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Dealing with Stale Beer

Sometimes you try a new recipe and things don’t turn out quite right. Other times you get on a brewing tear and you have more beer than you can consume. Or maybe all those dark beers you made in the late winter have held over into Summer. Regardless of how we get there some of us as brewers end up with more beer than we can drink at times, GASP! This week we talk about what we do to deal with stale beer.

I for one am not ashamed to dump out beer. If I get through half a batch of beer and I have more beer that I want to drink or if I need the space to get new beer brewed, I will pour out a batch of beer that isn’t up to snuff.

Sometimes, I’ll bottle a few bottles for comparison if I am planning a re-brew the recipe with a couple tweaks.

Another option is to give it away. The danger in that is that if the beer isn’t the greatest representation of your efforts you can taint your audience as to how good of a brewer you are. Or worse, you can taint their view of homebrew altogether!

John bottles much of his beer but his beer fridge space is limited. He also isn’t afraid to start popping caps and pouring beer out when its past its prime.

So, how do you deal with staling beer?
Do you find yourself dumping beer in-order to make room for more beer?

Or maybe you are fortunate enough that you have a group of friends that don’t care and will drink anything!

Let us know your thoughts.
Cheers. BREW ON!


Black IPA Recipe


2014 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines


  1. iserdalko

    Best way is to not let it go stale. I says: brew small batches and brew as often as you need. It’s more fun, less hassle, less risk, less beer to dump if things go horribly wrong.

  2. Jesper Thygesen

    Hi Brew Dudes.

    Thanks for a well-timed blog article.
    I happen to be in this exact situation – trying to decide if I should dump some of my dark beer in favour of my latest brew. In preparation for summer I had brewed a dunkelweizen and a hefeweizen – I find wheat beers to be perfect for a hot summer – but due to an error in weighing my grains the hefe ended up really dark, even darker than my dunkel 🙂

    Inspired by Mike’s Lawnmover Beer I brewed up a light Cream Ale to counter all that dark beer and now it is ready to be kegged, but all my kegs are full…

    Usually if I have a keg of beer that didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, I will let it sit on the keg for a while and then dump it when I need the keg – It hurts less if all of my hard work brewing it isn’t fresh in my memory 🙂

    Best regards

  3. Joe

    Never thought to pour it out. I brew a ton and many times it is just drinkable. Maybe I need to develop higher standards?

  4. I am searching your site for the results of your cyser and stumbled across this stale beer dilemma. One time I made 5 gallons of beer vinegar by mistake. I hate waste so I kept it and used it . Other than that, I would try to blend it out; perhaps a little stale in with a lot of fresh. I would not ever give away any beer that is sub-standard.

    Best regards.

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