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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Best way to age in kegs?
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:35 PM   #1
metaldwarf
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Default Best way to age in kegs?

I have just racked over to a keg, and I am wondering if there is a "Best" way to age, as well as a "Fastest" way to age.

Carbonated or still?
Chilled, Room Temp, or warm?
Air locked or sealed tight?
Shake or leave still?
etc.

Right now I have the keg sealed and burped with a little CO2 to prevent Oxidization. Room temperature and I just leave it alone for as long as I can stand.

Would you get a faster (but not necessarily tastier) aging process by having the keg warmer like close to a heater or radiator? What if you agitated the keg from time to time, would this disperse any yeasties sitting on the bottom allowing them to do their thing more quickly? What about using a stir plate on constantly?


How do people age their beer?


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Old 10-30-2009, 04:52 PM   #2
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It depends on what you mean by "aging". From your statements about a stir plate or agitating the keg or airlocks, it seems like you might think your beer is still fermenting.

The advice I'll give is only for when you're confident your beer is done fermenting. One of the biggest things, it seems to me, that you want to happen when aging is any fine materials suspended in your beer precipitate out to give you crystal clear beer without the flavor of that fine particulate. To help with this, the last thing in the world that you want is agitation of any kind! Put it someplace and let it be still. I move mine to my kegerator ASAP because that way I don't have to move it later and disturb all the stuff that settled out. Also, cold storage is very, very good for helping stuff settle out. I ought to know the specific reason why, but can't come up with it atm. It does clear much faster when it's very cold.

The second thing you want to happen is for flavors to blend, soften, merge. Again, I'm sure there are specific chemical reactions I ought to be able to cite, but I can't come up with them right now. Nonetheless, we know beer flavors change over time. I've always suspected that some of these happen with the CO2 in there (which is why bottle aging works) and for some of these the CO2 doesn't matter. Certainly for lagers I age them without carbing them up, at least initially for my 6 or 8 week lagering period. Others, it just depends on the beer. I guess I'm not as systematic as I should be.


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Old 10-30-2009, 04:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaldwarf View Post
I have just racked over to a keg, and I am wondering if there is a "Best" way to age, as well as a "Fastest" way to age.

Carbonated or still?
Chilled, Room Temp, or warm?
Air locked or sealed tight?
Shake or leave still?
etc.

Right now I have the keg sealed and burped with a little CO2 to prevent Oxidization. Room temperature and I just leave it alone for as long as I can stand.

Would you get a faster (but not necessarily tastier) aging process by having the keg warmer like close to a heater or radiator? What if you agitated the keg from time to time, would this disperse any yeasties sitting on the bottom allowing them to do their thing more quickly? What about using a stir plate on constantly?


How do people age their beer?
Pressurized, purge, and pressurized again. Room temp. Sealed and left alone.

The "fastest" way is to forget about the keg. Once the time is forgotten about it's no longer a factor.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaldwarf View Post
I have just racked over to a keg, and I am wondering if there is a "Best" way to age, as well as a "Fastest" way to age.

Carbonated or still?
Chilled, Room Temp, or warm?
Air locked or sealed tight?
Shake or leave still?
etc.

Right now I have the keg sealed and burped with a little CO2 to prevent Oxidization. Room temperature and I just leave it alone for as long as I can stand.

Would you get a faster (but not necessarily tastier) aging process by having the keg warmer like close to a heater or radiator? What if you agitated the keg from time to time, would this disperse any yeasties sitting on the bottom allowing them to do their thing more quickly? What about using a stir plate on constantly?


How do people age their beer?
Carbonated or still doesn't matter, it'll age either way.

Chilled, room temp, or warm....Room temp is better than chilled, (reactions happen faster), warm is something I'd stay away from...I don't know of any advantage to chilled...unless you are lagering, of course.

Seal it.

Shake or leave still....dunno here....obviously the only way to know is to make a 10 gallon batch and put one keg in a paint shaker for a month.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:09 PM   #5
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Don't shake it, and leave it at room temperature. As far as the carbonation goes, what the other guys said is spot-on: pressurize, purge, then re-pressurize to avoid oxidation.

Why not to shake it: your beer will continue to "settle," and when you pour the first pint all that sediment will come out in the first glass and you can dump it. I you are constantly shaking, you'll be mixing that stuff up over and over and it won't settle out.

Your beer will "age" (change/deepen in flavor) better at room temperature, but it still age chilled as well, just more slowly. I like to put my kegs in the fridge, set the carbonation, and then walk away for a couple weeks. That gives it time to carbonate, settle, and age a bit, so you get a good first pint. The trick is not to keep going back for "test tastes."


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