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Old 06-07-2008, 07:35 PM   #1
BrosBrew
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Default Pros and Cons to Bottle vs Keg

So I am, as many of you probably figured out, very new to this hobby. I tried to look for a thread to answer this question but to no avail. So what are the pros and cons to bottling your beer vs kegging your beer?

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Old 06-07-2008, 07:43 PM   #2
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If you can afford to keg then I would recommend it highly. It's just great.

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Old 06-07-2008, 07:49 PM   #3
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Bottle Pros:
Easy to save a few for later
Cheap
Bottled beer is real ale
Few materials needed

Bottle Cons:
Can take a lot of time (depends on the brewer and brewing frequency)
Can't force carb for quick brews and some say clean taste

Keg Pros:
Doesn't take much time
Increased gadgetry
Can change carbonation level
Can force carb

Keg Cons:
Expensive
More things to mess with
Uses more energy
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:06 PM   #4
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To put it another way...it's all about time and money.

Bottling takes time and kegging takes money...

If you have the time (but little money) then bottling is not problem, a hassle, maybe, but...and if you have more expendable income (for supplies) then kegging may be the way to go for you.

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Old 06-07-2008, 08:45 PM   #5
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What about the routine maintenance associated with kegging? Sure it's easier to fill up a keg vs. filling up bottles, but how much time is spent daily and at the end of the keg? Maybe it's not that significant (and maybe it is), but with bottling, once you've got it in the bottle, you're done except for the rinsing. And the sanitizing before next use can be pretty easy with a dishwasher.

(I'm sincere about this because I've been contemplating kegging. I guess Im just wondering if some of the reasons many do it is because it's cool and they hate the tedium of filling bottles, even though when the amount of time spent on routine maintenance is thrown in, it might not be that much more time effective.)

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Old 06-07-2008, 08:49 PM   #6
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Kegging doesn't require that much maintenance at all. Clean it out when empty, clean the lines and faucets. (People do this at varying intervals, so the work involved here depends on how often you choose to clean your lines). Other than that, not much to it. Still takes less time than bottling.

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Old 06-07-2008, 09:29 PM   #7
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I'm with Mckbrew- I don't do any routine maintanence type stuff, and since I'm using cobra taps, no faucets to clean. When the keg is empty, I rinse it out. I sanitize it, and then fill with brew. I do sometimes take off the posts and clean it well, and inspect the o-rings, but that's still about what? 5 minutes?

I thought kegging would be tougher than it is. It's a piece of cake, and if I want to bring a growler or two with me out fishing or to to cottage, or even fill plastic soda bottles for the lake, it takes a couple of minutes or less. No way would I want to go back to bottling!

One of the other things I like is that when I do take some homebrew with me, there is NO sediment at all. So, I can throw a bottle in my fishing gear and not worry about careful pours and mixing it up. My non-homebrew making friends really appreciated this!

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Old 06-07-2008, 09:55 PM   #8
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I love kegging beer as it is easier. Yes it is more expensive initially for the equipment but once that is paid for there is only CO2 to buy but if you brew large quantities and don't keg you have to bottle all that beer. That is why I keg. I can still counterpressure fill bottles when I need them.

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Old 06-07-2008, 11:19 PM   #9
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Can you still fill bottles of keg brew and cap them and still retain adequate carbonation for later enjoyment?

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Old 06-07-2008, 11:20 PM   #10
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Absolutely.
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