How long does home brew beer last in a bottle?
This article answers that question exactly. We’ve focused on home brew beer, but the same answer will apply to home brew cider.
The simple answer is your home brew will be good up until 10-12 months, after which point the flavour and aroma characteristics will start to fade and your brew might be described as stale.
To test how long home brew beer lasts in a bottle we saved bottled of beer from around 20 brews for up to 18-months and then gave them a go.
How long home brew lasts in a bottle - explained.
The flavour and aroma characteristics of your brew will improve up until around three-months when the quality will reach it’s optimal point.
You may also find that any slight ‘off-flavours’ diminish or fall away as well.
Most kits will advise that brews require a minimum of 10-days once bottled before drinking. We advise a minimum of four weeks and often find beers, especially beers that have been dry hopped start to reach their best around 8-10 weeks, although they can be enjoyable before this point.
The quality of your beer with regard to the flavour and aroma characteristics will relatively remain stable between four and ten months.
Our observation is that a good brew will still have the similar characteristics or quality to what it would have around the 3-month mark through this extended period.
There are some caveats here. You will want to make sure you are storing your brew in a location that is cool and dry.
We would also suggest you bottle using glass bottles to ensure you retain optimal carbonation.
The quality of your brew particularly in terms of flavour and armoa will begin to fade.
This could be describe as ‘stale’ or you may even describe the quality as slightly ‘off’.
When we tried brews over 12-months old and up to 18-months old we found that they were drinkable, but not particularly enjoyable.
What you can do to help how long home brew beer will last in a bottle
What you store your brew in makes a difference
Glass bottles and crown top seals will be the most effective way to bottle your brew if you want to protect quality.
Plastic PET bottles are fine for short term use but do not effectively hold carbonation relative to the glass bottles.
Where you store your brew makes a difference
Aim to store your brew out of direct sunlight preferable in a cool dry place where the temperature is stable.
Remember you have made a fresh beer. There is some live yeast in your brew; and the same way temperature matters during fermentation it matters during the maturing process.
The quality of your brew will be more effective and last longer if you are storing it in effective conditions. For me this is a basement garage.
There are other variable that can affect how long home brew beer lasts in a bottle, for example the ABV of a brew.
Please use this content as a guideline and feel free to experiment and find what works best with your style of brewing and your preferred brews.