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Beer in Tap Lines

Hello Everyone,

I kegged my first beer a week or so ago and am happy to report that all has gone well with the set up and force carbing process. Tonight I was filling a couple of taster glasses and noticed that the first pour had more bubbles clinging to the side of the glass and poorer lacing as opposed to the second pour. I also began to wonder if the first pour might have had a slight aftertaste, although I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it might have been.

This got me wondering why two beers from the same keg could look and possibly taste different. It then occurred to me that the first taster I poured was probably comprised almost entirely of what was left in the tap line from my previous pour, which was almost exactly 24 hours earlier. This in turn led me to wonder if there is any documented ill effect (or conventional wisdom) concerning the beer that remains in tap lines for extended periods of time.

I’m eventually headed toward a 2-3 tap keezer build, and given that I usually only drink a pint a night, I could very well go 2-3 days between pours on a given keg. Since I’m new to the kegging game, I was wondering if most people pour off the first couple of ounces if it’s been a few days since they last poured from a keg, or am I just too new to this game and maybe all of this is in my head?

It’s all in your head but not to worry as we all probably thought the same thing at one time of another. Your beer is not really ready to drink until it has been in the keg for 3-4 weeks IMO. That is when all of the ingredients marry and the beer loses its green taste.

My keg lines are 9-10 feet long and I believe they hold about 2 oz each but trust me, it does not hurt the beer to stay in the line for some time. That is as long as you used quality beverage line and not some cheap vinyl line from the hardware store.

Thanks, Greg – Reality Check: Complete!
:cheers:

I’ll second that.
In most cases, I’ll go further and say that at least 6 - 8 weeks is even better.

I’ll second that.
In most cases, I’ll go further and say that at least 6 - 8 weeks is even better.[/quote]
Would either of you say that this is true even if the beer has been aging or lagering in a carboy for several weeks/months? I’m curious to know if the act of moving the beer into the keg impacts the beer’s flavor in some way. If so, would aging or lagering in the keg be the way to go? And if so, would it make sense to carbonate the beer and then age it or should the beer be stored under some degree of pressure until carbonation time?

I’m coming up with questions I didn’t even know I had!

I’ll second that.
In most cases, I’ll go further and say that at least 6 - 8 weeks is even better.[/quote]
Would either of you say that this is true even if the beer has been aging or lagering in a carboy for several weeks/months? I’m curious to know if the act of moving the beer into the keg impacts the beer’s flavor in some way. If so, would aging or lagering in the keg be the way to go? And if so, would it make sense to carbonate the beer and then age it or should the beer be stored under some degree of pressure until carbonation time?

I’m coming up with questions I didn’t even know I had![/quote]
First, I’ll heartily agree with Greg and The Professor. IMO guys who speed carb green beer are doing a disservice to the product they’ve made.

There isn’t anything particularly special about the way beer conditions in a keg, except that it is typically in cold storage and the yeast will drop out faster (a key part of the conditioning process to improve flavor). I don’t produce lagers, so I can’t speak from experience, but in theory if you’ve lagered a beer for a few months months it’s probably ready to drink.

I’ve adopted the practice of racking my ales into a keg 3-4 weeks after pitching, and then putting them in the keezer to age and force-carb/condition over another 2-4 weeks. I’ve got a six faucet keezer with room and CO2 lines for eight kegs, so I can start carbing and cold conditioning before a faucet becomes available. If I have a ninth keg ready to go (as I do currently), I’ll still rack into the keg, purge with CO2 and let it sit in my basement until there’s room in the keezer. It’s still conditioning outside the keezer, but cold storage accelerates the process IMO.

Thanks, guys. I suppose I should have clarified by saying that the beer in question is an American Brown that I brewed back in early November which conditioned in secondary for about six weeks. Kcbeersnob, your kegging process sounds like a good one – it also sounds like you have plenty of options to choose from when standing in front of all those facucets.

[quote=“MullerBrau”]It’s all in your head but not to worry as we all probably thought the same thing at one time of another. Your beer is not really ready to drink until it has been in the keg for 3-4 weeks IMO. That is when all of the ingredients marry and the beer loses its green taste.

My keg lines are 9-10 feet long and I believe they hold about 2 oz each but trust me, it does not hurt the beer to stay in the line for some time. That is as long as you used quality beverage line and not some cheap vinyl line from the hardware store.[/quote]

Ok so I have been fermenting my beer for 3 weeks, I have been skipping secondary fermentation as I tried both before and feel single fermentation works for me. I just started Kegging also, and have a fridge to put the keg in (working on faucets for fridge). As mullerBrau stated Beer is not ready for 3-4 weeks . Is this outside of fridge and not Carbed with co2 or inside fridge with co2 thanks

Inside fridge carbed with CO2. Think of it as GOOD(2w), BETTER(3w), BEST(4w)

When I first read this, I thought about the bad lines I purchased from NB about three months ago. It had a strong plastic smell and added the same to the taste. All of it went back to NB when they switched back to their original bev line supplier. No problem now. So I second the earlier comment about quality bev lines.

My experience with beer that remains in the line is that it sucks. I always pour a couple oz and either down it or pour it down the drain before I pour a full glass. I do this if I haven’t poured that beer in a day or so.

It tastes flat and way off to me. No Bueno.

Are you guys telling me that if you pour only the beer that’s in the line, it tastes exactly the same as the beer coming out after the line has flushed? If that’s the case, then I need to get different beverage line.

I bought a 100’ roll of foxx superflex and that’s what I’ve been using. What brand are you guys using?

TR

I too have the 100’ roll of Foxx Superflex. Absolutely no difference in beer in line vs in keg.

That’s strange. I wonder why mine tastes so different. It doesn’t even have the same carb level in the line. That doesn’t make sense since its under the same pressure as the keg.

That’s strange. I wonder why mine tastes so different. It doesn’t even have the same carb level in the line. That doesn’t make sense since its under the same pressure as the keg.[/quote]One time I got a bad roll of bev line and they exchanged it for me. They said it was recalled for a bad vinyl taste. Not sure what brand it was but it was from morebeer.

I’ve experienced the same thing. My first oz or so of the night, I discard. It taste off and with my lighter beers, I can taste it in the full pint.

I’d rather waste that little bit and experience a great pint.

It depends. some of the beer in my lines is in my draft tower, which is not refridgerated. During the summer, the beer in this line can definitely get nasty. And, when I replace my lines every year or two, it’s obvious why. Those lines get nasty, even though I run cleaner/sanitizer through them every week or two.

I’ll also disagree that the beer is best 3-4 weeks after kegging. While sometimes that is the case, it is equally common for me to have beers that peak at 4 weeks and after that are on the downhill. a dry hopped bitter is at it’s best in the first month. If you wait 3 weeks before drinking, you’ll miss the best part.

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