How Long Does A Keg Remain Fresh?

Due to a variety of beer styles and storage options for your keg, there’s no set answer to this question. Depending on who you ask or what site you read, the answer will range between 20-120 days.

There are many variables that can play a role in how quickly your kegged beer starts to alter in taste, but a general rule to keep in mind is that as soon as that keg is filled at the brewery, the “freshness clock” starts. As time goes by, your beer will slowly start to taste less and less fresh.

How Are You Dispensing Your Beer?

To give you a better idea of how long your keg will last, let’s take a look at the two most common scenarios that one would find themselves in when they tap a keg.

1. Using a Manual Pump:

Manual Keg Pump

Commonly found attached to the top of kegs at house parties and backyard cookouts, the manual pump — sometimes called a bronco pump or party pump — works by pumping air into the keg, pressurizing it so that it can dispense your beer. If you’ve ever poured a beer out of a keg, then you’re probably familiar with this kind of pump, as well as the problems that come along with it, such as over-pumping and excessively foamy beer.
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What is a Keg Coupler?

Keg Coupler

Now that your home bar or man cave has its own kegerator to cool and dispense that frothy beer you love so much, it would be wise to get acquainted with some of the essential components of your kegerator. One of the most important parts of your kegerator is the keg coupler.

What the Keg Coupler Does

Think of the keg coupler as a “key” and the valve of a keg as the “lock”. They can’t work without each other. The keg coupler attaches to the valve and to a CO2 compressed gas line. It allows the compressed air to enter the keg and push out the beer. As a result of all of these components working together, you get a perfectly chilled and delicious draft beer in the comfort of your home.
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Win up to $25,000 in the Kegerator.com Kickoff Pick’em League

Kegerator Kickoff Pick'em League

We are very excited to announce the first annual Kegerator.com Kickoff Pick’em league! This public pick’em league is 100% free and gives you the opportunity to win all sorts of prizes, as well as $25,000!

How it works:

Sign up for the pick’em league by following this link.

Every week, before the games start, you will log into your account and enter who you think will win the match-up. The top three players of the week will be entered into a monthly drawing for a chance to win a mini-kegerator. At the end of the season, all of the top weekly winners throughout the entire season will be placed into a random drawing for the MVP prize package.

The beauty of this contest, is no matter when you join the league, you still have an opportunity to win the grand prize! Do you have what it takes to win?

Winners will be notified by email. Prizes are as follows:
  • Monthly: There will be one winner each month. The contestant with the most points accumulated in the weekly contest will be entered into a drawing for a Mini-Kegerator every month.
  • Postseason MVP: There will be one postseason winner. The top 3 point earners for each week, throughout the entire season, will be placed in a random draw for the following: Dual Tap Home Brew Keg, Home Brew Kit, Beer Glasses (set of 4)
  • Grand Prize: There will be one grand prize winner. Each week the top point earner will be asked to pick the half time and final score of the 2 Monday night teams. If someone picks the exact scores, they will win $25,000!

3 Things to Remember When Storing Draft Beer

Draft Beer

As we all probably know, draft beer is a brew that is dispensed from a cask or, in modern times, a kegerator. Because yeast and carbon dioxide influence its characteristics, knowing the right temperature and pressure plays a crucial role in the overall quality and flavor of your beer. Casks and kegs mediate these variables and cause the resulting draft beer to differ from beer consumed from a can or bottle.

Certainly, there are a number of qualifications that must be met for a beer to qualify as draft beer, and the success of each batch depends on the quality of the keg. Here’s three things to take into account when you buy and store your draught beer.

Temperature

Temperature, for example, is a crucial determinant of the taste of draft beer. The majority of the time, the beer inside your keg has not been pasteurized, so it’s important to keep it cold. From the moment you get it from the distributor until it’s empty, it’s important to maintain the proper temperature or you will sacrifice the quality of the beer.

