The brewery industry in Kentucky has exploded in recent years. It currently accounts for over $227 million of the economy and is growing quickly. Quicker than almost any other state, in fact. According to a study by C+R Research in 2019, Kentucky has had the second highest growth in the number of breweries among all states, with a 43% increase since 2015. In this exciting brewery boom, cold storage plays a vital role. Here are four ways that breweries and brewers in Kentucky rely on cold storage units for brewing and beyond.
One of the ways cold storage helps make great beer occurs during the brewing process. This is particularly true for styles of beer that use a process called lagering. In lagering, brewers ferment beer in cold or near-freezing temperatures. Properly managing the fermentation temperature is one of the most important aspects of brewing a great lager-style beer. This is because the byproducts produced by lager yeast during fermentation are kept at lower concentrations with proper cooling, which helps keep out undesired palate notes in beer.
Lager-style beers are also matured in cold storage for several weeks later on in the brewing process. The ability to adjust and hold temperatures with precision for weeks at a time is important at this stage of lagering.
But it’s not just one style of beer that uses these techniques. In fact, many brewers use cold conditioning practices at the tail end of brewing several styles of beer to eliminate haze and improve stability and taste.
Fun fact: the use of cold storage in brewing today has deep historical roots. Before modern refrigeration, German brewers used to store beer in caves to keep it cold during fermentation. Breweries that use cold storage units for brewing today are following in the footsteps of some of the great brewers in history!
2. Ensuring temperature consistency before and after brewing
Cold storage can help a key beer ingredient stay fresh before brewing: hops. After harvest, hops can have extended and healthier timelines in cold storage. With fresher ingredients available for longer periods of time, brewers have more flexibility and better materials to make great beer.
On the other end of the production timeline, keeping beer at a consistent temperature during product storage is key to providing consistent and great taste for consumers. Refrigeration is crucial for stable storage temperatures, for every location from on-site storage at breweries to festivals and other events.
3. Preventing light contamination
There’s another important reason brewers may use refrigerated units for their beer- to keep their beer in the dark. Exposure to UV rays can cause skunking, where unpleasant smells and tastes develop in beer. Beer that has been contaminated by light, even for a short amount of time, may become skunked. By storing beer in an enclosed refrigeration container, breweries are able to prevent skunking and keep their beers tasting as they intended.
4. Helping with on-site logistics
Using a cold storage unit can also help brewers save on space and construction costs. Refrigeration units provide on-site storage that doesn’t require a dedicated room indoors or an off-site space. If a brewery has a small footprint or limited budget for construction, a cold storage unit on-site is the perfect solution. Whether for long-term storage needs or short-term ones like inventory overflow and broken refrigerators, cold storage units are a great fit.
Moon Mini Refrigeration offers flexible rental periods, multiple container sizes, great prices, and top-notch customer service. To rent a refrigerated container today, give us a call at 502-772-2821.