How Long Does Cider Last in a Growler: Factors to Consider

As a cider lover, there’s nothing better than kicking back with a cold, crisp glass of your favorite brew. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably wondered how long your cider will last once it’s poured into a growler. It’s a common question, and one that many people overlook when enjoying their favorite beverage.

The answer, my friends, is not as straightforward as you might think. It depends on a number of factors, including the type of cider you’re drinking, how it was bottled, and how well it was stored. But fear not, because in this article, we’re going to dive deep into the world of cider and explore how long it lasts in a growler. So, sit back, grab a glass of your favorite cider, and let’s get started.

Whether you’re a cider aficionado or a casual drinker, knowing how long your beverage will last is important. After all, there’s nothing worse than pouring yourself a glass of cider, only to find out it’s gone bad. So, whether you’re buying a gallon of cider from your local farmer’s market or filling up your growler at a brewery, it’s important to know how long your cider will last before it goes bad. So, without further ado, let’s talk about cider and how long it lasts in a growler.

Factors affecting the shelf life of cider in a growler

Cider is a delicious beverage that is enjoyed by many all year round. However, when it comes to storing cider in a growler, the shelf life can vary depending on certain factors. Here are some of the factors that can affect the shelf life of cider in a growler:

  • Temperature – The temperature at which the cider is stored can have a big impact on its shelf life. Cider should be stored in a cool and dark place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, to ensure that it stays fresh for as long as possible.
  • Carbonation – The carbonation level in cider influences its shelf life. The more carbon dioxide in the cider, the longer it will remain fresh. However, if the carbonation level is too high, there is a risk of the growler exploding. It is important to consult with the cidermaker on the recommended level of carbonation for the specific cider.
  • Sanitation – Proper sanitation is crucial to maintain the quality of the cider. Growlers should be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized before use to prevent contamination and ensure that the cider remains fresh for an extended period.
  • Age – Like many beverages, cider is best consumed fresh. The longer it is stored, the greater the chance of it losing its flavor and freshness. It is recommended to consume the cider within a week of filling the growler.

By considering these factors, you can help prolong the shelf life of your cider in a growler and ensure that it retains its crisp and refreshing taste for as long as possible.

How to properly store a cider-filled growler

Growlers are an excellent way to enjoy and share fresh cider from your local cider house or taproom. However, it is essential to store your filled growler correctly to maintain the best flavor, carbonation, and freshness. Here are some essential tips:

  • Keep the growler cold: Cider is best stored at temperatures between 33-40°F. Keep your filled growler in the fridge or a cooler to maintain its freshness and carbonation. Avoid leaving it out in the open or storing it in a warm place as this may cause unwanted fermentation and spoilage.
  • Consume within 3-5 days: Unlike bottled cider, a growler is not as airtight, which means it will eventually start to lose its carbonation, flavor, and aroma. Drink your filled growler within three to five days of purchase so you can enjoy the cider at its best.
  • Don’t shake the growler: Shaking the growler, even lightly, can cause the cider to lose its carbonation and become flat. Instead, gently turn the growler upside down to mix the cider before pouring.

Additional Tips:

If you plan on transporting your filled growler, make sure to keep it upright to prevent the cider from spilling or losing its carbonation. You may also want to consider investing in a growler tote bag or a padded carrier to protect your growler from breakage and temperature changes.

Growler Size and Volume Chart:

Growler Size Fluid Oz. Liters
32 oz. 946.35 0.946
64 oz. 1892.71 1.892
128 oz. 3785.41 3.785

Growler sizes and ounces can vary, so make sure to check the label and calculate how much cider you are consuming per serving. And remember, a growler is meant for sharing, so invite some friends over to enjoy a fresh pour together.