When its temperature is to high, foam dominates the beverage because the higher temperature liberates carbon dioxide too quickly. This will cause your beer to foam more than it should, leading to a loss in flavor. Conversely, draft beer that is too cold retains carbonation, causing the beer to taste flat because the true flavor cannot escape.

The optimal temperature to store and serve your draft beer is right at 38°, especially for ales. You can go slightly lower without sacrificing the quality of the beer, but it’s not recommended to go above that temperature. Any reputable kegerator system should be able to maintain the proper temperatures in order to avoid these problems.

Pressure

Furthermore, a great draft beer depends on pressure, just as much as it does temperature. If the beer is kept at a pressure that is too high or too low, the over all taste and characteristics of the beer will be detrimentally altered. If the pressure is too low, the first few pours coming out of the keg will have excessive amounts of foam, and then gradually the rest of the pours will produce beer that tastes flat. On the flip side, too much pressure will cause the beer to come out of the keg at a faster pace than normal, and eventually produce beer that has too much foam.

Generally, the pressure regulator on your kegerator should stay at a consistent 10-12 PSI for American ales and lagers. Unfortunately, the proper amount of pressure may differ slightly between the various brands, styles and types of beer. Because of this, it would be wise for you to call the distributor from which you got your keg and ask what they would recommend.

Keg of Beer

Let It Settle Before Tapping

When you get your keg, try to be gentle with it. Try to limit how much you shake or roll it around. It’s always wise to let it sit idle for a few hours before tapping it. We all know what happens when you shake a can of beer and then immediately open it. The same principles apply to a keg, as it does a can.

Once you get in your keg set up in your kegerator, we would recommend letting it sit for at least an hour or two before drinking from it. This should be plenty of time to let it settle a bit. However, depending on how long it took you to get from the distributor to the kegerator, you may need to give it more time to chill a little long to reach the proper temperatures.

Takeaways

When it comes to draft beer, the flavor profile of beer is very much dependent on temperature and pressure. These two factors work together to retain the beer’s intended taste and aroma. Although there is an optimal temperature range that retains the qualities of draft beer, this may vary somewhat when you take the type of brew into account. It’s important to find the optimal temperature and pressure for your beer of choice prior to serving, and the distributor of that beer may prove to be an invaluable source of information.

What storage tips for draft beer would you add to this list? We’d like to hear your successes and failures in the comments below?

House Essentials: Double Tap Kegerators

Double Tap Kegerators

Double tap kegerators are designed to store not one, but two kegs of your favorite beer. Just like a single tap kegerator, the double taps allow you to serve your favorite brews at the perfect temperature any time you want, with the added bonus of choosing between two brews.

Using a double tap kegerator is an ideal solution if you are throwing a house party, both large and small. Save your money and eliminate the need for beer runs in the middle of your party. Even if your guests don’t drink all the beer, the kegerator will keep your beer fresh for months to come.

An EdgeStar double tap kegerator turns any room in your home into your favorite pub. EdgeStar kegerators offers ultra-low temps, so you serve your brew at the perfect temperature every time. EdgeStar double kegerators are capable of reaching temps well into the low 30s. There’s plenty of brands of kegerators out there, and we even carry multiple brands on the site, but it’s hard to beat an EdgeStar.

For those who love to brew their own beer, the kegerators come complete with a conversion kit and two ball-lock cornelius kegs. These kegs are exactly what you need to serve up your own home brew at your next gathering. If you are not a brewmaster, or if you just like the taste of a beer already on the market, commercial kegs fit perfectly as well.

When it comes to EdgeStar kegerators, all of the parts are made in the U.S. and are NSF approved. Commercial-grade parts include a five-pound C02 cylinder, faucets, tap handles, regulator and a stainless steel draft tower. All beer lines and air lines are included, making it incredibly easy to set up your kegerator.

A double tap kegerator is a great addition to your man cave, game room, garage, kitchen or home bar. The ability to store, chill and dispense two of your favorite beers from one source makes this a versatile system that keeps your party going for longer. These full-size kegs are available in black or stainless steel, and look great wherever you decide to place them.

