian Imperial brewed October 2015 is just drinking nicely now. It's improved (well I think it has anyway) each year and is quite delicious now. Not many left so it probably won't make the 10 year mark
 
Not sure if this qualifies as its not one of my beers but when I was clearing out my late mother's house a few years ago I found a bottle brewed by my father.
He was a keen stove top brewer who sadly passed in 1995! He suffered poor health later in life so it must have been made a few years before that.
I keep it for sentimental reasons. Somehow I don't think it would taste so good now.
 
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