Cellaring beers too long ? La Chouffe kept too long?

Has anyone ever had a “bad beer” that your cellaring? I left a La chouffee bottle maybe a little too long huge amount of sediment inside the bottles. generally drink those fresh so a little concerned. my area is in the mid 60’s possiable 70 in summer so the acceleration would be much quicker then say the typical 50-60 guys talk about as optimum . what’s your guys tricks of the trade and concerns ?

cellaring is always a gamble. and, yes, I’ve had many bad beers from cellars. But they’re not going to be dangerous (except for the alcohol), just maybe not according to your taste

what timescale are we talking here?

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I’ll generally only cellar beers in styles that are known to often benefit from it, some experiments just aren’t worth doing. I think i have some chouffe in my rotbox currently, that was an experiment worth doing. I’ve had just-past-BB ones in the past that told me there was room for long-term improvement.

If the sediment seems huge, then it’s probably puffed up after autolysis, and is no longer contributing anything to the beer, consider cracking it open and pouring carefully, you don’t want to drink the poop in that state. Let it settle for a while in a fridge for a week before opening, and if you can prop it up at an angle that will help you pour it clear (avoid repeated tipping and righting of the bottle).

Most of my cellar I consider an experiment, but I’m lucky enough that almost all of them work. Ageing comes in several waves - so there will be troughs as well as peaks, and it’s unpredictable how long each one will take to kick in or last, so you can’t be scientific about it. So while it’s quite easy to learn which beers have attributes that have potential (rich malts, old-school bitter hops, or simply something that feels too rough or hot when young), but much harder to predict when their peaks and troughs will be.


It’s about 2.5 years old. Tonnes of puffy sediment .Not really intended just happen that way

Thank you for the valuable information. I think your right about The big puffy sediment (and tonnes of it) is the autolysis. I like to cellar sours, geuze and lambic styles. I was Just to complacent on these other styles i guess after BB. Do you have an opinion on bottles standing vs laying down? And tempature of cellars?
Thanks for your input

I think the standard opinion for beer aging is that there’s no point in laying them down. The argument with wine is something about keeping the cork wet and that’s just not relevant for beer?


I have seen both side of the argument. in most cases likely no point. 80% of my stuff is from Belgium in 750ML corked bottles primarily Geuze few sours. and some hotter beers 8%+ like Abt 12 (give 3-4 years on that it becomes very nice) I was planning on leaving a bottle of vandervelden 135 for a decade or 2 is why I ask
Thanks for your input much appreciated.

I’ve had some great tasting “fresh” barrel aged beers that went to shit after, what I considered, not THAT long a period. Some just sucked, some let the unknown to me infection to rise and shine.

In general, don’t lay it down. The sole reason for tipping is to make sure that the sediment gets to settle in the smallest region of the bottle and doesn’t get disturbed either by opening the bottle or pouring. You don’t want to right the bottle from it’s tipped position to open it, so you don’t want it too tipped. It takes some practice to complete the whole thing in one move, including pouring into multiple glasses, without disturbing the contents, but it gets pretty easy after a while, and I now often cringe when I see people swirling crud into later pours as they right and tip and tight and tip and right and tip, as pouring them all clear now comes naturally to me (good yeast can be added once it’s decided you want it).

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