Quote Originally Posted by jebzter View Post
A keg filled to the top sitting in a cold room un-tapped has no headspace for the volatile compounds to go, so they stay in the beer, once tapped and dispensing its a race to finish the keg before a noticeable amount have dissipated.

Bottom line, my money is on kegs, not serving tanks and I have experience, science and even other breweries that back that up. What is best for your beer is also best for your brand, people will notice and they probably won't tell you that they did, but they might come in less often because of it. This is the mentality we all need to have.
This what is meant when I say less surface area - less surface area of beer to head space. That is a calculable fact. Less dissipation has probably been calculated somewhere too. Good thing I don't have to sell it, i'll stick to beer. Kegs have a much smaller diameter than a properly sized serving vessel.The surface area of one keg at 43.43 cm diameter (17.1 in) would be 1481.4 cm^2 (229.65 in^2). A serving vessel with a diameter of 89.91 cm (35.4 in) will have a surface area of 6349.01 cm^2 (984 in^2). That is about 4.25 times the surface area in a Serving Vessel over a keg. So unless you daisy chain more than 4 kegs for serving at once, there is a significant difference. With only one keg serving, the others are sitting un-exposed to head space.

As far as purging, a liquid purge is still the only way to properly purge a gas technically. Anything with gas to gas is just a dilution. If you're cleaning under pressure and not using de-aerated water you are still introducing oxygen into the tank (albeit a minimal amount). Same holds true with kegs. Yes a full liquid purge is quite impractical in most cases. However most (maybe not Chinese ones?) automated keg washers have tested the purging procedure with a DO meter to determine levels are below a certain threshold. That is how they determine cycle length. Without a meter, one is forced to make a guess on how well the oxygen is purged. Any left in the head space will have a dramatic effect on the product. Increased surface area will make those changes happen faster.

Again, to be clear, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. But you will need some kegs either way. I like the ability to move around my beer as much as possible. While I am not allowed to distribute, we have three restaurants in one location and I am allowed to move between those. One uses a keg cooler, the other two draft lines. I have serving vessels currently, but have used both twice. By far prefer the kegs.