Can you take your beer out of the refrigerator to further condition it?

This is a subject that is often debated amongst brewers, once you put your beer in the fridge can you take it out to let it condition for any off-flavors you might have. We break it down for you in this week’s episode.

Now there is not a definite yes or no answer with this question, it really does depend on some factors. It most certainly can work, and it is something I have personally done before but you do have some time constraints that can affect it as well as overall yeast health.

That is why in any of our instructions we always recommend that you put 1 or 2 bottles in the fridge first to try it before you add the others. This is a good way to gauge if the rest of your batch is ready to be chilled or if it needs some longer conditioning time.

So let’s talk about the time constraints first that can affect this.

The safe range we have found for taking a beer out of the fridge to let it further condition would be 7 days. At this stage, the yeast is most likely not dead, but just dormant. So as it warms up the yeast should wake back up and get back to work.

If you are in the range of 7-14 days, there is a strong possibility that taking the beers out of the fridge will not do anything. By this point the yeast is starting to die, so once it warms back up you might not have enough viable healthy yeast cells left to get back to work. So, it could work still but most likely it will not.

Anything longer than 14 days the yeast is pretty much dead at that point, so you won’t get any benefit from taking the beer out of the fridge.

The other factor in this is yeast health, you want to make sure that you are following the brewing directions very closely as this helps promote yeast health.

Make sure you are sanitizing everything thoroughly, you are adding cold water to your LBK to cool down the wort, and that you are aerating the wort extremely well prior to pitching the yeast.  All of these will help promote healthy yeast growth.

This will give you more viable yeast so if you do have to take your beer out of the fridge to condition it, as long as your time frame is good, you should have enough healthy yeast cells to clean up any lingering off-flavors.

Again, I can’t stress enough, that is why we do suggest that you just put 1 or 2 beers in the fridge at first and see if you like them. If they taste good, then put them all in the fridge and enjoy it!

If you have off-flavors in the one you try, let the beers condition for another week or two and then try it again.

Please comment with your thoughts on this subject as we want to hear what you guys think as well. This is not a set-in-stone brewing rule and is based on everyone’s experience.