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  1. #1
    Beer Please!
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    Your Beer Collection / Storage

    I Know a number of guys in this forum have an impressive collection of beers, and from time to time have posted pics of how they store their beer.

    Up until a few days ago I kept everything in boxes in the closet of our spare room. Getting to and finding specific beers was a pain because I had to move boxes and open them all up, plus I did not have a catalog of what was where, in fact I forgot exactly what I had.

    My plan was to get a fridge just for beer storage so I could control the temp better (I have no AC in my house and that room would get into the lower 70's in the summer). But then my wife and I decided we needed a new fridge for our kitchen so then I could just move the old fridge into the garage and wal-lah beer fridge!

    So we had some extra money this month and my wife found a killer deal on a new Stainless fridge in the style she wanted, plus it was bigger. So 2 nights ago we picked it up:




    Moved my old Fridge into the Garage:



    The next day we cleaned her fully so I would have no remnants of food left over and I loaded her up:










    After losing a bottle of Stone Vertical Epic 09.09.09 to a tragic accident when multiple people moved that bottle from its safe nook in the back to a location at the edge of the fridge I now have a new rule. Only I am to access the new beer fridge, that way if something breaks I can only blame myself.




    How do you store your beer? Please share pics.


    Also, I have a number of 22oz Capped bottles and I have been told in the past to never store them on their side to where liquid is touching the cap. The problem I have is the space available in this fridge only allows for one shelf to be for upright storage unless I pull everything and remove the top shelf and raise up the middle one. Anyone have any first hand knowledge on this and any recommendations? I know it is okay to store the Corked bottles on their side.

    Does it make a dif to have a waxed top on a capped bottle for storage?
    Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.

  2. #2
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    I live in a 900 sq. ft. condo with my wife and 3 year old son. We have no garage and very little storage of any kind. I should mention my wife and kid have a ton of crap.

    The little beers I save go in the bottom of my wine fridge. It fits about 15 or so upright.

    It's a sad existence.

  3. #3
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    Wish I could give you recommendations, but I took the same fridge and turned it into my dual-tap kegerator.

    I've been keeping my stash boxed up in my garage. I just moved, and unfortunately, my new garage is uninsulated so constant temp regulation is an issue until I can get around to sheetrocking.

    The important tips I've heard are:

    - Constant, cool temp
    - Protection from light -- i.e., boxed up and/or dark
    - Limited movement; protection from jostling, etc.

    I've also heard that capped bottles should be stored upright, and so should corked, ideally. If you store corked bottles on their side, let them sit upright for a day or two before opening so that the lees can settle.

    The most important tip I have, from unfortunate personal tragedy, is to keep a careful inventory of what you've got. I've effectively killed a couple of beers because I forgot where they were or that I even had them, then opened them too late.

    I use the iPhone app Brewvault for this.

    Looks like you've got some tasty treats in there, pal! Congrats on the new cellar!

  4. #4
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    I am not too sure you need to store more than 6 bottles. Unlike wine, I don't think beer gets all that much better over the years. Yea, I have a temp controlled fridge and have a half dozen or so mixed in with the wine. One of my keepers is Abyss. Some years I think are better than others, but I don't think that any of them are one bit better one, two or three years out as opposed three months out. I sort of do like to compare one year to another side by side. But is is sort of like wine. They are often both very good. Different, but good.
    And Mr. Klur, that Voodoo crap you have in storage ain't ever going to be any good no matter how long you have it stored. Sorry.

  5. #5
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    When I order wine in the summer, it comes in styro foam containers. I save them to store both my wine and bombers of beers in the basement. I've got a couple Belgians stashed away and about 20 or so bottles of Trader Joe's Vintage Ale dating back to 2008. Most of the storing I do is cabernet, I tend to drink the beer up shortly after purchasing.

  6. #6
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    When I order wine in the summer, it comes in styro foam containers. I save them to store both my wine and bombers of beers in the basement. I've got a couple Belgians stashed away and about 20 or so bottles of Trader Joe's Vintage Ale dating back to 2008. Most of the storing I do is cabernet, I tend to drink the beer up shortly after purchasing.

