Why Beer Temperature Is Important

Beer Temperature

Beer has become an important part of society in most cultures worldwide. It has become a symbol of camaraderie, family, and friendship. Beer comes in different colors, taste, and even smell as a by-product from its mother ingredient depending on its origin and how it was made or brewed.

Historians are unable to determine the exact period when beer-making started, they can only estimate that it started in the Middle East and Northern Africa during the ancient civilizations like the Babylonian, Egyptian, and Sumerian empires, when several archeologists unearthed pots and other containers containing malt residues from the beer that they brewed thousands of years ago, as well as their chants related to harvests and beer-making scribed on clay tablets and temples for their gods and goddesses.

The Basic Beer Ingredients and How They React to Temperature

Beer Temperature

Traditionally, beer has 5 basic ingredients – Malt, water, yeast, fruit puree, and hops. 


Malt is the main source of sugar in beer. Homebrewers can get malt from wheat, corn, oats, rice, or barley. The sugar is consumed by the yeast in the fermentation and brewing phase and this activity is activated by the temperature. The profile of the beer after fermentation and brewing depends on the source of malt, and whether the brewing and fermentation was done at low or high temperature.


Beer is made of between 90 to 95% water. Water, just like any other beverage, is like the beer’s main vessel,  other than that, the water plays an important role in beer-making as it can affect the profile of the beer depending on the beer water source, acidity, and chlorine level. Leaving less water content in the beer due to high-temperature brewing may stimulate an increased alcohol note in the final beer profile, while low-temperature brewing may leave too much water causing the beer to lack taste and flavor.


Yeast is a microorganism responsible for dissolving or consuming sugar or glucose from the malt source, also known as the process of fermentation. This phase is activated by time and temperature which will produce carbon in the beverage. Low-temperature during fermentation and brewing can eliminate less carbon which will leave the beer with a stronger flavor, while high-temperature can cause the yeast to overreact and consume more sugar than it’s supposed to which may turn the beer extra bitter.


Hops, a flower also called strobile, acts as the neutralizer and preservative in the beer brewing process. It reacts to the glucose or sugar produced from malt by dissolving its sugar and increasing the level of bitterness. Again, hops essence reacts differently depending on the level of temperature during fermentation and brewing. Prolonged high temperatures can cause the essence of the hops to dissolve massively during the entire beer-making process which can also cause a flat taste in the beer, and vice-versa for low-temperature fermentation and brewing.

Fruit Puree

The final and optional ingredient in the list in basic and traditional beer-making is the fruit puree. Flavored beers recently became popular in the modern market, but these were not part of the original ingredients in beer-making. There’s no limitation as to what fruit flavor can be added to beers, but there are certain considerations like the level of fruit acidity which may affect the quality and final taste of beer. Fruit purees on industrialized beers come last in the beer-making process because homebrewers need to factor in the effect of the fruit’s natural acids which can greatly alter the by-products of all the beer ingredients during and after fermentation and brewing.

The Temperature in Storing and Making Beer

Temperature plays a very important role in beer-making mainly because of its yeast content. There’s a recommended temperature when fermenting beer and going below or above the ideal temperature can greatly affect the overall quality of the beer that is being brewed. 

Having a high temperature during the brewing process may cause unwanted overreaction from yeast which may result in hyperconversion of alcohol in having excessive carbon. This will cause the beer to have a higher level of alcohol than usual. The beer can still be consumed but it will have a notably bitter taste than normal. Increased temperature can also cause the yeast to consume itself leaving more glucose in the 

Esters are being produced and are the primary reason and determining factor whether the beer will develop “fusel alcohol” during fermentation, and this will only happen at an increased temperature during the process.

On the other hand, lower temperature during fermentation may delay, or worse, stop the yeast from fulfilling its primary role which may lead to contamination, and minimize the production of esters. A decrease in the production of ester will cause the beer to lack body and flavor. Ironically, low-temperature fermentation can also result in minimal release of carbon during the process, and this means keeping the hops essence or aroma in the beer.

After all is done, it’s also important to get the storing temperature right, because beer can still lose its profile and flavor while storing. To maintain the beer essence, it must be stored in a dry storage room with a temperature between 10 to 13 Celsius or 50 to 55 Fahrenheit respectively.

Simplifying Thoughts Between Temperature and Beer-Making

The bottom line is that brewing at high or low temperatures during the brewing process is neither good nor bad. Part of brewing beer is the control of temperature depending on the type of beer profile that needs to be achieved. The temperature control has something to do with the type of malt source, too, as malt from different sources reacts differently to temperatures. Systematic temperature control in the fermentation and brewing process can greatly help homebrewers extend their brew to a number of batches.

Gone are the days when homebrewers would need to find a perfect place and wait for the right season to make and brew their beers to their satisfaction. Modern technology has already provided enough innovations to homebrewers around the world for them to make beer at any time of the year, regardless of the place or region.

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