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does keg beer have to be kept cold

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  • does keg beer have to be kept cold

    I always thought it did, but i went by a local beer shop today and was going to ask about special ordering in a keg. They had a couple kegs sitting there waiting for people to pick them up and they were warm. They have no room in there cooler to store customers special order kegs. So before i order from them i wanted to know if they have to be cold at all times

  • #2
    As far as I know no domestic keg (draft ) beer is pasteurized. It probably depends on how long the keg is left out. You would more than likely be OK but, when you get it home you would have to let it cool thoroughly before you dispense ( 24 hours or so) and, if was me I would want some guarantee that the store would make it good if the beer was bad.

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    • #3
      Beer sitting warm for a few days or whatever isn't going to do much of anything to it.
      ____________________________________________
      Our beer, which commeth in barrels, hallowed be thy drink
      Thy will be drunk, I will be drunk, at home as it is in the tavern
      ____________________________________________


      Home Brew IPA

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      • #4
        What about 2 weeks or more?

        I'm currently waiting to hear back from the brewery about this issue. I have two special order kegs that they "forgot" to call me to pick up. They have had them for 2 weeks at room temperature. I would be more than annoyed tapping a sour keg.

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        • #5
          Domestic keg beer is non-pasteurized and like any other food product will spoil if not refrigerated. I would recommend not taking the kegs if they have been stored warm.

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          • #6
            Where I live it is not legal for liquor stores to sell cold beer. Every keg I have bought has been stored at room temp for who knows how long prior to purchase - never had a spoilage issue.

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            • #7
              The distributor for the brewery call me this morning. He says that they are allowed to keep the kegs of Mooshead lager for up to 6 months in unrefrigerated storage.

              I called the brewery directly the day before, and the brewery also called back this morning. However, he didn't know if the kegs are unpasteurized. He's going to call back after talking to the production floor. However, if the distributor is holding kegs up to 6 months, they would have to be pasteurized.

              At one time, I thought I read somewhere that this particular brewery pasteurized any beer it was shipping out of Canada, but not the draft that is sold locally to the domestic market. I suspect this far west (in Canada), they send us the "international" draft shipments. This might explain the why the kegs are pasteruized and safe for longer storage at unrefrigerated temperatures.

              I guess I'll wait to hear back from the brewery, before I know for sure.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DCullender View Post
                Domestic keg beer is non-pasteurized and like any other food product will spoil if not refrigerated. I would recommend not taking the kegs if they have been stored warm.
                I have to disagree on this point. I know plenty of home brewers that keg their beer and store it for months to years at non refrigerated temperatures. There are plenty of actual breweries that operate brew pubs that store kegs of beer for months to years and serve them at special events. There are a boat load of breweries aging their product intentionally in oak barrels for months or longer. Most craft beer bottles are non pasteurized, and most stores have them sitting out on the shelves at room temperatures for weeks to months. Non pasteurized beer in a keg is really no different from non pasteurized beer in a bottle. I have had beers out of a keg and out of bottles that are 10+ years old and were great.

                Beer flavor changes over time, and most beers do not benefit from aging and after a certain amount of time will probably just taste bad. But a beer is not going to go sour and spoil unless the beer was unintentionally infected with an uninvited yeast strain or bacteria or the bottles/keg were not sanitized properly. You can store a keg in your basement for years and the worst possible thing that could happen to it is that it will taste bad. As long as nothing was infected, it will not have soured.

                I would not be bothered by a keg that sat at room temperatures for a week or two. Much longer, I would be concerned about the beer not tasting fresh, but it wouldn't likely be spoiled. Warmer temperatures cause a beer to 'age' quicker, or basically the flavors change quicker.

                To the OP: what kind of beer is it? Generally is the most important question regarding whether or not a beers flavors will hold up or not.
                Last edited by cubby_swans; 02-10-2011, 09:14 AM.
                ____________________________________________
                Our beer, which commeth in barrels, hallowed be thy drink
                Thy will be drunk, I will be drunk, at home as it is in the tavern
                ____________________________________________


                Home Brew IPA

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                • #9
                  dont really remeber what all the kegs were, but one of them was arrogant bastard ale. I havnt ordered from this place yet but probably will here soon. So far i have just gotten kegs from a local brewery and have driven to a brewery that is about 75 miles away but there are some other beers that i would like to have on tap that i can not drive to get.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cubby_swans View Post
                    To the OP: what kind of beer is it? Generally is the most important question regarding whether or not a beers flavors will hold up or not.
                    Arrogant Bastard OK, Pilsner Urquell maybe not so much. Your milage may vary.
                    Malt is the soul of beer... and yeast gives it life..
                    but the kiss of the hop is the vitality of that life!

                    My three favorite beers: The one I just had, the one I'm drinking now and the next one I'll have.

                    http://kegerator-social-network.micr...bygrouptherapy

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                    • #11
                      Yeah... I would have zero problem with the Arrogant Bastard sitting around for 2 weeks at room temp. I just had a bottle of Double Bastard last night. Stone will be distributing here in my neck of the woods in the hopefully not too distant future. I can't wait.
                      ____________________________________________
                      Our beer, which commeth in barrels, hallowed be thy drink
                      Thy will be drunk, I will be drunk, at home as it is in the tavern
                      ____________________________________________


                      Home Brew IPA

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just in my experience as I work for a distributor for Anheuser-Busch and have taken classes at the brewery. Any A-B kegs are not to be kept in warm storage. They are NOT pasteurized and must be kept cold at all times. The only real time they are allowed to get warm is when they are in delivery. Even then we are not allowed to take a keg into an account if it's warmed up too much. At that point we are told to put the keg back on the truck and take it back to the warehouse.

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                        • #13
                          Beer has been around for hundreds of years. Refrigeration has not. The invention of refrigeration did not all of a sudden change beer so that it would spoil. AB, and other breweries, insist on keeping it's product cold so that it will be at it's freshest taste as long as possible. It has little to do with pasteurization. You could store an AB keg for a year at room temp. It would likely taste terrible, but it wouldn't be spoiled/soured/unsafe to drink.
                          ____________________________________________
                          Our beer, which commeth in barrels, hallowed be thy drink
                          Thy will be drunk, I will be drunk, at home as it is in the tavern
                          ____________________________________________


                          Home Brew IPA

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Actually draught beer warmed to over 45 degrees F for too long starts the process of the beer changing taste. It will start to become Sour/Acetic, Vinegary, or Buttery to the taste. You might not be able to tell straight off the bat, but I've tasted every scenario while at draught school.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cubby_swans View Post
                              AB, and other breweries, insist on keeping it's product cold so that it will be at it's freshest taste as long as possible.
                              I think that is the point that pureownage is making and the OP's original concern. I'd still not be afraid to order a keg and pick it up in a timely manner as the OP was exploring doing.
                              Malt is the soul of beer... and yeast gives it life..
                              but the kiss of the hop is the vitality of that life!

                              My three favorite beers: The one I just had, the one I'm drinking now and the next one I'll have.

                              http://kegerator-social-network.micr...bygrouptherapy

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