Cold Storage and Bountifully Brewing Better Beers

Tuesday 22nd April 2014

How a drink is brewed can radically alter a number of its characteristics, from texture, to taste, to coloration, to the balance of ingredients. One of the principle areas of brewing that can have a serious impact on the final result of the beer, is the cold storage. Or rather, whether you will let the beer ferment in cold storage, or leave it to do so at a room temperature. This is a decision that you should make relatively early, so as to ensure you have the sort of beer you desire.

cold storage beer

Cold Storage and Beer

Lagers in particular are made by keeping the brew in cold storage, and the process is thus sometimes referred to as “lagering”. By keeping your drink chilled as it starts to mature, you give it a much more mellow and blended flavour. Other drinks can also benefit from this treatment, as the reaction of the fermentation can present a number of different effects. This is largely because lowering the temperature of the fermentation causes the chemical reactions surrounding it to slow down, and in turn increase the amount of oxygen the process uses up within the drink. Adding yeast can also add to the oxygen intake.

Ideally you should aim to keep the temperature at 0.6-1.7°C (or 33-35°F). This temperature is pretty much the same for most other alcoholic beverages as well.

The result of this of course is that because the process is slowed down when beer is left to ferment in cold storage, you’ll need to give it plenty of time to breathe and mature. In general, a good lager should be left in storage for roughly a month. Any less, and you won’t get the result you need or want. Should you be brewing at home for your own pleasure, time is your friend. A good month or two can leave your lager very well developed indeed.

Of course, with commercial brewing you may need to limit the amount of time you dedicate to fermentation simply to keep yourself supplies. In such cases, keeping your brew in fermentation for about two weeks is the minimum you should set yourself. In general you should try to lager in bulk as much as possible -- doing so will help increase production and can also hasten lagering. Don’t ask me how. It’s science.

For more information about cold storage and other refrigeration devices, please visit the website of CRS Cold Storage, British company specialise in such units and their accessories. Alternatively, you can phone them directly by calling 0800 085 2298.

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