Author Topic: Chilling beer  (Read 802 times)

Online euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7219
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Chilling beer
« on: October 29, 2010, 11:19:56 PM »
I've got some crazy questions. One is- how long should a warm bottle of beer chill before opening?

I've been told 24 hours for homebrew because "most of the co2 is in the head-space" and that it takes being chilled to get the co2 into solution.

Sounds like BS but I've had experiences with Belgian brews throwing the cork when rapidly chilled in the freezer and their partner being quite a bit more sedate the next day.

I'm going to open a bottle of Chimay red I bought just over an hour ago. :D
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline punatic

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4582
  • Puna District, Hawaii Island (UTC -10)
    • View Profile
Re: Chilling beer
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2010, 11:29:19 PM »
If in a hurry I just stick it in the freezer and set a timer for 30 minutes.  Been using this method for 37 years. 

Not forgeting it's in the freezer is pretty important.
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


AHA Life Member #33907

Offline punatic

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4582
  • Puna District, Hawaii Island (UTC -10)
    • View Profile
Re: Chilling beer
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2010, 11:33:01 PM »
PS
The legal drinking age when I started was 18, in 1973.
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


AHA Life Member #33907

Online euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7219
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Chilling beer
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2010, 11:42:17 PM »
As I was opening the Chimay it occurred to me that it might still be a temp diff. The beer in the glass measured 50F which is just about perfect I think. If it had sat in the fridge overnight then it probably would be 40 maybe 37 degrees.

The uncorking was noisy but it didn't gush or anything. BTW this bottle of Chimay sucks but that's another subject.

I've rapid chilled beer for years but I also tend to buy beer that is already chilled. It's a patience thing but also I don't like to buy warm beer for some reason.  ???
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Chilling beer
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2010, 12:05:33 AM »
The fastest way I've found is spinning the bottle in an ice water bath.  But I'm usually too lazy and do the freezer/timer thing too.

I also have one of those cold mug things that has liquid in the walls, you just keep it in the freezer until you need it.  It will chill a drink quickly.  It works really well for the first beer and you can stick the rest in the freezer to get cold while you drink the first.  ;)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline dano14041

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 286
    • View Profile
Re: Chilling beer
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2010, 07:24:13 AM »
I saw a mythbusters where they used a 5lb (I think) CO2 fire extinguisher to rapidly cool a six pack of cans from room temp down to @40 in the time it took to empty the fire extinguisher. I think they said it only took $37 to refill the fire extinguisher.

IIRC The best/fastest way they found was an ice/water/salt bath at something like 20 min.

I've rapid chilled beer for years but I also tend to buy beer that is already chilled. It's a patience thing but also I don't like to buy warm beer for some reason.  ???
Don't buy beer in OK, unless you want the BMC 3.2 stuff they sell at the grocery store. Liquor stores can't sell cold beer for some reason.
Tulsa, OK

Offline kerneldustjacket

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 179
    • View Profile
Re: Chilling beer
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2010, 08:25:13 AM »
This can be a complex issue...but should only be so if you're planning to "critically" evaluate a beer; when drinking for enjoyment just do whatever it takes to get it to serving temperature. (salt water ice bath, 30 minutes in freezer, pre-chilled mug, etc.)

I've noticed a catch-22 with beers and serving temperature: too warm and the CO2 has not fully become solute in the beer; too cold and the CO2 refuses to "escape" from the beer. Either makes the beer seem flat...with the former causing a huge foamy head that falls fast and the latter causing no head to form.

There's laws that relate to how temperature, pressure, and volume interact to determine gas solubility in liquids...and I think they are laws which cannot be broken!  ???

The homebrew club I'm a member of -- the Savannah Brewers League -- is one week away from our annual Bay Street Bash homebrew competition, and the topic of how to chill all the entries at the correct serving temperature, be it ale or lager, for at least 48 hours prior to judging, has been debated since last year's comp. (24 hours is likely enough, 48 is just for "sureness")
We all came to the conclusion that time and temperature do matter when it comes to producing the correct expression of carbonation in a beer...and that it is very important when a group aims to hold a quality-driven homebrew competition. Most likely we are renting two chest freezers and hooking them up to temp controllers; one for ales (~48 F) and one for lagers (~40 F).
In the future, we may buy two with club funds, and use them for group lager brewing when not in use for the comp.

euge, I had a bottle of Chimay red while brewing a Belgian Pale Ale last weekend...I'll bet regardless of how long you chilled it it was awesome
John Wilson
Savannah Brewers League
Savannah, GA

Offline punatic

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4582
  • Puna District, Hawaii Island (UTC -10)
    • View Profile
Re: Chilling beer
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2010, 09:05:21 AM »
There's laws that relate to how temperature, pressure, and volume interact to determine gas solubility in liquids...and I think they are laws which cannot be broken!  ???

pV = nRT

The Ideal Gas Law.  It all works around that.

Beer is not an ideal gas, but it comes close enough to figure out what's going on.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2010, 09:12:47 AM by punatic »
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


AHA Life Member #33907

Online hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4530
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Chilling beer
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2010, 09:15:58 AM »
henry's Law is the one that applies.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline punatic

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4582
  • Puna District, Hawaii Island (UTC -10)
    • View Profile
Re: Chilling beer
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2010, 09:23:39 AM »
True
But Henry's Law uses a constant temperature.  Chilling the beer changes the partial pressure of the gas in the headspace above the liquid.
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


AHA Life Member #33907

Online jeffy

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2441
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Chilling beer
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2010, 09:32:31 AM »
Here's a pretty funny link about a guy chilling some Guinness in his shed using a jet engine.  And you really need a cold beer if you've been in a shed with a jet engine running.

http://www.asciimation.co.nz/beer/
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995