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Which Kegerator is Right for Me?

It’s very easy to get excited about making a kegerator purchase. The very nature of the product brings thoughts and images of great get-togethers, joyous celebrations, and all-around good times. It’s certainly not like shopping for new windshield wipers, or perhaps, say, napkin rings (if those things excite you, there’s absolutely no judgment here). But beer is something that instills a certain sense of excitement simply because it reminds us of fun, and oh-so-delicious, times. Mmm, beer…

Wait, let’s not get ahead of ourselves! It’s important to remember that there are many things to consider when making a kegerator purchase. Will you enlist it to serve up large amounts of libations regularly, or only break it out for special occasions? Will you use it inside, outside, or both? Do you want to install it in your home bar area, or will it stand uncovered on its own, to bask in all its glory? These are just some of the many important questions you should ask yourself when deciding which kegerator to outfit your space with. Remember, there are a lot of kegerator models out there to choose from, but the one you choose will most likely become an official member of your household, so choose wisely!

There are more types of kegerators than you might think. There are a wide variety or full-size home kegerators, commercial kegerators for restaurant and bar use, and even mini kegerators, designed specifically for use with 5-liter “mini kegs”. The following will detail the capabilities and drawbacks of each type of kegerator, and will ultimately help you decide which one is right for you.

Full Size Home Kegerators

These kegerators are designed for personal use in your home and come in a great number of styles to suit all sorts of applications. They are great for those that like to keep larger quantities of beer and/or entertain guests often and are capable of holding full-size half-barrel kegs.

1/2 barrel keg

First, choose a model based on whether or not you want to use it indoors or outdoors. If you plan on using your kegerator exclusively indoors, there’s no need to shell out the extra cash for outdoor capabilities that you do not need. Full-size indoor kegerators can either be designed for freestanding or built-in (under-counter) installation. Freestanding models are fully-finished, fully-enclosed units that can stand on their own.

EdgeStar full size beer kegerator

EdgeStar KC2000

Additionally, most models include casters that allow you to move the unit about easily (as seen on the underside of the EdgeStar kegerator above). Though, freestanding kegerators require at least 3-4 inches of space between the back of the unit and wall, as well as 2-3 inches on each side in order to properly ventilate. Because the compressor is located on the back of the unit, there must be a sufficient buffer that allows the hot air produced by the compressor to escape. Using a freestanding kegerator in a built-in application could cause overheating and will undoubtedly compromise the unit’s performance overall.

So, if you’re looking to install your kegerator under cabinetry or another type of enclosure, built-in models are for you. Kegerators that are capable of built-in installation will always highlight the ability as a feature due to the fact that it’s the sole differentiator from a freestanding unit. Otherwise, built-in models tend to look very similar, if not identical, to their freestanding cousins. You can also usually spot them out because they typically have cooling systems that ventilate out of the front of the unit.

Summit triple tap built in kegerator

Summit SBC490BITRIPLE

This feature allows flush installation without a need for any extra space around the sides and back. Though some units on today’s market still vent from the back, but have an additional fan to help channel and force the hot air away from the cabinet. One downside of built-in kegerators is that they usually cost more due to a more complex cooling system design. Higher-end units are also completely enclosed, including the backside.

Now, if you want to use your kegerator outdoors full-time, say, in a patio entertainment area, or just want to have the ability to use it outside, say, for a backyard barbecue on the weekend, you should go with an outdoor kegerator.

Summit professional outdoor kegerator

Summit SBC490OS

 

These outdoor-specific units are different from those built for indoor use in that they have a weatherproof construction, made to outlast the elements. Additionally, they have increased insulation to keep your beer at the perfect temperature, and are also equipped with more powerful compressors that have greater cooling capabilities to combat extreme ambient temperatures. Keep in mind, outdoor kegerators will typically cost more than units made for indoor use due to these upgrades in design, functionality, and versatility.

