How Long Does Beer Lasts In a Keg Untapped?

How Long Does Beer Lasts In a Keg Untapped

You thought of bringing some kegs of beer to a weekend party, but now it’s almost a week, and you still have a keg sitting around in your pantry. Every time you put your eyes on it, it seems to be sticking its tongue out at you. Not literally. Just kidding. So, now you don’t have it in you to consume it all alone, and you are thinking of saving it for the next party. But oh wait, what if goes bad and expires? How long does a beer last in a keg untapped? 

Read on to find more on the topic and learn best practices to keep your keg of beer stay fresh, especially if untapped. 

How Long Can an Untapped Keg of Beer Stay Fresh? 

A lot of homebrewers may find kegging a bit too intimidating, but once they get the hang of it, there is no going back. A mug full of chilled beer straight from a keg can be an incredible refreshment, especially after a long tiring day. Kegs of beer are also a hit at parties and gatherings as it’s convenient to put the drink in one place rather than putting a lot of bottles all over the place. 

One common problem with kegs is that you alone cannot possibly finish it sooner. It’s a good idea to have a keg for a group of people, but if you are left with a keg or two after a party, it can be hard to consume it all alone before it goes bad. No, we won’t suggest dumping it off. It would be very silly of us if we recommend such a thing. 

The best solution here would be to keep it fresh for a long time and figure out how long we can keep it lying in the pantry, as kegs can go bad even without getting tapped. Untapped kegs can last for months, but again it depends on the type of beer and other factors that might affect the life of the drink. 

Ever wondered how long a beer lasts in a keg? 

All beers expire but not quite soon. Unopened bottles and cans, if stored well, can last for a few years. The same goes for kegs. Your keg of beer should have a label stating the production and expiration date. It has the potential to go bad quickly if exposed to oxygen for longer periods. 

Generally, untapped kegs can stay fresh till their date of expiry if stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. There is no hard and fast rule for figuring out long a beer in a keg will stay fresh. 

There are two factors two be considered when talking about the longevity of kegged beer. 

Pasteurized Beer

A keg of untapped pasteurized beer usually has a shelf life of almost 3 to 4 months. A lot of brands pasteurize their beers to remove microorganisms that may spoil the drink. Pasteurized kegs of beer generally last longer as compared to unpasteurized kegged beer. 

Unpasteurized Beer 

Unpasteurized kegs of beer, if untapped, can stay fresh for a month or two on average when stored properly in a cool and dry place. 

Many local and international beers are pasteurized. If you are not aware whether your keg of beer is pasteurized or not, you better consider it unpasteurized to avoid unpleasant surprises. 

Other Factors to Consider

An important fact to bear in mind is that the life of your beer begins the day a keg is topped up at the brewery, not when you put a tap on it or purchase it. You should always check the label on your keg when you buy it to see the date of expiry and production. 

If the date of expiry has passed, you can consume the contents, but its taste might not be as good. It won’t harm you for sure, but it’s recommended to consume it before it expires. 

How Long Does A Tapped Keg of Beer Last?

The method you opt for dispensing the beer affects the life of the drink. Utilizing a kegerator or draft beer system that helps in dispensing the beer using carbon dioxide usually does not affect the freshness of the beer considering the keg is placed properly at a suitable temperature. 

If you plan or using a picnic pump or a keg tap, then it can impact the freshness of the beer. These dispensers use oxygen to pump out the drink. The oxygen makes its way into the keg and comes into contact with the contents. This speeds up the process of oxidization, which makes the beer go bad. 

If you use picnic pumps or keg taps for dispensing your beer, the keg will only last for a few hours or just a day at maximum. Again it depends on the type of beer and the amount of oxygen that was pumped into the keg. But the rule of thumb is to discard a keg after a day if a picnic pump or keg tap was used to pump the beer. 

What Temperature Should I Store My Untapped Keg At?

Generally, untapped kegs should be stored at a temperature of not more than 38 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s an ideal temperature to store and serve beer. Beer tastes best when poured and served chilled. The colder the beer, the more foam. 

Kegs of beer are not recommended to be stored at room temperature. If you need it to put in your pantry and not refrigerate it, make sure it’s pasteurized. Unpasteurized beer, if stored at room temperature, may go bad sooner than expected.

Increased temperatures and a warmer atmosphere can cause bacteria buildup and may affect the freshness and flavor of the beer. Also, it’s not recommended to store beer at too cold temperatures.  It may freeze and may not taste nice when defrosted. 

Does Beer In A Keg Go Bad?

Like bottles and cans, beer in a keg can also expire, especially when it’s not placed at a suitable temperature. If you placed your keg at room temperature and noticed a foul smell when pouring it down in your mug or if you feel an off taste, it probably has gone bad.

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