Author Topic: How long does kegged beer stay fresh?  (Read 1239 times)

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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How long does kegged beer stay fresh?
« on: October 01, 2014, 12:05:18 PM »
I have both medication and weight issues, so I'm usually only making 3-gal batches and drinking on average 5-6 beers/wk.

I'm currently bottling, but wondered if I went to kegging my brew, how long would it stay fresh in the keg?

Also what happens when you start with 3 gallons in a 5-gal keg.  Can you leave  1/2 gal in a 5-gal keg for  two weeks and it still be good?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: How long does kegged beer stay fresh?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2014, 12:21:05 PM »
As long as you are using co2 to dispense (not air through a hand pump) kegged beer will stay fresh as long as bottled. You can put smaller volumes in a 5 gallon keg. You'll just have to purge the headspace several times with co2 to get oxygen out. 
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Offline Stevie

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How long does kegged beer stay fresh?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2014, 12:22:39 PM »
Complicated question. Lighter and smaller beers stale more quickly than darker or bigger beers. Hoppy beers tend to loose their bouquet over time as well. Most beers in kegs last me a few months without issue.

You're fine with the volume in the keg as long as you purge the oxygen and keep it on co2.

The key is keeping it cold.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 12:28:33 PM by Steve in TX »

Offline tommymorris

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Re: How long does kegged beer stay fresh?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2014, 12:24:07 PM »
Keg beer lasts a long time. Longer than you would take to finish. IPAs and other high aroma beers may fade a bit. But I think even those will be fine at your pace. Others can comment on those. I ant brew too many IPAs.

I am in the same boat on the weight. I have cut home brew to weekends only.

Offline tommymorris

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Re: How long does kegged beer stay fresh?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2014, 12:25:40 PM »
PS. 3 gallons in a 5 gallon keg is no problem. Just remember to flush the head space with co2 when you fill the keg.

Offline factory

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Re: How long does kegged beer stay fresh?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2014, 01:03:42 PM »
I keep my beers at 38F and I'm sure that they stay relatively fresh much longer than they last.  My lighter beers do start to get a little "stale" after 2-3 months.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: How long does kegged beer stay fresh?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2014, 02:15:08 PM »
I don't go through my beer all that fast and definitely keep it kegged for months.  It keeps just fine, but I also brew larger beers that can stand some aging.  I have an old ale and imperial stout in the basement that are about a year old or more.

If you're worried about head space you can buy smaller kegs.  There's no savings, unless you find a really good deal, but 2 and 3 gallon kegs work great for small or split batches.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: How long does kegged beer stay fresh?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2014, 12:54:14 AM »
I don't go through my beer all that fast and definitely keep it kegged for months.  It keeps just fine, but I also brew larger beers that can stand some aging.  I have an old ale and imperial stout in the basement that are about a year old or more.

If you're worried about head space you can buy smaller kegs.  There's no savings, unless you find a really good deal, but 2 and 3 gallon kegs work great for small or split batches.
If you're serious about getting smaller kegs, AiH usually runs a good deal on new 2.5 or 3 gallon kegs every few months. But they're generally only about 10 bucks cheaper than the 5-gallon version. For purging the headspace, I just fill a keg to the top with Star San, then purge the headspace a few times. When the time comes to fill the keg I just jump the Star San to another empty keg and rack into the purged keg.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: How long does kegged beer stay fresh?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2014, 01:29:58 AM »
I bought four 3 gallon pin locks from AiH not too long ago. Will be filling them soon.


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