Stardew Valley

Kegs Versus Preserve Jars | Stardew Valley

Like anything in Stardew Valley, how you run your farm is entirely up to you. You can merrily wile away day after day, farming and generally being a good sport to the community and have countless hours of fun whilst doing so. Should you decide to delve a little deeper however, you’ll find that pursuing certain items or equipment will benefit particular types of farming. Case in point then, and indeed the topic of our article today, is the Keg versus Preserve Jar debate. The end goal in almost all cases is to maximise the profit from your farm produce, so which of these should you choose to prioritise and when? You’ll likely hear people say that Kegs are better for fruit and preserve jars are better for vegetables, but the full answer is quite a bit more complex than you might think.

Preserve Jars Explained

Preserve Jars, Stardew Valley

First unlocked at Farming level 4, Preserve Jars are designed to house certain items for a short period of time, before returning a different item of higher value. The best example of this is the humble Salmonberry which, once placed in the Preserve Jar for two to three days, will return Jelly that can be sold for a higher price. Vegetables and Fish Roe can also be used here, with the former returning Pickles whilst the latter produces Aged Roe. In the majority of cases items placed into the Preserve Jar will be used to generate profit, however in the case of the Fish Roe and Sturgeon Roe, the items produced can be used to restore health and energy. Both Fruit and Vegetables can also be processed in the Keg, however whilst they do offer more profit per piece – 3x and 2.25x respectively – they will take significantly longer to produce their results. 

In order to craft the Preserve Jar you will need the following:

  • Level 4 Farming Skill
  • 50 x Wood
  • 40 x Stone
  • 8 x Coal

When you should use Preserve Jars

  • When processing Fish Roe or Sturgeon Roe, because the Keg cannot do this.
  • If you’re aiming to maximise profits on multiple Fruits and Vegetables. Whilst the Keg produces more profit per piece, you can be half way through another batch of Preserve Jars before the Keg has finished it’s first, pushing its profitability potential higher.
  • If you’re not too concerned with maximising your time, then simply follow the rule of thumb that lower value items will do best in the Preserve Jar. The Keg can be very profitable, especially if you’re happy to ‘click and forget’ on more expensive Fruits and Vegetables, but for those that pay particular attention and restock items as soon as possible, the Preserve Jar will make more money in almost all cases.


Kegs Explained

Kegs, Stardew Valley

Kegs function in a similar fashion to the Preserve Jar; you place an item inside, wait for a period of time and hey presto, a more valuable item appears. These are unlocked somewhat later than the Preserve Jars, Farming Level 8 to be exact, and whilst they function in a similar fashion, there are some distinct differences. The Keg has a greater degree of options and, when used in isolation, will generally create a greater return in profit but over a longer period of time. They are also able to house Wheat and Hops to make alcohol, Coffee Beans to make Coffee, Tea Leaves to make Tea and Honey to make Mead. 

In order to craft a Keg you will need the following:

  • Farming Level 8
  • 30 x Wood
  • 1 x Copper Bar
  • 1 x Iron Bar
  • 1 x Oak Resin

When you should use Kegs

  • Kegs can produce Beer, Pale Ale and Mead, using Wheat, Hops and Honey respectively, which the Preserve Jar cannot.
  • Similarly, the Keg can produce Coffee and Tea using Coffee Beans and Tea Leaves, which the Preserve Jar cannot.
  • As noted previously, the Preserve Jar will always make more profit over time thanks to it’s shorter timing, however if you only consider one single session of use, the Keg can create more profit using expensive Fruits and Vegetables thanks to its higher modifiers.
  • Unless you’re looking to maximise your Preserve Jar time very efficiently, the general rule of thumb is to use the Keg for more expensive Fruit and Vegetables.


Conclusion – Kegs or Preserve Jars?

The debate between Preserve Jars and Kegs essentially boils down to your play style. If you’re off adventuring and unlikely to take the time to refill your Preserve Jar at every opportunity, then you’re best off putting expensive Fruits and Vegetables into Kegs. However if you’re tending to your Preserve Jars frequently, and looking to maximise profits as much as possible, then they will almost always make more profit over time than the Kegs.

It should also be noted that both the Preserve Jar and the Keg will produce items that are required for the Community Centre bundles, so it’s certainly worth investing in both. Moreover, the produce can also be given as gifts or even taken on adventures to restore health and energy, so make them and give them both a whirl!

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