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chiguire
09-23-2010, 01:03 PM
Hey, all.

How many of you keep a bottle or two of your brews for archiving purposes?
Do you set a bottle away from every batch of brew you make for a time in the very distant future?

I am fairly new to brewing but have thought it would be nice to have a bottle of brew from each of my batches that I will eventually be able to revisit and see the progression of quality, style preference, etc...

wayneb
09-23-2010, 01:08 PM
I try to with every batch... and with some of them, those bottles actually make it out to year 10 or so. But not many of 'em! ;)

icedmetal
09-23-2010, 03:38 PM
My wife and I try to keep a couple bottles of every batch for at least a few years...

...and sometimes, we even succeed!

Chevette Girl
09-23-2010, 09:04 PM
Funny how it works, the ones I really *should* keep end up getting drunk... but I do still have one bottle from my first JAO and I'm going to try to keep that one ten years. I need to go through ALL my stored wines and rearrange them according to date, and while I'm at it, starting an archive rack in one of the less convenient shelves isn't a bad idea...

chiguire
09-23-2010, 10:00 PM
Funny how it works, the ones I really *should* keep end up getting drunk...

Ha! I can see how that would happen. I think I am going to try to keep 1 of every brew for maybe 5 years, but past that I may run into a storage issue.

Thanks for all the input.

Has anyone's "favorite" mead been one that has aged 5+ years?

Tannin Boy
09-24-2010, 06:24 AM
Ha! I can see how that would happen. I think I am going to try to keep 1 of every brew for maybe 5 years, but past that I may run into a storage issue.

Thanks for all the input.

Has anyone's "favorite" mead been one that has aged 5+ years?

Not yet at least! I haven't been brewing that long ;D
But that is the plan, I would like to revisit them annually for at least 2-4 years?
That is if I make enough of each batch, and I can keep my hands off of them..

Cheers

Chevette Girl
09-24-2010, 07:47 PM
But that is the plan, I would like to revisit them annually for at least 2-4 years?
That is if I make enough of each batch, and I can keep my hands off of them..


I had a similar thought... but 1-gal batches just don't make enough unless you bottle everything in dessert wine bottles...

Tannin Boy
09-25-2010, 07:01 AM
I had a similar thought... but 1-gal batches just don't make enough unless you bottle everything in dessert wine bottles...

CG,
Your on the right track doing 1 gallon batches.
I must reduce to experimenting to this size.
Oooooh, it hurts when it goes wrong with the 3 gallon carboy:mad:

fatbloke
09-26-2010, 03:07 AM
Ha ha! I can't be bothered to bottle most of mine, so they just get as far as the bulk ageing stage.....

When they're a couple of years old, if I don't like the taste, I recover the alcohol and they get binned........

d.j.patterson
09-27-2010, 01:51 PM
I have been successful so far at separating 2 bottles of each batch that I have made. The idea is that I will have a bottle of each batch to give to my girls when they turn 21. My oldest daughter will get bottles aged 7 years or less, but my youngest will get bottles aged up to 16 years.

Of course, they have to share a glass with dad when those bottles get opened.

coffeeman885
10-06-2010, 12:49 AM
I have been successful so far at separating 2 bottles of each batch that I have made. The idea is that I will have a bottle of each batch to give to my girls when they turn 21. My oldest daughter will get bottles aged 7 years or less, but my youngest will get bottles aged up to 16 years.

Of course, they have to share a glass with dad when those bottles get opened.

One of my buddies had this plan with a bottle of 21 yr scotch. He was making plans to save it for future kid. He was easily convinced that he would probably try to justify drinking it early and be giving a 10 yr old a glass of scotch so... we just opened it. I was saving him from future problems.

I just started with my first batch of mead and I plan to save a bottle from each batch for at least 10 yrs. I am going to put them in a box in my friends basement with threat of serious bodily harm for missing bottles. This should stifle drunken bottle openings.

Tannin Boy
10-06-2010, 07:23 AM
Ha ha! I can't be bothered to bottle most of mine, so they just get as far as the bulk ageing stage.....

When they're a couple of years old, if I don't like the taste, I recover the alcohol and they get binned........

FB,

I am getting to this point as well!
I do like the flip top bottles that are a true quart size for gifts however.
I have been bottling 1/2 gallon twist tops for home and starting to think
those Korney Kegs are looking better every day... I will always bottle a
few that are corked as they go over well at parties....

TB
P.S. How are you recovering the alcohol? Do you freeze the stuff?

