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Old 08-28-2008, 12:23 AM   #1
woodbridgebrew
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Default Some ?'s about kegs v. bottles

hi all,

I am fairly new to brewing and this site but have been reading it for about a month now and appreciate all the knowledge you have shared. I now have my first all grain in bottles and cant wait to see if i screwed it up or not. I have been reading a lot lately about corney kegging beer rather than bottling and i have a few questions before i start to invest money into a kegging system.

what are the major advantages of kegs?

what and are there advantages to bottles instead of kegs?

Does beer keep as long in kegs as it does in bottles?


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Old 08-28-2008, 12:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodbridgebrew
what are the major advantages of kegs?
Speed. You rack to the keg, put the lid on, seal it with CO2 and then cool it while it carbonates. You also don't have the washing of all those bottles. Another reason, quite seriously, is that it's damn cool to say in casual conversations "I've got three/five/eight/ beers on tap at home".

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodbridgebrew
what and are there advantages to bottles instead of kegs?
Variety. I like variety in my beer and swapping out kegs isn't a viable option for me (nor is building a bigger kegerator). I bottled, went to kegs and then went back to bottling because in general, I find it more enjoyable.

Another one is initial investment. You can have friends toss bottles into a box, or drink lots of beer yourself, or as a recycling center or bar for bottles but finding free/cheap kegging equipment is a bit harder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodbridge
Does beer keep as long in kegs as it does in bottles?
Given proper conditions for both, yeah. (As in no leaky kegs, no bottle bombs, bottled stored reasonably out of light).


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Old 08-28-2008, 02:18 AM   #3
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I have both and still do both.

I had bottles for over 10 years then went to kegs.

As already mentioned, kegging is fast and the brew can store forever...and the bragging rights about having brews on tap at home are great.

With bottles you can share easier...take several samples in a case on the road or to friends houses. Of course, you can do the same with a keg too, but you also have to take tap/lines and CO2 tank along.
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:02 AM   #4
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I don't miss bottling at all and kegging has been great for me. I don't have anything fancy just 2 kegs with picnic taps. I also like the fact that you can drink a pint or 4 ounces if that is what you want.

You can always bottle some out of kegs if you need to take them somewhere.
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:10 AM   #5
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I try to keep three "standards" on tap in the Kegerator at all times: IPA, stout and ordinary bitter. But in the winter I brew lagers and dopplebocks with which to toast the spring equinox, in the spring I like to do the occasional nut-brown, etc. So I end up doing about half and half of both.

Bottles aren't bad IF -- IF you RELIGIOUSLY rinse and seal each bottle after you drink it. If you do that, you'll never need a bottle brush. Just pop the tops, sanitize 'em and fill 'em up. But kegs are easier. You'll probably end up wanting to do both.

Have fun!
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:08 AM   #6
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Everything that everyone has said above is true and accurate with regard to the pros and cons of bottling and kegging. I will only add that there is nothing quite like the feeling you get after pulling a pint for the first time off a tap in your own house! That is, until you pull your second pint!

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Old 08-28-2008, 11:54 AM   #7
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I am nearly finished with my 2-keg system, but I can't see me not bottling. I will likely keep a session beer on tap and maybe a soda for the kids, or a second beer. But i like variety, so I'll probably still bottle bigger beers, or just beers that I dont' have kegs for.

I'll probably keep a 3rd keg on hand for conditioning while I'm drinking the one in the fridge.

Keep in mind that you can bottle your beer right from the keg if you use a pressurized filling system, like Biermunchers Beer Gun. So if you want to take some to a small party, or just give out a 6er, it's not hard.

My main reason for kegging was to get rid of some of the PITA of bottling, and to get my own beer supply in my computer room. Now I have a fridge with room for bottles of pop, store-bought beer, or even ice cream in the fridge. PLUS the beer on tap!
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:56 PM   #8
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I'd like to add, not sure if I missed it, if it's been mentioned forgive me . Kegs take up way less space. In the space of 4 kegs, that's ~20 gallons you can store about 3 cases if you stack them which is around 7.5 gallons. They might be a little taller than 3 cases, but I think the cases are a touch wider maybe. Not entirely sure. But bottles always have merit! I always put special brews into the bottle, stuff that has to age a while which is usually high alcohol anyway.
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:00 PM   #9
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I just recently switched to kegging. I didn't have any space to store bottles anymore, and that was only 3 batches worth of bottles. I have 6 kegs and they don't take up as much room as the 3 batches of bottles. I'm still keeping 24 22oz bottles around, and I have a porter that's hanging out until I drink it, but after I'm done, those bottles are going bye-bye.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:06 AM   #10
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thanks, great advice, i never thought about doing both, looks like im gonna start saving to invest in a kegging system


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