I’m not asking if this is okay because I really have no choice but to take on this activity. I’m moving to a new house this week and I’m boxing up about 200 Lambic, 8 carboys, 8 kegs, 75 bottles of bourbon, wine, mead and iced wine and then another 150 or so bottles of beer. All of it is being transferred to my new house on a 15 mile bumpy dirt road. Temperatures are mild around 55 this week.
I’m primarily concerned for the Lambic & Homebrew wild ales. Most of my Lambic I bought 1st hand myself through importers or stores. It’s already sat in hot shipping containers for a few weeks and then on a bright sun-lit beer store shelf before eventually arriving at my 55 degree pitch black basement. There are no earthquakes here or shaking so the bottles sit pretty much undisturbed. When I acquire a bottle conditioned beer, I always let it sit for 90 days before I open it to let it clarify and yeast to settle. I don’t like yeasty beers.
The transporting of wild ales is a touchier subject. These aren’t sealed receptacles beyond an airlock. Each of the ales has a pellicle formed which is meant to act as a barrier between the beer and the oxygen. The pellicle will be long gone after this move and will need to re-create itself for the rest of the fermentation journey. The kegs will be fine obviously but some of my Lambic was brewed in 1997. I’m the 2nd owner of these and honestly most of them are just now to a point where I’m ready to open them. The older they are, the longer I let them sit. I waited 10 months to open Blauw from 3 Fonteinen and the clarity and taste was gorgeous. Patience is virtue when the yeast sediment has turned to sewage gunk.
I guess for the bottles, I’m just setting myself back 3-12 months on opening them. That’s fine but it does suck. Maybe I’ll have one more bottle this week before the move as a celebration. I don’t know if balsamic / acetic tastes are going to pop up due to the breaking of this pellicle. I really hope not because these beers are all smelling and tasting pretty good. They are all in a nice spot to be kegged sometime at the end of this year.
I’ll definitely report back on how the home-brew tastes when it is complete. Obviously my crappy skills as a brewer means that 90% of these are going to suck so I guess it’s not too bad. I’m actually moving all of the carboys and bottles in my car over a few trips because the moving truck is so bumpy, I’d for sure have some issues. You don’t want 8 carboys with 5 gallons of beer each shattering in the moving truck among all of my belongings.
The new house is great. I go by tomorrow to get Internet and utilities setup. I’ll have beer there and my new chest freezer arrives for my keezer build this summer. Obviously, I’ll take lots of photos as that progresses!