Brad Dahlhofer
10-08-2010, 08:31 PM
At first, we needed to sell everything we made, just so we could pay the bills. After a while we started saving 3 bottles from each batch. Now we save a case from each. In a few years, we're going to have one hell of a party. You're all invited! :)

wildoates
10-08-2010, 09:48 PM
At first, we needed to sell everything we made, just so we could pay the bills. After a while we started saving 3 bottles from each batch. Now we save a case from each. In a few years, we're going to have one hell of a party. You're all invited! :)

For that I might fly to Detroit. )

Chevette Girl
10-10-2010, 04:20 PM
For that I might fly to Detroit. )
;D
I second that! That would be worth getting a passport for!!

AToE
10-11-2010, 12:44 AM
Yup, count me in when that happens, I'll make a road trip out of it!

SurlyFace
10-11-2010, 08:40 AM
Ha! I can see how that would happen. I think I am going to try to keep 1 of every brew for maybe 5 years, but past that I may run into a storage issue.

Thanks for all the input.

Has anyone's "favorite" mead been one that has aged 5+ years?

I had a nutmeg ginger mead that sat in a carboy for 8 years after I moved and left it in mom and dad's basement -tucked away in corner. Down to my last 4 375ml bottles... Nothing else has even come close in terms of aging..

chiguire
10-11-2010, 01:19 PM
I had a nutmeg ginger mead that sat in a carboy for 8 years after I moved and left it in mom and dad's basement -tucked away in corner. Down to my last 4 375ml bottles... Nothing else has even come close in terms of aging..

Nice! How did the year old nutmeg ginger turn out?

There seems to be 2 reasons why archiving appeals to me.

1) You get to see the progression of your mead quality, your palate's preferences, and other general changes over your mead-making career.

2) You get to enjoy the benefits of aging.
But this is what seems debatable to me. Obviously different meads act differently to aging, but I wonder if all experience diminishing returns after a certain amount of time.
In Schramm's book, he says that he thinks (if I remember correctly) that things experience diminishing returns after about 2 years... (I don't have the book in front of me, but that is what I recall)

I am waiting to hear someone say that their all time favorite mead became their favorite after 5+ years of aging. If that is seldom to never the case, then archiving over 5 or so years may not be useful for reason #2 but still for reason #1.

Brad Dahlhofer
10-11-2010, 01:58 PM
Well I guess I'm definitely going to have to announce it when we have that party. :)

mmclean
10-11-2010, 04:17 PM
Posted by thelaw,


started 1st batch in october 2006 followed recipe to the tee
after 30 days racked it off and tasted it NASTY!!!!!!!!! thought i screwed something up but wasnt willing to flush it,. so it sat in a 1gal jug for 4 years before i tasted it 9/25/10
what a difference!!!!!!! if i hadent made it i would have sworn it was 2 different batches.

chiguire
10-11-2010, 11:06 PM
Posted by thelaw,

I have read many a similar story, and I have no doubt whatsoever that time can allow a foul tasting mead to become great.

Again, I don't have any doubts about that at all.

I am more curious to now if someone tastes a good mead at 2-5 years, and then it becomes an exceptional mead at 5+.

mmclean
10-12-2010, 05:13 AM
Maybe the problem is getting "good" mead to last five years. ;D

I have read that "most" meads improve up to 5 years. Not much about beyond. But does it really? Or does it just not start to go bad before 5 yrs?

I hope some people posts with some personal stories.

My plan is to brew some large batches each year (10, 15, maybe 20 gallons)and archive some so that I have a steady supply of 5 yr old mead.

Not much point in waiting if it's not improving.

SurlyFace
10-15-2010, 06:09 PM
Nice! How did the year old nutmeg ginger turn out?
.

It came out really good after all. When I put the recipe together, I'm pretty sure (it's the only recipe I've ever lost the notes for.. luckily it was a simple recipe and the amounts could be approximated) I dosed the crap out of it with ginger root. -it was like ginger rocket fuel for a good solid year.

Eventually, the aging got easier and easier..as I moved from apt to apt, making the decision to keep the mead elsewhere much easier as well. I doubt any of the currently aging/degassing/about-to-be-racked batches have a prayer of seeing 5 years.

YogiBearMead726
10-16-2010, 05:04 PM
I am more curious to now if someone tastes a good mead at 2-5 years, and then it becomes an exceptional mead at 5+.

If you look back into Ken Schramm's book, he talks about how Brother Adam, famed mazer and beekeeper of Buckfast Abbey, believed in oak barrel aging every style he made (4 if I remember correctly) for no less than 7 years, sometimes longer. I believe Ken also speculates that there is no reason it couldn't be stored for decades. However, I think it's telling that all this aging is done in bulk. Perhaps that 2-5 year peak applies to bottle aged mead?

I can't wait to try...just have to hold off drinking everything I brew... :)

mmclean
10-16-2010, 08:51 PM
Some Polish meads are aged up to 100 years.