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How long will it keep in a non-refrigerated keg?

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Spunkmeyer

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Apologies if this is a dumb question:

I'm thinking of trying to get into kegging, but due to my housing circumstances and SWMBO, I'm not going to be able to do an entire setup right now. If I put a batch into a Corny keg stored in the basement, and then let that sit for several months at basement temperatures before getting a Keezer setup to refrigerate/carbonate it, will I have any issues with doing this?

Also, I didn't know if it would be better to prime the keg for greater CO2 production in the headspace, which might help it stay fresher.

Any advice? I have no prior experience with the kegging world; just know I'm tired of rinsing lots of bottles...
 

phrogpilot73

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I'm new to the kegging world, but after long hours of discussion with the guy at my LHBS - this is what he told me:

1. Purge the O2 out of the keg after you fill it, by sealing up the keg, connecting the gas and opening the CO2 valve. When you hear the "rush" stop, close the valve and pull the pressure relief on the keg. Do this 2-3 times, then set the CO2 for whatever carbing pressure you want.

2. CO2 dissolves better into a cooler solution, hence the reason why most people chill their kegs then put them on the gas. He did say it was possible to do at a warmer temp, but it would have to be a higher pressure and sit longer. I've got mine at 65 degrees, and I've got 26psi sitting on it. According to Beer Smith, that's about 2.5 volumes which is what I was shooting for. He also mentioned that it will take longer to carbonate this way - he said keep it on the pressure for 2-3 weeks minimum.
 

GAbrewer

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To the original poster:

From what I've read, keeping beer at room temp or below in a keg for an extended period of time shouldn't be a problem as long as your sanitation procedures were good. If you think about it, putting the beer in the keg isn't any different from racking it to a carboy secondary and leaving it, and a lot of people do that. People have been known to use kegs as secondaries, which they are good for because they don't leave a large amount of headspace. I've heard suggestions that you can purge any excess CO2 the remaining yeast might be producing using the release valve, but it's probably not that critical if you left it in the primary for a while.

I haven't tried priming in the keg yet, so I'm not that familiar with the procedure. A lot of people say use 1/3 cup of priming sugar instead of the usual amount, and a few people just say use the same amount you'd use for bottling. I'm not sure who's right, but it can't be that complicated to prime it at room temp in the keg.
 

david_42

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I keep my conditioning cabinet between 50F and 65F, depending on the time of year. Hasn't been a problem and I have some 5 year old beers in kegs. Millions of barrels of REAL ale have been served at cellar temperatures.

As long as it will be sitting, you might as well prime. Plan on about 1/2 as much as you would use for bottling.
 

enderwig

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I prime my kegs and they usually sit for 4-6 weeks before going in the keezer. I prime with 1.5 to 2.5 ounces of priming sugar depending on style. I think letting them sit for a few weeks helps most beers become better, (not all, but most).
 
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