Mini Kegerators

Don’t have the space for a full-size kegerator or just don’t have a need for a full-size keg? Then your best bet is a mini kegerator, which is small enough to sit on your countertop while taking up minimal space. They are designed to store and dispense beer from 5-Liter Kegs, which come in a variety of offerings.

EdgeStar mini kegerator

EdgeStar TBC50S

 

Mini-kegerators are perfect for people that prefer draft beer over bottled, but don’t like to commit to multiple gallons of a single beer. A mini-kegerator gives you the power to pour yourself a fresh pint as you would get at a bar, but from the comfort of your own home and without the premiums involved. Also, mini kegerators are great for European beer enthusiasts as many popular Eurobrews are sold in 5-liter kegs. These mini kegs can be tapped easily without having to purchase a European-specific coupler to fit the keg, as you would with a full-size keg.

It’s also important to be aware of the fact that mini kegs come in pressurized and non-pressurized varieties. Pressurized kegs come filled with the gas necessary to dispense the beer. All mini kegerators are able to dispense from pressurized kegs, making them the more convenient option. However, some of your favorite beers may only be offered in non-pressurized kegs, in which case you will need to make sure that your mini-kegerator has the ability to dispense from them. These mini kegerators will specify if they have the ability or will sometimes offer an additional kit that allows you to infuse gas directly into the keg. This gas cartridge system will add the perfect amount of gas to your keg on the spot, and will provide the pressure necessary to serve beer from the previously non-pressurized keg.

Koldfront mini kegerator

Koldfront KBC51SS

Commercial Kegerators

The biggest, and typically most expensive, breed of the bunch is the commercial kegerator. These are kegerators designed specifically for use in commercial settings, including bars, restaurants, and grocery stores. They are constructed of the highest quality materials and feature a sturdier design to withstand high usage levels.

True Single Kegerator

True TDD-1-S

Unlike many residential kegerators, commercial units often employ a different cooling method known as forced air cooling. Instead of using a cold plate within the refrigeration chamber to maintain internal temperatures, a fan forces cold air throughout the space. The result is a more evenly cooled space that allows all contents to reach and maintain the same temperature. With forced air cooling nothing within the kegerator can come in direct contact with cooling components. With cold plate cooling, you can get cold spots, where kegs that are closer to the plate will have a lower temperature.

Commercial kegerators are definitely not for everyone, as they carry a higher price tag, and can take up a lot more space. Additionally, larger commercial units are intended for a single point installation, and cannot be easily moved from place to place. However, they are ideal for businesses and even residential applications that demand the absolute best performance capabilities and durability.

While there are a tremendous amount of options and aspects to consider when picking your perfect kegerator, just remember that it’s a kegerator! I’m willing to bet that it’s one of the purchases in life you’ll be most excited to shop for. When you find the perfect fit and pour that first pint, be sure to raise it not only to your friends, but to your delicious draft beer-dispensing kegerator, too!

 

Kegerator Review: EdgeStar KC2000

The EdgeStar KC2000: Beer to the Masses

Here at Kegerator.com, we work very hard to bring you the best in beer brewing equipment, beer dispensers and overall advice on how to enjoy a cold pint (hint: drink it). For as hard as we work, though, we play just as hard. Our parties and social events usually involve us trying new beers while conversing with each other over anything from sports to politics, or maybe about the new band we saw last weekend.

A main staple of these parties is our very own EdgeStar KC2000. Our parties start and end with the kegs we put into this bad boy, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Whether holding kegs filled with Shiner Bock, Live Oak Hefeweizen, or maybe just a simple beer like Lone Star (a Texas favorite), this kegerator helps bring the life to our parties.

EdgeStar KC2000

Our parties wouldn’t rock nearly as hard without it, so we felt it was important to review our EdgeStar kegerator.

