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Old 09-30-2008, 01:13 PM   #1
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Default Consensus on what next after bottles??

Is there any kind of consensus on what is the next step after 48 bottles of brew?

Party Pig? TAP-A-DRAFT? I'm looking for something that is portable.

I have read that

Party Pig has problems with the Pressure Pouch and TAP-A-DRAFT has CO2 problems??

Anyone with GOOD results??

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Old 09-30-2008, 01:28 PM   #2
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Corny kegs are the next step to consider with some sort of draft system.

From what I read, Party-Pig and Tap A Draft are options but everyone(?) who does them seems to go to a full draft system eventually.

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Old 09-30-2008, 01:34 PM   #3
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Two liter bottles, growlers, or really step it up and start kegging. The growlers are not really made to hold pressure so be careful with those, but the two liter bottles are and work great in a pinch. The only draw back is once you open them, you have to drink the contents within a couple hours or it will go flat. There is a special cap that is made that you can pressurize with after opening that will extend shelf life a little (maybe a day or two).

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Old 09-30-2008, 02:31 PM   #4
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I debated getting the portable draft systems (Party Pig and TAP-A-DRAFT) when I decided to move beyond bottling- but I soon realized that they would be an intermediate step between bottling and kegging. If you want portability, a 5 gallon cornie pushed with portable keg chargers are great for parties- but expect to use one disposable CO2 cartridge/gallon in serving. It's easy to modify a 20oz paintball tank to carb/serve.

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Old 09-30-2008, 02:58 PM   #5
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I vote for paying your penance! Get 20,000 bottle caps. When you've used them up, you'll have earned the right to keg....or just consider yourself privileged and get the damn keg setup anyway.
I think that this is an issue (Fought with it for a long time myself) that need not be worked through in steps. Bottles work great, and don't ever expect to get away from them. They are your friend. BUT...If you are certain that you want more...you'll eventually end up with kegs and taps and a spare refrigerator anyway, so why shell out the money on the stuff leading up to it? Just get the kegs to start with.

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Old 09-30-2008, 03:33 PM   #6
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My problem is that I want to make sure I have GOOD beer I can repeat. Plus even though my wife who is all for beer making (even though she is not a beer drinker) has backed me I don't want to shell out big bucks ($200) on 5g batches.

However - I do look at the future as I have a local person watching my progress as an investor and he has mentioned SEVERAL times about starting a brewery / brew pub and backing me financially.

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Old 09-30-2008, 03:40 PM   #7
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22-24 bottles of brew works nicely. Collect USA "Champagne" / sparking wine bottles and /or Martinelli's Sparkling cider bottles. 750ml = Less bottles to fill, good anytime you are sharing a beer with others, no pouch or canister fuss.

Or 7-10 bottles - 2 or 3 liter plastic soda bottles. Won't break at the beach.

Or a mix of all the above. Trick being to have a size or size mixture that suits the amount you are drinking - ie, if having a liter and a half, 2 750mL sparkling wine bottles are better than a 2 or 3 liter soda bottle.

Obviously, store any clear/green bottles in the dark. I just store all bottles in the dark.

Get a bench capper if you don't have one.

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Old 09-30-2008, 03:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
My problem is that I want to make sure I have GOOD beer I can repeat. Plus even though my wife who is all for beer making (even though she is not a beer drinker) has backed me I don't want to shell out big bucks ($200) on 5g batches.
Then it's process and not packaging that you should be focusing on your attention on. Consistent, repeatable results come from dialing in on your equipment and taking good notes to identify future problems, etc. If there is a downside to kegging, it's that the temptation to consume green beer is high because you can force carb in three days. Bottle conditioning helps any harsh notes mellow/flavors mellow as well as carbonating. When I keg, I 'set and forget' @ around 12 psi and let them come to equilibrium-- so those beers might sit for a month before I tap and serve.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinder12000 View Post
However - I do look at the future as I have a local person watching my progress as an investor and he has mentioned SEVERAL times about starting a brewery / brew pub and backing me financially.
The way to ruin a good hobby is to try and make money at it. Suddenly it becomes a job, and "making good beer" is fighting with "fast turnaround" and "less cost" and other detractions. Tread carefully.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecnerwal View Post
The way to ruin a good hobby is to try and make money at it. Suddenly it becomes a job, and "making good beer" is fighting with "fast turnaround" and "less cost" and other detractions. Tread carefully.
AND...
I would not fee comfortable trying to brew commercially knowing full well that brewers with decades more experience and LOADS more technical knowledge...right down to chemical compositions of different hop oils, and tons of formal training, have tried and failed to produce a beer that succeeds in the open market. How many years do you have to apprentice at a brewery before they will let you even touch a hop leaf? And there you are exposed to 10's of thousands of gallons of beer, and you brew nearly every day. Just because you make a beer that you and your friends seem to like ok, doesn't mean that you can make a beer that will compete with the Big Dogs on the Premium Micro Brew shelf....not to say you can't...but it takes as much luck as skill, and those that have been there will usually advise against it...or at least give stern words of caution.
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