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Old 10-23-2009, 06:26 PM   #1
Montanaandy
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Default Best Route For A Newbie - Bottle Or Keg?

Getting back into home brewing after a 20+ year absence. So much has changed that I am really starting from scratch. This board and you guys and your advice have been fantastic. I have purchased a beginners brewing kit and I am going to follow the Cincy Pale Ale in John Palmer's book which I am using as my guideline. The kit is geared towards bottling (it included what looks like a cap crimper but I still have to purchase bottles and caps).

I was all set to bottle my first attempt but in researching this site I have found threads where more experienced brewers lament the fact that they did not go the keggedd/corny route from the beginning. It sounds like the corny route is less work in some respects which I would be more than happy with.

Any advice either way would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Montanaandy

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Old 10-23-2009, 06:30 PM   #2
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Answer the following:

Do you think you'll be at this a while (a period of years)?
Do you have the space to devote to the kegging equipment?
Do you have the money to devote to the initial equipment investment?

If you answered NO to any of those questions, you may want to bottle for a few before diving into kegging.

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Old 10-23-2009, 06:34 PM   #3
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+1 to answering those questions. Although it sounds like you know what you're getting into. I bought cornies and built my kegerator even before my first brew! So yeah, do what fits best for ya! There's no pre requesites here.

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Old 10-23-2009, 06:35 PM   #4
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Kegging is a wonderful thing, but the above is correct. If you have the money and space.. keg... if not bottle. Bottling is my least enjoyable part of making beer. Haveing the kegs now is just the best!

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Old 10-23-2009, 06:40 PM   #5
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There is one question that you might want to add to that series. I left it off because I was on the fence but I'm starting to think it is really very relevant:

Do you have a good mechanical aptitude for design, assembly and troubleshooting a closed air system?

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Old 10-23-2009, 06:46 PM   #6
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Some of us actually like bottling.

1. Easy portion control.
2. Low cost (especially if you reuse commercial bottles).
3. Unlimited variety of beers on hand.
4. Portable and easy to share with friends.

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Old 10-23-2009, 06:49 PM   #7
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All good advice.

One thing to consider. If you keg, you can still bottle some of your beer. It's a bit more difficult to keg if you only have bottles.

I'd say start by bottling a batch or two. You'll know after that whether or not you want to keg. Trust me you'll know.

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Old 10-23-2009, 06:54 PM   #8
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There are good reasons for bottling but the OP did say that the drop in labor with kegs was the attractor. I didn't address the differences between bottling and kegging, though once one has the kegging gear in place, there is nothing stopping people from bottling their kegged beer.

Once the keg gear is in place, the user can still bottle their kegged beer and gain all the advantages of both systems.

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Old 10-23-2009, 07:25 PM   #9
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Regarding some of the questions:

1. I would like to do this for years to come and don't see why I would not unless I am a complete tool and can't get the hang of it. I am a good cook and a foodie and I love the taste of good beer paired with my meals.
2. I have a large unfinished portion of my basement where my kids used to play roller hockey to give you an idea of the space size. I can store all of the equipment down there
3. I can afford it but I don't need everything the top of the line - just decent equipment

My main goal is to be able to produce and consume the best tasting beer that I can as easily as is humanly possible

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Old 10-23-2009, 07:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanaandy View Post
Regarding some of the questions:

1. I would like to do this for years to come and don't see why I would not unless I am a complete tool and can't get the hang of it. I am a good cook and a foodie and I love the taste of good beer paired with my meals.
2. I have a large unfinished portion of my basement where my kids used to play roller hockey to give you an idea of the space size. I can store all of the equipment down there
3. I can afford it but I don't need everything the top of the line - just decent equipment

My main goal is to be able to produce and consume the best tasting beer that I can as easily as is humanly possible
I think you're gonna fit right in, welcome aboard!
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