Now that I have a brew schedule that fits my wants and needs, I am starting to use kegs as long term storage vessels in a temperature controlled environment. I have 3 taps on my kegerator. About 10 days ago I realized that I had pulled the wrong keg to tap by mistake. I really don’t want two lagers on tap and I meant to pull an IPA from cold storage. Since the carbonation level was almost at the saturation point in the pulled keg, I have decided to let it fully saturate to 12 lbs. My question is: If I put this fully carbed keg back in storage, will the shelf life be reduced compared to the other kegs which are stored without carbonation?
It shouldn’t. But how quickly a beer ages deals a lot with the storage temps. The colder the slower it ages and vice versa.
In my own experience, it doesn’t shorten shelf life at all. I am, however, basing that observation on stronger (and hoppier) brews…both keg stored and bottle stored. If you like an assertive abundance of fresh, green hop flavors (which I do not like at all), extended aging might disappoint you since those nuances will be the first to go (whereas I’ve had beers stored for a year or more that still have plenty of the hop bitterness I’ve loved for 45 +years.
As always, best thing to do is to experiment by laying down some brews of various “styles” in both cold and cellar temps storage situations and determine what suits your taste expectations.
Agree with the other comments but specifically on carbed vs non-carbed storage in my experience that makes no difference. At the very least temp and type of beer is a WAY bigger contributor to how it’ll store than the state of carbonation.