kegging vs. bottling

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Dkidwell83

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I have been butting heads with myself over whether to bottle or keg. to me kegging seems like much less of a hassle. also the main reason for wanting to keg is i want nitrogen carbonation. It's just so much smoother than CO2 is and I think it would be quite interesting on a red ale. but whats the cost difference assuming that i have no keggging equipment or bottles or anything for either way. how much will it cost for both of them and what are some of the pros and cons for each.
 

fritz_monroe

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I don't own kegging equipment yet, and that is a yet. I will eventually go to kegs. I don't really have a good place for a kegerator yet. I also take my beer camping, and I'm not satisfied quite yet with the options of bottling kegged beer.

My biggest reason I'll go to kegs is I don't like capping. If I picked up a bench capper, it may be better, but that's the 1 thing I really don't like about brewing.

As for cost, if you have no bottles or kegs, I'd think that kegging would be slightly more expensive. A keg setup at B3 is $180. If you went the cheapest way for bottles, it would be $14 for a capper, $20 a case for bottles, $4 for a bottling wand, $4 for caps and $12 for a bottling bucket. That's about $75 to get set up for 2 cases of bottles. But the ease of bottling day putting it into kegs would be a huge difference.
 

waskelton4

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Dkidwell83 said:
i want nitrogen carbonation.
I'm just repeating what i've previously read. but..

Keep in mind that you can't actually "carbonate" with nitrogen.. carbonation comes from carbon dioxide.

If you use beer gas then you'll get some carbonation via the CO2/nitrogen mix. I'm guessing that is what you want to use.

From what I understand.. Nitrogen doesn't dissolve into beer so it won't make it fizzy at all.

someone correct me if I am wrong...


ws
 
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Dkidwell83

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but what about guiness and wexford and other beers of that nature. they have a widget in the bottle that releases nitrogen into the brew. its a much smoother drink.
 

Flyin' Lion

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What you're looking for is beergas, it's a mixture of Co2 and Nitro. I forget the percentages, but I think it can be filled in a Nitrogen bottle. I believe Guiness has some level of Co2 in it, but don't take my word for it. Someone more knowledgeable is bound to chime in.
 
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Do yourself a favor. Find a gas company that sells the beer gas combination and ask if they require a N tank or will they use CO2 tanks. Don't buy anything until you get this answer.



http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/Hi-Res/nitro system.pdf

Using the Nitrogen Kegging System
Method A –

This method assumes that you already have a separate
CO2 cylinder and regulator. The beer is carbonated to
a very low level with pure CO2, then dispensed at a
high pressure using beer gas.
1. Cold-condition the beer for several weeks to
maximize yeast flocculation; alternatively, use a
fining such as gelatin or isinglass. This will help
prevent the restrictor disc in the faucet from
becoming clogged.
2. Rack the beer to the keg and chill to facilitate
absorption of gas.
3. Force-carbonate the beer with CO2 only to
approximately 2 vols of CO2. Refer to the
following chart to find the correct regulator setting
based on the temperature of your beer.
3. Disconnect the CO2 and relieve any pressure in the
headspace of the keg.
4. Connect the nitrogen regulator/cylinder assembly
to the keg. Back the adjusting screw on the
regulator all the way out.
5. Connect the liquid line to the keg.
6. Open the valve on the cylinder to begin gas flow.
Using the adjusting screw, set dispensing pressure
to 25 psi; pour a sample and adjust dispensing
pressure as necessary.​
Method B -Because the beer is not technically carbonated with
this method, you can save time and skip some of the
steps listed above. However, this method does require
additional components that are not included with this
system. If you use Method B to nitrogenize your beer,
you will first need to attach a stainless steel diffusion
stone to the gas-in dip tube of your keg (use about 2
feet of 1/4” ID tubing for a 5 gallon keg).
1. Cold-condition the beer for several weeks to
maximize yeast flocculation; alternatively, use a
fining such as gelatin or isinglass. This will help
prevent the restrictor disc in the faucet from
becoming clogged.
2. Keg the beer and chill to 35°F.
3. Connect the nitrogen regulator/cylinder assembly
to the keg, open the valve on the cylinder and set
the pressure to 15 psi. Allow keg to pressurize for
one hour.
4. Close the cylinder valve and relieve pressure in the
headspace of the keg.
5. Connect the liquid line to the keg.
6. Open the cylinder valve. Using the adjusting screw,
set dispensing pressure to 35 psi and pour a
sample; adjust pressure as necessary.​
 

mew

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The widget in Guinness has a little hole in it to shoot a stream of nitrogen through the beer as it's being poured. It is a similar effect to shaking it up, as no nitrogen is dissolved in solution. That's my take on it.
 
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There's been talk, but I have yet to see any homebrewer utilize any of the Guinness widget technology. It appears to be beyond the homebrewer.
 

waskelton4

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olllllo said:
There's been talk, but I have yet to see any homebrewer utilize any of the Guinness widget technology. It appears to be beyond the homebrewer.
Define "Utilize" :)

I used a few once... just to see what would happen..

my wife accedentally opened one of them ( it was either a nut brown ale or a hefe) and it spewed all in her face.. kinda funny if you ask me.. but I don't think she laughed..

FWIW.. I don't actually think that nitrogen gets inside the widget..
From what i understand.. upon bottling.. the already carbed (albiet small) guinness has a drop of liquid nitrogen added to the bottle. when that evaporates it increases head space preassure and pushes beer into the widget. then when opened.. the beer escapes..

This is my understanding on how it works.. (READ: this could be completely wrong)
 

Drunkensatyr

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"The Widget is a small piece of plastic with a minute hole punched into it. The Widget is placed inside the can during the first stage of the packaging process. Guinness spent several years, and tried dozens of prototype widgets before coming up with the right shape, weight and density of plastic found in today's In-Can System.

Once the can is filled with Guinness from the holding vats, it is sealed. Once sealed and chilled, the Guinness inside the can becomes naturally pressurized, and this pressure forces around 1% of the Guinness inside the Widget. The Widget has a small chamber inside which is specifically designed to hold a small amount of Guinness which flows in through a very small opening in the underside of the widget.

When the can is opened, the contents reach normal atmospheric pressure. The 1% of Guinness which is held inside the chamber of the Widget is forced out through the small opening in the Widget as the pressure inside and outside the can equalize. The effects is to produce millions of tiny bubbles which rise to the surface and form the familiar, creamy head"
 
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waskelton4 said:
Define "Utilize" :)

I used a few once... just to see what would happen..

my wife accedentally opened one of them ( it was either a nut brown ale or a hefe) and it spewed all in her face.. kinda funny if you ask me.. but I don't think she laughed..
Question self-answered.:D
 
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