Started kegging, now my friends are asking where there 6 packs are? Opinions on Swing top bottles or Howlers?

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TsunamiMike

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So my buddy got me into brewing during Covid, he was sharing his homebrews with me and finally decided around when Covid hit to start brewing. I loved it and embraced bottling my beers and giving my buddies 6 packs in exchange for empty bottles. Now as most of you know, bottling is a pain, the cleaning, sanitizing, bottling and capping, oh and did i mention the LONG bottle conditioning time?

Anyhow I am brewing 5 gallon batches that fit perfectly in corny kegs, I guess i could bottle each buddy up a 6'er and then keg the rest but that seems silly to me. 3-4 buddies equals 18-24 by that time it is now half a keg down...

Anyhow I was thinking maybe go with a 32 oz amber howler with the premium cap to reduce oxidation but noit sure how long the brew will last in there?

growler.jpg


Or do I go with a swing top, this one comes in 750ml which is about 25 oz or I could get the 32oz version but again I do not have much experience with these either as far as how long the beer lasts:

swingtop.jpg


What would you use and why?

I would like to order them today if possible so I can have them by the weekend, thanks in advance!
 

Rob2010SS

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I suppose either would work. I went the howler route because then our friends that have them can take them to their local spots and get them filled from breweries and what not, if they want. Plus, when filled to the top, the ones we got are about 40oz so that's a little over 3 12oz pours from each howler. Highly recommend www.flourcitygrowlers.com if you go the howler route.

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Rob2010SS

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In regards to how long they last in there, it really depends on how you fill them. I have 2 different scenarios that I run...

1. When we release a new beer, I'll hook up a beer gun to the unitank and fill whatever howlers I have available at that time. When I do this, I tell people that they have a good month to drink it. However, I will say that we filled howlers of our Mexican Lager on 6/30/2020 and one of my friends just cracked it open this past weekend (10/3 - 10/4) and said it was still fantastic. So almost 3 months.... Take that as you will.

2. Once the howlers are filled, I'll keg the rest (closed transfer from unitank to 100% purged keg). We'll get people who come back for refills and we fill right from the tap, as a brewery would. I tell people they've got about 2 weeks on those and once they open it, maybe 2-3 days.

We do heat seal all of the howlers as well. Not sure if that prevents any escape of CO2 or not. We do it mainly so there's no issues with it, should someone get pulled over on the way home. This way it can't be misconstrued as open alcohol.
 

dawn_kiebawls

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I quit giving away beers to thirsty friends, for the most part.

Want to come over, hang out and kick a keg? Come on over!

Want to stop by to get a free 6'r and take off? There's a bottle shop 5 doors down!

I have no problem sharing. It isn't uncommon for me to have a few friends and neighbors over and kick a keg or two in a night which I have no problem with at all. But, it didn't take long for me to get tired of giving beer away in exchange for bottles or 'feedback'. Does this make me selfish? I don't know and couldn't care less. I've invited friends and neighbors over for brew days (again, full access to my brews) without a single response. I kinda just hit the point where if they don't want to help and see what actually goes into the 6'r or keg we guzzle down in a night then I'm not interested in giving it away. You wanna drink my beers you gotta drink 'em with me! Lol...Now it does sound kinda selfish, but I still don't care :)
 

renstyle

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While I desire a beer gun for bottle filling for friends, I can't justify the benny just yet. 😉

In the meantime, I've got a cobra tap with a length of tubing attached to the outlet and use that as a bottle/growler filler.

Some time ago I curated several green Grolsch bottles with the flip-top lids. Flip top only, cuz no need to buy more bottle caps... and replacement flip top gaskets are easy to replace.

A dozen or so of these make regular rotation between friends sharing homebrew. As the beer is already conditioned and kept away from light, the green bottles aren't a big deal (they get turned around quickly anyway).

I went the Grolsch route cuz the bottles were essentially free. If you could snag some amber versions, especially 750ml or 1L you should be all set.
 

apache_brew

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I stumbled on a handful of palla style swing top growlers that are real convenient for sharing homebrew with family and friends. Easy to clean, no caps to loose, and gaskets can be replaced over time. I just drop the pressure in my serving keg to 3 psi, shove a growler insert tube in the kegerator tap, and fill as needed. I would say they hold carbonation for 1 to 3 days but most my experience is sharing at parties that I attend. I'll bring multiple growlers if I have different styles, but if only one I'll bring my mini corny keg with cobra tap and handheld CO2 cartridge in an ice chest.
 

Beermeister32

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Brown flip top bottles are preferred over green to reduce skunking your beer. 16.9oz / 500 ml are a better size than the 750 ml, as you can do one continuous pour to decant the beer from the yeast into a pint beer glass. With 750's, 22oz or larger you have to do two pours (unless you have a pitcher or tankard) and can get a lot of dregs in the beer on the second pour.

If you are pulling straight from a keg, at the beginning you can get yeast, again this favors the pint size glass. If you are force carbing, it is less of an issue, but you can still get some suspended yeast depending on the flocculation characteristics of any remaining yeast which can get kicked up in suspension. Once kegs are past the first pours this becomes less of an issue. That would give the cleanest pours to package a few six packs from.
 
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