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Dancing Camel
07-07-2005, 09:19 AM
I've seen the posts on keg shelf life under optimum conditions but what about less than optimal or downright nasty?

It is the general practice here for bars to serve beer out of a room-temperature keg (it can be 90+ deg F under the bar) by flash-chilling through an ice-bank type chiller. Before the keg is tapped, it is stored by the bar at room temperature as well (presumably anywhere from 70 deg to 90 deg F depending on time of day). I have been asked what the shelf life of the beer is before being tapped as well as once it is tapped.

Any ideas for how long abused beer lasts?

Thanks

David

Straub
07-07-2005, 11:23 AM
I was always taught that once unpasteurized draft beer (which the majority is unpasteurized) has hit the 50-60 F mark its a lost cause. This is for the typical beers that should be stored and served at about 35-42. So in my opinion that beer is past its shelf life the moment those bars and taverns decided that kegs don't deserve cooler space.

Diamond Knot
07-07-2005, 11:46 AM
Hi, Camel.
I was there when your brewing system was originally commissioned in Everett, WA (Glacier Peak Brewing Co., at that time) and it was a pretty good looking system. I even did a little troubleshooting on the glycol control circuit a long while ago. Good luck.

Straub touches on some good points.
Unfiltered / unpastuerized beer has a real tough time at 70F - 90F. It will either re-ferment or go lactic (among other bad things).

Are there any other unfiltered / unpasteurized microbrews in Isreal that you have tried or researched?

Moonlight
07-07-2005, 08:32 PM
Beyond the kegs, the beer lines always seem nastier when the kegs haven't been refrigerated. Good brewing practices should prevent lactic infection by leaving few fermentables, little yeast autolysate and few lactic bugs. Being overly cautious about oxygen and also cold aging in your cellar as long as possible will help shelflife, too.
Kinda comes down to how desparate are the customers...

Dancing Camel
07-07-2005, 09:48 PM
Thanks for the thoughts guys. We are the first ones in Israel so we've got to build the wheel from scratch. As to production, the beer will be unfiltered and unpasteurized as Brian has guessed but of course will be stored cold prior to leaving the brewery.

There are lots of beers being imported in kegs from Europe here which are all served the same way. I would imagine that the Belgians (Affligem, Barbar, Leffe, etc.) are not pasteurized so wouldn't they be in the same boat?

I've been telling bar owners that once tapped, they have 3-4 days to finish a keg and that I don't want to deliver more than a one-week supply at a time. I supppose the bottom line question is, can I deliver a 2 week supply or do I stick to the one week?

Thanks again
David

zbrew2k
07-08-2005, 10:54 AM
Stick with a one week supply if you want to have some control over your product. Once it leaves your care, expect the worst!

The beer you produce will most likely be the stable part of the process. Its just when you put it in a keg that you run into problems. Keg cleaning even in large breweries with the finest equipment available is always a sketchy operation. Look on the inside of a keg after several cycles in the trade and you will see what I mean.

If you are going the unpasteurized route, use a quality keg cleaning machine, and sterilize each keg with steam prior to filling.

Then keep your packaged product as cold as possible before delivery.

Good luck,
B

tarmadilo
07-08-2005, 03:08 PM
That's a tough problem! You can do what the British did with their IPA beers shipped to India: brew it strong (lots of alcohol) and hop it well. The alcohol and hop acids will slow spoilage somewhat. I'd also see about storing the beer in some kind of refrigerator at the accounts, if at all possible. Maybe you could build insulated boxes that could hold one or two kegs, to leave at the accounts to keep the cold kegs in until they're needed? Heck, maybe build insulated boxes for the kegs on-tap, too!

As far as I know, nobody pasturizes keg beer, so all of your competitors are under the same handicap!

Good luck!

Tim

Diamond Knot
07-10-2005, 03:44 AM
As far as I know, nobody pasturizes keg beer, so all of your competitors are under the same handicap!

Actually, all the BIG Breweries flash pastuerize their keg product. Don't let them fool you.......that's the key to the Sankey system! Believe it or not, this was developed, proposed, and patented back in the late '50s in Britain.

Dave, what if you altered your business plan to include an Alehouse that serves authentic beer styles as well as a Brewery? That system was designed for a Brewpub............and you would make more "jing" per keg!

Regards,

zbrew2k
07-10-2005, 01:00 PM
Actually, all the BIG Breweries flash pastuerize their keg product. Don't let them fool you.......that's the key to the Sankey system! Believe it or not, this was developed, proposed, and patented back in the late '50s in Britain.

The Largest US Brewer doesnt Flash Pasteurize their keg beer.

Many large brewers outside of the US do flash pasteurize.

Cheers,
B

tarmadilo
07-10-2005, 01:51 PM
That would be AB, right? Coors doesn't, either.

I stand corrected on non-US breweries!

Cheers, Tim

Diamond Knot
07-10-2005, 05:54 PM
........I stand corrected..........I had forgotten about Coors being "cold filtered".

Dancing Camel
07-12-2005, 09:52 AM
I actually like the idea of bumping alcohol & IBU to help in "underbar" storage. So as a not entirely hypothetical excercise, what would be the minimum alcohol content / IBU level to buy me an extra week of shelf life? (Brian - you must have a formula for this ;) )

damoller
07-13-2005, 03:35 AM
Actually, all the BIG Breweries flash pastuerize their keg product. Don't let them fool you.......that's the key to the Sankey system! Believe it or not, this was developed, proposed, and patented back in the late '50s in Britain.

Dave, what if you altered your business plan to include an Alehouse that serves authentic beer styles as well as a Brewery? That system was designed for a Brewpub............and you would make more "jing" per keg!

