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Old 03-09-2009, 12:17 AM   #1
lowend
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Default Kegging vs. bottling.

I think that most people would agree that draft beer is noticeably better than bottled. Is it the same for homebrew? I have almost 10 batches under my belt and I'm thinking about getting into kegging. I'm wondering if the taste difference alone is worth the investment (not to mention the time that will be saved).

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Old 03-09-2009, 03:44 AM   #2
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There are a number of advantages to kegging. I think most favor it for the ease of packaging, plus it allows some flexibility on carbonating different styles of beers at different carbonation levels. No sediment in your bottles either. As for taste, I'm sure there are different opinions out there, but I really don't notice that big of a difference.

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Old 03-09-2009, 04:00 AM   #3
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I'm not sure if taste is really an issue. The coveinance of draft beer is a benefit, but can also be a curse since it seems like a keg goes faster than bottles (at least to me). The time saving is also a plus.

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Old 03-09-2009, 04:14 AM   #4
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Then there's the coolness factor of having your own beer on tap.

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Old 03-09-2009, 05:28 AM   #5
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IMHO kegging is THE way to go. I started my hobby out with buying the "bottling super deluxe all hail the master kit". Yup...all hail the master at bottling 27 22oz bottles. AND...if I wanted to do that super double brew day because brewing is so cool...I "forgot" about the bottling experience. And in my luck, I experienced the temperature gradient layer effect - the one where your primer mixture would invariably end up in the first/last half of the bottles so you ended up with 12 or so bottles super carbonated and the others relatively flat. If you can imaging filling only one bottle and not dealing with anything else than that is "bottle" nirvana. I think most people "think" draft beer is better (besides the WHOA you have a kegerator deal) is that your "one" bottle is uniformly carbonated. The time savings are enormous. It takes me 30 - 40 minutes to keg a beer from start to cleaning the carboy. And to add insult to injury to bottling - you can still bottle easily, cheaply and on your own terms. Check out Bobby_M's videos. He has a great video on how to avoid paying massive bucks on some specialized piece of gear (in the spirit of Alton Brown - the unitasker) when you can use stuff you can easily aquire for 1/6th the cost. Link to his video for filling bottles

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Old 03-10-2009, 06:27 AM   #6
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I really want to get into kegging, but it seems to be really expensive. I don't want to have to buy a kegerator to keep it chilled at all times and I've heard that once a beer is tapped it has to be finished within a day or two. Typically, once I start drinking my beer, it lasts me 2-3 weeks at least. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Old 03-10-2009, 06:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowend View Post
I've heard that once a beer is tapped it has to be finished within a day or two.
That is if you are using a hand pump. Home brewers who keg with corny kegs keep their beer pressurized at all times with a tank and regulator. That keeps the beer fresh for a long time, up to several months at least.

As for having draft beer, I think a fridge is a requirement for that.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:49 AM   #8
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Before I bought my second fridge, I considered tearing the shelves out of my main fridge and building a plywood stand for the food items so the fridge would be half kegerator half household fridge

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Old 03-10-2009, 06:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowend View Post
I really want to get into kegging, but it seems to be really expensive. I don't want to have to buy a kegerator to keep it chilled at all times and I've heard that once a beer is tapped it has to be finished within a day or two. Typically, once I start drinking my beer, it lasts me 2-3 weeks at least. Does anyone have any suggestions?
A tapped keg will only last 24 hours or so, if you're using a hand pump to fill the keg with air. If you're using CO2, which pretty much every homebrewer does, it's not an issue. If it takes you 2-3 weeks to float your keg, and you're replacing the beer with CO2, it will last you more than long enough.

Don't buy a kegerator, build one! If you can find a cheap fridge or freezer (maybe even a free one on Craigslist) you can convert it for cheap. Just drill a few holes, build a collar, and install faucets. Honestly, the tap faucets should be the most expensive part of your kegerator.

Note that if you use a freezer instead of a refrigerator, you'll need an external temperature controller to keep it from freezing your beer. They are reasonably cheap.
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llazy_llama View Post
Don't buy a kegerator, build one! If you can find a cheap fridge or freezer (maybe even a free one on Craigslist) you can convert it for cheap. Just drill a few holes, build a collar, and install faucets. Honestly, the tap faucets should be the most expensive part of your kegerator..
If you're just starting out, you don't even really need to go that far. The cheap cobra taps that come with most basic kegging kits will work if/until you decided to invest in something nicer. All you really need is a fridge that's big enough to hold a keg or two.
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