Ease of Use

Let’s face it: not all kegerators are created equal. While the main function of every one of them is to dispense beer to people, many of them make it easier said than done. Having a kegerator that was easy to use was one of our main concerns, and the KC2000 made sure it delivered.

Arguably one of the easiest kegerators to use, the EdgeStar KC2000 adopts the simplicity of the “plug and play” formula. All you need to do is tap the keg, make sure the gas and beer lines are connected and ready, and pour your beer into the glass. It’s as simple as that. No convoluted “pouring methods” or complex controls to mess around with. Just plug and chug.

Ease of Use Score: 5.0/5.0

Space

Beer lovers enjoy having a plentiful bounty of suds at their hands, and we are no different. This is another reason why we chose this kegerator: it can store up to a full-sized half keg, which generally holds up to 15.5 gallons of beer. That is what we call the recipe for a great party.

Inside the KC2000

Luckily, most kegerators can hold the standard size of a half keg, and we are sure glad ours can too. However, the KC2000 doesn’t hold rubberized or kegs that bow out in the middle like Coors and Miller kegs, but we don’t drink that stuff anyway if we can help it, so it isn’t a problem.

Space Score: 4.0/5.0

Look & Design

Some kegerators can go overboard with their exterior look, which takes focus away from crucial design elements that most kegerators should have. The Edgestar KC2000 kegerator plays host to a large 5 lb Co2 tank on the back of the unit, where a featured holder is placed to keep the tank upright. While it is good to have a holding tank for your Co2 outside of the unit, the location of this kegerator’s bulky tank makes it hard to place the unit against the wall or flush with cabinetry without doing some extra work to make it fit.

Difficult room placement notwithstanding, the sleek and simple black cabinet design with chrome-accented railing and beer tower allows this kegerator to easily blend in with the décor of any kitchen, game room, or even garage. The overall look is very aesthetically pleasing and easy to clean whenever you have guests over.

Look/Design Score: 3.5/5.0

Top of the KC2000

Extra Features

While many kegerators try to sell you on their extra features such as electronic displays, full glass cabinets, and many other bells and whistles, the simplicity of the EdgeStar KC2000 is one of the more refreshing features of the unit.

A simple and easy-to-use temperature control enables you to turn the temperature down with five (5) cooling levels for easy use. While this may not be as accurate as most temperature controls, it is able to get the job done and stay simple enough for anyone to use.

EdgeStar Kegerator Temperature Control

Four (4) rolling casters make it easy to move the kegerator around and place it in other rooms, which is great for parties and get-togethers. Not only is the kegerator able to move with ease, but it can be locked with equal simplicity. The casters feature locking wheels that keeps the kegerator in its place when it needs to be, ensuring that your beer will stay safe.

Extra Features: 4.0/5.0

Summary

Overall, this kegerator was perfect for an office mixed with beer amateurs and craft professionals. The easy-to-use design mixed with several features to keep the party going ensure that this kegerator will serve your every need. We made sure of that during every one of our parties and this EdgeStar kegerator has yet to disappoint.

Local Brewery Wins Battle But Not War

There are countless things that make the city that houses our headquarters (Austin, Texas) great, one of them being the enthusiasm for cold drinks and the brands that create those delicious beers, wines, and liquors. Local brewery, Jester King, and its two co-plaintiff’s Authentic Beverage Company and Zax Restaurant & Bar, recently won a case against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) regarding a select few of its strict rules.

The ruling basically said that you can now call it like you see it – beer can now be called, “beer” and ale can now be referred to as “ale” (whereas it was not allowed before).  The conclusion also resulted in allowing craft breweries to let their fans know where they distribute their goods (AKA adding a “where to buy section” on their websites).

However, craft breweries are still not treated as wineries and cannot sell their product onsite under the Equal Protection Clause.

Though they didn’t win it all, we’re supportive of the craft brewers here in Austin and proudly store their bottles of beer or kegs in our beverage coolers and kegerators.

Cheers and happy holidays!