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Old 08-31-2012, 07:05 PM   #1
MikeinCT
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Default How long will warm kegged beer keep ?

So I am new to kegging. Just picked up my system. Don't have a cooler all figured out but it is coming.

I thought that I could use corn sugar to prime my latest batch that has been in fermenter for two weeks. Then after it was fully conditioned in the keg (say in 4 to 6 weeks at room temperature) I would chill it and drink it.

The fellow I bought my kegging system from said this was a very bad idea. First, I should only force carbonate my beer - no priming with sugar. Second, once it is force carbonated it has to be chilled or will go bad.

I am sure this has been covered but would like some comments from you guys.

thanks, Mike

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Old 08-31-2012, 07:20 PM   #2
Kealia
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No on both counts. There are plenty of people who prime with sugar/DME/etc. Saying that you "should only force carbonate" is flat out bad advice and wrong.

Once it's kegged, assuming you've purged the oxygen, out you have a closed system where oxygen can't get in. In theory, the beer will stay good indefinitely. Sure, there's a limit, but you're aging/conditioning the beer in a sanitized and oxygen-free environment so it's going to stay good for a VERY long time. Think of it like a big bottle - you can condition it just the same.

Sorry to say you got some bad advice there. Now, you don't know me from Adam so wait a bit and a get a consensus here.

Cheers.

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Old 08-31-2012, 07:22 PM   #3
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That's weird. The guy who sold it to you doesn't sound like he knows what he's talking about. Naturally carbonating a beer is done at room temperature, looks at Sierra Nevada, one of the largest most respectable craft brewers out there, they bottle condition their pale ale, and you don't see all there 6 and 12 packs in the fridge, they sit on the shelves for weeks. Kegging beer and naturally carbonating with sugar isn't something I've done, (I used to bottle condition before I starting force co2) to me that's the point of having a kegging system tho, to force carb n cut out the 2-3 weeks of waiting to drink my beer that I can have ready in about 3 days with pure co2. So no, don't worry about having your beer warm in your keg, your keg is like a bottle, actually even better, because no light at all can get inside, so aging it is fine, keep in mind tho, that depending on the ABV it will age better or worse. Same with hoppy beers, hoppy beers typically taste better the fresher they are. I try to drink my beer when it's nice and fresh unless it's a high ABV beer that I want to age for a while (up to 15 years for some - no joke) but most ales and lagers I do I'm drinking as soon as I taste no more "green" in them. Hope that helps.


- the yeast wrangler

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Old 08-31-2012, 07:25 PM   #4
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I think he is wrong. There is nothing wrong with keg carbing. The only downside is you end up with yeast sediment from the fermentation in your keg (although pretty minimal compared to the yeast in your fermenter!). Personally I like the cleanliness of force carbing, in that only the yeast that I siphon out of my buckets ends up in the keg, and cold-crashing makes it drop out, so I get 1 very yeasty pint, and maybe 2-3 with a litte yeast, then from there on out it's nice and clear.

As far as aging in kegs, if you've followed good sanitation practices and the keg stays sealed, you don't really have anything to worry about. The beer WILL change, but in many cases it's a change for the better. You'll lose some hop aroma as well as any other aromas from adjuncts (fruit, spices, etc). My understanding is that most beer (homebrew and commercially produced beer stored by beer enthusiasts) is aged/stored at warmer temps, preferably 55-65* (basements and cellars are great for this) but I would think as long as it isn't sitting at 90* for weeks on end you'd be totally fine.

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Old 08-31-2012, 08:05 PM   #5
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Thanks for the insight. I will follow this advice and am confident that my beer will not spoil...Mike

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