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General Category => Going Pro => Topic started by: micsager on June 06, 2013, 05:26:47 PM

Title: Filled Keg storage
Post by: micsager on June 06, 2013, 05:26:47 PM
Now that we have our fermenting room completed and operational, we are brewing like crazy in an attempt to age a beer a little before distribution.  We can easily store them in the brewery at 65-75 degrees.  As a home brewer, I always kept my kegs at serving temperature.  But of course there just isn't room at this point. 

Any problems with storing them at basically room temperature?  probably 2-3 weeks at most.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: greatplainsbrewer on June 06, 2013, 06:21:38 PM
First you're a pro and I'm a homebrewer so take this with a grain of salt but doesn't warmer storage temps accelerate any oxidation that is already occurring?  Therefore to me if you haven't had any significant oxygen exposure you should be ok.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: micsager on June 06, 2013, 06:40:43 PM
Don't think I'd call myself a pro.  My wife and I are homebrewers that can legally sell our beer.

Thanks for the comment.  Kegs are well purged before, during, and after filling. 
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on June 06, 2013, 07:00:35 PM
Temperature speeds up every chemical process (in this case, oxidation, hop aroma degradation, etc). I think Charlie Bamforth says to assume twice the speed for every 10C (~20F). So if you believe your beer's shelf life is 180 days, Charlie's theory would suggest its only 90 or so at room temp.

Logistically, I would think the distributor is much less likely to store beer cold (and recommend cold storage to the retailer) if the brewer doesn't bother with it. The brewer (especially the little guy) may not have too much say in the distributor/retailer's beer treatment methods, but you can set the standard and hope its followed.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: anthony on June 06, 2013, 07:05:28 PM
Another thing to keep in mind is that a warm temperature also accelerates the development of any beer spoilers that may have survived your sanitation process. Are you testing your wort/beer for those things now, because a warm keg will sure expose it pretty quickly (things like lacto, wild yeast, etc.).
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: euge on June 06, 2013, 08:25:22 PM
Or it could be treated like a "maturation" room. A week or two to ripen then once chilled conditioning will slow to a crawl.
Title: Filled Keg storage
Post by: majorvices on June 07, 2013, 12:15:33 AM
Two words: cold room.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: Jimmy K on June 07, 2013, 02:18:15 AM
Dogfish's warehouse is cool, but not at all cold. Probably in the mid-60's. You could get mid-60's with an air conditioner.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: tschmidlin on June 07, 2013, 08:00:06 AM
With the temps where you live mic, it will probably be fine.  But it is not ideal, for the reasons outlined above.  if you have the space and money, cold room.
Title: Filled Keg storage
Post by: majorvices on June 07, 2013, 01:57:14 PM
You can build a cold room with an AC unit and some insulation. Or you can just get a "kill box" off craigslist.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: gymrat on June 07, 2013, 02:39:34 PM
Why would kegged beer be any different than bottled beer?
I store my bottles for up to a year in my basement, which stays a constant 66 to 68 degrees. Some of my beers actually improve over this period of time. I recently started kegging, my last two kegs I primed with half the sugar I would have for bottling, gave each a shot of C02 to protect them, and now they are sitting in my basement waiting for a slot to open up in my kegerator. Is this a bad practice? I figured they would carb then condition just like my bottled beer does. I was thinking this way I would have matured beer when my taps run dry of the beer that is in there now.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: euge on June 07, 2013, 02:43:32 PM
Sounds like that should work just fine.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: nateo on June 07, 2013, 02:55:51 PM
For whatever reason, consumers want consistency. Since you're still a newbie in the pro world, I suspect your sanitation isn't as good as Dogfish Head's.

Like Kyle and Anthony said, even if your kegs aren't turning sour, spoilage bugs, oxidation can change the taste of your beer. From a QC perspective, storing kegs warm sounds like a good way to shoot yourself in the foot before you get off the ground.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: Jimmy K on June 07, 2013, 03:10:55 PM
For whatever reason, consumers want consistency. Since you're still a newbie in the pro world, I suspect your sanitation isn't as good as Dogfish Head's.
Good point.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: AmandaK on June 07, 2013, 03:26:00 PM
Why would kegged beer be any different than bottled beer?

If you are naturally carbonating in the keg, then there isn't much of a difference. If you are force carbing, there is a difference.

I wish the AHA had the seminars from the 2010 NHC. Jennifer Helber, LHBS owner here in KC and former Boulevard Sensory Panel Lead gave (and still does around the KC area) an excellent presentation on why bottle conditioning is superior for long term flavor stabilization. I wish I had a copy of it. For the record, Boulevard still bottle conditions all of their bottled beers.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 07, 2013, 03:31:29 PM
Why would kegged beer be any different than bottled beer?

If you are naturally carbonating in the keg, then there isn't much of a difference. If you are force carbing, there is a difference.

I wish the AHA had the seminars from the 2010 NHC. Jennifer Helber, LHBS owner here in KC and former Boulevard Sensory Panel Lead gave (and still does around the KC area) an excellent presentation on why bottle conditioning is superior for long term flavor stabilization. I wish I had a copy of it. For the record, Boulevard still bottle conditions all of their bottled beers.

IMO, they make some awesome beers.  So perhaps I should do more bottle conditioning.

I keep my kegs in a cool room in my basement that's stable at +/- 60 degrees.  I use a window A/C and a Johnson temp controller to keep it there.  At this temp, the beer seems to stay stable for the long term.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: tschmidlin on June 07, 2013, 04:42:04 PM
Let's not forget that the bar probably doesn't want your warm keg - they want to put it on tap.  I know the places that have your beer tend to go through kegs quickly mic, better to have it cold and ready for them.  "I could deliver a keg to you, but it's warm . . . " doesn't sound great to me.

