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Beer in Bottles, How old is too Old?

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squidley

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I was doing some tidying up under the house and found a carton of a Special Ale I bottled in 11/03
Thats right November 2003!
So bunged a couple in the fridge yesterday and cracked one last night.

Wasn't sure of it at first sip, but after a few minutes it was beautiful.
Smooth and a light creamy head that lasted the whole Nonick down.
It was so Nice I had to go and crack the other one.

Now I have 10 of these left, which I will have to ration.

But my question is how much longer will it last?

I know the answer to myself is that it will be gone before next month,
but how long can the bottled stuff last and still be drinkable.

9 years 2 months and it is still great.
 

colonel

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The oldest I've tried so far, was 14 years.
1 kit stout, and 2 kit Munich lagers.
Both fantastic.
they'd been in a cupboard in the shed since we moved, and I'd forgotten about them.
I'm pretty sure I've got a couple of boxes in an old fridge behind a heap of junk which I'm planning to dig out soon to try with an old buddy. I recon they would have been bottled around 94/95.
IMO, as long as they're in the dark, there's no such thing as too old.
Cheers
 

petesbrew

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I've got a few in my drinks cupboard commemorating my kids' birth & subsequent birthdays.
Honestly I really should clean them out someday, they're not getting any better.

6yo knk beers... sounds like a challenge accepted right?
 

bum

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Oldest beer I've had was a 10yo SN Bigfoot. Didn't really hold up as well as I'd expect the style to but I bought it retail so maybe it wasn't stored so well.
petesbrew said:
6yo knk beers... sounds like a challenge accepted right?
I had a mate's 4yo kn2k Coopers IPA a while back. It had a touch of sherry to it but wasn't a bad drop at all. Would have had another. I could not say the same thing of the same batch when it was fresh.
 

JDW81

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Squidley said:
Now I have 10 of these left, which I will have to ration.

But my question is how much longer will it last?
Why not crack one every year for the next ten years? That will give you a good indication of how it will last. There are a heap variables that will affect shelf life of a beer (storage conditions, brewing process, bottling process etc) so putting an exact time on how long you've got before they'll be no good is almost impossible.

Their longevity so far is probably assisted by the fact you're in Tassie and temps don't regularly hit 35+. I don't think the same beer stored in FNQ (outside of a fridge) would last quite that long. I drank my last bottle of a batch of stout on St Patrick's day last year and that one was 4 years old and was bloody brilliant.

JD
 

Steve the Zymologist

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I recently found the remains of my one and only (so far) partial mash oatmeal stout. No date in my brew book but its between 2005 and 2007. Stored in she'd in Mackay NQ. Tops have home rusty on the outside but seem fine underneath. Will do a search under oatmeal stout one day to try and narrow down when I did that one as I recall making enquirys here about it.
 

br33zy

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Man I wish mine would last anything like that long. Main problem for me seems to be oxidation - anything older than a few months is just ruined.

If yours aren't oxidised; and they're stored in the dark and at a stable, appropriate temperature then who knows how long they'd last. I suspect if they were mine that I'd drink them before exploring the upper limits:)
 

JDW81

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Breezy too said:
Main problem for me seems to be oxidation - anything older than a few months is just ruined.
If your beers are going bad from oxidation after only a few months then maybe you need to have a look at your packaging process. While a certain level of oxygen introduction is inevitable in any home brew packaging process, if it is done carefully (and storage is appropriate) then oxidation shouldn't be an issue, especially not one that has an almost immediate impact. Are you sure it is oxidation?

Out of interest, what is your bottling process?
 

bcp

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Most of mine last pretty well, up to a year at least, but it depends on style. Hefes, for example, need to be drunk fresh, methinks. But several of my high ABV belgians have lasted really well. The delirium tremens and piraat attempts were probably better after a year than when first brewed, and only well after 2 years just started to lose their way. I would have thought I only take the usual amount of care over oxidisation.

I'd have to add that the plastic bottles DON'T last well.
 

squidley

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I suspect that I have some others older than 10 years.

I do need to do a clean up in the crawl space under the house.
It is a good cool and dark place for brew storage though.
 

pk.sax

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I wish I stayed anywhere long enough to keep brews that long.

They are drunk fresh. Or when the hops go a bit wrong, drunk slowly till the keg gets better then smashed. Have tasted an extract/kit brew ~2 years old that'd gone a bit insipid but drinkable. Left a crate at my olds' place when I used to shack there. Apparently my mate has my carboy full of cider that's been going since sometime in late 2010. Arsehole hasn't bottled it for 2 years. Lazy Cnut is lucky it's in glass.
 

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