storage temperature

Coming out World Series Game 6

Dear Fermentista,

I've got two questions for you, one technical and one more of a social kind of thing. First the easy one. Lucille and I have been together for a long time now and she has gotten me through a lot—lost jobs, car accident recovery and two wives. Lucille is a kegerator that I built during my college days from an old refrigerator left out on the curb. She has been with me through thick and thin. The past few years there's been a lot more of the thick. So, it was like February, when my girlfriend made me try real kraut. Man was it good! I just dove in. Now I have a couple of crocks going all the time, and I bring jars of the stuff to my buddies on the site. I love trying new things, especially anything hot or with smoked salts. Anyways, I make so much of the stuff that I need a place to keep it so I moved my keg out and started using Lucille. That was about the time the season started. What I need to know is what temperature should I keep Lucille at? Are krauts more like a Stout or a Pale Ale?

Second question: Do you have any advice for how I am going to talk about this to the guys when they come over for game 6 at my place? Most of them don't rib me anymore about eating because now that they are hooked on the stuff too but they don't know about Lucille's makeover.  I know the first time somebody tries to pull one and gets nothing and then opens that door they are going to give me some s***.

Go Mets!


Dear Michael,

As you know, a big part of pouring that perfect glass is managing the temperature of the beer because of the relationship between temperature and CO2. I suspect that is why you asked if it’s more like a pale ale than a stout because different beers absorb and hold CO2 at different temps. For your krauts and pickles you should think of them as at least a Lager but best as a Brown Ale, ie. 45° F to 40° F. Stouts at 50° F is getting too close to a temperature that allows the bacteria to wake up and start working, which means your ferments will continue to get sour and build up CO2 in your jars. 

Your second question is easy—there will be no game 6. Sorry. I should explain I was born in KC, George Brett was my hero growing up. I wore that stupid plastic batting helmet through those muggy hot summer days until my brother shattered it one day with a bat while it was still on my head. I firmly believe you will not have this problem as the Royals will take the next two games. Sorry.

Hopefully Kirsten won't see this post as she grew up in New York State and always roots for the underdog...