Party Pig?

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cheezydemon said:
How long do they maintain carbonation?
Indefinitely. I have had partly used kegs sit for a couple months and still have no problem pouring the last few pints of carbonated beverage. That pig was over 4 months old before it was finished.
The pouch has a material in it (baking soda and vinegar I believe) that under goes a chemical reaction that maintains the pressure in the pig. Priming provides the CO2 and the only opening in the bottle, the tap remains under the level of the beer as the pouch takes up the space vacated by beer that is served. The head space remains mostly constant. I only have to tip the pig forward to deliver the last couple of pints.
If you can afford it and have the space for a kegerator, corny kegs are the way to go, if not the pigs are a nice alternative for bottling.

Thanks Craig. I like the portability and the "no Co2 tank".

Ther link was not working for some reason. I found it on a search however. Thumbs down eh? That seems in contrast with cbbaron. Thanks for sharing though.
cheezydemon said:
Ther link was not working for some reason. I found it on a search however. Thumbs down eh? That seems in contrast with cbbaron. Thanks for sharing though.
Their opinion is not really in contrast to mine just different tradeoffs.
Pigs are not the ultimate beer container. They are fairly expensive compared to other solutions but do have a lower cost of entry than kegging. The pouches are a one time use and expensive for a disposable.
Once set up kegging is easier and has a lower per batch costs. Used kegs are also less than pigs. Bottling is cheap and allows for providing a large number of varieties at one time without a huge fridge. PartyPigs fit the middle ground. They work in a regular fridge and are easy to setup for use like bottles but you don't need 50 bottles only 2 pigs.
I still hope to have a kegging setup at some point, until then I will use the 2 pigs I have. Its hard to justify buying more as I don't plan on using them much long term.

Thanks Craig. I have a good sized house, garage and basement, but I also have 3 kids. So space, storage, and time are a premium for me. This sounds like a good tool to have.
A possible alternative....
Apparently you can re-use non Heineken mini kegs using the tap-a-draft system. So, instead of buying a party pig and continuing to buy pouches you can just purchase the tap-a-draft (cheaper), plus a specific stopper and a mini keg of Spaaten.

I have yet to test it out but the guy who runs my lhbs says it works great. I have a batch in secondary now that I may get around to bottling and of course minikegging this weekend. I'll definitely post on how easy/hard it is and the quality once I have the results.
Thanks! Is that one of those that uses gravity to dispense already carbed beer? It wouldn't be good for storage in that case. If you had used it once the headspace would allow the beer to go flat.
Interesting. I am pretty handy, but for some reason "self contained" sounds awfully tempting. Maybe it is because I have 3 kids.

Quite interesting though!
No, it actually uses CO2 to dispense the beer, not gravity. The Tap-a-Draft system uses the little CO2 cartridges and you can get a plug for the top of the keg. After carbonated you tap it and you have beer. Should keep for a very long time. Hopefully I'll bottle this weekend and see how it goes.
Been busy, hoping to bottle on Sunday. I will definitely put up an update when I finish. Now I'm off to Denver.
I finally bottled/kegged the batch.
My thoughts:
First, it didn't save much, if any time by using 1 mini-keg and bottling the rest, if I had a second keg I think it would be a lot better.

To prime, I added 39g of dme to about a cup of water and boiled for a few minutes. I added it to the minikeg and then racked straight from the fermenter. Next time, I will probably add the dme straight to the minikeg without boiling. If carb tabs work in bottles why not dme without boiling? This will save a lot of time because I can start boiling the priming sugar for the bottles while racking to the keg.

There were no real problems and it was very easy. The only problem I saw with the keg is that it is hard to get all of the water out of the keg after sanitizing because the shape is a little odd.

I will leave some comments after tapping. Hopefully it is not over carbonated.
Figured I might update on how the tap a draft worked with a mini keg.

The first go round was a bit over carbonated at first. But, I think the problem was that I automatically used a CO2 cartridge. Once I took the CO2 cartridge out it got a lot better. If I just tried and poured the beer without using the CO2 cartridge I imagine it would have had a decent pour.

Actually while it was overcarbonated it tasted great once the beer settled a little bit, tasted a lot like Boddington's. About 2 days later the poor was great and the beer was very good.

I just put another batch in the minikeg which is a nutbrown ale. I only used 1/3 cup corn sugar this time and I won't put the CO2 cartridge in until I know I need it.

So the first test was ok. Not great, but still pretty good. I think I have something that will work very well in the future and has no costs batch to batch, don't have to buy a pouch and the minikegs are reusable. So I guess you could consider this an almost recommendation.