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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Finally kegging now. Has anyone else noticed a big improvement in flavor (like me)?

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Old 12-31-2010, 04:23 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by culturejam View Post
I think kegging is better for certain styles. The refermentation during bottling does change the flavor a bit, and I think some styles benefit from the flavor addition, while others are better with the cleaner taste of artificially injected CO2.

For example, I think the stronger Belgians are better bottle conditioned, but something like a Kölsch or Cream Ale tastes better on tap.

It's all personal preference, though, of course.
i agree. very malty beers seem to benefit from the additional fermentation time bottling (but i don't like malt, and am a hophead). most of my kegs are full, but i have probably over 200 empty bottles in the garage. i guess i could find them, if i looked under the tallest piles of dust
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by culturejam View Post
I think kegging is better for certain styles. The refermentation during bottling does change the flavor a bit, and I think some styles benefit from the flavor addition, while others are better with the cleaner taste of artificially injected CO2.

For example, I think the stronger Belgians are better bottle conditioned, but something like a Kölsch or Cream Ale tastes better on tap.

It's all personal preference, though, of course.
This is my thoughts as well. It seems some beer from the tap is just plain better, while others seem to be great after some weeks bottle conditioning.

I recently made a ten gallon batch of my pale ale (with lots of hops). I kegged five gallons and bottle-conditioned five gallons. The kegged version was delicious after a week in the keg, and was gone by three. The bottled version took four weeks to taste "clean", and by then the fresh dry-hop taste was diminished from what was in the kegged version. This proves to me that THIS beer is better kegged. I need to do this with more beers. I suspect most Belgian beer (and many other styles) might have opposite results.
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:25 AM   #13
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I'm not sure I believe that. For one thing, nobody has the data to say that conclusively as nobody collects it. For another thing almost all of the prolific competition winners fill from kegs (I know one that does not and he also brews extract). Is that to say kegging is better? No. It's more like the all grain vs extract thing. The best brewers on balance happen to have been brewing longer and you tend to pick up all grain and kegging over time.
Believe what you want. I don't even know HOW he knew this unless he looked at the forms later. I'm just telling you what he told me.
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:31 AM   #14
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That's fascinating to me. Of course, kegging is just out of the question for me. Just no space. I plan on getting 2 batches going one right after the other, but the hell if I know where I'm even going to stash the bottles! To be honest, I'm not too happy with the carbonation I've gotten out of the 1st 2 batches. Not too bad, mind you, but I upped the corn sugar on batch #2 but the it's not any more carbed than batch #1. I envy those who are able to keg!

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Old 12-31-2010, 07:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by remilard View Post
The best brewers on balance happen to have been brewing longer and you tend to pick up all grain and kegging over time.
This makes the most sense to me. Beginners often start out with extract recipes, and bottle conditioning as it's the easiest and the kits come with it. They end up wanting to try more challenging recipes as they get better at brewing, and eventually nail down their skills. I bet if an experienced brewer switched back to a bottle conditioning or use extract, their beer would taste great, and much better than a beginner brewer who think they have gotten better at brewing after a few batches.
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:56 PM   #16
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A friend says bottle conditioned beers are better, but not sure I agree with my limited experience so far. I started bottling, but have since moved to kegging. The last two brewdays I've gone from 1 10 gal batch to two 10 gal batches. Since this has really pumped up the pipeline, I have to bottle some because of my limited keg supply. I have a Belgian Strong Ale bottled for 5 weeks and its twin 5 gal batch kegged. The kegged version tastes at least as good as the bottle. One bottle had a nice head, another not so much, so I think there is some variability amongst bottles in terms of carbing. The keg-carbed beers are easier to control the carb level.

I'll be testing this with a Choc Oatmeal Milk Stout and a Pale over the next month as I plan to bottle half of these. I was able to carb up one batch of the Pale and Oatmeal stout to drinkable levels in a few days by shaking while under 30 psi in my 35 deg garage several times a day. The stout was actually amazing considering it's only21 days old. I love the ability to have a new beer carbed up for sampling in such a short time.

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Old 12-31-2010, 02:38 PM   #17
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I've noticed that some of my bottles have an off taste as well. I have been cleaning with Oxyclean, rinsing with tap water and then sanitizing with iodophor. I'm going to skip the oxyclean step for bottles that were rinsed properly and see if the flavor goes away.

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Old 12-31-2010, 04:24 PM   #18
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i'm guessing it's the advancement of your skills as well. after you've kegged a few batches, bottle one and see how good it tastes. i agree that hitting the exact carbonation is tricky with bottles, but if you know what temperature it finished fermenting at and have a scale, you should be able to get pretty close. i still bottle a batch from time to time (big beers or ones that i want to keep around a long time) and they taste just as good as the kegged batches.

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Old 12-31-2010, 05:12 PM   #19
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I can't say I've had any problems with my bottle conditionned beers, but it's normal that a beer that was carbed using yeast will taste different than a beer that was carbed with CO2. But I agree that it's easier to "mess up" bottling moreso than kegging, especilly with temperature swings and storage issues. A keg will go straight to the freezer/fridge, while bottles oftentimes hang around a basement where temperatures might vary.

The fact that you also have to wait for bottle carbonation from the yeast means that styles that are meant to be enjoyed fresh might suffer a bit (namely low gravity beers, such as milds) or ones that have an agressive and assertive hop character (pale ales, IPAs, etc.). For me, it's a small price to pay: hop more to compensate or buy upwards of 100$ of extra stuff

But I would love to keg if I had the opportunity to.

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Old 01-27-2011, 06:55 PM   #20
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I'm on my 3rd kegged batch now (after approx 30 bottled batches) and I still can't believe how good my beer tastes. I never produced anything like this in bottles even after weeks/months of aging (and I have scored well in comps - 40+ several times). Maybe it was my bottling process but I have scrutinized that beyond recognition. The flavor I seemed to always be fighting was in my estimation acetalhyde which I just thought I would forever be dealing with.

I am so glad I'm kegging now! Best move I ever made.

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