Monday, November 19, 2012

Thoughts on aging beer...with Cellar pics

Been a while since I have been able to do anything other than parenting....let alone writing.  Today I was "lucky" to have an unexpected "day off" from work when our daycare lady came down with something that forced her to close which caused my "day off" to be spent watching the 5 month old.  So I took some time during naps to clean out my beer "cellar" and that gave me the idea to go ahead and take pictures of everything I have that is aging.

What makes a beer worth aging?  Well the answer isn't all that complicated.  Really, it just means that you want to know how a beer changes over time.  Some styles of beer are known to get better with age.  Stouts, sours, imperial porters, barleywines, Belgians, most high gravity or high ABV beers, anything that has been barrel aged already...usually.  Some styles, in my opinion are not suitable for aging.  I try to avoid aging IPA's and coffee beers.  Beer does change over time so part of the fun of aging beer is to see how the beer develops and how the flavor profiles may change.

The process of aging beer is often made out  to be more complicated than it needs to be.  Some people say the beer must be kept at 50 degrees in order to age properly.  Keeping it at room temperature may speed up the aging process while keeping it in a coors light super cold refrigerator may stunt the aging process.  I don't really get caught up in all that because I don't really have the space to control the temp of every single beer I want to age.  So I have many spots in the house where beer is stashed away for aging.  Hall closet, hutch, kitchen cabinets, and my very own "cellar".  Here are the photos of the beer I have lying around inside the house:

Hall closet stock

Hall Closet stock #2

Realized that i need a 2010 TJ Vintage...anyone?

Kitchen cabinet stock

2012 Bourbon County in cabinets

I inherited an ancient kegerator from a buddy of mine who moved out to Colorado a couple years ago.  My intent was to have beer on tap at the house, but the kegerator had some issues and rather than spend time trying to fix them, I just decided to use it as a beer "cellar".  It actually works out nicely.  My brother in law helped me add a shelf in the box which allowed for double the storage capacity.  The kegerator keeps the beers inside between 45-50 degrees...might not be good enough for the hardcore beer geeks out there, but it's good enough for me.  The only real issue I have with it is that water tends to pool in the bottom of it, so I made sure there is a hole on the top so that moisture can escape.  This actually is beneficial because it keeps the inside environment slightly humid, which is good for aging corked bottles so that the cork doesn't dry out.  But every once in a while I need to empty it and get some of the water out, which is what I did today.  While I did this, I took some photos of what's inside.....
The "cellar"

The only Indiana Beer i have in the box

2011-2012 Bourbon County, Bramble, Avery Uncle Jacobs, 2008 &2010 Mephistopheles

Some western stuff

Miscellaneous Cellarable beers

Founders stuff and one Bells Expedition
 After cleaning it out and reorganizing a bit, I found I had more space in there, so I took some other brews out of my regular fridge and added them to the box.
 And while taking inventory I decided to throw in a couple shots of the standard beer fridge.  I have had many more bottle cap magnets and stickers added lately.  If you have any stickers you'd like to add then let me know, I'd love to have them!

What are some of the beers you have in your cellar that you are most looking forward to seeing how they develop?