Bulk aging Barley-wine

Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:24 am

Hi guys,
New user here, been a lurker for a while but never posted.
I kegged up an American Barley-wine today, tasted savage straight out of the fermentor!
I bottled up 5 bottles and plan to leave the rest in the keg to bulk age for six months or so.
Then gonna dry hop it for a week or so and then bottle from the keg.
Do ya reckon it would be better to leave it at room temp or put it in the fridge for the 6 months, what difference do ya think there would be if any?
Gonna try a bottle every month or so and see how it's developing and decide when to bottle the rest.
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:34 am
Location: Ireland

Re: Bulk aging Barley-wine

Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:44 pm

I prefer to store all of my fermented beer in kegs in the fridge if there is room. Especially with an American version of barleywine where copious amounts of hops are used, the fridge temps can only help to preserve those hop flavors and aromas you strived so hard to put into the final product. So, I vote keg in the fridge.

As for tasting a bottle every month to decide when to package, this process may not be as correlated as you may think. Bottles can allow oxygen to ingress under the caps over time causing your beer to slowly oxidize whereas a properly purged and sealed keg will not keeping your barleywine more pristine. So if you taste a bottle at 5 mos to determine where the beer "is at", compared to the keg, the kegged version may be holding up better during this time frame. Just something to keep in mind.
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