How To Store Spirits In A Pub Shed

When you build a home bar or pub shed it is inevitable that you will have some bottles of your favourite spirits. Whether you build a large collection, or just keep the basics like gin, vodka, whiskey, brandy and rum. But how do you store spirits in a pub shed?

A shed by its very nature will have considerable fluctuations in temperature. This may be detrimental to your liquor and even spoil it. So what is the best way to store spirits in a pub shed?

For most spirits it is accepted that they should be stored at room temperature, or just below. Protect them from direct sunlight and store them upright. Always seal the bottle properly and transfer half empty bottles to a smaller bottle to slow down oxidation.

Apart from one all of these are easily achieved in a pub shed. The one that is hard to achieve is the temperature control.

Lets look at these storage tips for spirits in more detail.

How To Store Spirits

The storage of spirits is not that complicated, there are just a few guidelines to consider. Those off the shelf spirits we get to enjoy with family and friends are fairly easy to care for.

Having said that for those that collect expensive spirits like a bourbon or scotch whiskey, it is a good idea to follow the guidelines of the distiller.

You don’t want to spoil the good stuff, but for the rest here are the general rules to consider.

Spirit Storage Temperature

Everyday spirits like gin, vodka, whiskey, rum and tequila are considered to fair okay kept at room temperature. Although ideally it is said it is better to store them at a slightly lower temperature of 55°F to 60°F (12°C – 15°C).

So spirits stored in a cabinet in your home will be okay, as long as they are not near a radiator or a window.

This may not be as easy to achieve in a pub shed, but more about that later.

Exposure to higher temperatures can cause evaporation and oxidise quicker which could affect the flavours too.

Light And Spirits

Light can also affect your favourite spirit tipple. If your spirit bottles are exposed to direct sunlight it can not only spoil the colour, but also some of the character too.

While this won’t completely spoil the drink or make it harmful to drink the spirit will deteriorate over time. Direct sunlight will also raise the temperature and evaporation as well as oxidation may occur.

Bacardi did their own research into heat and light affect on spirits.

Keeping Spirits In The Fridge

Some people like to keep their spirits in the fridge, which is fine. Vodka is often kept in the freezer too. But is it necessary?

Not really, while it is nice to serve a spirit cold, storing them at too lower temperature can mute flavours. But it is a personal choice I guess, I prefer room temperature over ice. That way you get the full flavours with a slight chill.

A dedicated fridge that is not set too cold may be a better option, keeping the spirits cool and protected from light.

Protect Your Spirits From Air

Once you open a bottle of spirit and some gets consumed, it is then exposed to more air. As the bottle goes down the more air is present in the bottle.

This can cause oxidation and the flavour may be affected over time. When the bottle gets to about half way, it can be a good idea to transfer it to a smaller bottle. This will reduce the amount of air present in the bottle.

Also make sure the top is giving a good seal on the bottle, make it a nice tight closure.

Store Spirits Upright

Unlike wine which is stored on its side, spirit bottles are best stored upright. This mainly concerns those that have a cork top closure.

The high alcohol content of spirits can break down the cork, which is going to end up in the drink. Plus the tight seal will fail letting air do its thing.

However you also don’t want the cork to dry out either as this will damage it over time. Occasionally it is a good idea to flip the bottle to wet the cork and stop it drying out.

There is no set time, but once a month, or when you remember will suffice.

Storing Spirits In A Pub Shed

How Should You Store Spirits In A Pub Shed

So how is it best to store spirits in a pub shed?

While it is pretty easy to achieve most of the recommended storage tips, the one that is a bit of a bugbear is temperature.

The temperature in a pub shed can fluctuate considerably, and when they get hot, they get hot. Obviously the better insulated they are the less extreme the fluctuations in temperature.

So what can be done to protect our spirits from these fluctuating temperatures?

  • Store in a fridge set at the right temperature.
  • Keep away from windows and direct sunlight.
  • Install a vent where the bottles are stored to allow airflow around them.
  • Install and expensive climate control system.
  • Just store them on your bar shelves and hope for the best.

The fridge option is probably the only fail safe option, and a vent might help a little. But I think most people with a pub shed will want their spirit collection on show.

There behind the bar sitting proudly on the shelves or in a cabinet. No one wants to store their spirits in a fridge out of sight.

Apart from the fact they will not be easily accessible, it takes away from the aesthetics of the whole pub shed.

A climate control system will obviously do the job, but that could cost a small fortune.

Therefore my best spirit storing option is to display on the shelves and hope for the best. As long as the bottles are consumed within a few months, there should be no real problems.

Final Thoughts

To summarise then, the major problem for storing spirits in a pub shed is the temperature fluctuations. Mainly when it gets very hot in the shed, obviously opening windows will help a little.

There are steps you can take to help protect your spirits, otherwise you can just accept that they may get a little hot now and then, especially during the summer months.

As long as you consume the spirits in a reasonable time scale, it shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.

Having said that, I would keep expensive spirits in the house for more protection, or store at a controlled temperature.

If you have a cool way of keeping your spirits in the right temperature range in your pub shed. The do share your thoughts below and explain how you do this.

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