Signs of Spoilage in Cider and How to Identify Them

While a growler of cider can last for several days, it is important to know when it has gone bad and is no longer safe to drink. Here are some common signs of spoilage in cider:

  • Cloudiness: Fresh cider may be slightly cloudy, but if it becomes excessively cloudy or has visible particles floating in it, it is likely spoiled. Cloudiness can indicate the presence of yeast or bacteria that have fermented the cider.
  • Off Odors: Spoiled cider may have a sour or vinegar-like smell. If the cider smells off, it is best to dispose of it.
  • Off Flavors: If the cider has a strange taste, it may be a sign of spoilage. The flavor could be sour, acidic, or bitter, indicating that the cider has started to ferment. Any unusual taste in the cider means it should be discarded.

If you notice any of the above signs in your cider, it is important to dispose of it immediately. Drinking spoiled cider can cause illness, including stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea.

To avoid spoilage, it is important to follow proper storage techniques for cider. Cider should be kept in a tightly sealed container, such as a growler, in the refrigerator. It is best to consume cider within a few days of opening the container. If you do not plan to drink the cider within a week, consider freezing it for longer storage.

Sign of Spoilage Description
Cloudiness Excessive cloudiness or visible particles in the cider
Off Odors Sour or vinegar-like smell
Off Flavors Strange taste, such as sourness, bitterness, or acidity

By knowing the signs of spoilage in cider and how to identify them, you can ensure that you are always consuming fresh, safe cider.

Can you freeze cider to prolong its shelf life?

If you have a lot of leftover cider in your growler and you’re wondering if you can freeze it to make it last longer, the answer is yes, you can. Freezing cider is an excellent way to preserve its freshness and prolong its shelf life. However, there are some things you need to know before you freeze your cider.

  • To freeze cider, you need to make sure it’s properly stored in an airtight container or freezer bag. This will help prevent the cider from freezer burn, which can alter the flavor and texture of the cider.
  • You should only freeze cider that has not been opened or has been opened but consumed within a day or two. If the cider has been open for more than a day or two, it may have started to ferment, and it is not recommended to freeze fermented cider.
  • When you’re ready to drink the frozen cider, you need to thaw it slowly in the refrigerator. This will help preserve the flavor and prevent the cider from spoiling. Avoid thawing the cider at room temperature as this could cause bacteria growth.

While freezing cider is a great way to make it last longer, it’s not a permanent solution. Frozen cider can be stored for up to six months, but its quality may start to deteriorate after a few months. Therefore, it is best to consume frozen cider as soon as possible after thawing.

If you plan to freeze cider, it’s best to freeze it in smaller portions. This will help you thaw only what you need and prevent waste. You can also freeze cider in ice cube trays and use the frozen cubes to make cider cocktails or to chill your cider without diluting it.

Pros Cons
– Freezing cider will help preserve its freshness and prolong its shelf life. – Frozen cider may lose some of its flavor and taste after a few months.
– Frozen cider can be stored for up to six months. – Cider that has been open for more than a day or two is not recommended to be frozen.
– Freezing cider in smaller portions helps prevent waste. – Thawed cider should be consumed as soon as possible to prevent spoilage.

Overall, freezing cider is a great way to make it last longer, but only if you do it correctly and within the recommended time frame.

Differences in shelf life between homemade and commercially-produced cider

When it comes to the shelf life of cider, there are some differences between homemade and commercially-produced varieties.

  • Pasteurization: Commercially-produced cider is usually pasteurized, which means it has been heated to a high temperature to kill off any bacteria that could spoil the cider. Pasteurization extends the shelf life of cider, allowing it to last for several months in the refrigerator.
  • Freshness: Homemade cider, on the other hand, is often made with unpasteurized apple juice and is not as heavily processed as commercially-produced cider. As a result, homemade cider has a shorter shelf life and is best consumed within a few days or weeks of being made.
  • Storage: Both homemade and commercially-produced cider should be stored in the refrigerator to help extend its shelf life. However, homemade cider is more susceptible to spoilage and should be stored in a clean and airtight container to prevent contamination.

