Aging Beer in the keg vs the bottle

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johnsmh2

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I have brewed two batches so far and bottled them both. I read all over this forum that 4 weeks in primary then to the bottle is the way to go. I then waited 3 weeks after bottling before consumption for carbonation. The beer was good but got even better a few weeks after that while sitting at room temperature. My understanding is that beer doesn't age anymore once it gets put in the fridge due to the cold temps causing the yeast to go dormant.

My question, what is recommended for kegging if I go from the primary after 4 weeks straight to the keg? If it goes directly into the keggerator then it shouldn't age anymore due to the cold temps, correct? Or due you all go from primary to keg and leave it at room temp for a few weeks so that the beer ages a bit and doesn't taste so green before it gets put onto the CO2 and into the kegger? If seems that when bottling you are forced to age it at least 3 more weeks to wait for the carb buildup and cleanup of more off-flavors vs going straight to the keg.

Suggestions?
 

Revvy

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I know of several brewers on here for who a keg is conditioned for 3 or more weeks before going into the chil chest and being carbed. Most folks who keg, brew regularly and who have a fairly large pipeline have some form of conditioning happening at room temp.
 

MadHopper

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My own experience with kegs over about 7-8 months has been that, the beer still ages at the cold temperature. Of course, it does so very slowly. California Cream Ales, Session beers, Pilsner - all have acquired a much better taste over 2-3 months. Unfortunately, by that time the kegs were almost empty :(

I learned my lesson - now I am trying to maintain a good enough pipeline so that I can age the beer in the kegs at room temperature before putting it in the keggerator.
 

VictimKBrew

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Hm. Maybe this applies to me. I brewed an IPA, left it in primary for 3 weeks, stuck it into the keg for 10 days or so with priming sugar and then hooked it up to the kegerator. It tasted flat at first but over the last few weeks has been getting carbed up however I can't taste much hops and really just taste straight alcohol.

Are you saying that once you move from primary to keg, then let it sit an additional few weeks? With or without adding priming sugar?
 

VictimKBrew

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To add to my post above...I guess what I'm thinking is if I put 5oz of priming sugar into my corny keg with my batch, the keg will need 2-3 weeks to condition (similar to bottling). Then I need to hook it up to the kegerator, and using the set and forget method, it may take another 3 weeks to properly carb. So this method may take me 5-6 weeks to get the beer tasting right?
 

IffyG

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If you prime the keg (this requires less sugar than if you were bottling it) you shouldn't need to force carb it.
 

VictimKBrew

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If you prime the keg (this requires less sugar than if you were bottling it) you shouldn't need to force carb it.
Thats what I thought but after 10 days my beer came out flat. I used 5oz of sugar too and was just going to bleed the keg and let it sit to fix any issues.
 

IffyG

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Did you make sure to hit the keg with 30 PSI or so to seal everything up?
 

VictimKBrew

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No from what I read only certain people had to do that when they had leak issues. My corny seemed to seal pretty tightly when I closed it. Do I need to do that (next time)?

You just hook it up to the CO2, blast it with 30psi, then unhook it?
 

7mmSTW

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My last few batches I'e been tasting them at each stage along the way to get a better feel for the process. Each tasted drinkable at bottling with no green taste at all. A week later they were super green, each week afterward they were less and less green. I expect that while most beer will benefit from age the act of adding priming sugar and reactivating the yeast causes off flavors itself which then must age out. That being said they seem to age out rather quickly and of one waits long enough for the carb process to be completed they'll have aged the new green flavors back out...without being set up to keg I can't test my theory but I would bet the force carbed beer will be drinkable sooner as there is no new sugar added.
 

IffyG

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No from what I read only certain people had to do that when they had leak issues. My corny seemed to seal pretty tightly when I closed it. Do I need to do that (next time)?

You just hook it up to the CO2, blast it with 30psi, then unhook it?
Pretty much. I don't trust that the CO2 released when the priming sugar is consumed will actually seal up the keg.

Try this next time you clean a keg. Seal it as best as you think you can then give it a shake with the top on the side or upside down. I will almost guarantee you that liquid will seep out of the lid. It doesn't take much space for all that CO2 the yeast produce to leak right out of the keg.
 
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