Bottles Vs. Kegs

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Rhys

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I'm sure this has been asked many times before, but my search-fu is weak. I'm just getting started, and I'm curious if there is any major reason to select kegs over bottles or bottles over kegs? Does the beer keep longer one way or the other, is one or the other significantly cheaper both initialy and say 10-15 batches down the road, convenience etc... My Wife is already liking the idea of kegs just because of the number of bottles involved.
 

The Pol

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Bottling is cheap... but time consuming... you also have to sanitize all those bottles! Kegging is pricey, but convenient... and you can draw a draft as tall or short as you like! The ONLY drawback to kegging is price, for the equipment and the kegerator. I keg, and I would never go back!
 

Nurmey

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These kegs use CO2 for pushing the beer. The kegs that are rented and pumped using air go bad within a day or so but with CO2 it can be kept for months.
 

The Pol

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I have had beer in kegs for months and months and it has been spectacular.... it never lasts long enough to go bad.
 

Flic

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Although I would like to get a small kegerator at some point, I like bottling. Just bottled a Stone IPA clone yesterday and I may be one of the few that enjoy doing it. I tend to give bottles away to friends/family so they can try my brews and I would not be able to do that with a keg. I recycle my bottles so after I drink one, I clean it real good and store it. On bottling day, all I have to do is sanitize. I can't justify the expense of a kegging system right now...
 

brewNdrink

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I'm sure this has been asked many times before, but my search-fu is weak. I'm just getting started, and I'm curious if there is any major reason to select kegs over bottles or bottles over kegs? Does the beer keep longer one way or the other, is one or the other significantly cheaper both initialy and say 10-15 batches down the road, convenience etc... My Wife is already liking the idea of kegs just because of the number of bottles involved.
Another alternative to a full keg system is the tap-a-draft:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/tap-draft-first-impression-60237/

Bottling and cleanup is a snap.
 

jwenker1

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I started out bottling beer and I have switched to kegging about one month ago and I have also used a tap a draft system. I would really reccomend keggin. Bottling is cheap but extrememly time consuming. I wasnt really happy with the party pig or the tap-a-draft system, it seemed like I was constanty going through co2 cartidges. Kegging is a more expenive option but I feel is that it is well worth the money it takes to get set up. If you can find any space in your house/garage/basement, just look for a used fridge on craigslist. My system was under 200$ for everything, and I couldnt be happier. I spend so much less time cleaning and trying to get the carbonation right and I have much more time to enjoy my beer. Just my opinion.

James
 

WBC

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Kegs do away with carbonation problems altogether. You can have as much or little as you like and no corn sugar to buy. :mug:
 

Parker36

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Kegging is a ton more convenient if only because you only need to clean one vessel vs. 50+. The actual filling/capping of the bottling process is easy, the delabeling/cleaning, not so much. The only downsides to kegging are 1) You never have enough kegs and 2) bottles are convenient for small amounts (either to cellar to test aging, or for giving to friends), with a keg its all or none.
 
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Keeping the wife happy seems a good enough reason to me. :D
This thread should have been locked right then and there!
but since it wasn't....

I do love kegs. The beer does NOT last as long in kegs as bottles, not for any chemical reason, but because it is just so easy to go pull a pint, and with no empty bottles on the counter...it's pretty ez to loos track of how many you've had.

You will want at least a wing capper, and some caps, because it's hard to share beer when it's non portable.

There is some budget concerns with Kegging, but if you are already thinking about it, it's nearly inevitable, you'll end up spending the money anyway, might as well do it now.

IF your wife is on board...Get 'er Done!
 

hoss75

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I would bottle if I had some conveinet little bottling machine that did the trick. I like bottle conditioned beer and to store bigger beers for longer periods bulling one out every few weeks for a couple of years. And I like it for sharing.
However, bottling, even counter pressure fillers, is a pain in the butt. It just become a big mess with bottles everywhere and trying to make sure each and every one is clean and sanitized. And I have stories about bottles blowing up when trying to camp in the desert. I also find kegs are easier to store and stack and take up less room, somehow. You can force carbonate, and chicks dig that.
Ultimately, I really don't think one is better than the other. You really need to go with what you like.
 

Bernie Brewer

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There is nothing like going to the kegerator and pulling a pint of your own. And for travel or sharing, a beer gun or Biermuncher Bottle Filler (do yer own search, I'm too damned lazy right now...) will take care of that for ya.
 

stevea1210

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The amount of time that you save by keggin is amazing. It really is a lot. Between soaking and delabling, rinsing, sanatizing, racking, filling, capping, etc. it takes a while.

IT takes about 1/2 an hour to keg a batch. and like bernie said, the only thing better than pouring a bottle of beer you made yourself, is tapping a pint of beer you made yourself :)
 

Schlenkerla

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The good thing about bottling is you can have a big variety of beers. I have a dedicated beer fridge with lots of beer and cider. If I switch to kegs I won't be able to have as much variety. I think the most I could have is 4 taps. Making room for kegs means I loose quite a bit of shelf space.

I keep thinking about getting kegs for session beers and transporting my beer to parties. Nothing kooler than walking in with a keg, everyone is your buddy.
:rockin:

I've been strongly considering one of these....



 

Shonuff

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bottlling sucks monkey balls. I wouldn't brew nearly as much if I had to bottle each batch.
 

Chriso

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It was barely a "choice" for me. I bottled my first 5 or 6 batches, and by then, my wrists/hands were suffering badly enough that I was debating quitting the hobby already. I switched to kegging, and all is much better after that.

Well, except all the friends and family that whiiiine that I never bottle any beer for them. Kegs only last about 2-3 weeks around these parts.... then they're empty, and onto the next. :p
 

mysteryberto

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I keg all my beer. I don't really feel it limits me because I have Biermuncher bottle filler. I drink the majority of the beer from the keg and then bottle a six pack or so from each keg.
 
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My brewing slowed way down because I hated bottling so much I didn't even like to get started on another batch. Plus, I could only keep a few batches max around because of the space bottles take up.

I switched to kegging recently and quickly reached keezer/brewing bucket capacity. I am now in the unenviable position of having to increase consumption to keep up with brewing fun. Feel sorry for me?

:mug:

That said, I can now stomach the thought of bottling again because I don't ~have~ to bottle anything. I'll gladly bottle beers that I don't want to keep in kegs - big beers, gift batches, etc. They do definitely have their place, bottles.
 
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Rhys

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Well I guess it's a give kegs are the way to go. Was doing some looking and found an initial setup at AHS that sets you up for kegs right from the beginning. By the time you add in a 40 quart pot and the glass carboy for secondary it right about $500. I figure that would give a good start and aditional kegs and Carboys can be added relatively cheap in the future. Now I just neew to finish my basement then we can get cookin.
 

The Pol

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Kegging is the way to go, it is hard to transport a few brews to a friends house, but eh, I dont need my friends drinking my brew anyway! KegConnection is a GREAT place to get kegging setups, far cheaper than AHS, NB, B3 etc...

____________________________________
Primary- AIR
Secondary- Fire In The Hole
Keg1- Centennial Blonde
Keg2- Oktoberfest
Keg3- Christmas Spice Ale
Keg4- AIR
Keg5- AIR
Keg6- AIR
Keg7- AIR
Keg8- AIR
 

bmckee56

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I have lots of caps and corn sugar (unused of course) to anyone in the Pittsburgh area that wants it. I keg of course, but I am new at this and have never tried bottling beer. Only wine in bottles at this time, but I may try kegging some of that too!

Salute! :mug:
 
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