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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Keg vs bottles
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:04 PM   #11
AmandaK
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Kegging
Pros:
  • Saves time in packaging
  • Easier to clean one package than 50 packages
  • No capping 50 bottles
  • No risk of bottle bombs
Cons:
  • Much more expensive than bottling, unless you happen into it for free
  • Draft lines, O-rings, faucets, etc, etc need replacing/cleaning
  • CO2 leaks are a HUGE PITA - nothing worse than trying to pull a pint and getting nothing
  • CO2 fills are not convient for a lot of people
  • Kegerators need cleaning, keezers need a lot more cleaning

That being said, I bottle almost everything even though I have a keezer and 6 kegs. I keep two kegs on tap at all times (two low gravity beers for home drinking) and use my other 4 kegs for lagering/holding sanitizer or PBW.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
I can clean, sanitize and bottle an entire batch in about 1.5 hours solo, about 45-60 minutes with a helper.
And this is the one big benefit I'm surprised nobody's pointed out yet - the time and effort difference. Yes, some folks like duboman find a certain zen in the act of bottling - but that's a lot of cleaning and sanitizing right there to get all those bottles done.

Me? I clean my kegs when they get empty, then fill them up with a couple gallons of sanitizer and pressurize them, so they're ready to go come filling time. On filling day, I simply use the sanitizer in them to sanitize my autosiphon, rack the fermenter to the keg, and I'm done - takes about 15 minutes tops. Maybe 30, if you count the effort of cleaning the keg too. You just can't say the same for the effort of cleaning and sanitizing, then filling and capping 50 or 60 bottles. Most folks don't find that effort particularly fun. Maybe you do - more power to you if you do!
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:15 PM   #13
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If you get used to bottling you can do it as duboman said in an hour and a half or an hour if somebody helps you. Bottling can be a PITA at the begining but gets a lot easier when you are used to it.

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Old 10-19-2012, 03:17 PM   #14
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And this is the one big benefit I'm surprised nobody's pointed out yet - the time and effort difference. Yes, some folks like duboman find a certain zen in the act of bottling - but that's a lot of cleaning and sanitizing right there to get all those bottles done.

Me? I clean my kegs when they get empty, then fill them up with a couple gallons of sanitizer and pressurize them, so they're ready to go come filling time. On filling day, I simply use the sanitizer in them to sanitize my autosiphon, rack the fermenter to the keg, and I'm done - takes about 15 minutes tops. Maybe 30, if you count the effort of cleaning the keg too. You just can't say the same for the effort of cleaning and sanitizing, then filling and capping 50 or 60 bottles. Most folks don't find that effort particularly fun. Maybe you do - more power to you if you do!
It's even easier when you clean multiple kegs at a time. Hot PBW, and just jump it from out post to out post from keg to keg, adding a little extra PBW as you go down the line as needed. Followed by jumping 5 gallons of star san. Sanitized and oxygen purged kegs ready when you need them.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:19 PM   #15
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For me... it saves my back from cleaning 60 bottles for each beer!

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Old 10-19-2012, 03:31 PM   #16
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For me... it saves my back from cleaning 60 bottles for each beer!
Two great things for that: Bottling Tree & Pump Rinser. I'll never bottle without those two things again.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:42 PM   #17
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I do both. Kegging is much easier IMO. Yes it is more expensive up front but having draft beer is nice. Carbing time is really about the same. I save maybe a week with Kegging. I like to bottle anything 9% and up because I find it dangerous to have that stuff on tap (and expensive). It is also easier to age big beers in the bottle since its not quite as "easy" to drink it all. If I want to take legged beer anywhere I just fill up a growler or two. Easy. ~Slante~

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Old 10-19-2012, 03:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
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For me... it saves my back from cleaning 60 bottles for each beer!
No need to hurt your back. Rinse out the bottle as soon as it's poured and set it aside. When ever is convenient put the empties on a bottle tree to dry.
Once dry store them for the next bottling session.
No need for long drawn out bottle cleaning sessions when a rinse and dry will do.
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongrel
It's even easier when you clean multiple kegs at a time. Hot PBW, and just jump it from out post to out post from keg to keg, adding a little extra PBW as you go down the line as needed. Followed by jumping 5 gallons of star san. Sanitized and oxygen purged kegs ready when you need them.
Very true but both of you are not factoring in the time involved when you actually have to take everything apart like lines, taps, replace rings and tubes and everything else involved.

If you are not doing these things on a regular basis then you are opening yourselves up to a waiting infection. Simply flushing hot cleaner and then sanitizer is not adequate.

I know 2 separate brewers that list batches of beer to infection and spent days figuring out through their legging system. Once they took everything apart they were astounded at the gook and crud they found in the connections throughout and wound up having to replace many components. They always assumed the flushing and sanitizing was adequate.

To me, to spend 45-90 minutes twice a month with a friend or two having some beer and watching some sports is really no big deal, after all, in the end the effort was spent packaging my tasty home brew!
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:30 PM   #20
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One other thing you can do. When I keg, I always fill up a sixer or two and just use carb tabs. That way I have a few to give away if I want.

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