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Feb 1, 2007 03:01 PM

How long does a properly temped keg last after tapped?

I'm getting a keg of alesmith IPA for the superbowl (i'm a huge bears fan) and will probably crack it on sat nite to get a headstart.
I'm thinking about picking it up on friday just to have more time and more people enjoy it. ANyone got any recs for how long a properly cooled keg should last?

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  1. If you dispense it with CO2, it'll last for a very long time - weeks if not months. Hand pumped with air, I recall them lasting a couple days before it starts to go flat & stale even at refrigerator temps.

    check out for info about all things keg...


    1. From experience, don't push the time you have your keg tapped with a common keg pump. It will stale rather quickly and go flat - stale and malty is your big concern here, IMO, especially with a good IPA. Saturday night will probably be ok for a tapping time, but do me this favor: this is how you properly use a keg.

      Set your keg IN ice, not just on ice. Lots and lots and lots of ice!!! Attach the pump and let the keg settle and stay cool for about 30 minutes. Let a bit of air out of the keg using the silver button at the bottom of you keg pump. Pour without pumping!!!!! That's very important. Most folks will pump the living crap out of the thing and then try to pour themselves a cup/glass. This is bad news. They don't know what they're doing. Stop them if they do it. The reason: you're creating fizz. The air in the keg should be rather stable (not pressurized) and the proper way to "pour" from a keg is to pump slowly as it's needed and only as it's pouring, not before or after. 3 or 4 slow pumps per cup is plenty. Any more than that will give you fizz which means waiting to drink your beer. This is also the reason you shouldn't tap your keg too early. Hand pumps and CO2 systems are completely different. Again, don't push your luck. Have fun - go Colts!

      3 Replies
      1. re: HaagenDazs

        Very nice advice, and all new info for me - thanks!

        Also, I looked at the micromatic site and i'm guessing that the pump i'll get from bevmo will be one of these:
        Those look like common keg pumps to me, so if I get one of those the beer will only last 8-12 hours?

        1. re: mr mouther

          Be careful @ Bevmo. They gave me the wrong type of tap for my 5L keg and I wound up having to go back and exchange. They were extremely nice and accomodating about it, but I would have rather saved the extra trip.

          1. re: JRSD

            Is there anything I can check for while I'm there to make sure I get the right one?

      2. A keg of Alesmith IPA at your Superbowl party???? Needless to say I'm very jealous. I hope your guests appreciate it.

        1. Hmmm...A keg of Alesmith IPA. Hanging out on Saturday night with a couple of friends. I would say that you probably don't have to worry about freshness on Sunday because at kick-off you'll be looking at an empty keg. Good choice for game.