TEMPERATURE AFFECTS THE AGING
As soon as beer is made, the aging process starts. The best way to lengthen its lifespan is to put it in the fridge as soon as you bring it home — even if you don’t plan to drink it until two months later. “Store your precious beer cold (3°C/38°F) until it’s ready to drink,” advises Julia Herz from the Brewers Association. “Beer is like bread or milk. It will advance, but when stored cold (not room temperature) that advancing of flavors and oxidation is slowed down.”
For pasteurized beer, you’ve got more time than a few months. In a course that Herz and Chef Adam Dulye taught about food and beer, they cited research from MillerCoors that stated that “storing beer in the following conditions will result in equivalent flavor loss:
- 3 days in the trunk of a hot car (32°C/90°F),
- 30 days at room temperature (22°C/71°F), and
- 300 days in the refrigerator (0°C/32°F).” Which means you have almost an entire year to drink that can of pasteurized beer before it goes bad!
Every beer has a shelf life. Beer will certainly “last” longer if refrigerated or kept in a kegerator. That is, the flavor will evolve more slowly over time at lower temperatures. Storage at higher than room temperature will invite a turning of the beer’s flavor for the worse, often described as “skunky”.
In some cases, an aged beer might be considered to have an appealing taste, but refrigeration will still slow the aging process and keep the beer longer. Additionally, the flavor of highly hopped beers will degrade quickly (within several months) at room temperature, and most people would agree that very hoppy beers in particular should be refrigerated.
HOW TO CHILL BEER
Water, Ice and Snow
If you are indoors and without ample space in the fridge, simply dunk your can/bottle/keg in cold water. Depending on the size of the container, use your sink, a bucket, a cooler, or your tub. To speed the process, add ice to the cold water and stir. By stirring, you’re using forced convection to speed the transfer of heat out of your drink and into the ice water solution. A small handful of salt in the ice bath will help as well. Salt lowers the freezing temperature of the water, so the water can get colder than the normal freezing temperature (0°C/32°F) without turning into ice. When outdoors, put your beverage container into a lake or stream, ensuring that your can/bottle/keg won’t float away. Or if it is winter, put it out in the snow.
A jockey box is a large cooler that has spout attachments that allow the user to dispense beer. It’s usually filled with coiled tubing, as well as ice and water. The container is insulated to help cool beer while its being served. However, you have to keep replacing the ice and use CO2 pressure equipment to push beer through the tubing system. It may seem like a good idea, but it’s very labor intensive to use.
Portable Keg Cooler
If you would like a more reliable means of cooling your beer and it is in a keg, consider using the Powerblanket® ICE portable keg cooler. Even on the hottest summer days, the Powerblanket ICE insulated portable keg cooler can keep a cold keg of beer below 10°C/50°F for up to twelve hours without ever having to change the ice packs.
Powerblanket ICE Portable Keg Cooler
Process cooling in beer crafting is an important part in creating and serving the perfect brew. That’s why brewers across the world use keg coolers from North Slope Chillers, formerly known as Powerblanket ICE. These industrial-grade cooling wraps are built in the heart of Wasatch beer country in the Rocky Mountains, serving breweries such as Alpine Distilling in Park City, Utah.
North Slope Chillers’ keg coolers stand out from your standard run of the mill coolers on the market due to specific design details. These specifications were learned from customers’ experiences in using older versions of the keg cooler. As such, the keg cooler is being continually upgraded as its use spreads more and more. Those innovative features of North Slope Chillers’ keg cooler include the following:
- Black materials absorb the sun’s energy and get hot fast. The North Slope Chillers insulated keg cooling blanket has a highly reflective industrial grade white vinyl shell that reflects solar radiation to help keep your keg cool.
- Many insulated keg jackets are made from ¼ inch neoprene. The North Slope Chillers insulated keg cooling blanket contains a ½ inch thick sheet of closed cell industrial grade foam insulation that will keep your keg cool on even the hottest days.
- Designed with 12 internal pockets to hold standard, reusable 12 oz 6” x 6” x 1” ice packs.
- The ice packs are affordable and easy to find, making replacement a breeze, keep an extra set in the freezer for continuous or frequent use.
- Easily swap ice packs out with newly frozen units for longer term use or colder temps.
- Convenient ice pack size means it will be easy to fit these ice packs into your freezer.
- Cooling blanket and ice packs are easily portable, along with your keg
- Low cost beer keg cooling solution
- Keep keg beer cool for extended periods at low cost
Keg coolers from North Slope Chillers can be custom built to fit any size of beer container. They can also have their temperature ranges altered to meet the exact needs of your brewing operations.
From the early days of Powerblanket ICE, the goal has been to provide the best in temperature control and to meet the demands of beer providers everywhere. North Slope Chillers continues that vision by manufacturing the most efficient keg coolers on the market. For more information about portable keg coolers, call (866) 826-2993 or email [email protected]
Breslouer, Lee. The 5 Rules for Keeping Your Beer Fresh and Drinkable.” Thrillist. 20 February 2017. www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/how-to-store-beer-the-5-rules-to-storing-your-beer