Can you store homebrew in a keg?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

Absolutely! Storing homebrew in a keg is a fantastic way to keep your beer fresh and delicious for an extended period of time. I’ve been using kegs for my homebrew for years, and I can confidently say that it’s the best method I’ve found for long-term storage.

One of the biggest advantages of keg storage is that the beer is constantly protected from oxygen. Unlike bottles, which can allow small amounts of oxygen to seep in over time, kegs are completely sealed off from the outside world. This means that every time you pour a beer from the tap, it’s just as fresh as the first pour. No more worrying about your beer getting stale or oxidized!

Another benefit of keg storage is that the beer is kept under a layer of CO2. When you transfer your beer into a keg, you purge the oxygen out of the keg with CO2 before sealing it up. This creates a protective blanket of gas that helps to prevent any oxygen from coming into contact with the beer. It’s like having a little fortress of freshness for your brew!

In addition to keeping your beer safe from oxygen, keg storage also eliminates the risk of light damage. UV light can quickly degrade the quality of beer, leading to off flavors and skunky aromas. However, when your beer is stored in a keg, it’s completely shielded from any light exposure. This helps to maintain the beer’s integrity and ensures that every sip is just as enjoyable as the first.

Furthermore, kegs are much easier to clean and sanitize than bottles. After you finish a keg, all you need to do is give it a thorough cleaning and sanitizing before refilling it with your next batch of homebrew. This eliminates the need for scrubbing and individually sanitizing multiple bottles, saving you time and effort.

Additionally, kegs have the advantage of being able to hold larger volumes of beer compared to individual bottles. This makes them ideal for storing larger batches or sharing your brew with friends and family at parties or gatherings. Plus, with a keg, you have the convenience of being able to pour a pint or two whenever you want, without having to open a whole bottle.

One thing to keep in mind when storing homebrew in a keg is the importance of proper carbonation. Unlike bottles, where carbonation can naturally occur through the process of bottle conditioning, kegged beer typically requires force carbonation. This involves adding CO2 to the keg at a specific pressure and temperature to achieve the desired level of carbonation. It may take a little trial and error to get the carbonation just right, but once you find the sweet spot, your kegged beer will be perfectly carbonated and ready to enjoy.

Storing homebrew in a keg is an excellent option for maintaining the freshness and quality of your beer. With the protection from oxygen and light, as well as the ease of cleaning and the convenience of pouring, keg storage offers numerous benefits for homebrewers. So, go ahead and give it a try – your taste buds will thank you! Cheers!