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Old 01-17-2013, 07:18 AM   #1
mcleanmj
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Default How long do you refrigerate your beer?

I know they say to chill your beer at least 48 hours before you serve it, and that many folks advocate cold conditioning any beer, or to warm condition x amount of time then cold condition equally as long. Well I bottled a brown ale on January 15th, tried a couple bottles along the way because I was eager, and they were pretty green. Two nights ago I brought 2 bottles over to my buddies, stuck them in the fridge for about 3 hours before we drank them, and they tasted incredible, 2x better than the bottle I had just over a week before. Today I tasted one that had been refrigerated 48 hours and while still quite good it did not have the same mouthfeel and malty character that the 2 beers chilled only 3 hours had. Am I crazy? I also enjoy the amount of head and fizz you get from a slightly chilled beer myself.

Anyone else? Any rule of thumb time frames for your chilling?

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:26 AM   #2
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Optimal serving temps vary depending on style and even the specific beer. I only drink my mocha stout at cellar temps because it has the best chocolate character at that temp. Drinking beer too cold is just as bad as drinking it too warm in my opinion.

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:28 AM   #3
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Well if it helps I just found a bottle of beer that my wife wanted to save in the fridge that was I think 3 months in the fridge.

Came out looking like a lager and tasted mighty fine

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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I fridge my bers when carbed & conditioned for at least 1 week for decent head & carbonation. Two weeks gives thicker head & longer lasting carbonation.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:45 PM   #5
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I like to refrigerate them for a long time, particularly my lighter ales. It's a bit like a lagering step and gives the bottle conditioned beers a really hard compact yeast cake at the bottom. Most of my beers are kegged, particularly the ones I want to drink fresh- those get refrigerated for 2 weeks while they carbonate.

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Old 01-17-2013, 03:50 PM   #6
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The longer the better. I keg most of my beer but the results are the same. After two weeks of refrigeration the beer is still a touch green and depending on the flocculation character of the yeast it can still be a bit cloudy. After about 6 weeks the beer is sooo much clearer and the head is foamier and more dense.

It all really depends on patience though. Do I ever keg a beer and wait 6 weeks without touching it, never. I just drink it when I want it and eventually it's at the peak.

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Old 01-17-2013, 04:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcleanmj View Post
I know they say to chill your beer at least 48 hours before you serve it, and that many folks advocate cold conditioning any beer, or to warm condition x amount of time then cold condition equally as long. Well I bottled a brown ale on January 15th, tried a couple bottles along the way because I was eager, and they were pretty green. Two nights ago I brought 2 bottles over to my buddies, stuck them in the fridge for about 3 hours before we drank them, and they tasted incredible, 2x better than the bottle I had just over a week before. Today I tasted one that had been refrigerated 48 hours and while still quite good it did not have the same mouthfeel and malty character that the 2 beers chilled only 3 hours had. Am I crazy? I also enjoy the amount of head and fizz you get from a slightly chilled beer myself.

Anyone else? Any rule of thumb time frames for your chilling?

I know what you mean. I always find that the beers I put in the freezer and drink 20 minutes later always seem better than the beers that spend days in the refrigerator. I have no idea why but you aren't crazy.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:04 PM   #8
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Is it because you aren't cooling them down all the way in just a few hours? A slightly warmer temp should express the malt better. Maybe you can take those that have been in the fridge a few days, and leave them out for 20 minutes before opening, and see if you get the same effect.

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:11 PM   #9
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Puting them in the freezer gets them cold fast,but doesn't give time for chill haze to settle out,if any. Chill haze forms as the beer cools down,& has taken mine up to some 4-5 days to settle out. Plus carbonation in the head space doesn't absorb all that quickly. 1 or 2 weeks fridge time has proven best to me. 2 weeks gives thicker head & finer bubbled,longer lasting carbonation. Competitions,I understand, also judge fine bubbled carbonation & clarity among others. So I try to get used to achieving them,just in case I get that extraordinary batch.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:12 PM   #10
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I've noticed the same thing. I blame temps to cold and my tastebuds.

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