Storing Beer in a Keg

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Megary, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2019
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    1,762
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Curious as to what your playbook is for storing finished beer in a keg. This would be beer that has been fully fermented and transferred off the yeast - but not ready to drink for whatever reason. Maybe you want to age it for a bit or maybe there are no open taps in your keezer etc.

    How are you sealing the keg lid? What psi? Natural or forced?
    If forced, do you add CO2 from time to time as the gas and beer mix?
    What temp do you store at?
    How long are you comfortable storing beer with your process?

    Any thoughts are appreciated.
     
    AGbrewer likes this.
  2. BrewPatgonia

    BrewPatgonia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    397
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Controls engineer-installations of Gas Turbines
    Location:
    Chile, southern region (de los lagos)
    Hi Megary, I just did this last night; however, my keg is a 30 liter sanke... so a little different, no need to pressurize to keep the lid sealed.
    I actually use the keg as a conditioning tank. I put in priming sugar, transfer from fermenter.. after purging with CO2.
    I pressurize to 4 psig just to be sure, the small pressure charge isn't enough to inhibit the yeast from working on the sugars and conditioning the beer. ( I use 3-4 psig to transfer to bottles, that is the reason for the small pressure charge) .. but in this case it isn't being bottled.
    I've done this in the past and have no issues keeping the beer for months. Once I tap the keg; however, I like to use it within 6 weeks.
    my storage temps are around 50 deg F. I can place in into my cooler at 34 deg F, but have grown fond of my beers not so cold... so they typically get served at 44 deg to 50 deg.
    I don't add CO2 afterwards, but check on occasion that pressure exists.. with just a quick opening of the CO2 tap valve which I use on my keg tap. (check valve removed, allowing me to depressurize if/when needed... to get to serving pressure for a naturally carbed beer)
     
    AGbrewer and Megary like this.
  3. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    897
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Controls & Instrumentation Engineer
    Location:
    Monroe, Louisiana
    Home Page:
    I store beer in kegs here at room temperature. Here that means 75-77 degrees in the summer. I add priming sugar prior to aging, so I am carbonating and aging at the same time.

    I am not typically aging high gravity beers. Most only age 1-2 months. Usually nothing heavier that a Belgian Dubbel.

    I drop them into the keezer about 3-4 days prior to tapping to give them a chance to settle and clear. This works pretty well, but as I mentioned, I am not aging any really high gravity beers.
     
    AGbrewer and Megary like this.
  4. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    511
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Storing under gas in kegs seems the best way to go for me. I'm straight into the keg from the fermenter now (see 'Filtering' thread for current drama!) and under 10-12psi. I purge three or four times and once that's done I feel like the beer is safe. I do keep an eye on it but rarely feel the need to adjust PSI.

    Using corny kegs I check the O ring and make sure there are no leaks once it's gassed up. If I'm not cinvinced I check with soapy water like I would check a tyre (or 'tire' depending which side of the Atlantic we're talking) for leaks.

    It seems to take a couple of weeks to clear and last a couple of months after that. Not sure I would want to have any for longer than three months but no idea how typical that is.
     
    AGbrewer and Megary like this.
  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    1,424
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    I've got a few scenarios, sours doing their long slow secondary, aging imperials or waiting for a tap.

    The sours generally do the primary fermentation in a separate container. Once transferred they will still generate enough pressure to seal pretty quickly. I'll then pull the PRV every week or so to stop it building up.

    For beers just waiting for a top I'll push 10 or so PSI into the keg once I've transferred and leave them until a tap is free.

    For imperials I'll bottle and keg (just a 6L/1.25G keg). For the keg I'll do as Bubba does and add priming sugar and leave them at room temp (bit cooler here around 15C/60F). Once the bottles are tasting good I'll put it on the first tap to come free.
     
    Megary and AGbrewer like this.
  6. AGbrewer

    AGbrewer Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I started a very similar post on this in the link below. Might be worth reading as it hits on some of the same topics you're interested in.

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/forum/threads/long-term-conditioning.13177/

    I've done a few in The keg for secondary fermentation or somewhat long term conditioning. Most of mine were high gravity beers (RIS, BDSA, Barleywine, etc.). I never put any kind of pressure on them though. Just let it sit in there at whatever pressure the yeast was willing to put out once it got in the keg. I did not do a pressurized transfer either. So far no issues, but I haven't done truly long-term conditioning.

    I've got a very big RIS (1.163 OG) in a keg right now that I intend to condition until at least November. I also planning on doing the very same RIS next week and putting that and to another keg until at least February of next year. Only difference will be is that I will pressurize this next beer to see if there is any flavor differences. Since both of them will be bottled, I should be able to do a side by side... Granted, they were brewed 2 months apart. But hey, I'm not brulosophy over here. I'm just a wee humble homebrewer.

    I have a feeling that you will end up using kegs and really liking it. No more broken glass, no more worrying about UV, and if you want to, you can carb them up and serve them straight out of that keg or bottle straight out of the keg using a beer gun.
     
    BrewPatgonia, Megary and Steve SPF like this.

Share This Page

arrow_white