The correct question should be how cold should beer be. Other than dispensing tasty beers, our kegerators is also responsible for keeping our beers at the correct temperature.
For those of us who already have a kegerator or a beer refrigerator or you are planning on buying one, you may be wondering what temperature should a kegerator be set at. By the way, do get a kegerator with digital temperature controls so that you can easily adjust the temperature of your kegerator.
No worries, I’m here to help you. You don’t want the temperature to be too high or too low, it should be at the perfect temperature to get the best tasting beer.
How Cold Should a Kegerator Be?
There really isn’t a simple answer to this since there are different factors to choosing the right kegerator temperature, such as what type of beer, your personal preference, and what time of year. Below are some ways to help you determine how cold should a kegerator be.
Optimal Beer Serving Temperature
Many people will prefer to enjoy a nice, cold, refreshing beer, but you don’t want it to be too cold. Too cold can cause a lot of issues with your beer. So, as long as your beer still stays good and tastes good, you can choose a temperature that you like.
There isn’t really an optimal beer serving temperature and generally beers are very forgiving and taste real good so long they are served cold.
However there are some temperature guides for those of us who tend to be more specific in our beer serving chillness.
How Cold Should Beer Be?
Depending on the type of beer you choose to place in your kegerator, this can help determine the right temperature for you. While different beers will taste better and taste better at a certain temperature, it doesn’t always need to be an exact temperature.
This is great if you plan on having different kinds of beers in your kegerator. This will save you from remembering to change the temperature as you change out different types of beers. Usually, the normal range is about 35-40 degrees. Many people will choose 38 degrees since it is in the middle.
The kegerator temperature for ipa, which is a pale ale, is recommended to be within 38 to 42 degrees. This range will help keep it tasting crisp and proper carbonation.
The kegerator temperature for stout, which is a heavy beer, can be served with a temperature of up to 48 degrees. That may seem high, but it is because these beers don’t need a lot of carbonation.
The kegerator temperature for lager, especially dark ones, can go up to 46 degrees, or as low as 42 degrees. This temperature range allows the beer to have full flavor and a great mouthfeel.
Time of the Year
This may seem silly, but you may want to fluctuate the temperature of your kegerator depending on which season it is. This also mainly applies to people that have their system in a certain area where the weather affects the kegerator.
You may want to turn the kegerator to a cooler temperature during the summer, but not too cold that it will freeze your beer. In the winter, it may need to be turned up a few degrees to avoid freezing.
Other Factors Affecting Kegerator Temperature
While many people will choose a middle temperature, some people will fluctuate the temperature based on the brew they have in their keg at that time. But if you have a kegerator that can hold multiple kegs at once, you will want to keep it at a median temperature.
You don’t want to set your kegerator higher than 42 degrees or lower than 35 degrees. Too hot or too cold can cause your beer to lose freshness, taste, or it can freeze. Light beer can start freezing at 31 degrees, while other beers freeze around 27 degrees.
Why the Right Kegerator Temperature is Important
The right temperature is very important because it determines how your beer will be dispensed, how good it will taste, and how long it will stay fresh.
Foamy Kegerator Beer
Once you get lower than 38 degrees, you run the risk of your beer having more CO2, which can create more foam. It will also cause your beer to bubble, which will give it a weird texture when you drink it. It can also make the beer taste different by numbing your taste buds if your beer is too cold.
Foamy and Flat Beer
If a beer isn’t served at the correct temperature, it can cause the beer to change taste. It might become too carbonated and not have the right texture or thickness, or it can change flavor altogether. You should make sure the draft beer temperature and pressure match the beer you are serving.
Also, if the temperature is off, it will mess with the pressure, causing too much or too little carbonation. This can severely change the flavor of the beer and texture as well.
Beer Last Longer At The Right Kegerator Temperature
You want your beer to remain fresh and taste great, that’s why a proper temperature is important. Some beers can last up to three months with the right temperature.
A normal keg can last up to 8 weeks usually, from the time it is filled at a brewery. Unpasteurized beer can last up to two months, while pasteurized beer can typically last up to 3 months if stored properly.
How to Ensure the Right Kegerator Temperature?
First, you should regularly check the seal on your kegerator door, it can get worn down over time. If the seal isn’t secure, it could allow cold air to escape. You should also check the temperature of your kegerator, and don’t rely solely on a thermometer.
You could place a glass of liquid inside the kegerator for about 24 hours and place a thermometer in there; this will give you a more accurate reading.
You can also set up a glycol system, which many bars and commercial establishments use. This system allows the beer to travel from the keg to the glass, while maintaining the perfect temperature.
For home kegerators, I would recommend a kegerator thermostat so that you can ensure that your kegerator temperature controls are working fine. While kegerators come with temperature controllers, it may not always be accurate especially with age and long usage. That is why sometimes we start to see ice formed on our kegs.
I like using a kegerator thermostat so that I can be accurate in the temperature I am keeping and serving my beers.
A decent one can be bought for less than $50 at Amazon.
Keezer Temperature Controller
For homemade kegerators or keezers, I would definitely say that a Keezer Temperature Controller is essential. It is basically the same as the kegerator thermostat and controls the temperature of your kegerators pretty well.
I hope that this has helped you determine the temperature your kegerator should be set at. Unfortunately, there isn’t a set answer for everyone, it depends on too many factors.
If you are unsure, you could always experiment a little. Start out with a cooler temperature, and then slowly drink the beer, allowing it to warm up a little bit. Then you can decide if it needs to be a higher temperature to achieve the best flavor.
As a starting point for most people, 38 degrees seems perfect. And you can tweak it as needed. You may need a warmer temperature if you prefer darker beers. You can also go based off of what the maker of the beer suggests.