Beer Temperature Fluctuation Poll

I’ve always heard that beer needs to be stored cold and stay cold until you drink it. They also say that temperature fluctuations, going from cold to warm and back again, are terrible for beer. However, I’ve never seen any tests done on this, so I’m going to do a test.

I will pick up a 6-pack of MadTree PsycHOPathy directly from the brewery, that way I know it’s been stored cold from the time it was canned; this will also help ensure freshness. I’m using PsycHOPathy because it’s a beer my friends and I are very familiar with from drinking it often.

I will break the 6-pack up into three groups: cold, warm, and rotate.

  • The cold group will stay in my refrigerator for the week at 42°
  • The warm group will stay in my kitchen pantry at around ~70°
  • The rotating group will be moved between the fridge and pantry many times.

I will mark all cans with their group on the bottom of the can. I plan on moving them at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bed. So about four moves a day every four to eight hours; I feel this length of time will be sufficient for them to reach fridge temp and then rise back up to room temp. I’m using this temperature range since it is a reasonable range of temperature changes beer might normally go through with packaging, distribution, retailing, being at your house, and so on.

Next Saturday I’m hosting a small bottle share. I’ll make sure that all PsycHOPathy cans are in the fridge for at least four hours before the tasting, that way they will all be at the same temperature. I’ll also shuffle them around so that I won’t know which is which when I bring them out to be tasted, ensuring a blind tasting. After all the cans have been tasted, and we’ve all taken notes we’ll flip the cans over to see how each was stored and how accurate we were.

The question I have for all of you is if you think any of this actually matters and makes an impact on the taste/aroma of the beer?

Be sure to follow the blog via email, Facebook, or Twitter so you’ll be able to see the results in two weeks.

2 thoughts on “Beer Temperature Fluctuation Poll”

  1. I said definitely… Not sure if this was also a blind poll… Because I feel it will make a difference. I’m not sure how drastic with your test, and I’m curious for the results, but it seems like you are going about this the right way. Palates may also be a bit of an issue but there is never any escaping that.

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  2. You’re right, palates are a problem. I’m trying to control for as many variables as I can in a reasonable manner. I don’t have a budget to test hundreds of people in totally blind scenarios with a variety of beers. That’d probably be the best way to do this, but c’est la vie.

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