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Old 12-24-2012, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Decision time: To bottle or Not to bottle

So, 24 -12oz plastic pet bottles are gonna cost me:
16.99 + 3.99 for the caps totaling 21 bucks... Plus I need a second bucket for bottling 13.99 with the seal. All in all about $35.

Or, I can get me a c-keg (44.95) and this kit (48.35) http://www.heartshomebrew.com/index....roducts_id=565

The second option starts me off in the right direction with a ckeg forcing me to commit and then upgrade later with the co2 tank, regulator et al.

The bottles leave me with plastic pet bottles. (do the seals on the caps wear out? Does the plastic give off flavors?)

So, let me hear all of the pros and cons.

Thanks.

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Old 12-24-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
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PET beer bottles are fine & don't give any plastic flavors. PET doesn't do that. And the lids are good for 6 uses or more,according to the guys on the Cooper's forums. But you can't use brushes on'em,they have to be soaked. & no hot water.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:57 PM   #3
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You won't regret getting into kegging. It opens the doors to alot of things you may not have even thought of. The ability to taste a beer every week or so as it ages has taught me alot about beer and paid big dividends in my results. That said, even after 5 kegs and having a 4 on draft system in my house I still bottle on occasion, even if it's just a 12 pack for gifts. I doubt the dispensing system you posted the link to will carbonate a keg, at least not with one 12 gram Co2 cartridge. I wouldn't be suprised if it took 2 or 3 of those to carbonate a 5 gallon keg. I'd save the $50 and wait til you can afford to do it right...

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Old 12-24-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Demus View Post
You won't regret getting into kegging. It opens the doors to alot of things you may not have even thought of. The ability to taste a beer every week or so as it ages has taught me alot about beer and paid big dividends in my results. That said, even after 5 kegs and having a 4 on draft system in my house I still bottle on occasion, even if it's just a 12 pack for gifts. I doubt the dispensing system you posted the link to will carbonate a keg, at least not with one 12 gram Co2 cartridge. I wouldn't be suprised if it took 2 or 3 of those to carbonate a 5 gallon keg. I'd save the $50 and wait til you can afford to do it right...
Oh... I am planning to carb with sugar in the keg... the CO2 kit will just get it started.

Of course I am thinking about getting a spunge valve to go with becasue of the sugar.

Has anyone ever successfully charge a c keg with sugar and no top off?
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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Another option is to buy beer in re-useable bottles. You get the beer and the bottles.

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Old 12-24-2012, 05:40 PM   #6
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Get creative about getting bottles.

the easiest is just to buy beer that is not in twist off bottles and then reuse them.

Have party beer tasting party and have your friends bring different craft brews. A good night and you should have a good amount of bottles.

Raid the dumpster behind the local bar.

On trash day go through your neighbors recycling bin.

Lots of ways to get bottles without buying them.

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Old 12-24-2012, 05:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beergolf View Post
Get creative about getting bottles.

the easiest is just to buy beer that is not in twist off bottles and then reuse them.

Have party beer tasting party and have your friends bring different craft brews. A good night and you should have a good amount of bottles.

Raid the dumpster behind the local bar.

On trash day go through your neighbors recycling bin.

Lots of ways to get bottles without buying them.
Yes... But then I need to buy a bottle capper... And the thought of manually bottling in glass bottles with the capper... I may as well get the table stand bottle capper.

Meh...
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:12 PM   #8
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The kit linked to is for the tap and carbonation equipment and does not include a keg. That will be another $35 - $55 dollars and maybe shipping charges.

Get brown glass bottles from craft beers, friends, recycling center, neighbor hood bars maybe. Clean them and reuse indefinitely. A capper is not too expensive. A bottling bucket is not too expensive either.

Or go to kegging, but be prepared to shell out a lot of $$.

I will get there eventually but for now I have about 10 different beers in bottles. somewhere between 2 and 56 bottles in each style.

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Old 12-24-2012, 06:30 PM   #9
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Yes... But then I need to buy a bottle capper... And the thought of manually bottling in glass bottles with the capper... I may as well get the table stand bottle capper.

Meh...
A capper is not expensive. I just use a red wing capper and have capped about 190 cases of beer with it.

I don't understand why everyone makes it seem that bottling is such a pain. It is easy if you set yourself up for it. I always bottle while I brew. While strike water is heating, I rack to the bottling bucket. Once I start the mash I can sanitize, fill and cap a batch in 30 minutes. Done...easy..
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:53 PM   #10
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I agree bottling isn't the menace some folks make it out to be. Like anything in this hobby, it has pros and cons. As I said, I have 4 on draft in my kitchen which is the crowning jewel for me. I love the ease of kegging and to be able to sip an ounce or two without opening a bottle has given me a great feel for the effects of aging. That said, I routinlely brew 6 to 6.5 gallon batches so I can have the trasportability and long storage that bottling offers. I have a barley wine I bottled in April 2011; I'd hate to tie up a keg that long!
Bottom line, you can find folks who swear by either bottling or kegging. I tend to choose different tools for different jobs, and the container by beer ends up in is no exception...

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