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Old 07-22-2009, 04:38 AM   #21
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Good to hear that you've started kegging.
I know that it works out quite a bit better for me.

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Old 07-22-2009, 05:05 AM   #22
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I haven't bottled since I got my kegs in January. I'm thinking about getting rid of all my bottles. Kegging is sooo much easier. Cleaning a keg takes about a minute. Take the keg apart, drop all the pieces inside it. Fill it 7/8ths with hot water, put a scoop of oxyclean in, let it sit for an hour or tw, invert it in a five gallon bucket with the weater still in it, let it sit some more. Next morning rinse it with the hose, Sanitize it in the same manner with idophor and fill it. It's NO MORE THAN FIFTEEN OR TWENTY MINUTES.

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Old 07-22-2009, 01:22 PM   #23
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I quit bottling 15 years ago. Bottling was the main reason I quit brewing then.

50 bottles or 1 keg...the math is simple.

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Old 07-22-2009, 01:34 PM   #24
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I like to bottle 5g's and keg 5g's. It is nice to have bottles and they are cheaper than having 40 kegs around. I need to buy another bunch of kegs anyway though...

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Old 07-22-2009, 02:39 PM   #25
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I don't bottle anything except meads and the occasional sample to send to someone. I went straight to 5L kegs and then cornies. I gain nothing bottling. If I want to take beer to an event, I'll fill a growler or take a keg.

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Old 07-22-2009, 03:05 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chefmike View Post
I started kegging this year. It is faster in some ways... if you leave out a lot of variables and factors. Faster if you just count draining into one sanitized, ready to go keg.

But kegging has other time consuming parts: tinkering with the system, the tools, the refilling of tanks. Then paying the $10 bucks a month more in electric. And most keggers still end up bottling some... so you aren't reducing equipment.

Kegging is not better... just different. A lot of things are really cool about pulling beer off tap... and bottling off tap with no sediment. But there is a certain beauty and art to bottling.
This sums up very well the way I feel about it. And being lazy, I'll just plagiarize and save myself the typing.
I will add that bottling had become quite a chore for me after I started doing 10 gal batches. I streamlined the process the best I could and it was actually pretty efficient. I just did not enjoy that part of the process. Plus, having a dog and four children around the house made it that much more stressful. Bottling has many advantages, as does kegging. You yourself have to determine what works best for your life, personality, and household and go with it.
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:11 PM   #27
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I like my kegs for the carbing fast and easy pour features, but bottling is not a big deal either. I use the top rack of the dishwasher like a bottle tree. I don't wash them in there, or sanitize (not since I discovered Oxi and Starsan!)

Luckily for me, I have a teenage daughter to usually keeps the dishes done. But running the night before and then emptying the top rack is no big deal.

Anyway, kegging can be so much faster and easier, until you get into the CO2 and line settings. They can give you problems unless you read up on it and understand it ahead of time.

I just think Revvy is correct that once you get a good system down, including the way you clean bottles, it can go much faster and easier.

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Old 07-22-2009, 03:32 PM   #28
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I guess I am on overkill mode. I put my empties on the counter with any other dirty dishes and then when I fill the dishwasher there are a few bottles that go in. The clean bottles that come out are places in the six pack holders and stored in a closet in the garage until I bottle. On bottling day I run the bottles through the dishwasher again just to get rid of any spiders or dust and then hit'em while they are still hot with the star san and place them on the bottle tree to dry.
For bottling I place a kitchen chair on top of the counter and the bucket on the chair. All the bottles are at a good level for me to see and with a five foot hose and bottle filler, it's a pretty easy job. I have learned to hold onto the hose with one hand and the filler wand with the other. The long hose can loop around a bottle and pull it down.

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Old 07-22-2009, 04:56 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conroe View Post
Me and my wife can bottle a batch in 45 minutes start to finish.

Yep, we got it down now, it really isnt tough. I'd love to be able to afford a kegging setup someday, but bottling really isnt that hard.
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:23 PM   #30
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I saw a post from someone on this here forum and I have since "adopted" his method of sanitizing bottles. Having my 7 year old daughter assist helps, but I have been able to do it myself.

1) Fill one 5 gallon pail with empty bottles (upright - you will fit 12)
2) Fill second 5 gallon pail with star san solution
3) Cover the tops of the bottles with one of those retractable colanders you use for steaming vegetables (it is basically a flat colander).
4) While holding down the colander (this is where the daughter comes in helpful) dump star san solution in the bucket. The colander will will keep the bottles from floating and force them to be filled with the solution.
4) Once bottles are filled, put one hand on top of the colander and pick up the bucket by the bottom and drain back into the other bucket until all bottles drain
5) Place bottles in dishwasher or just bottle brew ASAP! I use a spray bottle filled with Star San and spray the rungs in the dishwasher to ensure sanitization.

Just repeat steps until all bottles are sanitized. I'm able to sanitize 53 bottles of beer for bottling in less than 10 minutes.

ALSO - don't forget bottling can go much faster if you can get your hands on a lot of 22 oz bomber bottles.

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