Kegerator Beer – How Long Can It Last and Stay Fresh?
Many beer lovers have already got themselves these pleasure-inducing devices that provide you with the experience of draught beer in the comfort of your home. However, people who have kegerators know that it takes a certain dedication to maintaining the quality of your keg.
This means that there are factors that have an influence on the quality of the keg and the experience it will provide: it needs to be refrigerated and pressurized and dispensed by CO2. These include keeping a certain room temperature, keeping it safe from outside factors and so forth.
However, there are several frequently asked questions regarding the kegerators and the answers to them will most likely affect the quality of the beer and personal experiences with kegerators.
Including those questions is the topic of this article, how long can your beer stay fresh and top-notch within the kegerator, and the answers vary around this question.
The sole purpose of the kegerator is storing kegs and keeping your beer fresh and by that giving you a wonderful beer-drinking experience.
It is made to avoid oxidation and keeps your beer fresh for months in most cases. Of course, this will not happen by itself if you don’t take some precautions into consideration.
Even though most of the beer lovers are impatient and can’t wait to drink their beer so they probably won’t wait a lot until the kegerator is empty, certain life situations can lead to points when you leave your kegerator unattended for a longer period of time due to vacations, trips and so forth.
When does the freshness-expiry-clock start?
It is very important to know when does your keg start to lose freshness and the clock goes ticking before it will lose the amazing taste that it should have. We are talking about the moment that the keg is filed at the brewery.
So how long can your beer stay fresh?
The freshness duration of a beer in a keg depends on the type of beer because different types need different keeping environment. If you are questioning yourself if your beer is pasteurized or not, try contacting the distributor or the brewery as each beer can be different, or you can do some research online.
However, if you cannot get certain information, we recommend assuming it is unpasteurized and that you treat it accordingly.
Most commonly used beer, if stored and kept at exact allowed temperatures can stay fresh for about six months, but because most owners don’t have the proper appliances to keep it in such temperatures you can be rest assured that your beer will last for at least three months.
On the other hand, unpasteurized beer will only last for two months because of its chemical structure that doesn’t allow keeping the beer fresh longer.
If your homebrew beer is dispensed with CO2 and if it is maintained at a proper temperature which is around 35-45 degrees Fahrenheit and a pressure of 10-15 psi, it is highly expected for your beer to keep its freshness and wonderful taste for at least six months.
Another factor that can affect the duration or freshness of your beer is the type of pump you are using or the type of the pump that is built in your kegerator as it’s the main thing that prevents oxidation of your beer.
Pump using CO2
If your beer is cooled inside a kegerator that uses CO2 it will lose freshness around 6 to 8 weeks and you can be rest assured that your beer will have the awesome taste it is supposed to have. The reason for this is the pasteurized nature of the beer and the avoidance of oxidation.
Party pumps using air
If used with a party pumps that use air instead of CO2 in order to get beer, your beer will oxidize in around 8-12 hours and after that it will lose the fresh taste, which is why it is highly recommended to use a jockey box or a faucet driving them with CO2 because in this case your brew will last a couple of months.
If you use a party pump you will probably allow oxygen to come in touch with your beer and it will influence the taste of the beer, making it stale and the flavor will quickly change and will be easily felt from the first glass of beer to the next.
But also, note that if you have a very high quality beer, you might even make it a day before your beer gets a stale flavor.
Storage temperature – how does it benefit the freshness of your keg?
If you are using a kegerator for some time now you can notice that the temperature in which you are storing your beer can affect the quality and the taste of the beer because the recommended temperature for storing your kegerator is 38 degrees Fahrenheit give or take.
Therefore, it is highly recommended not to go drastically above or below the temperature because it can also affect the quality and life-span of your kegerator as well.
Higher temperatures will affect your beer by making it much foamier because it liberates CO2 rapidly and this will lead to stale beer. As a side note – if the temperature goes above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, bacteria will grow rapidly and will spoil the beer very quickly.
On the other hand, if you keep it in colder temperatures you prevent its carbonation and by this you will notice the difference between flavors and aromas of the same beer. Note that temperatures below 28 degrees Fahrenheit will probably freeze your beer, completely destroying the expected beer experience.
The key ingredients in keeping your draught beer fresh are obvious so far – keep it out of oxygen and at the right temperatures and you can be rest assured to enjoy your perfect kegerator beer at the comfort of your home.