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Old 07-14-2008, 02:22 PM   #1
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Default Cold storing live beers?

I've noticed that a lot of liquor stores store their bottle-conditioned beers in the refrigerated units. Most of these beers are meant to be aged, and I know that refrigerating them won't help that along. Worse, though, is that I've heard the yeast can eventually die in these conditions, which may explain (among other things) why some people who have been buying Sam Adams Triple Bock recently have said it tasted like soy sauce (I never noticed anything like that when I drank it, and it was much younger). Is this the case?

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Old 07-14-2008, 02:34 PM   #2
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I don't think the average liquor cooler temp of ~40°F is cold enough to kill yeast. Heck, you can freeze yeast in glycerine and still have a viable sample. I think if the beer tastes like soy sauce there's something seriously wrong going on with it. Soy sauce is like salt water!!! If you got your hands on a bottle its gotta be over 10 years old... who knows what happened to it in the mean time. It could have been left out on a shelf in full sunlight for 10 years for example... every day warming up and cooling down while getting all those rays. If you just got a 07 bottle I dont think its ready to drink yet.

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Old 07-14-2008, 02:47 PM   #3
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I think there's little or no correlation between whether a beer is bottle-conditioned and whether it's meant to be aged. Bottle-conditioning is simply a production choice on the part of the brewery, on how they're going to carbonate the bottled beer.

Refrigeration at the point of sale is probably the best your beer has been handled on its journey. If only it didn't have to sit in 100+ degree trucks and warehouses along the way...

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Old 07-14-2008, 07:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sirsloop View Post
I don't think the average liquor cooler temp of ~40°F is cold enough to kill yeast. Heck, you can freeze yeast in glycerine and still have a viable sample. I think if the beer tastes like soy sauce there's something seriously wrong going on with it. Soy sauce is like salt water!!! If you got your hands on a bottle its gotta be over 10 years old... who knows what happened to it in the mean time. It could have been left out on a shelf in full sunlight for 10 years for example... every day warming up and cooling down while getting all those rays. If you just got a 07 bottle I dont think its ready to drink yet.
I'm not the one buying them; others I've seen on the board are. I haven't had one in years but I really liked them when they were about 5 years old. At any rate, I know you can freeze yeast, but you can't keep it forever in the refrigerator. I know the environments aren't the same, but my thought was that storing it for YEARS in a cold environment might damage the yeast.

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I think there's little or no correlation between whether a beer is bottle-conditioned and whether it's meant to be aged. Bottle-conditioning is simply a production choice on the part of the brewery, on how they're going to carbonate the bottled beer.

Refrigeration at the point of sale is probably the best your beer has been handled on its journey. If only it didn't have to sit in 100+ degree trucks and warehouses along the way...
I'm speaking specifically of ones that are meant to be aged, like strong ales (Thomas Hardy, for example) and the Triple bock I mentioned above.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:15 PM   #5
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i have 2 yeast starters, one in the fridge and one in the freezer, will they both survive? lemme know.

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Old 07-17-2008, 11:21 PM   #6
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i have 2 yeast starters, one in the fridge and one in the freezer, will they both survive? lemme know.
Uhhhh. Well that's not quite what Teacher was talking about, but okay, we'll address that: Without more information, I'd say the yeast starter in the freezer isn't going to survive, because water, when it freezes, crystallizes and punctures the yeast cells' walls. BUT that is assuming that you don't mean that you have a slant of frozen yeast suspended in glycol, which will be just fine. But the yeast starter in the refrigerator is probably just fine and dandy. If you want more info on this, it'd be easiest to start a new thread with an appropriate title.

------

Back to the beers at hand, and to Teacher's question: Sam's '95-97 Triple Bock is, from what I've heard, an interesting critter. I've heard reviews ranging from "best thing since sex" to "soy sauce", "vinegar in a bottle", "bourbon", "rancid bakers' chocolate".

I think that the Triple Bock did not, in fact, age well, and SA just hadn't planned on it failing like that. Then again - who am I to say? Maybe they WANTED soy sauce in a bottle.

Generally speaking, refrigerating a beer isn't going to implicitly ruin it, after all many people who have true "cellars" hold their beers or wines at 45-55 degrees, a reasonable temp to hold a fridge at. From what I understand, the temperature shock of going 36F -> 80F -> 36F -> 80F etc etc is what causes the beer to age poorly.

I wish I had a scientific explanation, but I don't, I'm going off of anecdotal information I've heard over the years. But I am going to look into this, you've got me curious now!
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:06 AM   #7
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ok thanks for answering my question. i should of made a thread, i guess i just got exicited and decided to post right then and there.. thanks again.

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