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A question for those in the know.

How well does alcohol store?

A person needed to store a great deal of alcohol for a long period of time, but didn't really have access to any of the high tech means we have today. All he would have access to would be his basement.

What would store well, what wouldn't? I'm thinking for a period of about 12 years.

Can anyone help me?

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
gene_machine
Jan. 14th, 2007 10:24 am (UTC)
booze
Depends on the format.

Beer will last about about a year in cool (basement) conditions with complete darkness.

Wines will vary greatly depending on type and quality. The genuine wine people will no doubt comment soon, but only the quite good stuff will be bottled to such standards as to reasonably last a decade or more. Anything that *is* that good may well last much longer. The awesome wines (grange hermitage etc) that may be kept many decades are subect to periodic inspections, cork replacements, top-ups, etc. Dark cool dry basement should be just about ideal, whether we are talking a few years or twenty.

Distilled spirits will last indefinitely (decades) in sealed containers. Synthetic seals will last the best, corks may need inspection and/or specific orientation. Darkness is recommended.

Liquers I haven't the foggiest about, but may well last ok with synthetic seals. Cream liquers will probably not make it.

Az.
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halloranelder
Jan. 14th, 2007 11:31 am (UTC)
Re: booze
Thanks for that, just needed to check if my timeline would work.
iosef
Jan. 14th, 2007 10:58 am (UTC)
Older grape varietals store longer. Pre 1970 wines lasted longer, as do reds against whites and still against sparkling. Wax sealing extends aging due to protection against oxidisation. Wine also stores longer in cask than in modern bottling,

Fortification of Ports and similar extends this to (potentially) centuries. Samples from shipwrecks have been drinkable after extended periods. Cf The Mary Rose.

Spirits and spirit liquors are long life as long as there are sealed and protected from extremes of temperature. Cream spirits are modern but generally short lived.

A wax sealed bottle will prolong most things by preventing oxygen exchange.

Once bottles are open, wines start to oxidize and only have a life of 6 hours or so. Vacuum removal of air from the bottle will extend this to a few days.

Near pure Alcohol lasts as long as it is prevented from evaporating.
halloranelder
Jan. 14th, 2007 11:31 am (UTC)
Thanks for that, just needed to check if my timeline would work.
crazyjane13
Jan. 14th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
Good red wine, laid down. Whisky, particularly in barrels. Brandy and cognac, definitely!

And, if you believe Poe, casks of amontillado. :-)
nigelw
Jan. 15th, 2007 12:14 am (UTC)
Modern wines (reds more than whites) will store just fine for 6-10 years, some might store well for longer. Screw-top bottles will store better than cork+wax sealed bottles will last better than cork sealed bottles.

Beer will last (and improve) for 3-6 years. I have some three-year-old homebrew left and it's *very* nice. :)

Meads will last for 10-20 years at *least*.

Spirits that are in sealed bottles will last virtually forever, and will not change in flavour in that time. Your 25+ year-old whiskies get the extra flavour development from being stored in wooden casks for that time. That flavour development doesn't happen in glass.
fire_wuff
Jan. 15th, 2007 11:48 am (UTC)
for the pure stuff storage is indefinate. other interesting facts

http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/ET/ethyl_alcohol.html
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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