Author Topic: As I gather info.....  (Read 695 times)

Online redrocker652002

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
As I gather info.....
« on: October 24, 2021, 08:05:31 am »
I am curious about something.  If beer mellows as it its in a keg, what is your brew schedule so you don't run out of beer?  LOL.  My first keg lasted me about a minth, 5 gallons and just me drinking it, it took about two weeks to make my second batch.  So I had to buy beer for about the last two weeks.  This got me thinking, is it worth it to get another used corny keg and in about two weeks have one ready and stored?  Will the beer last in the keg uncarbonated for say two weeks to a month?  I can get a used keg for about 50 bucks and clean the heck out of it so it is ready to go, but I am concerned that the beer in it will go bad if not refridgerated and carbonated.  Thoughts? 

Also, thanks to all who assisted me in my second try.  I know I am still very green, but am learning a lot from all of you guys and gals.  Thanks.  Dino

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11206
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2021, 08:20:25 am »
At one point in time I had 20 corny kegs (course, I could get them for $20 back then). So, yeah, get as many as you can afford and brew as much as you enjoy!

It's best to store beer cold once it is done fermenting/conditioning but it won't hurt too bad to go a couple or weeks or so at room temp.

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 5333
As I gather info.....
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2021, 09:11:34 am »
A 5 gal keg lasts me about 4 weeks if it’s just me and about 2-3 if friends and family come by.

I usually have two beers on tap with at least one clearing/conditioning/lagering/maturing/carbonating waiting in line behind them. So… I brew about once a month.

I brew a tried and true recipe every other beer or two and sandwich an experiment in between. That way if what I envisioned didn’t quite work out I still have a beer N and S of it so my pipeline isn’t collapsed due to a few dumper experiments in a row.

I’ll lean on one of the two taps more than the other to try to keep moving the pipeline along. I may drink the same beer for several days but that’s not unusual: I drank the same lite beer for years before I began home brewing again.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: October 24, 2021, 09:15:01 am by BrewBama »

Offline Village Taphouse

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1952
  • Ken from Chicago
    • The new Mayfair Court Brewhouse
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2021, 09:47:27 am »
You will eventually know what your schedule needs to be.  I never know if it will just be me drinking it, my wife, my grown kids (21, 23, 25), friends, family, neighbors, etc.  I make a lot of lagers and lagers are better after they condition awhile so I am always brewing "out in front" of my consumption.  I have 10 kegs.  I have 4 draft lines (from two fridges) coming out of the wall in my basement bar.  I have the ability to keep another FIVE kegs cold in an old fridge.  The last keg might be "in production" or possibly out in the garage when the weather is cool.  I have not run out of beer in a very long time and I try to never be out.  I have had large gatherings at my house when 4-5 kegs have been emptied in less than two days.  I figure that each gallon of beer I make takes about an hour to make (each 5-gallon batch takes 4-5 hours total).  So when 5 kegs are emptied in 1-2 days that represents about ONE FULL DAY (24 hours!) of brewing that has been wiped out that quickly.  Bottom line, just brew ahead.  You'll be happy you did.  Oh, and look for old fridges that people toss out so you can keep it all cold.  :P
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline Bob357

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 793
  • Consensus means nothing to me. I am who I am.
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2021, 09:49:08 am »
To reduce the amount of time you don't have homebrew to drink, it helps to start a batch as soon as you keg one. That way, you can get it into the second keg a couple of weeks earlier, and at least get it partially carbonated. Once you fill the second keg, purge the head space several times, pressurize to 40 or 50 psi and spray around the posts and lid to check for leaks. The beer will absorb most of the CO2, so will be partially carbonated you're ready to put it into your kegerator (or keezer) and cool it down. The beer will also store much better with the keg purged and under pressure.

I've got a 3 tap keezer that fits 4 kegs and keep at least 2 beers on tap whenever possible. Ideally, 3 on tap and another carbonating. There's room in my fermentation fridge for 2 fermenters, and I try to have one ready as soon as a keg is emptied. On average, I go through a keg every 2 weeks. Even with this setup, my pipeline still occasionally runs dry, due to life getting in the way.

To greatly reduce the chance of running out of homebrew, you want to be able to keep at least 2 kegs cold and on CO2. You also need to try and have a fermentation finish shortly before a keg becomes available.
Beer is my bucket list,

Bob357
Fallon, NV

Online redrocker652002

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2021, 09:55:41 am »
All great info, but here is my issue.  I only have a small kegerator that was a converted dorm fridge.  I don't have anything, as of now, to keep the kegs I may have in reserve cold.  So the reserve keg will have to be kept in a cool place, but certainly not cold.  A closet or in the garage during the winter.  Summers may be another problem.  So, with that said, am I just not ready to have more than one going? 

