Keg Life

A forum to discuss the various ways of getting beer into your glass.
Laurentic
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Keg Life

Post by Laurentic » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:32 pm

Hi, my first post on here. This is sort of linked to the thread on Keg Conditioning by Fingar, but I didn't want to highjack his thread so started another one.

Having conditioned the keg, what sort of life - like time in weeks - can one expect a beer to remain good and drinkable?

This is a sort of "out of interest" question, as so far I have brewed a fair amount from kits, and from the "a little grain and a load of extract" beer brewing - yet to try all grain brewing as I need to buy the equipment, and mostly my beer conditions for 3-4 weeks then if/when I think it's OK I start drinking it and then the 40 pints are always gone in about 3 weeks. So my beer never stays in the keg more than about 8 weeks, but it would be useful to know for the occasions when a keg has to be left for a while longer. Would it still be OK if left in the 'conditioning' stage for say 3 months? If I'd started drinking the keg but not too much then left it for a couple of months, would it be OK still or would it have been gone off?

Thanks,
Chris

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mozza
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Re: Keg Life

Post by mozza » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:13 pm

Providing the keg is air tight, your beer will keep for absolutely ages! I'm just finishing off a lager that I brewed nearly two years ago. Tastes nicer and nicer as time goes by.
Cheers and gone,

Mozza

scotsloon
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Re: Keg Life

Post by scotsloon » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:21 pm

I found when I used kegs the same as you and have since bottled all my beers. This helps to keep the beer in excellent condition for a long time bearing in mind that some beers tend to take a long time to condition especially the stronger beers. Kegs are not designed to hold high pressures and many are prone to leaking so it would be a good idea to bottle a proportion of each brew in case you have a leakage problem with the keg.

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Wonkydonkey
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Re: Keg Life

Post by Wonkydonkey » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:28 pm

What kegs are we talking,
Cornies in the very nice SS or the almost see through king keg type made from plasticity stuff.
The former beer last ages, the latter not as long.
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Laurentic
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Re: Keg Life

Post by Laurentic » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:40 pm

WonkyDonkey, you're talking to a penny-less pensioner here! Having trouble saving up for a Bulldog Brewer brew system let alone SS kegs!! So yes, I'm talking the plastic King Keg types, so when you say "not as long", how long is "not as long"?

Chris

BenB

Re: Keg Life

Post by BenB » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:12 pm

I suspect a lot depends on whether you add CO2 to avoid oxidisation and keep it at a constant temperature....

Haydnexport
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Re: Keg Life

Post by Haydnexport » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:01 am

corny kegs work out not far off king kegs money wise , around the same price to actually buy (and you can re-sell for virtually what you paid) , and i find them much easier to deal with , lifting, cleaning , sealing carbing, i use 2 x 6ks of co2 a year and i serve a lot of beer at my house !

Laurentic
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Re: Keg Life

Post by Laurentic » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:11 pm

Gosh Haydnexport - where are you buying your kegs? Our local brew shop has King Kegs at around £48 whilst the Cornelius 23l kegs start at £115 and go up to £150.

Having enough trouble getting Senior Management to even consider purchase of a Bulldog Brewer system, answer is still no way known at the moment, she'd go loopy if I put a SS keg in the mix too!

If you have a cheap supplier of the SS kegs please let me know!

Chris

brewnaboinne

Re: Keg Life

Post by brewnaboinne » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:24 pm

If you check tickle's post about 17% off you can see from his link that you can get refurbed corny kegs for reasonable money.

Haydnexport
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Re: Keg Life

Post by Haydnexport » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:47 pm

The kegs are less than £40 on the homebrewcompany website , 3 for £100 plenty cheap. I also suggest to senior management that you work hard enough to be able to buy whatever you want with your own money !

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Wonkydonkey
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Re: Keg Life

Post by Wonkydonkey » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:47 pm

Sorry, I just seen this,

Pennyless pensioner,,Umm you prob doing better than me.. Lol

No but on a real note. Plastic kegs are a bit of short life thing, light, does not do the beer much good. So unless there the dark type or you got a jumper over the top blocking the light or in a dark cupboard. Also You need to push the beer out with co2 .

Then we can talk cornies, they need co2. they block the light. There tall and slim, oh and handsome. Lol and you will probably need a fridge. Etc. but really they are way to go. Unless you like bottling

I think if you did a cost thing with time and cleaning, and the space needed,,,I think cornies would probably win.

Anyhow gotta go dinner is cooking

Cheers
WD

Edit: if you look at the homebrew company . Make sure you do your sums cos some time ago it was cheaper to go to the .ie site rather than the .co.uk site but it depends on what the £ is doing against the €

But I think you need to have an early birthday present :lol: :wink: :wink:
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Laurentic
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Re: Keg Life

Post by Laurentic » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:53 pm

Many thanks to all who directed me to thehomebrewcompany for cheap 2nd hand cornelius kegs - now have another potential expense. Progress being made in the Bulldog purchase by the way, now No.2 daughter actively supporting the idea and Senior Management softening ever so slightly!!!

However, the original question remains, what sort of life can I expect of a beer stored in a kegs with a bit of CO2 over, both in the plastic king kegs types and now in the cornelius ss kegs?

Chris

Haydnexport
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Re: Keg Life

Post by Haydnexport » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:38 pm

if i had to pick , i would go for kegs over a new system every time , you can make the beer already, kegs will make the biggest difference cost vs effect

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Kev888
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Re: Keg Life

Post by Kev888 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:50 am

Laurentic wrote:However, the original question remains, what sort of life can I expect of a beer stored in a kegs with a bit of CO2 over, both in the plastic king kegs types and now in the cornelius ss kegs?
It can vary a great deal because it depends on so many things. Such as beer type, alcohol content, temperature, how well everything was disinfected, the dissolved oxidation content of the beer, whether it is filtered or keg conditioned, what oxygen is in the head space, and what you perceive as being an acceptable flavour. Additionally, fresh flavours and hop aroma can fade long before the beer actually stales, so with some styles that may be more of a limiting factor than how long it keeps.

But to give very general ball-parks, a plastic Pressure Barrel kept cool and dark will keep normal beer well for (say) a few months to several months. But once you start to drink it and the level in the barrel reduces, the remaining time reduces rapidly; it depends on how fast the level drops, but maybe down to a couple of weeks or so. Once there is a relatively small amount in there, it will oxidise very quickly indeed (even if you inject CO2 as you dispense), so the last few pints may not be that great. The plastic is slightly porous and (in contrast to popular belief) the pressure of CO2 doesn't keep oxygen out, they can share the same space; the main benefit of injecting CO2 is that it prevents air also being drawn in as you dispense (and can also help maintain carbonation).

Stainless Kegs are (possibly aside from the seal) impervious to oxygen. So they can keep well made and handled beer from staling for a year or two in the right circumstances, though many styles may lose their freshness much sooner than this (long term storage is best for beers that benefit from long maturing, like RIS). Assuming they are used with CO2 when dispensing, the last pint should be pretty much as good as the first even if it takes some weeks to consume the contents.
Kev

wezzel01
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Re: Keg Life

Post by wezzel01 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:26 pm

I currently use a cornie keg and a plastic bottom tap King Keg. The King Keg sits in the garage where it has been cool and dark and the Old Peculiar that was kegged in early December still tastes great. I would say you would be okay for at least 5 months although, as pointed out previously, hop aroma will fade with time.


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