Ask Mr. Wizard

Temperatures affects on beer stored in kegs



How long can I safely store my kegs at room or refrigeration temperature before the flavor is affected?


The answer to this question has plagued brewers since beer was first conceived or however it came into being. Many famous scientists studied the spoilage of beer and wine, and Louis Pasteur developed the heat-preservation technique now called pasteurization for beer, not milk. If brewers only knew how long their beer would last after packaging, distribution and packaged beer control would be so much easier.

The homebrewer has it pretty simple, however, because the palate can tell when the beer no longer tastes good. The simple answer to this question is that your beer’s flavor will remain unaffected by storage until your palate is able to detect that it has changed! At this point, you may want to have a party and drink the rest of the beer before it becomes bad. Or if you detect the change in flavor at the same time it becomes bad, then you probably will want to dump the beer.

This advice sounds crude, but it works. Most pub brewers use their palate as the best indicator of beer freshness.

Response by Ashton Lewis.