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Old 08-28-2012, 01:50 PM   #1
savannahvan
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Default Kegs vs bottles

I am currently fermenting my first brew, but wondering where I should go from there. Wait about 2 weeks, then bottle or keg, yeah?

I've been stashing a ton of bottles, so I'm prepared on that front. But, I'm wondering if I should invest in a keg. What are the pro's and con's of both?

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Old 08-28-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
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I wish I had gone to kegging earlier. I always hated the cleaning and sanitizing and filing of bottles. Then of course you have to wait for them to naturally carbonate.

With a keg you're basically cleaning and sanitizing one "bottle". You can force carbonate so that your beer is ready more quickly. And when you serve your beer you don't have to worry about the sediment in each bottle, or then cleaning and storing those bottles to use again. Plus it's just damn cool to have your own beer on tap.

Though bottles do have some advantages I see. It's easy to give bottles away to friends and family. If you screw up cleaning something you generally only lose a bottle or two rather than losing the whole keg. It's easier to have more varities on hand with bottles. Sometimes on keg you get really bored with that one or two beers you have and just can't wait for the keg to kick so you can get the next one going!

Those are my pros and cons anyway.

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Old 08-28-2012, 01:59 PM   #3
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After bottling my first 5 batches, I kegged my last two. Kegging is the way to go. The obvious is not having to collect, store and sanitize 50 bottles for each batch. I love being able to walk down to my keg fridge and draw a beer off the tap. On the down side it can be a bit pricey to get started. Kegs, C02, taps, lines etc etc can get expensive but once you have all the needed equipment, it's well worth it. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 08-28-2012, 02:03 PM   #4
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Even bottling is easier with a keg.

Seriously. Kegs are ABSOLUTELY a necessity.

Drawback?

There is no sightglass, so short of picking it up you are usually surprised when a keg kicks, you see bottles disapear.

even that aint so bad.

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Old 08-28-2012, 02:04 PM   #5
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I am in the same bucket as you are. I am fermenting my first brew and have put some thought into bottles or kegs. I might have more of an opinion when I have some more experience but for now I am going with bottles. I like variety and once I have a few brews done I don't want to be stuck with one on tap until it is finished. Plus, my wife likes different kinds of beers than I do so I would likely have to invest in a double keg setup to keep her happy. I also like the fact that bottles are easier to transport. If a buddy invites me over to watch a football game I don't have to fill up empty pop bottles to bring my own brew (growlers, I know but I don't have any). Or if a friend helps move a couch or watches the dog I can send them home with a six pack.

I think everyone will have thier own views, you just need to look at your situation and see what will work best for you.

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Old 08-28-2012, 02:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon3 View Post
Even bottling is easier with a keg.

Seriously. Kegs are ABSOLUTELY a necessity.

Drawback?

There is no sightglass, so short of picking it up you are usually surprised when a keg kicks, you see bottles disapear.

even that aint so bad.
Not sure I agree 100% with this. Bottling even just a few off a keg is more of a PITA to me than bottling an entire batch. I use both & like having both, but I wouldn't say kegs are a necessity.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon3 View Post
Even bottling is easier with a keg.
. . .
This. With a #2 drilled stopper and a spare piece of beverage line, you can MacGuyver a counterpressure filler. If you're heading to a party, submitting to a competition, or if you just plain get sick of what you have on tap, it's pretty easy to fill bottles from the keg. I can do a sixer less than 10 minutes including sanitizing and cleanup. And the best part is that there's no sediment in the bottle.

Unless you're hurting for cash and/or space, I can't really see a down side to kegging.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:19 PM   #8
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Simpliest breakdown:

Kegging is easier but more expensive...sometimes has issues

Bottling is cheaper but longer...issues with carbonation or maybe oxidation

Some say (even some breweries) that bottle conditioning leads to a more "velvety" and smoother carbonation.

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Old 08-28-2012, 02:23 PM   #9
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I have had nothing but frustrations with my kegs, still waiting for when it becomes easier...

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Old 08-28-2012, 02:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8shandini View Post

Unless you're hurting for cash and/or space, I can't really see a down side to kegging.
I agree, kegs rock. You can always bottle with no sediment after the fact. And If you plan on drinking your brew that evening or so, just filling up a jug of brew and heading out is no problem at all.

I use a blichman beer gun to fill up a few bottles with each keg I fill and this is nice cause I can put on a few labels and hand them out. Having no sediment is very nice- I hated trying to explain to non-brewers that they should leave the last bit in the bottle.
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