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Old 11-05-2012, 01:03 PM   #1
carter840
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Default If you could bottle or keg?

Just wondering for those with kegging equipment, are there any beers you bottle condition instead of force carb? In other words lets say you have a beer that needs 3 months in the bottle, would you force carb it in the keg and then fill bottles. Or would you prime it and let it carb in the bottle?

Does anyone every use their keg simply as a means of force carbing, and then bottle the whole batch?

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Old 11-05-2012, 01:22 PM   #2
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In my case, it depends on the style. Some forms of wheat beer are typically served with the yeast in suspension - i.e. you roll the bottle before pouring, to kick up the yeast. You can't really do that unless you carb in-bottle. Aside from that, I'm 100% force-carbing everything, and if bottling, transfering to bottle. I did this to a barely wine last month - carb'd for 2 weeks, then used a beergun to put it up in bottles. I don't have enough kegs to keep a beer for 1+ years, plus having a long-ageing beer in bottles lets me put some aside for long-term sampling.

Beers with shorter lives I generally serve from the keg.

Bryan



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Old 11-05-2012, 01:29 PM   #3
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For bottled beers, I always naturally prime. If you're going to bottle, it does not add any time to the process to add boiled/dissolved sugar. I get even carbonation every time as long as you wait the 2-4 weeks. I always bottle my bigger beers, (1.070+). I often keep these around for 2 years, so I would not want to tie up a keg for that duration.

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Old 11-05-2012, 01:37 PM   #4
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It depends on what I want, and it's mostly dependent on the style, and whether it's a beer that should naturally carb and or Bottle Condition/Age.

Belgian Beers I think SHOULD be naturally bottle carbed/conditioned, as do huge beers such as barleywines and tripels, they need time in a bottle. Some historical beers I think are better bottle conditioned as well.

Other beers, such as any basic "quaffer" are more enjoyable on tap, cream ales, most lagers, a nice creamy stout on a nitro head.

It really depends on the beer. And I think the person that just slaps ever beer into a keg is missing out.

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Old 11-05-2012, 01:43 PM   #5
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I'll carbonate on gas and then bottle. Its not that much work to bottle from the kegs. Plus you're able to nail the carbonation level and not worry about some bottles being high or low. Plus there's no sediment to deal with. I have some bigger brews aging right now. I plan to keg them, carbonate on gas and then bottle some of them. Most likely I'll do that in the basement (carbonate) since its cool enough.

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Old 11-05-2012, 02:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
I'll carbonate on gas and then bottle. Its not that much work to bottle from the kegs. Plus you're able to nail the carbonation level and not worry about some bottles being high or low. Plus there's no sediment to deal with. I have some bigger brews aging right now. I plan to keg them, carbonate on gas and then bottle some of them. Most likely I'll do that in the basement (carbonate) since its cool enough.
This is basically what I am wondering, I have a belgian strong ale 1.091 that I just started fermenting last night. I know I should bottle, but was wondering if there was any benefit to force carbing and then bottling, or priming and bottling.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by carter840 View Post
This is basically what I am wondering, I have a belgian strong ale 1.091 that I just started fermenting last night. I know I should bottle, but was wondering if there was any benefit to force carbing and then bottling, or priming and bottling.
IMO, the lack of any bottle sediment is one. Another is consistent carbonation. Plus, you can actually set the carbonation level with confidence. IMO/IME, priming with sugar is always a crap shoot. Sure, you can get it carbonated decently, but did you hit the level you wanted? If the bottles start to go too far it's a PITA to get them to not over-carbonate. Then there's the amount of time you have to wait to get a bigger brew to carbonate. With the slow forced method, 2-3 weeks and it should be carbonated fully. Plus, it won't go over what the pressure you set it to will provide, at temperature.

When I first started kegging I was bottling half of the batches and kegging the other half (did the keg first). I did that for all of two batches before I just got more kegs for all of each batch.

I have a 15%+ barleywine that I started on 10/27 that I'll be putting into keg to carbonate and then bottle as needed/desired. Going that route means I can keep the batch in bulk form longer, to get more even aging of all of it. Also don't need to worry (at all) about bottle bombs.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by carter840 View Post
Just wondering for those with kegging equipment, are there any beers you bottle condition instead of force carb?[...]
Nope. None. Nada. Zip.
All kegs, all force carbed, all the time...

Cheers!
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:29 PM   #9
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Sounds good, thanks for all of your input.

This Quad I just brewed will sit in primary for 3 weeks, than 2 weeks in secondary, than 2 weeks in keg at 14 PSI and then in bottles for 1 month. I will likely drink some out of the keg too. It can be hard to wait though, honestly.

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Old 11-05-2012, 04:37 PM   #10
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I have some Bret B beers that will take awhile to age, so they are in the bottles. Most of the time I make 5.5 gallons and keg 5 and bottle the other small amount. I almost all ways carb in the bottle and force the kegs.



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