It’s important to note that the shelf life of cider can also vary depending on the specific type of cider and how it’s been stored. For example, some flavored ciders and spiced ciders may not last as long as plain apple cider.

If you’re planning to store cider for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to check the expiration date on the container (if applicable) and to follow any storage guidelines provided by the manufacturer. If you’re unsure about the freshness of your cider, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dispose of it to avoid any potential health risks.

Factors that affect the shelf life of cider

There are several factors that can affect how long cider will last in a growler:

  • Pasteurization: As mentioned earlier, pasteurized cider has a longer shelf life than unpasteurized cider.
  • Filtration: Cider that has been filtered to remove sediment and other particles will last longer than unfiltered cider.
  • Packaging: The type of container used to store the cider can also affect its shelf life. Glass or plastic containers with a tight-fitting lid are best for storing cider.
  • Temperature: Cider should be stored in the refrigerator to help maintain its freshness. When left at room temperature, cider can spoil more quickly.
  • Acidity: Cider with a higher acidity level tends to have a longer shelf life than cider with a lower acidity level.

Cider shelf life table

Type of Cider Shelf Life (Refrigerated)
Commercially-produced, pasteurized cider Up to 4 months
Homemade, unpasteurized cider 1-2 weeks
Flavored or spiced cider 1-2 weeks
Hard cider 6-12 months (unopened)

While these shelf life estimates can be helpful, it’s important to use your own judgment when deciding whether or not to consume cider that has been stored for an extended period of time.

How to Tell If a Growler Is Completely Sanitized Before Use

Proper sanitation of a growler is crucial to ensure that your cider stays fresh for longer. Here are some ways to tell if a growler is completely sanitized before use:

  • Visual inspection: Examine the inside of the growler for any residue, such as mold or yeast, or any debris that may have accumulated. If you see any signs of contamination, do not use the growler.
  • Touch test: Run your fingers over the inside of the growler to feel for anything that may have been missed during the visual inspection, such as sticky residue.
  • Smell test: Give the growler a sniff to detect any unpleasant odors that may indicate bacterial growth or contamination.

It is important to note that even if a growler appears clean at first glance, there may be hidden bacteria or other contaminants that could impact the quality of your cider. As a result, thorough sanitation of your growler before each use is essential.

To properly sanitize a growler, you can use hot water and dish soap or a mixture of water and white vinegar. After cleaning the growler, rinse it thoroughly with hot water and allow it to air dry completely before use. Alternatively, you can also use specialized sanitizing solutions that are designed specifically for growlers.


Proper sanitation of a growler is essential to ensure that your cider stays fresh for longer. To determine if a growler is completely sanitized before use, perform a visual, touch, and smell test. In addition, it’s important to thoroughly clean and sanitize your growler before each use to prevent unpleasant odors and bacterial growth.

Pros Cons
Hot water and dish soap is a simple and effective way to sanitize a growler If not properly sanitized, a growler can impact the taste and quality of your cider
Specialized sanitizing solutions can provide additional protection against bacteria and other contaminants Thorough cleaning and sanitation requires time and effort

Effects of Pasteurization on Cider’s Shelf Life

One of the most significant factors affecting the shelf life of cider is pasteurization. During the pasteurization process, cider is heated to a specific temperature, usually between 160-180°F, then rapidly cooled. This process kills any bacteria or yeast present in the cider, extending its shelf life and making it safe for consumption.

However, there are two types of pasteurization: flash and thermal. Flash pasteurization involves heating the cider for a few seconds at a very high temperature, followed by rapid cooling. Thermal pasteurization involves heating the cider for a longer period at a lower temperature. Thermal pasteurization is the most commonly used method for preserving cider, but it can have some adverse effects on the flavor and quality.

