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Keg "Freshness"

I’m gonna tap the first keg on my kegerator this weekend. I have always wondered…once you tap a keg how long do you have to drink it before it goes “bad”???

Anyone?

Thanks…

NewbieJM

i think the longest i’ve gone is about 2 months or so with no noticeable loss in quality. the co2 helps to preserve the beer, for sure.

wow 2 months, cool…I was thinking that i had less than 30 days. Maybe i am thinking back to the colllege days…but then again a 1/2 barrel never lasted more than a day or two at our house back then. :slight_smile:

The same amount of time that you have with bottled beer.

Sanitation, sanitation, sanitation.

I have a 9% lager (think Samichlaus

) that is almost 4 years old. Still tasting great.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]The same amount of time that you have with bottled beer.

Sanitation, sanitation, sanitation.

I have a 9% lager (think Samichlaus

) that is almost 4 years old. Still tasting great.[/quote]

Thank you for this, Nighthawk. I’ve just finished acquiring all the equipment I need to start kegging. I typically don’t finish off a batch of beer for a good 9 mo., so I was a little freaked out after I read baileyjoe’s comment.

I have a barleywine and an imperial stout that I intend to keep in a keg for several years

[quote=“NewbieJM”]Maybe i am thinking back to the colllege days…[/quote]Talking about the half-kegs from the liquor store with the pony tap? Those pressurize the keg with air, not CO2, so the beer stays good a couple days at most.

Same here…I ALWAYS have a couple kegs of stronger ales on hand that are at least a year old…sometimes older. They only get better with age.
I normally just store them at cellar temperature (my basement is 60°F pretty much year round).

If you’ve brewed clean and avoided aeration during transfer, you have nothing to worry about…the character will likely change over time but beer shouldn’t “go bad”.
Besides…in my experience, the last glass poured before the keg kicks is usually the best tasting one.

The only thing I could think of would concern me would be IPAs or other hoppy beers because the hop flavor tends to fad with time so if you’re storing those for an extended period of time it will change over time. Now will it go bad, not necessarily, but it might be different.

Ah, so that’s why they go bad so quick…

[quote=“NewbieJM”]I’m gonna tap the first keg on my kegerator this weekend. I have always wondered…once you tap a keg how long do you have to drink it before it goes “bad”???

Anyone?

Thanks…

NewbieJM[/quote]

Longer than bottles if you vented the air when filled. No light and no air means the expiration date is more dependent on the beer, not the container.

I thought all kegs were pressurized the same? Didn’t know there was a difference, now I do…cool.

No I am buying a torpedo keg tomorrow for my sons first b-day (I haven’t got around to kegging home brew…yet) and wondered how long it would “keep”. There will only be 5 beer drinkers, I know I will finish my portion but can’t expect the other guys to drink a gallon that night…so I was worried that if it took me another week to finish it after it was tapped would it go bad?

Should the keg be hooked up to a CO2 cannister the whole time? If I don’t would that change anything?

Just a LOT of questions that I have always wondered about but never asked and again I haven’t bought a keg since college and have less of my college buddies around now to help me drink it :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the cool info!

NewbieJM

As long as you dispense with CO2 the beer will last long enough for you to finish it. You don’t need to keep it hooked up, but if you are going to put it in a fridge and have a pint (or 4) every day, then you may want to leave it hooked up.

good info about this…and to clarify, the only reason I haven’t gone longer than 2 months is that it gets drank. so i don’t have any firsthand info about going longer than that. but the co2 is magic stuff, for sure.

I thought all kegs were pressurized the same? Didn’t know there was a difference, now I do…cool.

No I am buying a torpedo keg tomorrow for my sons first b-day (I haven’t got around to kegging home brew…yet) and wondered how long it would “keep”. [/quote]

It’s not that they’re pressurized differently, it’s that they are dispensed differently. Hook a commercial keg up to CO2 and it will last a long time.

I’ve got one keg that I tapped 4 months ago that’s about to run dry…still tasty.

Edit: I’ve had bottles last (back of the fridge) for nearly 2 years and were still delish. No reason to think a keg wouldn’t run dry months/years before it went “bad.”

:cheers:

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