10 July 2014 - Best Beer HQ
How to store beer like a pro
5 simple tips for storing beer in a cellar or fridge…
Whether you’re an amateur home brewer or you’re looking to start your own beer cellar, it’s important that you know how to store your beer correctly. After all, beer is a precious commodity and you don’t want to risk ruining it.
Follow these 5 steps for storing beer:
1. Store beer in an upright position
Like wine, there’s a right and wrong way to store beer. Whether you’re storing it in the shed, cellar or in the fridge, you should always store it upright. This way, the yeast will settle at the bottom of the beer bottle and the cork or bottle top won’t contaminate the flavour of the beer.
As a bonus, beer oxidises less when it’s stored upright than when it’s stored sideways. That means it’ll probably keep longer, which is crucial if you’re trying to age it like you would a fine wine.
2. Don’t store beer in the light
Like vampires, beer and sunlight don’t really mix. At least when you’re storing it (we’ll concede there’s nothing better than a cold beer on a sunny day).
Too much light will “skunk” your beer, which is about as nasty as it sounds. So always store your beer in a dim, dark location. It’s especially important if your beer is in a clear bottle, because they will obviously let in more light than green and brown beer bottles.
3. Store beer where it’s cool
For long-lasting and delicious beer, you should store it at a cool – but not freezing – temperature. A fridge is great if you plan to drink your beer soon, but for long-term beer storage most experts recommend using a cellar. That’s probably why storing beer in a cellar has been a popular choice for hundreds of years.
Every beer is different, mind you, so you may like to ask someone at the store what temperature it’s best to store your beer at. However, as a general guide, anywhere around 13-16 degrees Celsius seems to be adequate.
4. Check the use-by date
It sounds obvious, but you should always check the beer’s use-by date before you store it away. However, because not all breweries include these dates of when the beer will be best before, you should use your discretion. Perhaps rather than let a hole crate go bad, drink one of them every now and again to make sure it’s still good.
Generally, mainstream beer can be stored anywhere from six months to a year, and beers over 7% in alcohol tend to fare better. If you’re looking to age beer to bring out it’s flavours and alcohol content, then good luck to you – you’re on your own unless the brewer has given you some idea of how long it’s best to store it.
Because you probably won’t remember when you put what beer into storage, keep a diary handy and record in it exactly when you bought it and when you stored it.
5. Always drink an open beer
Finally, the most obvious tip for storing beer: always drink an open one. A beer will begin to lose its carbonation as soon as you open it, so just drink it. Open wide and pour it all in your mouth. Otherwise, you can use it to cook with, because beer for cooking doesn’t need to be carbonated.