  7. #7
    Paper Mill Aleworks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom H View Post
    I am not too sure you need to store more than 6 bottles. Unlike wine, I don't think beer gets all that much better over the years.
    Obviously "better" is a relative term/opinion, and not to get on any sort of derailment, but no.
    Certain styles of beer (not all) will most definitely benefit/benefit from aging properly, just like wine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom H View Post
    And Mr. Klur, that Voodoo crap you have in storage ain't ever going to be any good no matter how long you have it stored. Sorry.
    Again...not that this hasn't been beaten to death amongst beer snobs, and bandwagon humpers alike, but some people actually do enjoy that beer (myself being one of them).

    Sorry...just had to get that out of my system.

    To the original point, I have found myself as more of the accidental beer cellar-er.
    I had always kept a few here and there for experimental aging purposes over the years, and then a few years back got into trading. In PA, prior to a few years ago, buying a case of whatever was the norm. So, I'd buy a case of something, trade a few away and store the rest to be consumed periodically. The issue then is that I'd have half a case of this, half a case of that, plus all this influx of traded for beers. over the course of a few years, generally low consumption rates, and a severe "out of site, out of mind" mentality due to extensive work travel...stock piles grew and grew.

    Five or six years later...here I am, having a terrible time maintaining manageable numbers in the basement. 1,124 at last count, even with numerous "pay it forward" trades (non-reciprocal), and countless bottle shares.

    Queue first world problems anthem!

    I digress...I'm able to keep the bottles in a temp/humidity controlled basement, and share ad nauseum with friends/family. I also take unjustifiable solace in the fact that I know there are people out there with much more in a cellar than I, and I'm not a whale hunter, so I'll actually drink mine

    I will wax some of the capped bottles, only if my personal tastes/feelings lead me to believe oxidization long-term may not benefit the beer. I try and keep two or three of each, and taste incrementally, which allows you to make a better judgement call as to "cellar-ability". I Always drink one fresh though, even if it means not having one to age.

    Some quick and dirty pictures of the shelves.





    There is a kegerator in the corner as well, holding a few dozen "drink soon" bottles, as well as rotating home-brew kegs
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Beer Please!
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    Holy Crap Josh! Now that is impressive. Looks like you have a Beer store in your basement.

    I am thinking about possibly waxing some of the bottles I want to keep longer than 2 years. I cannot believe I already have some bottles that old. Like you I collect because I like to try variety, but I do not consume as fast as some do, hence my personal back log.
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  9. #9
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFryauff View Post
    Five or six years later...here I am, having a terrible time maintaining manageable numbers in the basement. 1,124 at last count, even with numerous "pay it forward" trades (non-reciprocal), and countless bottle shares.

    Queue first world problems anthem!
    Sir, I salute you!

    Question: what's your method/material for waxing caps? I've had some bottles go bad on me that were definitely due to oxidation and I'd like to get a handle on it...

  10. #10
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    I use a full-sized fridge (without a freezer) that I got second-hand from a lab that closed down. Combine it with a thermostat and I have a temperature-controlled environment that can hold a couple hundred bottles.

    I have mixed opinions about vertical vs side-storage. I'm led to believe that it's always better to store vertical, since beer coming in contact with the lid is not good for the lid (either cap or cork.) There's information floating around online that talked about this issue with cellared champagne - the French researchers indicated that the champagne, when in contact with the cork, decreases its elasticity and effectiveness. I've read similar things from guys who cellar lambics long-term.

    I don't buy much into the headspace distribution argument, since most headspace is CO2 or nitrogen anyway (almost all breweries purge or let CO2 naturally purge the bottles before capping.) Keeping the yeast cake at the bottom for those beers which have it is nice, so you don't have to let it settle before opening.

    Waxing bottle tops is good if you don't trust the cap, or if there's a risk of humidity causing it to rust. But before your beer is oxidized from cap leakage, it will lose carbonation (due to the pressure gradient.) Internal oxidation is a different story, and is caused by the oxygen dissolved into the beer before bottling.

    My philosophy is keep your beer upright, keep it 55F or cooler if possible, and keep it out of sunlight. If you don't want to "properly cellar" it, keep it in the fridge. If you put it somewhere warmer, be prepared for a much quicker aging.

