If you like to make homemade craft beer, you can run out of storage space for bottles faster than you could think.
The kitchen fridge is always the first to exhaust, then the kitchen pantry, and – before you even realize it – you’d have invaded your garage for extra space.
So, Is It OK to Store Beer in Your Garage?
The straight answer is “no.” But it isn’t entirely impossible – there are a few challenges you must address if you really want to use the garage and still ensure the safety and quality of your beer. While any standard garage has enough space to store an array of items, these spaces aren’t designed to provide the right conditions for beer storage.
Let’s look at the conditions needed to store beer safely:
What Causes Beer (And All Other Alcoholic Drinks) To Spoil?
When deciding whether to keep your beer in the garage, you first need to research possible destruction factors.
Just like wine, beer must be stored at a certain consistent temperature lest it spoil.
Wide temperature fluctuation is the last thing you want to happen to your beer as it affects the chemical composition in the bottle.
Because the taste of the product is normally determined by this chemical composition, wrong temperatures will certainly cause the taste of the beer to change considerably.
Ideally, both wine and beer should be stored in a still environment at 55°F.
But that’s not the kind of temperatures you’d easily get in an average garage – this space can be hot at times and very cold at other times, depending on the season and weather.
Furthermore, rapid fluctuations in temperatures will almost certainly occur if you keep opening and closing the garage door over and over as expected.
Another factor that influences the quality of beer and wine is the humidity of the room where the beer is stored.
Light is yet another factor integral to keeping the beer the exact way it is for longer.
The absence or presence of light can affect the quality of your beer tremendously.
Hops, one of the top ingredients of beer making, are known to be highly sensitive to light.
Also, bottled beer should stay away from light, whether it is stored in opaque bottles or cartons.
All these factors create a challenge for beer enthusiasts planning to extend their beer-making processes to the garage.
First of all, it is extremely difficult to keep the garage at the optimum storage conditions for beer.
Even if you get the temperature right, you will still have a hard time keeping this space dark enough unless you suspend other uses of the garage and dedicate it to the sole purpose of beer storage.
It can also be hard to maintain a humidity level for a long time.
However, it is still not entirely impossible to store your beer in the garage. Let’s take a glance at ways to get around these challenges:
Overcoming The Hurdles of Storing Beer in The Garage
If you are determined to store your beer in the garage, you will need to make a few adjustments to the space to get the conditions right.
For example, you might need to park your car elsewhere because the air exchange that occurs every time you close and opens the door will fluctuate the brewing conditions.
It is a bit hard to set up a consistent storage space that can maintain a temperature of about 55°F (or 12°C) and humidity of 75%, all perfect for beer storage. Although rare, if your garage space receives a lot of light from outside, you should set up a storage area in the darkest part of the room or find a way of blocking the external light.
Humidity is the hardest factor to control because it is the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere.
Fortunately, technology has an answer for you – wouldn’t it be great to install sensors to regulate the humidity via a linked humidifier that turns on and off automatically at the right time?
Similar systems can be installed to reduce the rate of temperature fluctuations.
Better yet, you can install refrigeration equipment in the garage and forget everything about making adjustments to the structure.
This will also remove the need to add new HVAC hardware and other complicated items.
If you plan to keep the beer in the garage for a long time, you should install wine fridges. This class of fridges is designed to keep optimal conditions for alcoholic beverages.
Most of the wine fridges you will find out there were made to preserve white and red wine, though. Still, you will need to keep close track of temperatures and moisture just as required by beer.
Before you even think of making further changes to the garage or adding new storage equipment, you need to ensure space is properly insulated.
Without insulation in place, it can be difficult to set up or maintain an ideal storage environment for your beer.
One of the approaches you could take is to install insulated panels along with a new garage door opener that lifts and shuts efficiently reduces air exchange within the space.
Protecting Your Pricey Beer with A Purpose-built Garage Door
You can recoup the cost of installing a new garage door through the reduction of utility and energy bills needed to maintain an optimum environment for beer storage. Here is an example of such doors.
Now let’s debunk a few beer storage myths prevalent out there:
Myth #1: Beer Can’t Free
Beer can freeze but not as fast as freshwater.
You need to know this because you might decide to install a few freezing units in your garage.
The alcohol content of the brew has a big say on how fast the beer will freeze. Beer with average alcohol content freezes at under about 25°F.
However, never let the storage temperature decline too close to the freezing point, or you’ll end up with exploded containers.
Myth #2: Beer Must Be Stored Like Wine – On Its Side
You don’t need to store your beer on its side the same way you’d do with wine.
The sediment should stay at the bottom and have very little contact with the rest of the brew.
That’s because the sediment determines the flavor of the beer.
Myth #3: Properly Stored Beer Never Goes Bad
Just because you stored your beer properly doesn’t mean it will last forever.
Beers kept in cool conditions in a dark area of the garage rarely lasts past 6 – 8 months.
Still, always store your beer upright, in a dark location, and in cool conditions.
Myth #4: Beer lasts longer in bottles than in cans
Most people are accustomed to holding bottles in their hands instead of cans, but bottles aren’t the best storage containers in the long run.
Can don’t expose your beer to light, so they are the best compared to bottles. Still, brown bottles are better than clear bottles.
Is it OK to store beer in your garage?
The answer is “no,” but you might need to make a few changes to the garage to reduce the amount of light getting into the room.
Also, you will need to regulate the humidity and temperatures and keep them within the recommended conditions for beer storage.