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Ageing Imperial Stout

Started by SureLook, June 14, 2021, 10:15:08 PM

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SureLook

Is there any benefit in ageing an imperial stout? I've no experience with big abv stouts and how they age. I know it's beneficial or even necessary with barrel aged stouts (when using the bourbon soaked wood chips and not an actual barrel) to age but this is an option in my recipe.

Anyone have any experience with this?

phildo79

Depends how big the flavours are. Sometimes things need time to mellow out. I have a (fake) barrel aged stout maturing ATM. Will be at least two months before I have a taste. In the past, I have made an imp with peated potstill malt. That took about six weeks to mellow. A sarsaparilla stout once took at least 8 weeks to come good. If you don't have any overpowering flavours, I would say to just try it. If it tastes good, drink it.

Pheeel

Need to be careful with oak. You should check it every so often to check if it's oaked enough. Once it's overoaked it's not nice. I tend to age in the bottle after that. It helps to mellow out the flavours a bit
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phildo79

Quote from: Pheeel on June 15, 2021, 11:25:42 AMNeed to be careful with oak. You should check it every so often to check if it's oaked enough. Once it's overoaked it's not nice. I tend to age in the bottle after that. It helps to mellow out the flavours a bit
Do you mean proper barrel ageing or oak chips that you need to be careful with?

Pheeel

If you leave it long enough on oak chips it could have the same effect. Chips are a lot easier to manage though
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Tom

I've just finished a keg of a brown porter that was only just settling on the last pint. Always happens, I'm too impatient/thirsty. That was brewed maybe six weeks ago, and was only about 5%abv.

Some malts take longer to settle into the beer than others. If you want to taste the development crack a bottle every week and make tasting notes, that way you're drinking and learning (if that's your thing).

Assuming an all grain imperial stout at 8%, I'd be looking forward to that in September.

Water_Wolf

In my (somewhat limited) experience of imperial stouts, they will develop a richer raisin / dark fruit flavour as they age rather than the clean malt character that they have when fresh. In my opinion my imperial stouts were a bit bland for the first six months.

SureLook

Might try to age for a bit and taste as I go along - recipe calls for 6 months but I'm fairly impatient so I doubt it'll last that long!

LordEoin

This isn't the hobby for impatience :P
But it's your beer, so drink it when you want.

I'd probably stick it away out of sight til the winter rolls in and the fire is lit.