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Depends wether you are drinking for the alcohol or the flavour.
Some in fact most big beers take time to mature, people brag about drinking 10 or even 20 year old red wines, seriously, hard cheese's are matured for a year or more, lets not even mention Scotch, the bottle on my desk is old dam near old enough to ask out on a date, but AHB'ers whinge when someone suggests waiting more than a week for a really good beer to become a great beer.
Maturity can apply to more than just beer and wine - it applies to people to
I agree, Mark.
Have noticed that my porter hits it's straps at 6 weeks.
As for the HUB Barleywine project, I expect to leave it for at least 6 months before it comes good.
The Old/Strong ale that I won my category with in the NSW 2006 Am Brewing State comp was about 2 years old and tasted like a nasty liquorice water until it matured. (It was 13.7% alc/vol).
*edit: It was up against my Berliner in the BOS round, but came in a credible second in that showdown.
another reason I'm getting a 3rd fridge, well, chest freezer - for conditioning and CC'ing and not interferring with my fermenting and dispensing Got a porter with 10% brown malt that I think will need some time.
Mitch Stone, are you sure you don't mean Mitch Steel at Stone brewing?
If so I suspect we would be talking about an AIPA - very different kettle of fish, any beer that leads with hops is going to be hoppier younger and yes if you want hop dominated flavours the younger the better, the old motto for the earlier APA brewers was 14 Days from grain to brain
IPA on the other hand evolved from a beer designed to travel halfway around the world in a wooden barrel, on sailing ships, so three months aging minimum - I said evolved from so there will be lots of factors affecting the maturation of the beer but it takes time to build the very specific flavours that make a great IPA aging is one of them.
I love the old X, XX, XXX, ... casks of Madeira getting marked every time they crossed the equator. Imagine a wine that improves being by being sloshed around in the hot hold of a wooden sailing ship
To be honest I've only used carafa I and III, but I much prefer MW. It has a bit of coffee and chocolate in it, and incredibly black. I've used 85/15 ale/MW in a simple 'stout' and there's no sign of astringency at all.
Although I have only ever added it cold-steeped at mashout, as per all of my roast malts.
I much prefer the Weyermann to the Briess product, pretty much across the board. just find them cleaner and perhaps more elegant for want of a better term, like the difference between a BMW and a Chevy, purely a matter of personal taste, but its worth trying both and making up your own mind.
I don't ever cold steep, (well I have tried it in a Cascadian Dark Ale) but I use a malt to get the flavour, rather than just the colour.