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Long Term Beer Storage

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Nossil

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I'm going on a holiday in December, which will last for at least 6 months.

My problem is I have ingredients for two brews -grain already cracked so I want to put down the brews before I go. Along with 1 brew that is fermenting at the moment and will be ready to keg this weekend. Plus another keg or 2 in the fridge!

Is it ok to store the beer (kegged) out of the fridge and under the house which has a fairly constant temp of around 18-22 degrees as it is underground. I don't really want to leave the fridge on for 6+ months if there is no point.

Some of the kegs will have been in my keg fridge and carbonated, others will be warm and uncarbed.

Will the beer be good when I get back? Or is the chance of infection high due to the relatively high fluctuating temperatures?

I could keep one of the brews in a cube, will that be fine for 6 months?

edit: I realise 6 months isn't really 'long term', but when kegs usually dont last a fortnight in my house i consider 6 months VERY long term!
 

ashley_leask

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If you don't usually have infection issues that's not really your problem, although I wouldn't trust a cube for 6 months in those temps. Mostly you're just going to get accelerated ageing due to the higher temps. 6 months @ 20C will be equivalent to about 2 years in the fridge, using the principle that every 10C temp increase doubles the rate of chemical processes. Have a look at this thread about the costs of running a fridge. It's probably worth keeping the fridge on vs. wasting it all.

If you can't keep the fridge on, I'd be buying a couple of boxes on the way home from the airport and get brewing when you get back.
 

Nick JD

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Brew beers that like ageing, like strong belgians.
 

Nossil

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If you don't usually have infection issues that's not really your problem, although I wouldn't trust a cube for 6 months in those temps. Mostly you're just going to get accelerated ageing due to the higher temps. 6 months @ 20C will be equivalent to about 2 years in the fridge, using the principle that every 10C temp increase doubles the rate of chemical processes. Have a look at this thread about the costs of running a fridge. It's probably worth keeping the fridge on vs. wasting it all.

If you can't keep the fridge on, I'd be buying a couple of boxes on the way home from the airport and get brewing when you get back.
Damn, that was what I was afraid someone would say!

Would it be better just to leave the grain in a sealed plastic tub? Keep in mind it is already cracked.

So my choice is use stale grain in 6 months time, which will make drinkable beer.

Or brew now and drink stale beer in 6 months time! Its a lose-lose!




Brew beers that like ageing, like strong belgians.

I already have the ingredients cracked and ready to go. In hindsight i should have bought some ingredients to make beer that ageing is kind too
 

Nick JD

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I already have the ingredients cracked and ready to go. In hindsight i should have bought some ingredients to make beer that ageing is kind too
Put your beer chiller in a pot of hot water (75C) and run your beer through it into another keg at a liter a minute for hillbilly flash pasteurisation.
 

Kranky

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I like Nick's suggestion of brewing a big beer. Personally I'd do a RIS, in 6 months time it'll be winter and the beer should start drinking nicely, especially if you leave the beer in a keg at ambient temperatures.
 

manticle

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If you don't usually have infection issues that's not really your problem, although I wouldn't trust a cube for 6 months in those temps. Mostly you're just going to get accelerated ageing due to the higher temps. 6 months @ 20C will be equivalent to about 2 years in the fridge, using the principle that every 10C temp increase doubles the rate of chemical processes. Have a look at this thread about the costs of running a fridge. It's probably worth keeping the fridge on vs. wasting it all.

If you can't keep the fridge on, I'd be buying a couple of boxes on the way home from the airport and get brewing when you get back.
That accelerated aging principle is way over simplified and not what occurs in reality as far as I'm aware.

Yes temperature increase will accelerate aging/oxidation reactions - in some beers that can be a good thing. As Nick suggests, making a beer that will cope with/benefit from the extra time like a strong stout, dubbel, wee heavy etc would be best but as you say - grain is cracked.

I have left various beers in cubes at ambient for 6+months before transferring to glass but they are beers designed to be aged like sours and funky/brett beers or Belgian Dark Strong.

I do agree with Ash that leaving the fridge on is your best bet for the beer. If you are loath to do that for environmental or financial reasons then I'd suck it and see. Infection won't be an issue if you are clean, sanitary and don't have a house infection. Beer will age - may age well, may not.
 

Nossil

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Thanks for the suggestions and information guys. Looks like the fridge is staying on!
 

Charst

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Thanks for the suggestions and information guys. Looks like the fridge is staying on!

On a positive note just think what 6 months lagering will do for the beer. :icon_drool2:
 

Zizzle

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A couple of years ago we fermented a couple of IPAs at the end of summer. A bit of a warm snap and no fermentation fridge meant they fermented warm, with a crappy muntons yeast (don't ask).

We dry hopped in secondary and kegged. As expected, lots of peppery yeast harshness and fruity off flavours. Yuck.

Life's too short for shit beer. Ended up chucking the kegs in the garage. The thinking was to save them for a party when some of our booze-hound mates would surely get into them.

Which never happened.

Nearly a year later I remembered them, and needed the space so decided to give them a try. One was infected, one of it's keg posts had leaked. The other had mellowed right out and was quite drinkable. A bit oxidised. Hop aroma/flavour was mostly gone, but you can keg hop.

Keep in mind that this was in the high desert of new mexico, so those beers would have gone through some extremes. Frozen for the winter. Frozen/thawed daily for the autum and spring. High thirties for summer.

So give it a go. You might be surprised.
 

ianh

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Why don't you just bottle the brews then should not be a problem.
 

pk.sax

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Even if the grain is cracked, throw half a kilo of sugar in the boil, up the gravity and ferment Belgian. The higher alc content will help it along for the ambient ageing. Or as said before, hop high and hop into the keg too, make a strong ipa (add sugar/dme to the boil for extra gravity). Will age nicer.
 

Bizier

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Dark, bitter, strong, no late hops, good transfer into a purged keg through beer post.

Or a sour.
 

mikec

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Brew it, keg it, then drop the keg round to my place.
I'll "look after it" for you.
 

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