Offline Kevin

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 609
  • Great beer. Less work. More fun.
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2021, 10:22:02 am »
Get a counter pressure bottling tool (and maybe a second keg). Brew your next batch close to the end of your current batch. If the next batch is ready to keg before the current keg is empty then bottle whatever is left in the current one.
“He was a wise man who invented beer.”
- Plato

Offline Village Taphouse

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1952
  • Ken from Chicago
    • The new Mayfair Court Brewhouse
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2021, 10:42:52 am »
This is one of those areas that all homebrewers face.  Some people have built walk-in coolers in their basement!  I currently have FOUR fridges dedicated to brewing.  Three small ones (one is a fermentation fridge and two are serving fridges... all about 4.5 cf) and then one old-school fridge that I cleared out to hold five kegs.  I bought it used.  If brewers are going to have draft beer on hand at all times they need cold storage.  I realize we don't all have the space for that and that's where we all find ourselves.  If you're married then you have another issue.  :D  When I was a new brewer and bottled my beer, I read an article about kegging and printed it out.  My wife saw the article and wrote on the top of the page YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!  No, I'm not kidding you.  :P
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline fredthecat

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1354
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2021, 10:43:40 am »
All great info, but here is my issue.  I only have a small kegerator that was a converted dorm fridge.  I don't have anything, as of now, to keep the kegs I may have in reserve cold.  So the reserve keg will have to be kept in a cool place, but certainly not cold.  A closet or in the garage during the winter.  Summers may be another problem.  So, with that said, am I just not ready to have more than one going?


i have never used a refrigeration unit for brewing and when brewing i usually have 2 full carboys at any one time with a 3rd to do transfers.

in winter my garage gets down to stable high 50s, basement in spring and fall is mid 60s. so i basically go with this and brew ales spring and fall, lagers in winter.

i start with 2 batches brewed around the same time with 2 different yeasts. bottle them, then brew another 2 batches using the yeast slurry. i basically make grain and hops orders for 3 or 4 batches.

the yeast slurry is a larger amount of yeast than a starter, so you can potentially ferment a higher gravity beer, so if im going to make a higher grav beer i do it second.

Offline RC

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 668
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2021, 11:03:10 am »
All great info, but here is my issue.  I only have a small kegerator that was a converted dorm fridge.  I don't have anything, as of now, to keep the kegs I may have in reserve cold.  So the reserve keg will have to be kept in a cool place, but certainly not cold.  A closet or in the garage during the winter.  Summers may be another problem.  So, with that said, am I just not ready to have more than one going?

With a beer sitting in a room-temp keg, the relatively warm temp will accelerate oxygen damage that occurs at kegging. If you had zero oxygen ingress, then in principle the beer will be good indefinitely. However, zero oxygen ingress isn't possible. And since you're relatively new to brewing, you are probably getting a lot (no offense). You will likely notice the oxygen damage in a kegged beer sitting at room temp for a month, especially if it's an IPA. Sitting for just a week? Maybe, maybe not. Long story short, if you can't refrigerate a brew immediately after kegging, you might want to wait until you can.

You're better off just letting that reserve beer sit in the fermenter until the first keg kicks. Then keg and immediately refrigerate the reserve beer. Cold crash for a day or two, force carb for 24 hrs, and the time between one keg kicking and the next being drinkable can be as short as 3 days. If you get a second keg, you don't have to rush to clean the first one for kegging that reserve beer.

Offline Megary

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 833
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2021, 11:10:51 am »
In my opinion, just keep doing what you’re doing until your brewing situation changes.  Don’t start feeling pressure to brew more and especially to DRINK more just to keep a pipeline flowing. And don’t cut corners and risk ruining a batch because *gasp* you might be without a beer on tap for a week. Use the time that you might be out of home brew to pick up some craft beer, maybe get some inspiration, see what you’re missing.  Keep it fun and low pressure, it’s a hobby.

Online redrocker652002

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2021, 11:53:44 am »
Again, what a great wealth of info and knowledge   Thank you all for that.  I am really learning a lot as I go.  I think, for now, to limit my outlay of cash I am going to just do what I am doing and brew when either the keg is showing low, or done.  I want to make sure I get all the steps correctly.  Thanks to all.   

Offline Slowbrew

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2817
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2021, 11:54:06 am »
I have a small number of days available to brew so I do 2 batches on each day I can brew.
I also have 14 kegs so that makes a bit easier to get ahead of the curve but I do get down to only 1 beer on tap now and then.

You're limited on space so this doesn't help right now but I built a cabinet against the wall that lines up with the back of my garage in the basement that holds 10 kegs .  This isolates the kegs from the controlled air of the room and stays at ~55F.  I have stored beers for months through the summer and not seen any majors issues with their flavor.  There is always another way to get good results in this hobby.

Remember no one is going to get upset at you if you run out of beer once in a while.   ;D

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline MNWayne

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 400
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2021, 08:25:57 am »
I hate running out.  Buy another keg. Store the "beer on deck" in the coolest place you have.
Far better to dare mighty things....

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4480
Re: As I gather info.....
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2021, 11:37:18 am »
Space and refrigeration is definitely an issue.  You can easily make a one or two keg insulated box and use 2 liter ice bottles to keep the beer somewhat chilled or ferment in the box.  Look into spunding to allow for partial or full carbonation in the keg.  Consider pressure fermentation to get carbonated beer from the fermenter to the serving keg.  There is a lot of ingenuity out there at the homebrew level.  Good luck and do what you can to develop a "pipeline" that always has some beer in it.  I am like Ken, I have any number of folks who might stop by for an event (weekly NFL games, Friday night gatherings, that type of thing.  They know that if the garage door is open, they are welcome to stop by.  I close the garage door in the winter, but it is open most of the days and early evenings the rest of the year.  Most guys have a couple beers and head on their way; I don't always join them, but frequently have a beer and ask their input on the ones that are on tap.  It really is great to have several kegs in various points of finishing...but to do that, you need several kegs and several brews following on their heels.  Get some removable painters tape and keep the details on them, so you can remember what the "birth order" is and the details on OG, FG, brew date, rack date and anything else pertinent.

Cheers.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"