Draft Beer 101, Part 3

Today I treat you to part 3 of our Draft Beer 101 Series. If you missed the first and second parts, you can check them out at your leisure:

Draft Beer Definitions and Keg Volumes/Sizes
Draft Beer Pressure Pointers

Kegs of BeerToday’s post will focus on Keg Tips, Tricks and Rules to live by, brought to you by your draft beer experts.

Keep it Calm
Always give your keg time to settle down after transporting tit. Otherwise, you’ll experience excessive foaming when you tap it. Remember that the beer inside of a keg is carbonated, so moving or shaking it will cause it to foam (think of your keg as a giant can of beer – no shaking). We recommend letting your keg sit for an hour or so after you move it, before even attempting to tap it. Patience my dears… WAIT FOR IT.

Keep it Cold
Keg beer is not pasteurized, so it’s got to stay cold to stay good. A general rule is to think of the beer inside of your keg the same way that you think of milk: it needs to be refrigerated at all times. Keep your kegs between 34° and 40°F and your beer will stay fresh, crisp and delicious. Try using a Keg SmartStrip to be sure the temperature is always as it should be. Keg insulators do a great job of keeping the beer cold, too.

Keep it Fresh
Speaking of fresh, the keg beer will stay fresh for 30 to 45 days after it has been tapped. It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact amount of time, since a keg’s “shelf-life” depends on the brand/style of beer and its storage conditions. Generally, hoppy beers and beers with higher alcohol contents will last longer because the alcohol and hops act as preservatives and inhibit bacteria growth.

Keep it Clean
When beer does go bad too quickly, the culprits are almost always bacteria or oxygen. Unfortunately, bacteria will eventually spoil unpasteurized keg beer – even when the keg is kept in the most ideal storage conditions.

Modern scientists have discovered that the only way to beat the bacteria is to drink all of the beer in your keg, before the bacteria has a chance to ruin it. KegWorks research has found that good friends are usually willing to help out, should you require critical consumption assistance. Simply put, drink your beer!

Oxygen is also particularly harmful to kegs that have been tapped with a hand pump. The hand pump forces air (containing oxygen) into the keg which, in turn, forces the beer out. This is good, since the beer that comes out is now in your cup. However, as soon as the oxygen is introduced into the keg, it causes a chemical reaction called oxidation.

Oxidation will cause the beer inside of a keg to go flat and the beer may also develop a sour taste. This is why a keg tapped with a hand pump should be consumed within 24 hours (so get crackin’). Thankfully, neither of these processes renders beer harmful to humans, but your beer won’t taste fresh and may be flat. If you don’t think your keg can be consumed in 24 hours, you may want to try a CO2 dispenser instead of a hand pump for parties.


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