How Long Do I Wait

from theweeklybrew

I wish I’d brought a camera to Starbucks today.

PicturesOnce a month I head over to Starbucks for a meeting. Starbucks isn’t on my list of favorite places, but that’s neither here nor there. The reason I wish I had a camera was that I brought 3 220z bottles of my Gooseberry Herbal Saison to the meeting, all of them sealed in pink wax. The bottles looked great, and the reactions were great to, both from people at the meeting and the people at Starbucks.

The reason I bring this up is that Mark wondered about the wax seal. I explained that the wax seal allows the bottles to age for years without going bad. His next question was do I have to wait a few years to drink this.

Sometimes I forget that homebrewers have theĀ  privilege of tasting a beer throughout the aging process. We can try our beers fresh out of the carboy, and regularly after that for over a year. When I give homebrew out I sometimes forget that people don’t have the ability to taste a beer over and over to determine when it tastes the best.

So that begs the question, when do you open a bottle of beer your given? Especially if it’s one that you’ve never tried and there’s no birth date stamped on it. The answer is whenever you darn well please. Honestly, if I’ve never tried a beer I want to know right away if it’s worth taking up fridge space. Also as I’ve discovered with the Saison I handed out today yeast can be fickle. So I guess what I’m wondering is why do we worry?

You guys have any thoughts?

4 Responses to “How Long Do I Wait”

  1. jrbox says:

    I do not have a useful comment
    I found your story / ultimate question useful.

    Perhaps, next year, I will take the plunge and brew . . .
    ? what could possible go wrong ?

  2. John says:

    You could wait as long as you want, but at some point you are going to open a stale beer. Time should be determined based on your brewing methods and the amount of perservatives in the beer itself. We are talking alpha and beta acids, the more the longer. And as long as not too much oxygen was allowed into the beer, no hot side areation was allowed, and not too many large unfermented protiens that cause staling or haze are present.. then the beer could keep for a long time.
    Though for a Saison, years probably isnt going to help much. Its a beer to be made fast and drunk young. Some people ferment that thing at 90 degrees. Its crazy.

  3. Dr Wort says:

    Oxygen barrier caps can be bought and used. They stave off O2 absorption for quite some time. Wax will absorb O2 and are kind of an old fashion canning method that has been long proven not to be very reliable,

  4. Jared says:

    I know about the O2 caps, just haven’t shelled out the bucks for em. To be honest none of my beers make it long enough for oxegination to be an issue. I just really like the look of the wax.

    I didn’t know that wax absorbed O2 though….. Guess I won’t be telling people that they can lay it down for years anymore.

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