View Full Version : how to increase barley wine life

12-18-2009, 08:31 AM
So I tapped a keg of B-wine I made last year and have been storing. It has become a bit more boozy. I thought it would mellow out after time. It was sweet before with some hops on the end, wonderful. Now, unfortunatly not so much. Its good, but not what I was expecting. So I ask a) what would cause this since most other b-wines I have had get better before they go off the deep end, and b) what can I add to this years version so next year it will hold up a little better? More munich, more hops, more potential ABV, etc? thanks.

12-18-2009, 09:53 AM
More hops!! After one year, it might be in what I like to call a dormant period. Sometimes aging beverages go through periods that they do not necessarily taste good during. But many beverages often keep improving for years. I think it is dependant on a great number a variables for your specific case. What was your starting grav and IBU, dry additions? If you feel like sharing. If you are trying to make a beer to drink today far less hops are required than one that you plan to drink 3 years from now. IMO

12-18-2009, 09:56 AM
I second more hops. I've seen hop bitterness mellow out substantially over just one year.

12-22-2009, 05:56 AM
Third on the hops. I have had IIPAs show significant hop reduction in 2-3 months.
You say it is more boozy, and not as sweet. Sound like a little fermentation occurred while it was aging, either by brewer's yeast or possibly some contaminant (wild yeast or bacteria, they'll eat those complex sugars, given enough time). Your beer may be very clean and may do extremely well for a month or two, but a year is a LONG time for that minor amount of contaminants that you didn't know were there to get a foothold.

12-22-2009, 08:37 AM
See if the pH has fallen since you put it up; that could be a sign of contamination as opposed to just some leftover yeast that's been fermenting slowly.

But it's probably not contaminated; it's very difficult to manage fermentation so that the yeast really hit the wall first time around, so this is not unusual. Check the gravity against when you put it up. If it's significantly lower, you might want to rethink your fermentation regimen.

As noted above, a higher hop rate can help with flavour stability. Higher alc levels can too. Gallotannins are very effective if you don't mind using an "additive".

12-22-2009, 08:39 AM
Did you have any Oxygen issues? From what I understand, slight oxidation over time will turn into a sherry like flavor (maybe what you call boozy). A while back I bottled a 22oz bottle of bock direct from the tap at the bar. I waited/forgot about it for 6+ months and then sessioned it with our restaurant manager. The perceived sweetness of the original was gone, in a good way though. It reminded me of sipping whiskey in a warm pub with a buddy of mine while it was snowing outside - that was a nice memory, we talked about all things under the sun that time. Anyway, the Bock was different but I'd wager some people might even favor it more. Depends on how much sweet you like.