You could build a second room next to your fermentation room, and make the second room your fermentation room.  The old fermentation room becomes your walk in.  Move your heater/controller over to the fermentation side, and hook up the cold side of the controller to a couple of small fans to blow cold air in the bottom (and return from the top) of the wall that separates them.
Title: Filled Keg storage
Post by: majorvices on June 07, 2013, 05:13:57 PM
Great point, Tom. Nothing pisses off a bar manager more than having a warm keg delivered on Friday at 4:00
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: Slowbrew on June 07, 2013, 10:01:26 PM
Great point, Tom. Nothing pisses off a bar manager more than having a warm keg delivered on Friday at 4:00

Think about from the consumer side.  Back in your days of planning keggers (admit it, we all had to plan at least one kegger) Did you ever get a warm keg?  would you have accepted it?  At a commercial level your kegs must be cold.  For homebrew, I built a cabinet that is against an underground wall.  Internally it stays about 55*F (back wall is open to drywall over concrete).  That means into serving fridge I need about a 12*F drop (or less) which works well for me.  If I were selling beer, I would build a cold room 2 to 3 times my current production capacity (hope springs eternal) and keep the kegs at serving temp.  Depending on distribution area I would have a refrigerated van/truck. 

Paul
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: micsager on June 09, 2013, 05:08:43 PM
Let's not forget that the bar probably doesn't want your warm keg - they want to put it on tap.  I know the places that have your beer tend to go through kegs quickly mic, better to have it cold and ready for them.  "I could deliver a keg to you, but it's warm . . . " doesn't sound great to me.

You could build a second room next to your fermentation room, and make the second room your fermentation room.  The old fermentation room becomes your walk in.  Move your heater/controller over to the fermentation side, and hook up the cold side of the controller to a couple of small fans to blow cold air in the bottom (and return from the top) of the wall that separates them.

Yea, that makes good sense.  I just don't know what SWMBO would say right now if I wanted to build another room.  LOL.  I think my best solution for now, is chest freezer, with a controller.  But if we grow any further, all bets are off.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: a10t2 on June 09, 2013, 06:02:32 PM
Maybe rent a refrigerated storage unit until you can put in a second walk-in?

why bottle conditioning is superior for long term flavor stabilization.

Is it the yeast sediment that's the crucial factor, or something to do with the bottle conditioning itself?
Title: Re: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: AmandaK on June 09, 2013, 11:16:26 PM

why bottle conditioning is superior for long term flavor stabilization.

Is it the yeast sediment that's the crucial factor, or something to do with the bottle conditioning itself?

According to Boulevard, who centrifuges all their beer and adds their proprietary bottling strain (yes, even the wheats), it is for the yeasts' superior oxygen depleting properties. They claim much longer shelf life over counter pressure filled bottles.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: tschmidlin on June 10, 2013, 06:00:30 AM

why bottle conditioning is superior for long term flavor stabilization.

Is it the yeast sediment that's the crucial factor, or something to do with the bottle conditioning itself?

According to Boulevard, who centrifuges all their beer and adds their proprietary bottling strain (yes, even the wheats), it is for the yeasts' superior oxygen depleting properties. They claim much longer shelf life over counter pressure filled bottles.
That is totally believable to me.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: a10t2 on June 10, 2013, 02:23:49 PM
I've never understood why so few breweries use the oxygen-scavenging caps.

For that matter, why aren't can lid liners made of that stuff?*

*This idea is the property of Two Mile Brewing LLC.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: anthony on June 10, 2013, 02:55:58 PM
Because most reasonable bottling/canning lines pre-purge with CO2 and cap/seam on foam anyways.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 10, 2013, 03:35:11 PM
I've never understood why so few breweries use the oxygen-scavenging caps.

For that matter, why aren't can lid liners made of that stuff?*

*This idea is the property of Two Mile Brewing LLC.
I don't know if it ever proved to be legit, but I read several accounts over recent years that the O2 scavenging caps also reduce hop aromas pretty noticeably. 
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: a10t2 on June 10, 2013, 04:33:26 PM
Because most reasonable bottling/canning lines pre-purge with CO2 and cap/seam on foam anyways.

True, but we were still testing at 300-600 ppb off a four-head Meheen Merlin. Switching caps brought that down to <100 ppb.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: AmandaK on June 10, 2013, 07:32:23 PM

why bottle conditioning is superior for long term flavor stabilization.

Is it the yeast sediment that's the crucial factor, or something to do with the bottle conditioning itself?

According to Boulevard, who centrifuges all their beer and adds their proprietary bottling strain (yes, even the wheats), it is for the yeasts' superior oxygen depleting properties. They claim much longer shelf life over counter pressure filled bottles.
That is totally believable to me.

I believe it, but I don't have the data or sources to back it up. Just by going to the brewery and knowing one of their retired sensory leads is what makes me believe it.

BTW - it has got to be more expensive to centrifuge out the yeast, add bottling yeast and priming sugar/cap than it is to just counter pressure fill.
Title: Re: Filled Keg storage
Post by: nateo on June 10, 2013, 08:00:38 PM
BTW - it has got to be more expensive to centrifuge out the yeast, add bottling yeast and priming sugar/cap than it is to just counter pressure fill.

Yeah, outfits as big and successful as Boulevard probably don't spend money on stuff like that unless it's worth it.