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How long will your beer last in a corny keg?

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treemind

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hey everyone...

Noob here, three batches in and hooked!

In May I plan to get a corny keg kit and small freezer to be able to have the goods on tap at home. In fact I found out a few of our local brewerys here around Seattle will even fill em for you between home made batches for only $55. So I am excited to start that journey and have lots of good beer at home.

So once you have your beer carbonated, how long will it last in your freezer?

(Not that i need all that much time to drink the stuff, between myself, my wife, and our friends it should be gone pretty quickly around here)

Also... one other question. When you get it filled at a brewery, I assume it will be carbonated already... however do the same standards apply to how long it will last in the freezer?

Thanks in advance for your input!
 

Bopper

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Your beer will last much longer than it will take for you to drink it. I'm still convinced that kegs have some kind of a crazy beer evaporator inside - I can't figure out how I go through so much of it since I started kegging.

Cold, carbonated and sealed, kegged homebrew will last well over a year (depending on style). It will last just as long as bottles.
 

FisherWoodcraft

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Your homebrew will last a very long time in the keg. I kegged my Oktoberfest back in June '08, lagered it until very late October and didn't finish drinking it until January '09. The last pint was the best tasting of the lot.

As for getting a keg filled at a brewery, I can't help you there.

-Joe
 

Cpt_Kirks

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How long will your beer last in a corny keg?

Hmm...

5 gallon keg = 640oz

640oz = 32 20oz Imperial Pints

32 pints / 2 pints a day = 16 days.

So, 16 days.

Really, if you store the keg at 70*F or lower, it will stay good much longer than it will take to drink it. If you store it at 60*F or lower, it should stay good for a year or longer.
 
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treemind

treemind

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Thanks for the input!

I just wanted to make sure they would not go bad after a month or so.

Sounds like they will be long gone before i have any issues.
 

MikeG

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Just making sure, you will be hooking your kegs up to a CO2 tank right? The filled corny's from the brewery may not be fully carb'd but your CO2 tank will take care of that quickly. :mug:
 
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treemind

treemind

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yes on the CO2 tank!

So from a brewery they are only partially carb'd?

could you force carb the brew just as you would a home batch?
or would it naturally carb by giving it a few days hooked up to the CO2?
 

MikeG

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From the brewery I don't know.

When the beer is done fermenting it's 'flat'. There are two ways of carbonating it:
1) Add more sugar and in a closed environment let the yeast create enough CO2 to carb it
2) Add CO2 from an external source (forced carbonation - it may take a week to fully carb, depending on temp).

There are charts on this forum about how much volume of CO2 you want in your keg. As a rule of thumb I set my gauge to 12 PSI and forget it. I also don't naturally carb in the keg, it's just so much easier and the beer is crystal clear when I force carb.

Whatever volume you may want your CO2, the beer from the brewery may be lower that you want but enough to prevent O2/air from invading. When you hook it up to your CO2 tank you'll want to bleed excess pressure off your keg first in case it's higher and if it's lower you don't need to worry about it, your CO2 tank will carb it to where you want it.

BTW, some will equate force carbing to adding CO2 from the tank quickly by rocking it after connecting to a CO2 supply and can be confusing. My definition in #2 is technically correct. Good luck and let us know when you get set up! :mug:
 

Fett327

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Beer from a brewery should be fermented and carbed. Its always possible that u might lose a little co2 in the transfer to your keg, but it shouldnt affect it much. And as soon as u put it back under pressure ull get that carbonation back.

If you get beer from local breweries, i would ask them what temperature and pressure they keep it at (or ask how many volumes of co2 they put in it and use a carb table). That way u know how they like to serve it. Or you can just screw it and put it in your kegerator at 12 psi. It should taste great either way.
 
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treemind

treemind

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very cool, thanks for the info.

I had planned to force carb my own batches once i get my corny set up, but once in a while when between batches i want to be able to fill up at the local brewery. Sounds like i have all the answers i need right here! House beer on tap is only a few months away!

For now i will stick to the bottles... or head on down to the pub and spend nearly five bucks a pint! arggggg....
 

Lefty

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How long does keg beer last? Never long enough.

Keg beer on CO2 --> Fresh very long time

Keg beer with picnic tap and hand pump --> One weekend (Yea I went to college)
 

mike1978

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Ok, so here's the situation. I put a batch of Rye PA on CO2 about 3 months ago in my kegerator. It's been inside the fridge for 3 months and about two weeks ago my fridge stopped working so now the batch has been in a non-working refridgerator for the last 3 weeks at room temp. Now for the question: Is the batch completly ruined or is it still drinkable once i get it chilled and in my new fridge?
 