  11. #11
    Hi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom H View Post
    Unlike wine, I don't think beer gets all that much better over the years.
    Yes, your opinion is subjective, but you're wrong. There is absolutely no difference between the basic biochemical processes that cause wine to change over time from those that cause beer to change. You just need to try more beers with age on them (that are meant to be aged.)

    Now, conversely, I don't think most of the beers I've tried would get better with age. And most of them reach an age limit, and then start to drop off. That particular age limit is subjective, but it's very clear when it happens - a good way to test this is to try a vertical of a particular beer, like Abyss.

  12. #12
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    Well, I don't know guys. I guess I am just not the beer snob that some people have become. I don't think beer was ever intended to be something to invest, hold on to, or covet. Beer to me is best drank cool, often, and with vigor.
    Why on earth would I want to purchase, store, keep temp and light controlled for long periods something that I can pick up at the store and enjoy sitting on the curb outside, trailside or in my house contemplating solutions to world problems?
    I have bought a few cases of 3 Floyds, Stoney, and Da Shoots products and done the storage gig for several years and then can't remember if they were that much better aged or if it is a beer snob trick that I am wonderful and smart in doing so.
    I think it to me aged beer is an emperor in clothes. I would bet that I could line up 90 beers that would blow your doors off less than a year old. I just don't see the point in saving a pint for later when I could enjoy it just as much today. To each their own, now getting a two keg C O2, rig could be a nice investment.
    This is from a guy with 2, three and five year old tubulars that havent seen the light in a really long time. Age tires not beer.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom H View Post
    Well, I don't know guys. I guess I am just not the beer snob that some people have become.
    It has nothing to do with being a beer snob.
    You clearly stated in your original post that "Unlike wine, I don't think beer..."
    That statement leads me to believe that you believe wine will develop, and possibly even get better over time...so does that make you a wine snob?

    As for the rest of your rant; going on about tubes, emperors, and other nonsense...it's hard to tell whether or not you're simply being silly or trolling.
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post


    Nice fridge art! Very important feature!

    I also have an old refrigerator in the garage that's very similar to yours, except I keep way fewer beers, since I'm mostly an enthusiast, rather than a collector. I'm not sure if this would be a concern, but be careful keeping stuff on that top shelf right below the blower. It actually can get very cold to the point of freezing some items. If your temp setting is not that cold, it's probably not an issue. Ours is kept pretty cold since we still use it occasionally for food storage.

    I also just noticed the way you use the lower bins. Is that intentional or did the glass shelf break?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFryauff View Post
    Some quick and dirty pictures of the shelves.


    This is awesome. I would like to see who can name the most beers in this pic!

  16. #16
    Beer Me!
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    You boys got me drooling. I have backed off on collecting to be honest, I still have a devoted beer fridge, and a lot of rarities that I am still hanging on to, but i have had one too many beers spoil on me when i should have just drank them right away. Now when i get something fancy, most (not all) of the time i drink it within 4 months of getting it.
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  17. #17
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    I don't collect much, but I have the same refrigerator deal going on. We just bought a new house that came with an ugly, white, but brand new fridge (previous owners took their stainless one with them and bought the cheap new one for renters). So we bought a new one similar to your new one, and now I have a sweet new kegerator/beer storage fridge in the garage. However, the detached garage gets so cold, I think the fridge wouldn't even run for 6 months out of the year, actually it might help prevent the beers from freezing more than anything.

    I also have a small kegerator for inside the house in a mudroom. Has such a great sticker collection, I just can't justify getting rid of it.

    Lastly, I have a few random cases in the crawlspace. Pretty sure it stays around 50º year round down there but I should measure the temp for a while. I almost brought home a whiskey barrel from the local distillery that I was going to put down there and fill with some imperial stout to age for a while, but the opening to the crawlspace was 1 inch too narrow Might do it in the garage this spring/summer.