  • Flash pasteurization is quicker and more efficient, but it can also affect the cider’s taste and aroma. The high temperatures used can cause some of the cider’s natural flavors to be lost or reduced.
  • Thermal pasteurization is slower but tends to preserve the cider’s flavor and aroma better. However, it may not be as effective in killing all of the bacteria and yeast, which can lead to a shorter shelf life.
  • Some cider makers prefer not to pasteurize their cider at all. While this may preserve the flavor and quality of the cider, it can also lead to a shorter shelf life and a higher risk of spoilage.

To get the most out of your cider’s shelf life, store it in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight or heat. An unopened growler of cider that has been pasteurized can last up to six months or longer, depending on the method of pasteurization. If the cider has not been pasteurized, it should be consumed within a few days or refrigerated to slow down the fermentation process.

Comparison of Flash and Thermal Pasteurization
Method Temperature Time Effect on Flavor Effect on Shelf Life
Flash 160-180°F A few seconds May reduce or alter natural flavors Effective in killing bacteria and yeast
Thermal Up to 160°F Up to 30 minutes Preserves natural flavors better Less effective in killing bacteria and yeast

In conclusion, pasteurization is an essential process for extending the shelf life and ensuring the safety of cider. The method of pasteurization used can have an impact on the cider’s flavor and quality, but proper storage can help to preserve it for as long as possible.

Choosing the Right Type of Growler for Storing Cider

Choosing the right type of growler for storing cider is essential to ensure that the quality and taste of your cider are not compromised. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a growler for your cider:

  • Material – Select a growler made from quality material that can withstand the pressure of carbonation. The common materials used for growlers are glass, stainless steel, and ceramic. Glass is the most popular and affordable option but can break easily and may not have good insulation properties. Stainless steel is a durable option that can keep your cider cold for a longer time, but it is expensive. Ceramic is not commonly used but can provide good insulation properties and is less prone to breakage.
  • Size – Choose a size that can accommodate the volume of your cider. Typically, growlers come in sizes ranging from 32 ounces to 1 gallon. To ensure the longevity of your cider, select a growler that can accommodate the volume you intend to consume in a single serving.
  • Seal – A proper seal is essential to prevent the entry of air that can spoil your cider. Look for growlers that have a screw cap or swing-top lid that can create a tight seal.
  • Cleanliness – Ensure that the growler is easy to clean and does not retain any odors or flavors that can affect the taste of your cider. Avoid growlers with intricate designs or crevices that can harbor bacteria.

Now that you have an idea of what to look for in a cider growler, let’s take a look at how long cider can last in different types of growlers:

Growler Type Duration of Freshness
Glass Growler Approximately 24-48 hours when properly sealed and stored in a cool place
Stainless Steel Growler Approximately 36-48 hours when properly sealed and stored in a cool place
Ceramic Growler Approximately 48-72 hours when properly sealed and stored in a cool place

As with any type of food or beverage, it is important to consume it within a reasonable period to avoid spoilage. By selecting the right type of growler and storing it correctly, you can ensure the longevity and freshness of your cider.

At what temperature should cider be stored to retain its quality?

Cider is a delicate drink that needs to be stored at the right temperature to maintain its quality. Generally, the ideal temperature to store cider is between 33 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature higher than this can cause the cider to spoil and make the taste go bad. The temperature of the fridge or the store you bought the cider from is usually close to the ideal temperature range for storing cider.

  • Storing cider in a fridge is the best way to maintain its quality. The colder the temperature, the longer the cider will stay fresh.
  • When storing cider at home, it’s crucial to make sure the temperature is consistent. Avoid placing the cider close to heat sources like radiators or stoves as heat can ruin the flavor and aroma of the cider.
  • If you don’t have a fridge, a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight would be the next best option for storing your cider.

It’s essential to keep in mind that the quality and taste of cider can be affected by the temperature it’s stored at. It’s incredibly crucial for freshly pressed cider to be stored at the right temperature as it can absorb flavors and aromas quickly if not stored correctly. The ideal temperature range is essential for not only maintaining the quality and taste of the cider but for maintaining its shelf-life too.

