Author Topic: Keg beer  (Read 1123 times)

Offline eric

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Keg beer
« on: March 16, 2010, 05:40:01 PM »
Living in Michigan my basement is about 55 degrees all year.  I was told I could keg beer without useing a fridge to keep beer cold.  Just place the kegs against an outside wall. Any thoughts. I would like to keg but don't have the cash or room.

Offline seajellie

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Re: Keg beer
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 06:08:13 PM »
I'm interested in others' thoughts as well. I'm a fellow Michigandier whose basement gets up to 65 for a couple months in summer, but is otherwise 48 - 58. I've had bottled beer sit for nearly two years with no problems, even with OG as low as 50. One 44 OG beer was in fact stellar one year later. But there have been failures as well, some showing up 4 - 8 months after bottling. I put that down to quality (or lack thereof) in, quality out. Fortunately, I've not had to dump too many batches.

I'm interested if there's any reason that kegged beer might have a different lifespan at these temps. For example, if you don't prime the keg, and therefore don't reactivate the yeast, does this affect storage at these temps? Or, if you bump up the pressure with forced CO2, does this affect longevity in any way? I could forsee arguments for benefits either way.

Offline BrewArk

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Re: Keg beer
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 10:08:49 PM »
Living in Michigan my basement is about 55 degrees all year.  I was told I could keg beer without using a fridge to keep beer cold.  Just place the kegs against an outside wall. Any thoughts. I would like to keg but don't have the cash or room.

If you like beer @ 55° it sounds like you can join the green crowd and not pay for electricity.  To me it sounds like the best thing to do with a basement that is that cold.  Here in CA we don't have basements and they wouldn't be that cool if we did.  I keep my kegs in the garage in the winter, and that's about the temp., but there can be temp. swings that force me to either put them in the fridge, or drink them faster (want odds on what I do?).

Go for it - get a keg and the CO2 and you may never bottle again.
Beer...Now there's a temporary solution!

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Offline euge

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Re: Keg beer
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 10:51:01 PM »
I think you guys should use it to your advantage- at least part of the year if you can. Leave some kegs out and try them. If you are happy with the temp then voila! ;D
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline seajellie

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Re: Keg beer
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2010, 06:42:49 AM »
Yes, nothing like just giving it a try!

In my case, at least, the intent is not to drink beers at 55; just store them non-refrigerated until space opens up in a fridge. It may take months for this to happen, as the times I have available to brew are not always optimal for when I want to drink that beer.

In the absence of any anecdotal evidence Eric, I'd venture a guess that it will be OK. Some of the main culprits in ageing beer are oxidation, autolysis, and contamination. So if the beer is lagered or conditioned before racking to keg (to settle out a lot of yeast), proper care is taken during racking to keg, and the keg is force carbonated, it would seem the results could be at least as good as my old bottled beers turned out. Dr. Bamforth has pointed out that oxidation potential decreases dramatically the colder you can keep the beer. All in all, a constant 55 is one helluva lot better than a shelf in a store.

I'll be doing it this summer in any case.....

Offline beerrat

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Re: Keg beer
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2010, 09:43:34 AM »
Hi Eric,

I think you got an ideal basement!!!!
In NE PA, I'm the temp is fine most of the year in the cellar, and I simply serve at the 50-58F range - so free cooling most of the year!  In June - September, the temperature gets above 60F, so I've used the following in the summer months, and will continue until I build out my basement or get another refrigerator for beer.

1) picnic tap with kegs in insulated garbage can of ice water
2) jockey box - loaded with ice, kegs at ambient temps.
3) Pour beer from keg into growlers (or 2 liter bottles with carbonator tops) and stick in the refrigerator.

Offline glitterbug

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Re: Keg beer
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2010, 10:38:10 AM »
Here in CA we don't have basements and they wouldn't be that cool if we did. 

FYI: The earths temp below the surface is relatively stable and constant around the planet
A witty saying proves nothing - Voltaire