  18. #18
    rj2
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    It's all beer rep based on his cellar
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  19. #19
    rj2
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    C–, Natty Ice, Chelada…
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  20. #20
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    Beer i am going to drink soon at home, beer i want to forget i own so i don't drink it at my parents basement, and beer in pugatory or being shipped and recieved in my work locker at the bike shop.

  21. #21
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    Here is how I store my beer:


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  22. #22
    Beer Please!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tburger View Post
    Nice fridge art! Very important feature!

    I also have an old refrigerator in the garage that's very similar to yours, except I keep way fewer beers, since I'm mostly an enthusiast, rather than a collector. I'm not sure if this would be a concern, but be careful keeping stuff on that top shelf right below the blower. It actually can get very cold to the point of freezing some items. If your temp setting is not that cold, it's probably not an issue. Ours is kept pretty cold since we still use it occasionally for food storage.

    I also just noticed the way you use the lower bins. Is that intentional or did the glass shelf break?
    I keep the Setting in the fridge on the warmer side, Probably around 50-55 degrees, so i am not worried about freezing.

    The glass from the drawers was being cleaned in the dishwasher. My wife said it smelled like fish and needed to be sanitized... hahaha. I have since re-done my setup as you can see in my pic below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom H View Post
    I don't think beer was ever intended to be something to invest, hold on to, or covet.
    Why on earth would I want to purchase, store, keep temp and light controlled for long periods something that I can pick up at the store and enjoy sitting on the curb outside, trailside or in my house contemplating solutions to world problems?
    I would not call my personal collection an investment of any sort. I collect beer because it makes me happy. I really enjoy trying lots of different things, but I do not drink very much, maybe 20-30oz a week at most. I like trying beer that I cannot find locally, and if I happen to do a beer trade with someone I might hold on to a few beers for a while so I can share the rare bottle with a friend who also enjoys the same hobby.

    As to your comment about holding on to something one can just run to the store to buy, if you take a good look at my collection you will find very little of what I have can be purchased at the local store. Most of what I have is one run or annual batch runs not beers that are available all the time.

    While many beers are not designed to be stored for long periods of time, many beers are bottle conditioned meaning they will change with age and mature in the bottle.


    I took out one of the shelves and added some wood supports for the top shelf because with that load it had a slight bow in it and I did not want any accidents. Here is my new configuration:

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    I would not call my personal collection an investment of any sort. I collect beer because it makes me happy.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom H View Post
    And Mr. Klur, that Voodoo crap you have in storage ain't ever going to be any good no matter how long you have it stored. Sorry.
    I didn't care for that beer either, but all the more reason to let it age. Just maybe it will get better with age. It did find that beer was much more palatable with a shot of Crown Royal Maple Whisky in it

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom H View Post
    I don't think beer was ever intended to be something to invest, hold on to, or covet.
    Stone Vertical Epic was brewed for that exact reason. Well at least to hold on to, not so sure about investing or coveting.

    The Stone Blog » The Final Chapter: Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

    My small collection consists of one case of Vertical Epic with bottles ranging from 07.07.07 to 12.12.12. I would love to get my hands on some older bottles of VE if anyone has a lead they'd care to pass my way.

  25. #25
    Beer Please!
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    Quote Originally Posted by textbookonewk View Post
    My small collection consists of one case of Vertical Epic with bottles ranging from 07.07.07 to 12.12.12. I would love to get my hands on some older bottles of VE if anyone has a lead they'd care to pass my way.
    "IF" you can find it I bet you will be paying through the nose to get a bottle. I think it was $150.00 to go to the event at Stone Brewery, and from what I heard people were getting very very very small pours at that price.

    If I was into craft beer back in 2002 I would totally have a vertical collection of my own, but alas I did not really hit this scene until 2009/2010.


    I do have a small vertical of Stone's Russian Imperial Stout. That is an annual spring release and limited quantities are made. You can still get the 2012 in stores, but it should all be gone by the time this spring roles around. I only have 2 bottles left of the 2010 series, about 4 or 5 of 2011 and about 8 or 9 of the 2012 bottles. last year I did a vertical of the 2010 side by side the 2011 and there was some noticeable changes between the years. It was a fun little thing to do. I hope to do a 4 bottle vertical this spring from 2010 - 2013 bottles.
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