Hot Topics: How to Get the Perfect, Ice-Cold Beer Right From Home

frosty beer bottle

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So many of our DIYers like to kick back after a job well done with an ice cold beer, but they don't know how to get that perfect temperature. What kind of refrigerator should you use? Will a freezer turn the brew to slush? Could an electronic thermostat be the answer? These beer aficionados talk through the best and worst ideas to get the optimal temperature for your beer.

Original Post: Do I Need a Fridge With a Digital Thermostat For...?

mikehende Member

Hey guys, I don't have a large budget and I am seeking a cooler with a glass door with a digital temp control so that I can set it at a precise temp so that the beer bottles will have a slight frost on them. I need one to hold about 2 cases of beer bottles.

Searching the net, I found some cheaper ones, but many have negative reviews about not having accurate temp control and not getting cold enough, such as this:

Searching the net, I came across commercial ones, which are called "Refrigerator Merchandisers," like what they use in deli's and groceries.

I don't mind purchasing a used one in great condition, but first I would like to know, do I really need a fridge, whether residential or commercial, with a "digital thermostat" to keep the beer constantly at the desired temp to have a slight frost on them?

Highlights from the Thread

PJmax Group Moderator

That's completely up to you. If you feel you need to keep your beer at an exact temperature, than an electronic one is what you want.

Yes..... the electronic type units have higher failure rates than units with basic mechanical thermostats. The initial cost is usually higher too.

GregH Super Moderator

You must mean "sweat" not frost..........In order for there to be frost, the beer would have to be near frozen.

You don't need a digital thermostat to do what you want. All you have to do is turn the thermostat to the coldest setting that still allows the evaporator coil to defrost.

Places that serve beverages in a mug/glass that appears to have frost on it will store the beer at the establishments normal refrigerator temperature.

They then keep their glassware in a mug chiller, which is essentially a freezer.

Rather than experiment with cooler settings you need only buy a tiny upright freezer to get this effect.

guy48065 Member

I've observed in at least one establishment the bartender taking a room-temperature glass and inserting it into a device that instantly chilled it--leaving a nice frosty coating. Since CO2 gas is used in bars to keep the carbonation fresh in kegs, and CO2 liquid is used to make dry ice, such a chiller would be practical where there already is a source of CO2. (thinking out loud...)

As a crazy college student in the dorm I "may have" "borrowed" the hall CO2 fire extinguisher to blast a frosty coat on a beer bottle...
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mikehende Member

Not sure I understand Greg, if that is a "freezer" and not a fridge, won't the beer eventually freeze? Or are you saying that you experiment with and adjust the temp which will get it just cold enough to have frost on it, and that freezer will maintain that and not freeze the beer?

GregH Super Moderator

No. You would only keep the glassware in the freezer.

Take out a frozen glass, pour cold beer into it and immediately serve. The effect is better if you use heavy mugs, as the mass will not warm up as quickly as a pilsner glass.

mikehende Member

Unfortunately that won't work, as everyone here except for one person prefers to drink from the bottle. So, what's your best advice please regarding freezer or fridge for me to keep the beer bottles with frost and not freeze?

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