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Old 10-26-2011, 05:05 PM   #1
Zakit24
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Default Alternatives to bottling and full kegging?

I am trying to figure out some alternatives between putting my beer in bottles with the waiting and putting the money into a full kegging system.
I am brewing 5gal batches and my main concern is that I would like to be able to bring beer to other people's house and/or give it away to friends. I know you are able to shoot the beer from the keg into bottles, but at the moment a full keg system is just too much.

What methods are there that kinda fall in between bottling and kegging? I wouldn't mind bottling half my brew and putting the other half in some other device that I can still take to people's places.
I have seen the 5L mini kegs with an adapter on top that uses a CO2 cartridge, but I was told those are becoming difficult to find.

So what are some other options?

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Old 10-26-2011, 05:39 PM   #2
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Party pig? I've never used it, but I've heard of it.

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Old 10-26-2011, 05:40 PM   #3
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You could get a co2 tank and regulator, and use a screw on carbonation adaptor that fits on plastic bottles instead of waiting for your bottles to carb naturally.

Also, when you are ready to move into kegging, all you will need when you start are kegs.

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Old 10-26-2011, 05:55 PM   #4
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There's only two methods i know of for carbing, force carbing, and natural carbing (using corn sugar.) You could do the method rharvey described and then pour carbed beer into bottles and cap. But using a co2 tank is the only quick way i can think of to carb beer. There's the party pig, and similar products which seem cool, and I've also heard of using Miller home drafts, and also Bell's mini kegs. Never seen the mini kegs but sounds cool.

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Old 10-26-2011, 05:56 PM   #5
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I tried the mini-kegs for a while. It seems they get rusty after a few uses. I think they are lined steel or something like that so any little scratches on the inside will eventually get rusty - that dog don't hunt. Was entirely a waste of money and time IMO. And maybe almost as expensive as a Kegging setup in the long run?

I've had good luck using plastic bottles (PET) - I bought a case of sparkling water from Costco and just reused the bottles... they were 12oz I think. Maybe $12 for a case of 24. I've also reused 2 liter soda bottles with no problems. Don't look too fancy but cheap and disposable.

Just make sure you don't get any strongly flavored soda or water or whatnot because the bottles tend to retain the taste and aroma (no Rootbeer!). Bottle like any other glass bottle, use sugar to prime for carbonation, etc. They were clear plastic so I just kept them out of direct light. Was perfect for music festivals where they don't allow glass containers. Perfect to give away to friends (who cares if they come back). I also liked that it was easy to tell when they were fully carbonated based on how firm the bottle felt.

- Mike

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Old 10-26-2011, 06:13 PM   #6
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I like this PET bottle idea.
Am I understanding this correctly? Take the uncarbonated beer out of the fermenter, put it into a 2L bottle, charge the bottle with CO2 according to this chart, shake it and let it dissolve into solution. Boom! force carbonated beer?

If so that's awesome. That takes care of the long wait and allows me to still take it to friends places. That also means it can be re-carbonated no problem after going flat, right?

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Old 10-26-2011, 06:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakit24 View Post
I like this PET bottle idea.
Am I understanding this correctly? Take the uncarbonated beer out of the fermenter, put it into a 2L bottle, charge the bottle with CO2 according to this chart, shake it and let it dissolve into solution. Boom! force carbonated beer?

If so that's awesome. That takes care of the long wait and allows me to still take it to friends places. That also means it can be re-carbonated no problem after going flat, right?
I think you'll find it about impossible to do this with warm beer, so add a step where you get all of the beer cold.

I can't imagine how this isn't more work than just bottling though.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:31 PM   #8
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Search for "Miller Home Draft dissected"

I use these and it is super easy to use. The downside is the CO2 carts can get a little pricey but I have LOTS of these (I am going to go buy some TAD bottles tonight.). I will have 4 of these full at a Halloween Party this weekend. I also keg so I can force carb in a normal keg and then use 1 cart to serve. To me this sounds like EXACTLY what you are looking for.

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Old 10-26-2011, 07:56 PM   #9
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A cheap keg set up can be found here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Home-brew-Keg-Kit-NEW-CO2-Tank-Regulator-Hoses-Tap-/270827851679?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f0e99 0f9f

Just make the investment and go for it, you will happy you did. A few swing top growlers is always a great way to take beer drawn from your keg to a party too.

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Old 10-27-2011, 10:22 AM   #10
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THIS MUST BE SAID: force-carbing young beer, it still tastes like young beer. If you get a keg set-up, a simple/inexpensive CO2-powered filter system is available, which will make young beer taste better... but beer that has not been aged 2-3 weeks after bottling/kegging will not taste ideal under any circumstances, IMO.

Just had to say that. You are all now free to go about your business.

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