Regards,
Actually I believe it is a law that draft beer cannot be pasturized in the USA. Canned beer with draft in the name or descrioption cannot be pasturized either!

Straub
07-13-2005, 01:12 PM
Well if its a law then its being broken because I've seen draft beer being flash pasteurized. Its more common than you might think.

admin
07-13-2005, 02:29 PM
There are no states or federal regulations that dictate whether kegged beer is pasteurized or not. Most imported keg beer is pasteurized. Some domestic draft beer is flash pasteurized, some is tunnel pasteurized, and of course most is not pasteurized.

Pasteurized keg beer can essentially be stored behind the bar un-refrigerated and dispensed through a cold box – a fairly common practice.

Beer stability, or shelf life (bottle or draft) is a function of many variables, some of which include air levels, sanitation, alcohol, IBU’s and package size – therefore the “shelf life” varies with each beer product.

Cheers,

Admin

thesteig
11-10-2005, 07:20 PM
If a company has a refrigerated distribution system for their kegs, it may elect not flash pasteurize them. In the US, plant storage, and the distribution networks are generally refrigerated for the major brewers. If you go to the grocery store and ask for a keg, it will be cold when delievered to you, and has been kept cold since it came from the plant. Kegs either go a commercial application, where they are chilled, or to a private application where they are consumed in a short period. In other countries (such as Argentina/Brazil for example) countries / brewers who have an unrefrigerated distribution network do flash pasteurize their kegged product.

If I may ask how many kegs per year do you expect to be doing? Are you using half barrels or quarter barrels right now? Depending on your current volume and distribution area, it may make more sense to go to quarter barrel kegs, and deliver more frequently - or - if your customers have some walk in refrigeration, to deliver more in quarter barrells. You can be sure they will change it when empty.

Personally, my feeling is that alot of people only try your tap-handle once. If they like your product, you have an opportunity to become their regular drink. If not, they try another. It would be good to be sure they all have the same experience.

tarmadilo
11-10-2005, 07:50 PM
Old thread, fair chance the original poster is MIA...

Cheers, Tim

Dancing Camel
11-10-2005, 09:29 PM
No, not quite dead yet.

I'm sticking to the one week supply so far without problems but not fully up and running yet so I don't know if that will continue to work.

Selling in sixtels so more work for me but kegs finish quickly.

DC

jrdamas
11-11-2005, 06:32 AM
"It is the general practice here for bars to serve beer out of a room-temperature keg (it can be 90+ deg F under the bar) by flash-chilling through an ice-bank type chiller."
=
Get out of the sticks and go to a decent bar that uses modern refrigeration. Come on! What kind of dumpski bar doesnt mechanicaly cool kegs?

dick murton
11-11-2005, 08:25 AM
Some good points there.

If you want your beer served at its best, it should be kept cool until served, say less than 60 F, perferably a little less. Why do you think AB insist of refrigerated transport etc - they have to try to prevent.... I think I had better stop there. But seriously, if you want you beer served in good condition, only sell to outlets that will keep it cool before it is sold. The British brewing industry for one makes (though I have to say I think there is less concern recently) a big fuss over cellar storage. If the storage is no good, and its a big outlet, they will subsidise or install kit to keep the cellar temperature correct. I realise this is not an option for a small set up, but at least you could only sell to those outlets who are going to do your product justice.

Good luck. It sounds like you could use some


Cheers,

FrankM
11-12-2005, 10:11 AM
Has anyone tried these plastic insulated kegs?
The polyurethane foam insulation can keep beer fresh without refrigeration for long distance and time. The inner tube is stainless steel, built with autolocking structure, with thick rubber rings for rolling and easy handling, high impact resistance. The party kegs have built-in CO2 bottles. With multi-color selections, they are eye appealing. They are very popular in the Far East, (Tsingdao beer). Sizes are 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 liters. Prices are very competitive. We sell them, contact me for more info.

Larry Horwitz
11-12-2005, 12:24 PM
They're still waaaaayyyyyyy more then used ss which is what most of us can afford.

FrankM
11-12-2005, 01:02 PM
Don't know what other manufacturers charging for these type of kegs.
Our new 25 liters keg costs around $58 each. With volume purchase, price can go lower. Don't know what the used ss kegs cost in your area.

May be it is an alternative for areas which don't have good refrigeration.
The party kegs can stay outdoors for a whole day without refrigeration or chilling.

Here is a picture from www.beeractivist.com of keg delivery, I don't mean you should do the same.

Interesting story: http://www.beeractivist.com/beerfrontier.htm

hmois
11-13-2005, 01:18 PM
brewing in israel-what a challange,and you are the first ?you better make a good one ,i think its a very sensetive market , you think those guys can handle high alcohol and bitterness right away ? i would be careful .Do your customers have icemachines ?tell them to keep the kegs in buckets and on ice exchange ice once a day,cheapest way for you .you are aware if the beers get spoiled its not theres fault they will blame it on you and pretty soon you are gone .maybe you can do a brewpub and let the people come to you .and pateurized kegs or not all the big brewers have the finest labs-filters where they can check and basically steril filter the beers befor kegging.we small brewers dont have the equipment-good luck

Sulfur
12-15-2010, 10:33 AM
Now it's 6 years later. How goes it? Lessons learned?

dfalken
10-03-2011, 10:47 AM
Now it's 6 years later. How goes it? Lessons learned?

I am curious to know what happened as well. I am about to be the first in a country where just like Israel NOBODY is equipped to keep kegs cold, heck in fact almost nobody keeps bottles cold. They only chill the bottles they will sell that day.