Does beer suffer from being warmed and then rechilled?

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I typically prefer my beer only a bit cold, so when I buy a 12-pack from a store's cooler I typically just leave it out. The excess I'll refrigerate at the end of the night, and sometimes repeat the process with the same beer on a different night.

Does this affect the quality of the beer in some chemical way? I almost exclusively drink IPA's and personally never notice a difference, but many of my friends have commented on the habit of mine to let beer warm.

Decency

Posted 2014-02-15T00:09:29.893

Reputation: 300

My stouts are delicious at any temperature, regardless of fluctuation. :D (Living in an old house, there are a LOT of those....) – Modern Apostles – 2017-01-28T06:18:24.410

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Related, possibly duplicate: http://beer.stackexchange.com/questions/50/will-temperature-changes-cause-a-beer-to-skunk-or-otherwise-spoil though I didn't really get a satisfactory answer as to why warming doesn't cause spoilage.

– Brian Nickel – 2014-02-17T22:29:04.723

1Hey Brian. Yeah, I saw that prior to posting but the answer made it clear that that kind of degradation requires light and isn't really about temperature. – Decency – 2014-02-18T16:52:16.100

Answers

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TL DR; No.

Beer flavor changes over time (hops fade away, oxidation takes hold, etc.), and this process happens more quickly at warmer temperatures than colder ones. But there are no additional chemical reactions caused by temperature changes, so warming to room temperature and re-chilling multiple times is not going to have any added effects on the beer. Assuming you are drinking it within a few weeks, you won't notice the difference with bottled or canned beer.

I think this myth took hold from left-over kegs after parties: A half-empty keg that was dispensed by pumping air into it will start to oxidize much more quickly since oxygen is being added to it. When it warms the oxidation speeds up and it tastes stale within a day or two. Keeping it cold slows that down a bit, but even cold it won't last very long. A keg being dispensed using CO2 is a different story: that will last as long as bottled beer and can be warmed and rechilled without ill effects.

In all of this, I am referring to room temperature. Beer left in a car in the sun for hours will start to stale much more quickly, even if bottles are protected from the sunlight. You won't get the skunky flavor caused by the light, but it will taste stale.

jalynn2

Posted 2014-02-15T00:09:29.893

Reputation: 1 150

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Here is a great research paper if anyone is looking for specifics Stability profile of flavour-active ester compounds in ale and lager beer during storage

– lightswitch05 – 2015-01-04T22:16:35.807

So my fridge is full and I would like to put my refrigerated beers in a warm place and do not rechill them again. Would this be okay for the beers? I do not drink them too frequently. – Mariska – 2015-02-04T18:29:13.947

One caution on the answer about kegs. They need to stay cold until finished. You'll notice, you never pick up a new keg from the store warm. They leave the brewery cold in refrigerated trucks and are kept that way ON PURPOSE. That is because draft beer is NOT pasteurized. Bottled and canned beer is, to preserve it. That's why draft tastes much better. It is fresh beer, whereas canned beer is not. The keg can spoil much faster once it gets warm. – None – 2015-12-21T02:28:05.817

I am talking to one of the brewers of Fat Cat right now, and he mentioned that heating affects unpasteurized beers still have live yeast that are affected by temperature. FWIW. – Andrew Cheong – 2016-02-20T05:00:00.090

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Repeatedly cooling and warming (to ambient temperatures) a beer can induce a permanent haze, where proteins and tannins bond to create semi-soluble molecules. While this can have an aesthetic impact, it does not impact flavour, aroma or mouthfeel.

This is mostly an issue in beers where the knocking-out, or rapid cooling of the beer may not have been effective at precipitating what is known as cold-break proteins. Which generally leads to chill haze (haze when the beer is cool, but not when it is warm). This generally isn't an issue with most commercial beers (especially if filtered), and is more often found in home-brewed beers.

John

Posted 2014-02-15T00:09:29.893

Reputation: 153

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I did some experimentation at home to answer this question. My results indicated that room temperature and temperature fluctuation had no impact on flavour. Very high temperature (140° for 24 hours) seems to create a very slight hard to define harshness. Check out my results here:

Beer Experiments: Sunlight Exposure and Temperature Regulation

Beer Experiments: Temperature Regulation Part 2

45th Percentile

Posted 2014-02-15T00:09:29.893

Reputation: 51

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Cooling and warming a beer does have an effect, but it is minor in the beginning. If you heat, cool, repeatedly many times, there will be evidence of damage and it will become staggeringly obvious! At Budweizer they gave us a beer that was cycled over a 100 times! It was shocking how many off-flavours such a delicately flavoured beer can get!

Atron Seige

Posted 2014-02-15T00:09:29.893

Reputation: 1 075

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I am now drinking a beer from a keg from last weekend. I left the beer keg inside my storage with door open and it's been warm this week (100°F). Five days later the beer tastes almost same exept that the beer foam has gone which in my opinion the beer foam gives it a better taste.

Genaro Delarosa

Posted 2014-02-15T00:09:29.893

Reputation: 1

Of course the cage it's deep in ice cold now but the flavor it's not really the same – Genaro Delarosa – 2016-08-07T01:24:10.487