Beer, Bar, Brewery Reviews and Beer things you need to know!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Answers to some burning questions
Common draft beer questions
Q: How long will a keg last? There are a lot of opinions and facts out there on this topic. This is a general discussion on the topic and does not account for all circumstances and opinions. I'll start with some facts. Beer does not go bad…sort of! It only changes flavor. The 3 main components of spoilage are bacteria, oxygen, and temperature. The rate at which beer will spoil is dependent upon the combination of all three of these factors.
Let's start with Bacteria. It is everywhere. You can't get rid of it. There are good bacteria, ones that won't make you sick, and there are bad bacteria, the kind that will make you sick. Beer does not support bad bacteria. It does support good bacteria. Over time, these bacteria will grow and impart a flavor in the beer. For the most part, these flavors are undesirable. The unique aspect of beer is that it has a natural bacteria inhibitor - Alcohol.
Next is Oxygen. Oxygen has two negative effects on beer. It provides fuel for more bacteria and it oxidizes the beer…changing the flavor. Once Oxygen (air) is introduced into the keg, it has only days before the flavor has changed substantially. It also goes flat. When you use a hand pump or picnic pump on a keg, the keg is pretty much done within 48 hours.
Finally there is Temperature. Temperature will inhibit or accelerate the growth of bacteria. The colder the beer, the slower the growth. The hotter the beer, the faster the growth.
What does it all mean? It means if you keep your beer cold, use Co2, not air to drive the beer, you keep the dispensing system clean, and you buy kegs from breweries that have strict sanitizing and cleaning procedures, you're keg will last 4 months or more with minimal or no noticeable flavor change.
If you keep your kegs warm, and drive them with Co2 through a jockey box or other faucet, they will most likely last a couple of months. Just be sure to clean your lines after every keg.
Q: How many beers are in a 1/2 barrel keg?
1 barrel of beer=31 gallons.
1/2 Barrel=15.5 Gallons or 1984 Fluid Ounces.
1/4 Barrel=7.75 Gallons or 992 Fluid Ounces.
There are 128 oz. in 1 gallon.
124 Pints 16-oz. glasses
165 12-oz. glasses
198 10-oz. glasses
Q: What is the ideal beer temperature?
Temperature is a key factory in storing and dispensing draught beer. Beer can freeze at 28°F, so it is important to select and maintain proper operating temperatures inside the refrigerator cabinet. Optimum temperatures for serving cold beer are 34°-38° F (1°-3° C).
Q: What pressure should I run my CO2 regulator?
You should monitor the pressure regulators to ensure applied operating pressures remain constant (10-12psi/lbs).