How To Age Beer

How to age beer is really a simple process that takes a minimum amount of steps. Of course, you are excited to have brewed your own beer and want to taste it. Unfortunately, freshly brewed beer isn't actually beer yet until you condition it. Before a beer is aged, it is far from completed because it will contain suspended yeast particles, it will lack sufficient carbonation as well as taste and aroma.

  1. Pour your wort (beer) into the fermenter and use a strainer to strain out a majority of the hops you used. This is the only time you can mix the liquid around, at this point it is okay to do so to ensure the liquid gets enough oxygen to help start the fermentation process. After this initial step, you will no longer want to mix the liquid around
  2. Add your yeast to help start the aging and fermentation of your beer. Placing the yeast in your liquid is called "pitching".
  3. Store your beer in a cool dark place with an average temperature of 66 to 72 degrees. Do not store your beer in the refrigerator as this will prohibit the yeast from fermenting the beer and reaching the best carbonation. At the end of eight to fifteen weeks your aged beer should be ready.
  4. Refrigerate and enjoy!

During the aging process the yeast will ferment the remaining sugar that was used when bottling your beer. This creates carbon dioxide, which gives your beer that bubbly texture. Aging beer can take anywhere from one to six months although home brews can take about a month. Most brews reach their peak flavor at eight to fifteen weeks. Before beer is fermented and aged, the liquid produced is called wort. Here are some tips to help you age beer.

Reference: J. Palmer, John. How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Beer Right the First Time, 3rd Edition; Brewers Publications, 2006.

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