I'm getting some sour flavors and off-aromas in my bottled beer when they have more of one month in bottle. When the beers are young, they taste really good with full aromas, but even if I stored all the batch in the fridge, I can't hold the freshness.

Is any way to improve the freshness with beers like Pale Ale or Heifeweizen?

EDIT For example, I made a beer using Pilsener Malt and wheat, in boiling I added some orange peel and coriander seeds. The beer, after one week in bottle conditioning, has a lovely aroma and full flavor, no problem. After 14 days, the aroma was gone and the taste became flat and sour, also the head retention was going worst. This example is with wheat, but also with a Pale Ale the hoppy flavor and arome went to nothing.

  • How cold do you keep your beers? Just covering all the bases, but as temperature drops, so can flavor.
    – kenyabob
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 23:51

2 Answers 2


The three major factors that affect shelf life are sanitation, oxidation, and storage conditions.

  1. Make sure everything is sanitized post-boil. If you need to touch a hose, wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap, etc. Fermenters, bottles, racking canes, tubing, caps -- everything should be sanitized immediately prior to use. A minor infection might not affect flavor at first, but it will get worse over time. Sourness is usually a sign of infection.
  2. Oxygen greatly decreases shelf life. Be very careful to avoid hot-side aeration (vigorous stirring or splashing while the wort is hot). After fermentation, be very careful not to splash or vigorously stir your beer when racking to secondary and bottling. The only time O2 is good is when the wort has been cooled after the boil you are working on getting fermentation started. Oxidized beer tastes flat, blah, stale and sometimes cardboard-like.
  3. Store your beer in a temperature-stable place, preferably cool and dark. The warmer the storage area, the faster the changes due to infection or oxidation will occur.

Finally, serving temperature has a huge impact on flavor and aroma. The colder it is, the less flavor and aroma.

  • Is hot-side aeration bad? I'll try to avoid it then. Thanks
    – Geo Perez
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 19:36

Without more description from you, I can make a few guesses. The sourness could be that you have a low level infection that becomes worse as the beer ages. Off aroma covers a lot of territory. Again, it could be infection but it could also be something like oxidation. Both of these are possible even if the beer is refrigerated. Unless you can give us a better description of the flaws, those are the best guesses I can make.

  • How can I really determine that an infection is going on? Only but the taste?
    – Geo Perez
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 16:42
  • Primarily by taste, yes. Also if it continues to become more carbonated.
    – Denny Conn
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 17:08
  • With infection the beer is more carbonated? Because they are losing carbonation and head retention...
    – Geo Perez
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 17:21
  • They won't necessarily become more carbonated, but that's the usual scenario with infection. Like I said, I'm guessing.
    – Denny Conn
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 17:32
  • @DennyConn - rather than guessing, it's better to post comments asking for clarification of the details you need.
    – mdma
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 23:30

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