Below is a table that you can use as a guide to know the shelf-life of cider at different temperatures.

Storage Temperature (F) Shelf Life (Days)
33°F to 41°F Up to 90 days
42°F to 50°F Up to 60 days
51°F to 59°F Up to 30 days
60°F to 70°F Up to 7 days

Now that you know the ideal temperature to store your cider, you can enjoy its quality and taste for a longer time. Following these simple tips can ensure that your cider remains fresh, tasty, and enjoyable for you and your friends for an extended period.

Ways to reuse a growler after the cider has expired.

Once your cider has passed its prime, there are plenty of ways to repurpose the growler it came in. Here are some ideas:

  • DIY Flower Vase: Clean out your growler and use it to display fresh flowers. The unique shape of a growler will add a touch of personality to any arrangement.
  • Candle Holder: Place a pillar candle in your growler and watch the light dance off the glass for a chic ambiance.
  • Water Bottle: Fill your growler with water and you’ll have a stylish way to stay hydrated on-the-go.

If you’re feeling crafty, here are some additional ideas for DIY projects:

  • Chalkboard Label: Add a chalkboard label to your growler for a stylish and functional way to label your items. Use it to store dry goods in the kitchen or toiletries in the bathroom.
  • Etch Design: Use etching cream and a stencil to create a personalized design on your growler. This is a great way to repurpose a growler from a special occasion, like a wedding or birthday.
  • Painted Growler: Pick up some glass paint and create a unique design on your growler. You can even add a coat of clear sealant to make it dishwasher safe.

If you’re not feeling crafty, consider donating your growler to a local brewery or cider house. They may be able to refill it with a fresh brew, or they may have a use for it in their tasting room.

Reuse idea Materials needed
DIY Flower Vase Fresh flowers
Candle Holder Pillar candle
Water Bottle N/A
Chalkboard Label Chalkboard paint, chalk
Etch Design Etching cream, stencil, gloves, paintbrush
Painted Growler Glass paint, paintbrush, clear sealant (optional)

No matter what idea you choose, remember that reusing your growler is a great way to reduce waste and create something beautiful and functional.

How Long Does Cider Last in a Growler?

1. What factors affect how long cider lasts in a growler?

The main factors that affect how long a cider lasts in a growler are temperature, exposure to light, and the type of growler used.

2. How long can cider last in a growler?

Untapped, unopened, and kept in the fridge, cider can last for up to two weeks in a growler. However, after a day or two, the taste of the cider may start to change.

3. Can I store my cider growler at room temperature?

It’s not recommended to store your cider growler at room temperature, as this may cause the cider to turn bad or lose its flavor. It’s best to keep your cider growler in the fridge at all times.

4. Can I reuse a growler for cider?

You can reuse a growler for cider, as long as you clean it thoroughly before you pour your cider into it. The best way to clean a growler is to use hot, soapy water and rinse it out well. Make sure there’s no residue left over from any previous liquids.

5. How can I tell if my cider has gone bad?

If your cider has gone bad, it may smell off or have a sour taste. It may also look a bit fizzy or cloudy. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw it out and start over with fresh cider.

6. Can I drink cider straight from the growler?

Yes, you can drink cider straight from the growler. However, keep in mind that once you open the growler, the cider will start to lose its flavor and carbonation. It’s best to drink the cider within a day or two of opening the growler.

7. Can I freeze cider in a growler?

It’s not recommended to freeze cider in a growler, as the pressure from the expanding liquid could cause the growler to burst. Plus, freezing the cider may cause it to lose its flavor and texture.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, cider can last for about two weeks in a growler if it’s kept in the fridge and unopened. However, it’s best to drink the cider within a day or two of opening the growler to enjoy it at its freshest. Make sure to clean your growler thoroughly between uses and store it in the fridge to avoid any risk of spoilage or contamination. Thanks for reading and we hope to see you again soon!