It’s bottling day. You’ve racked your beer, taken a sample, primed your beer and begin to bottle.

After you take your gravity reading, you indeed taste the beer (even if it’s before noon.) You begin to imgine what it will taste like in a couple of weeks once it’s carbonated…

Your opinion? “tastes great for it being flat”….

Fast forward a few days… you put one on the fridge and try it out…

“making progress”

Fast forward a couple of weeks… “still making progress”…

… and this continues until you are down to the last beer, which is indeed better than the rest… and you’ll never know if the beer could have matured any better because there’s none left!

The more you wait, the better the beer tastes… that’s the power of being patient with your brews…

… but this isn’t always the case…

Drinking home brew isn’t always a pleasant experience… (I know I’m opening up a can of worms and will expect hate mail for the sentence ^^^ above ^^^…) but bare with me…

I stored a case of one of my best batches I’ve ever brewed… a steam beer, with a very nice hop aroma, and good malty body to balance it out…

The beer was getting better and better… until a heat wave came along and changed the beers…

… and it wasn’t good…

The so prized hop aroma vanished instantly… and since I’ve had to actually pay attention to better beer-storing practices…

I had my beers in the coolest place in the house, but even there the ambient temperature hit close to 80 F for a couple of days…

Go figure… the warmer you store your beer, the faster they will oxidize or spoil or both… duh… I knew that, but ignored it to save on my electric bill…

… but now I regret it…

… and the effects are exponential!

This was the first case (for me) where the last brew is not “always” the best… at least not if you don’t store your beers properly…

… but storing cold isn’t necessarily any better…

I know I made the newbie mistake (long time ago) of putting a couple bottles in the fridge right after bottling… and little did I know that I put my yeast to sleep and those bottles didn’t carbonate…

Aging beer is an art… and it can take extra equipment to do this properly… an extra fridge, more carboys, etc…

… or as is my case now, a really high electric bill…

… so here’s how to store your home brew to make it last longer…

Cellar temperature is where you want to store most beers… 50-55 F… slightly cooler for lagers, and slightly warmer for stronger beers… slightly lower or higher being about 10 F…

I think that for the rest of the summer I’ll be turning to hefeweizens and other beers that are best when they are young and don’t necessarily get better with age…

Or look for another wine cooler to store my beers during the summer… after all, the extra money I’ll spend on keeping the house cool can always go to buy more brewing equipment… I’d rather be hot and DHB than be comfortable without being able to Drink a Home Brew…

There’s my mistake and my possible solutions… so unless you are in Montana or somewhere where it’s still snowing, hope you learn from it and can still say that the last home brew is always the best…

… and look forward to some all-grain/decoction mash videos coming soon…

Cheers


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