You just made a beer run and grabbed that limited edition IPA release, maybe more than your fridge can handle. So where is the next best place for storing your beer, while also making sure your beer doesn’t get “skunked” (trust me it is as bad as it sounds and smells). Just follow these simple and easy tips to make sure your beer is as fresh and tasty as possible.
The shelf life of beer is normally 3 months (also unless you have a giant walk in fridge, then you should have already drank it by now). Quality of beer is affected by 2 major contributors: light and temperature (Beer’s Worst Nemesis). As soon as beer is made, the aging process begins. Beers with a higher alcohol content can be stored longer than beers with a lower alcohol content, so be sure to keep that in mind.
A beer’s shelf life refers to the length of time it will remain fresh or stable under normal conditions. Most beer has a shelf life of between 6 to 12 months if stored properly. Of course by storing it in a fridge you elongate the life of most beer, compared to storing it in a pantry. Many breweries supply either a bottling date or best-before date. These will be stamped either on the carton or bottle.
Extreme heat causes a beer to age quickly and not as smoothly as it was intended. Ideally you want to keep beer stored at an optimal 13 degrees celsius (50 to 55 degrees fahrenheit).Don’t worry it’s not the end of the world if you can’t find a place that is around that temperature. Beer will still develop nicely at a slightly warmer temperatures. If you don’t have space in your fridge, store it in a dark room that has a consistent temperature and rarely fluctuates.
Corked bottles are a completely different story. These corked bottles are best for cellar dwelling (alcohol content of 7% or higher) develop favourable flavours with time.The normal kitchen refrigerator is designed to create the driest environment possible, this can cause corks to shrink and allow air to enter the bottle. The best way to avoid this is by using a wine cooler, which were specifically designed to solve this problem and will also work great for corked beers.
When it comes to the position of storing your beer, make sure it is placed in an upright position and not horizontal. By storing your beer in an upright position you will make sure that the yeast stays at the bottom of the beer and that only the very minimal surface area of the beer is is touching the air trapped in the bottle. This will make sure that you get a clean, yeast free pour.
When it comes time to choosing a place to keep that liquid gold, keep it away from light. Sunlight breaks down hop compounds and turns that liquid gold into a sulfur compound and is very similar to the active ingredient when a skunk sprays. Ideally you want a dim and dark location for storing your beer. Believe it or not ultraviolet light spoils beer pretty easily and cause beer to get “skunked” within a matter of hours.
You should also make sure that the beer is stored in a constant temperature environment. Drastic fluctuations in temperatures cause the beer to go through some very funky changes. If you’ve already opened a bottle of beer, you mine as well finish it, as there isn’t any point in storing it.
So treat that beer with the respect it needs and make sure you follow these tips for your next beer run.