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Old 06-08-2012, 06:20 PM   #1
adamjackson
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Default Long Term Storage in Kegs / Carboy?

I'm getting a ton of conflicting views on this:

Basically, if I brew a beer this weekend but my kegerator isn't freed up for another 2 months, how do I keep the fermented beer stored best for use?

1. Storing in the carboy and the trub can cause off-flavors along with the presence of oxygen that slowly seeps in along with occasionally turning the closet light on can also affect the beer.

2. Storing it in a keg which is great for light but then you have Oxygen present so that can cause issues.

3. Storing it in a keg with Priming sugar or just replacing O2 with CO2 to reduce oxidation

.....Of the three though, I guess it really depends on style. Like, you wouldn't store an IPA for a year in a keg even if you did purge all Oxygen but maybe you could store a larger ABV stout for a year in the keg. But could you theoretically store a big beer for a year in primary fermenter with the gunk present at the bottom without any issues?

Sorry, this is a broad topic but I was planning on doing a sour beer soon using Brett and it needs 1-3 years to ferment so that's a slighty different question but I am curious about the first (making a Stout that isn't ready to serve yet..how to store).

Thanks!

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Old 06-08-2012, 06:41 PM   #2
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Option 3 is what you want. Beer in a keg, whether primed or otherwise carbonated is the same as beer in a big bottle in the dark. You don't worry about keeping beer in bottles without refrigerating do you? No? Then you should be ok to do the same with your keg! Fire it up to 10psi or so and let it sit. Just be sure to check the pressure every now and then and make sure you aren't getting any oxygen into it.

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Old 06-08-2012, 06:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajbram View Post
Option 3 is what you want. Beer in a keg, whether primed or otherwise carbonated is the same as beer in a big bottle in the dark. You don't worry about keeping beer in bottles without refrigerating do you? No? Then you should be ok to do the same with your keg! Fire it up to 10psi or so and let it sit. Just be sure to check the pressure every now and then and make sure you aren't getting any oxygen into it.
Okay. THANKS! So, for sure a carbonated keg kept at cellar temp is just as good as bottles kept at cellar temp. Good tip and thanks for the response.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:45 PM   #4
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I bulk age in a carboy all the time.
6-18 months without issue. I wouldn't worry too much about the closet light.
you can always put a black trash bag over it.

I use normal 3 piece airlocks with vodka and gum stoppers. I've had some problems with the universal stoppers taking a set over time and not sealing as well.

I've started trying a couple silicon air locks, they seem to be working but not enough time to tell.

2 months isn't a long time.

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Old 06-08-2012, 06:50 PM   #5
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I bulk age in a carboy all the time.
6-18 months without issue. I wouldn't worry too much about the closet light.
you can always put a black trash bag over it.
Primary fermentation or secondary? I don't have a lot of carboys free (I only have 4) so I heard sitting in the trubb for those months causes problems. Any issue?
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Primary fermentation or secondary? I don't have a lot of carboys free (I only have 4) so I heard sitting in the trubb for those months causes problems. Any issue?
I always do it as a secondary. I have lots of carboys so it works best for me.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:55 PM   #7
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Sitting on the trub shouldn't cause any issues, you can always rack off of it. I have bulk aged in carboys or let things sit for a bit prior to bottling too, but now that I have kegs, I never worry about kegging a beer and letting it sit at cellar temp for a while if I don't have a tap free.

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Old 06-08-2012, 09:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjackson View Post
Primary fermentation or secondary? I don't have a lot of carboys free (I only have 4) so I heard sitting in the trubb for those months causes problems. Any issue?
There was a thread I saw a few days ago about a guy who found some beer he forgot about. It was left in the primary for over a year, and it was fine. I almost always only primary and I've never had a problem for months at a time.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:09 AM   #9
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What about temp of the room you are keeping it in? At home I have a small fridge I keep mine in. But when I go to a friends he has a building that has no power to it so in the hot Carolina summers can get up to 80 in there. Will it still be safe in a secondary and then primed and bottled as he has room for it? This friend lost his job over a year ago and is literally living off his land, so when I can get up there we do things in bulk and store them.

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Old 01-18-2014, 10:37 AM   #10
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I store beer in kegs all the time with no issues
put it in the keg and put CO2 on it driving off the head space with co2
till you carbonate it you are basically just lagering the beer
now, because of the lagering, when it comes time to serve that beer you will have to force carbonate it. which is a easy step just drive in the co3 in the out tube at about 18 pounds, do a pressure release and let it fill again,
do that about 6 times over the next hour at the temp in your keggerator and let it sit overnight, when you set it up to serve, release the co2 and set it up at regular dispensing pressure.

good luck

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