How long is beer good in a keg?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “How long is beer good in a keg?” and the factors determining the freshness of keg beer.

How long is beer good in a keg?

If the beer is non-pasteurized, it can stay good for about 45-60 days. If it is pasteurized, it can have a shelf-life of 90 to 120 days. If the keg beer has been dispensed with air or carbon dioxide, it can stay fresh.

If the keg beer is kept in a transistor satellite warehouse, it can last for a maximum of 10 days. If the keg beer is kept in a distributor warehouse, it can last for 10-20 days. If it is kept in a retail store, it can last for 20 to 60 days.

So the approximate shelf-life of keg beer would be 25-40 days. Avoid consuming the beer keg past its freshness date.

What can determine the shelf-life of keg beer?

The shelf-life of keg beer is determined by two common points which are given below:

Manual pump

The manual pump is also termed the bronco pump or the party pump because of its presence in indoor parties conducted at houses.

In the manual pump, the air is pumped into the keg using your leg. This pumping action that occurs through the leg can help in dispensing the beer.

The problem with manual pumps is that individuals tend to overpump and this can even result in the formation of extremely foamy beer.

Also, a manual pump is likely to introduce oxygen to the beer. When oxygen is introduced to beer, it is likely to get spoilt as well. This can even cause the flavor of the beer to alter and cause it to go stale.

The oxygen introduced to the beer can alter the flavor of the beer and as more and more oxygen is introduced through pumping, the beer can quickly spoil.

In the case of a manual pumped beer, you would have to finish consuming the beer at least in 8 hours. The beer can last for a day but only if less oxygen was pumped. The type of beer used can also matter.

Kegerator with carbon

If you use a kegerator coupled with carbon dioxide, the beer would have a much longer shelf-life. This is because the beer stays pressurized and no oxygen is introduced to the beer.

The beer can stay in peak quality for months. If the beer was pasteurized, it would probably last for 3-6 months depending on how well it is stored. 

If the beer is not pasteurized, it might not last that long. In the case of beer that has not been pasteurized, it can last for probably 2 months.

How can you know whether your beer is pasteurized or non-pasteurized?

You can check whether your beer has been pasteurized or non-pasteurized by contacting the brewery. You can look up their websites as well. If you are unable to find out, it is better to assume that the beer has been unpasteurized.

How to store keg beer?

If the keg beer is not stored properly, the quality of the beer would quickly lose out and it would not retain its freshness for long.

  • It is recommended to store the keg beer at a temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Stay close to this temperature. Avoid going too low or too high to 38 degrees. 

If the weather is too hot, you would need to adjust the temperature a little bit.

  • Store beer in a kegerator. If you do not have a kegerator, opt for the converted refrigerator. This would help in maintaining the temperature of the fridge.
  • You can use a beer thermometer to check the temperature of the fridge. This would provide an accurate temperature inside the fridge and help you in determining the shelf-life of your beer.

If the keg beer is placed at a temperature above 38 degrees Fahrenheit, the beer can become extremely foamy or become stale. If the temperature rises above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, microbial growth can occur in the beer which can spoil the beer.

If the beer goes at a temperature below 28 degrees Fahrenheit, then the beer would freeze.

What is a kegerator?

A kegerator is a beer dispensing device. When the keg is placed inside the kegerator, the shelf-life of the beer can considerably increase. It keeps the beer cold for extended periods which would help in maintaining the freshness of the beer.

Avoid using a kegerator outdoors. Also, after turning the power of the kegerator on, wait for 24 hours before placing the beer in it.

Other FAQs on the beer that you might be interested in.

How to stop fermentation in beer (+ home brewing tips)

How many O’Doul’s equal one beer?

How to Make Flavored Beer at Home

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have answered the question, “How long is beer good in a keg?” and the factors determining the freshness of keg beer.

References

https://www.micromatic.com/how-long-keg-beer-remain-fresh