Why it’s Better to Leave Beer a Day After Buying It Before Drinking It | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Why it’s Better to Leave Beer a Day After Buying It Before Drinking It

Shohei Sato, a certified international beer judge "Beer Judge," recommends the secrets of delicious drinking.

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Photo by Shohei Sato

When do you drink the beer you buy? Many of us probably buy a bottle on our way home from work and then just pop it in the fridge, or leave it in the fridge for an hour or two and then slurp it down with a glass of wine with dinner or after taking a bath. In other words, I think most of us enjoy “delicious” beer on the “day of purchase.

By the way, I generally do not drink the beer I buy on the same day. This is because I have been captivated by the taste of beer since I learned that it tastes better if you let it sit for a day before drinking.

The idea came from a “wine” seminar.

There are many reasons why beer tastes better when left for a day.

The first is that it “cools the beer down to its core. For example, if you buy a 350 ml can of beer and just put it in the refrigerator for an hour or two, it will often not be cold enough to the core. If you leave it in for roughly 6 hours, the entire beer can be chilled to the refrigerator’s set temperature (generally 6-8°C), which is said to be the appropriate temperature for drinking light-colored lager beer from major Japanese beer companies.

Then why not just wait 6 hours? You might think. But the important thing to remember is that beer is a “carbonated beverage. The beer you bought will probably be shaking in your bag by the time you get home. Just as bubbles sometimes erupt when you open a shaken Coke, the carbon dioxide in beer is eager to escape from the liquid into the air whenever there is a chance.

In other words, it is also vulnerable to “vibration. If the beer is sipped while the carbon dioxide is in a rampant state, it can cause a large, tingling sensation that is strongly irritating, or the carbon dioxide gas can quickly separate, leaving it susceptible to an ungainly, flat taste. The second reason is that by allowing the carbonation to settle, one can taste a clean throat without the harshness of gas.

The third reason to leave it a day is to allow the aroma to settle down as well. The third reason is to “calm down the aroma.” If the carbon dioxide gas is running rampant, the aroma components are in a state of easy volatilization. At first glance, this may seem to be better as the aroma is perceived as stronger, but not only desirable aromas are volatilized.

In particular, light-colored lager beers, which are typical beers of major breweries, contain aroma components (called off-flavors) that can make them difficult to drink if they become too strong (this is not a defect, but an aroma that can be detected in this type of beer due to the manufacturing process). This prevents them from being noticeable, and also prevents the aroma from dissipating with the carbon dioxide gas when poured, which I assume from experience makes the beer somewhat lacking in flavor.

I started practicing this when I attended a wine seminar and heard the lecturer say, “Do not drink (serve) wine on the same day you buy it.

The reason was.

It is better to keep them refrigerated for a few days (at least 3 days) before drinking to allow the taste to settle.
The unpleasant aroma can be collected (separated) at the top of the container.

This is why I remember that the wines I actually compared tasted different. So, could the same result be obtained with beer? I started to try it and came to the above conclusion.

A professional who is well known for the taste of his poured beer also practiced the one-day or longer resting period by himself. One such professional is Shozo Yamamoto of “Beer University” in Nakano, Tokyo.
Shozo Yamamoto of Mugishutei changes the flavor of a single beer in several ways by pouring it differently and serving it to customers.

In fact, there are more than a few specialty beer stores that place importance on “letting the beer sit for a day before serving. Some, such as Hiroshi Shigetomi of Beer Stand Shigetomi (Hiroshima) and Shozo Yamamoto of Beer University (Nakano, Tokyo), who are known as “beer pourers” for the taste of the beer they pour, also practice letting their beer sit for a day or more, and advocate its importance.

We also conducted an experiment in which we asked people to compare their beers by changing the amount of time they were left in the fridge.

The same results were obtained from the actual drinkers’ impressions of the drink.

With the cooperation of the above-mentioned “Beer University” people, we once conducted an experiment to see if the general public could tell the difference. We prepared several beers of the same brand and the same production date, lager and ale, and asked about 20 people to compare them after leaving them in the refrigerator for 3 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours, and so on. All conditions were the same, including the place of purchase, the pouring method and glass, and the time the specimens were drunk. As a result, the following hypothesis was derived.

◆The difference in taste of lager beer by the time it was left in the refrigerator

Taste differences of ale beers by the time they were left in the refrigerator

Graph showing average of 20 participants’ points (+ more perceived, – less perceived). In fact, we received comments not only on points but also on taste, reaching the following hypothesis.

◎The number of participants who felt “favorable” increased from those who let the lager sit for 12 hours and the ale for 24 hours.
◎The longer the time of standing time, the stronger the carbonation.
◎ “Off-flavor” was less bothersome the longer the beer was allowed to stand.
◎Most respondents reported feeling less of a difference after 36 or 48 hours
◎ Negative comments were made that the aroma and taste were too subdued & the carbonation was too strong after 48 hours (2 days) or longer.

Although there are individual differences because each person’s “sense of taste” is inevitably different, I believe that there is some evidence from these results that it is best to let the wine sit for at least one day before drinking it.

The best position in the refrigerator for resting

Finally, I would like to mention that it is not enough to just leave it in the refrigerator for a day. The best position exists.

First, “avoid areas near door pockets, near cooling fans, and other areas subject to vibration. If the beer is subjected to vibration, there is no point in leaving it in the fridge for a day. Also, when removing the beer from the refrigerator or opening the bottle, it should be carried gently and opened gently. This alone should make the beer taste dramatically better.

Other factors such as the way the glass is handled and poured can also change the flavor of the beer, but for more details, please refer to my recently released book , “I Want Good Beer! Methods for Finding the Best Pint” describes it in detail, and I would be happy if you would refer to it.

  • Interview, text, and photos provided by Shohei Sato

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