Aging observations- time of year!

All styles of whiskey. This is for all-grain mashes.

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StuNY
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Aging observations- time of year!

Post by StuNY » Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:46 pm

Last month I made up a bottle of single malt from a jar that was aged about 6 months. Most of my previous batches of single malt taste great after 6 months, but this one was young. The flavors were not as complex, and it had a bit of a bite that I hadn't gotten in a 6mo single malt before. I had been playing around with different barley grains though so thought maybe it was that. I finished the bottle, but felt like it really needed more time and I didn't enjoy it as much as other batches.

Then today, I made up a bottle of a bourbon thats been aging 6 months. Same exact thing! Bit of a bite even though normally 6 months was perfect in my previous batches.

So... I looked at my log of previous batches for bourbons and scotches and found that all the best ones were aged over the summer! Turns out 6 months in the attic (insulated but not really heated or cooled) is totally different depending on the season. If I had to guess, I would say the winter aging is half the speed of summer aging based on tasting samples. The color fooled me a bit, because they all develop a deep amber color on the oak. Taste tells the rest of the story though!

Going to try to go 9 months now with the "winter aged" jars and see what happens.

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HDNB
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Re: Aging observations- time of year!

Post by HDNB » Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:26 pm

no doubt heat accelerates the reaction.

i find all booze "awkward" from 6 weeks to 6 months. before and after the taste is much better imho, maybe you just missed by a week or two.
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NZChris
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Re: Aging observations- time of year!

Post by NZChris » Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:40 pm

The difference in ambient temperatures is why rum ages faster in the tropics than whisky ages in Scotland. Most of my rums are aged in an old fridge fitted with an element controlled to ensure that the temperature is always tropical, even on cold winter days.

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vagabondmountainman
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Re: Aging observations- time of year!

Post by vagabondmountainman » Thu May 14, 2020 12:35 pm

NZChris wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:40 pm
The difference in ambient temperatures is why rum ages faster in the tropics than whisky ages in Scotland. Most of my rums are aged in an old fridge fitted with an element controlled to ensure that the temperature is always tropical, even on cold winter days.

What is your preferred aging temp Chris? I age all my bourbon and scotch in 2/3 full jars in my garage in California, which means they usually get up to 65-75 F in the day, and drop to 50-60 F at night year round as the weather doesn't vary too much here. They seem to age pretty well by 3-4 months, but definitely much better the longer they go. With a big improvement around 9 months to a year. I'm wondering if upping my temps a bit would help. You've got me thinking about putting them in a little outdoor shed in the sun that would get up to 85-90 in the day and drop to 50 or so at night.

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NZChris
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Re: Aging observations- time of year!

Post by NZChris » Thu May 14, 2020 1:32 pm

I don't let my rum cellar go below 85F.

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8Ball
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Re: Aging observations- time of year!

Post by 8Ball » Thu May 14, 2020 4:49 pm

NZChris wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:40 pm
The difference in ambient temperatures is why rum ages faster in the tropics than whisky ages in Scotland. Most of my rums are aged in an old fridge fitted with an element controlled to ensure that the temperature is always tropical, even on cold winter days.
I’m in a sub-tropical environment and my aging stock faces east to warm up during the day and to cool at night. So far, so good.

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Beerswimmer
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Re: Aging observations- time of year!

Post by Beerswimmer » Fri May 15, 2020 9:21 am

I age in 5 gallon barrels in my garage. My garage faces the sun all day and has a metal door and is always warmer than the outside. In the "winter" here(Dec-early Mar) it's around 70F in the day, down to maybe 50 at night. Some days warmer or colder. In the summer it's stifling hot, 100+ during the day down to the mid 80's at night. When I'm distilling with propane it'll be over 120 for the day. My barrels after a year are great, another year would be too much. I also lose 25% to the angels :?
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