Seven

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Now for the question: Is the batch completly ruined or is it still drinkable once i get it chilled and in my new fridge?
It may be OK still if the keg didn't have any leaks or loss of pressure.

Best way to know is to chill it and try it.
 

weirdboy

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Your beer is fine. I have seen beers pulled for a year or more. It's just like bottles. So long as the seal on your keg is good, no worries.

Worst case scenario is maybe you have to recarbonate it.
 

Eisendrath

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Good seal, purged well in the first place, can last respectibly for... years.
The longest I've seen is about 4.
 

kenyabob

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I have a corny keg that I brewed in 2009 — then I moved cities and everything sat in a garage until I finally got my chest freezer up and running last night. I put the old corny in there, and I think I might try it. Is that too big a risk? I am not sure if I purged it, since I dont know what that entails.
 

carlisle_bob

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Hi

Most commercial breweries claim a "use in 120 days" type limit on their legged beer if it's stored as recommended (36 to 38F). Some will even buy it back past that point.

I can go into any one of a number of beer distributors here and find 1 to 2 year old kegs sitting on their shelves "ready for delivery". Yes they come from the same people who talk about 120 day limits (but not the ones who do buy back).

Good beer properly done, stored cold, kept clean and pressurized will last a long time (decades). The odd batch with this or that problem - not so much. How lucky do you feel?

Bob
 

ResumeMan

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I have a corny keg that I brewed in 2009 — then I moved cities and everything sat in a garage until I finally got my chest freezer up and running last night. I put the old corny in there, and I think I might try it. Is that too big a risk? I am not sure if I purged it, since I dont know what that entails.
Basically the only "risk" is that it will taste terrible. As you may know, no harmful microorganisms can live in beer. Three years of fluctuating temperatures though, and with the possibility there was some air in there, I wouldn't have high hopes that it would be drinkable. But give it a try and let us know!

I think the overall answer to "how long will beer last in a keg" as long as it's properly sealed with only CO2 in the headspace, is "about as long as it would in bottles." Which is quite awhile.
 

kenyabob

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Good to hear. Well I will give it a shot! Now all I need to do is figure out if I can salvage my old picnic tap.
 

neudson

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Bringing the topic up. It makes difference the style of the beer for how long it will last? A lager will last less than an Ale? Here in Brazil there is this crazy mith that kegged beer it is only good for a couple of days after it has been tapped.
 

JuanMoore

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Bringing the topic up. It makes difference the style of the beer for how long it will last?
Yes and no. Malty beers will usually get better and better over time, but hop forward beers will lose their hop flavor and some bitterness over time. It's not that an IPA won't last as long as a stout, just that it won't really taste as much like an IPA anymore.

Here in Brazil there is this crazy mith that kegged beer it is only good for a couple of days after it has been tapped.
If you're pushing the keg with air, then it's only good for about a day after being tapped. If you're pushing with CO2, then it will last a very long time.
 

BumbleBeeBeer

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Yes and no. Malty beers will usually get better and better over time, but hop forward beers will lose their hop flavor and some bitterness over time. It's not that an IPA won't last as long as a stout, just that it won't really taste as much like an IPA anymore.
And if it's a corny, you can re-hop an IPA, right?
 

weirdboy

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And if it's a corny, you can re-hop an IPA, right?
Yes and no. You can of course always add more dry hops or whatever to the keg, but there is a reaction that takes place with the iso-alpha acids which causes the beer to oxidize over time and make it taste more stale as the hoppiness fades. As with most things, time and temperature are important. Keeping your beer cold will dramatically extend its life, but regardless, hoppy beers will tend to degrade faster than their malty brethren.
 

YNOT2K

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i have an oatmeal stout in a corny - it's been in there, aging and getting better all the time, for 18 months now. no problems with it at all. it is on CO2. YMMV
 

patthebrewer

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I like to brew lagers, and certain type I don't start drinking for 6-8 months.
 

snowmope

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How long will your beer last in a corny keg?

Hmm...

5 gallon keg = 640oz

640oz = 32 20oz Imperial Pints

32 pints / 2 pints a day = 16 days.

So, 16 days.

Really, if you store the keg at 70*F or lower, it will stay good much longer than it will take to drink it. If you store it at 60*F or lower, it should stay good for a year or longer.

That is awesome. I have been brewing for years but never got around to kegging. I was looking into how long the keg would last when I read your post. Very funny! Brew on!
 
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