View Full Version : Beer life question

05-05-2009, 06:25 PM
I am trying to anticipate what my sales might be during my first year of production and was hoping to get feedback from anyone out there that can lend some wisdom.

How long can you anticipate to store an average batch of beer while you are waiting to sell it? Assuming that it is either in a bright tank or in a keg at the appropriate temperature are there any "rules of thumb" out there as to how long a beer can sit if you are selling it off keg by keg? Say for example you have a 15 BBL bright tank with 5 BBLs of beer left in it, as long at it has the appropriate pressure and temp on it how long can you expect it to last?

Thanks to everyone out there for the help!



05-05-2009, 09:19 PM
Obviously, you don't want beer tying up capital invested in tanks. Fresh beer also tastes better. That being said, there is no rule of thumb for how long a beer will last. So much depends on formulation & composition of the beer, filtration & sterility issues, oxygen & staling reactions, that one cannot give a reasonable answer. There are dozens of variables and it would take quite an effort with a fully staffed & equipped lab to sort out. Your best bet is to sell it quickly. Second best bet is to limit your storage to one month. Longer if you happen to make a beer that suits storage. You'll only know by trial and error. I've had hefe weizens come into condition and be prime for two weeks maximum. I've also made barleywines that mature prime between 12 and 24 months. We don't make beer unless we know we can sell it quickly. Our ales mature for 20-22 days before filtration and kegging. They don't sit in the cooler for more than two weeks maximum--more often only days. We don't have retailers that keep it on tap for more than two weeks per keg--again more often only days. But we're a micro. Perhaps there are brewpubs with slow sellers that keep beer longer. A micro can't afford to keep beer standing idle. Good luck and I hope you don't ever have the problem of having too much beer on your hands! Cheers!