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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: beersk on April 04, 2013, 01:32:20 PM

Title: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: beersk on April 04, 2013, 01:32:20 PM
What are the reasons you keg? Personally, I've found that kegging doesn't save much time over bottling. Kegging involves a lot of cleaning: cleaning lines, kegs, dip tubes, posts/poppets, faucets, and more.  It takes me an hour and a half, roughly, to bottle a batch. It might take me half an hour to keg the same batch. BUT, that doesn't include all the cleaning and sanitizing after the keg kicks.  With bottling, I just have to triple rinse the bottle after I pour it and that's that. There's also more moving parts for contamination to hide with kegging.
I know and understand the benefits of kegging, as I've been kegging since the beginning of 2010.  I just want to know why you guys do it.

I like having the variety of bottles. I can have 5 or 6 kinds of beer in my beer fridge to choose from and I don't feel bad if I don't drink on a particular beer for a week. But with my kegerator, which is 2 taps, I feel like I have to drink those more regularly and I'm not always in the mood for the same beer night after night.

Anyway, I want to know what you guys think.

Cheers & beers.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: klickitat jim on April 04, 2013, 01:41:31 PM
I'm new, not an expert. Here are reasons why, not in any particular order.

1. Draft beer tastes better to me.
2. Wife often works opposite shift and hates clink of bottles.
3. Less curiosity of carbing properly
4. Kegerator is more impressive to non home brewers
5. More fun, less work, better beer

"Freedom is temporary unless you are also Brave!" - Patriot

Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: mmitchem on April 04, 2013, 01:52:40 PM
I think that kegs are infinitely easier to fill than bottles. Instead of juggling 50+ individual, breakable components - i am only juggling one. The time it takes to clean a keg isn't that bad either. A little PBW, hot water and starsan. No reason it should take very long. Once again - i am only cleaning one item with a few components.

There is no guess work either regarding carbonation level. I set my psi on the regulator and walk away. I can be drinking my beer in two days rather than waiting for bottle conditioning which we all know can either be inconsistent and/or a long wait of 2 weeks +.

With kegs, you still have the option to bottle as well. You can slap a beergun on the keg and fill a few bottles as needed rather that committing all of your beer to bottles right off the bat. Most of my beer is drank at home so why go through all the bottling effort when ultimately only a few will be consumed off premise.

those are my top reasons. cheers.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: Slowbrew on April 04, 2013, 01:53:17 PM
I have 4 taps for variety isn't a big issue for me.

My big reason for kegging are:

1) Convenience
2) Storage space (10 kegs take less space than 20 cases)
3) Parties - it is much easier to host a party with beer on tap than in bottles.  Clean up is trash bags instead of 3 hours of doing dishes.  It is also easier to take beer to a party than to haul bottles around.
4) Rapid packaging.  I can fill a keg (or 2) and clean up the fermentor/s in 1/2 an hour or so.  Sanitation is one container, not 50+.

Maintenance has not been that big of an issue for.  Cleaning the lines can be done while I'm cleaning 4 or 5 kegs at once.  15 minutes now and then to clean the lines is easy to fit in my schedule.  I may spend a couple of hours cleaning kegs every couple of months but that feels more efficient to me than having to clean bottles every couple of days.

To each their own.  I still have some bottles around but not nearly as many as I used to have.

Paul
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: AmandaK on April 04, 2013, 01:54:01 PM
The biggest advantage to me is that I can pour myself whatever volume I want.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: majorvices on April 04, 2013, 02:01:02 PM
Kegging is twice as fast as bottling, if not more. If you find yourself spending hours cleaning lines you need to find a quicker process. I don't clean my lines after every batch, either, and don't think there is a need to.

Regardless, it's easier to dial in the co2 on draft beer and less chance of infection. And I agree, often draft beer does taste better. Commercial bottled beer is often overcarbonated for my tastes.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: theDarkSide on April 04, 2013, 02:01:22 PM
1. Time.  It is much easier kegging than bottling and takes less time.
2. Cleaning is easy.  Homemade keg cleaner (bucket, pump, line and disconnects).  Stick it on and let it rip.  Also clean lines with gadget featured on AHA site.
3.  Easier to store 30 gallons (6 kegs current ) than a bunch of bottles
4.  Cleaner product, especially since I like to brew a lot of lagers.  No sediment in keg after first couple pints, unlike bottles which have sediment in each
5.  Looks cool  8)
6.  And Amanda's reason to pull exactly how much I want...sometimes just a small glass, others a liter or two  :o
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 04, 2013, 02:01:54 PM
I like having the variety of bottles. I can have 5 or 6 kinds of beer in my beer fridge to choose from and I don't feel bad if I don't drink on a particular beer for a week. But with my kegerator, which is 2 taps, I feel like I have to drink those more regularly and I'm not always in the mood for the same beer night after night.

I find myself bottling more these days for exactly these reasons.

I prefer kegging, however, as it's just easier to get it done.  I can clean the kegs at my convenience and keep them sealed under pressure so they're ready to go.  Filling a keg is simple and does not require the hands-on attention that bottling does, which is important for me as I have usually at least two children interrupting at any one time.  Serving and clean-up are nice and easy, too.

I find that bottles create a ton of clutter. I have empties everywhere.  The bottle tree takes up space.  Etc.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: weithman5 on April 04, 2013, 02:04:28 PM
i still bottle and find it relatively easy and fast.  though, i only brew 2gallon batches at a time.  the real reasons for me shifting to kegs in the future is the pouring how much out at a time.  also i am not a big fan of the sediment in a bottle and the beer lost there. i do think i am going to only bottle 16-20 ouncers in the future making it even easier. i am experimenting with plastic bottles as well
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: HoosierBrew on April 04, 2013, 02:11:09 PM
1/  Quick, accurate carbonation (which can be fine tuned, if need be).
2/  It is faster.
3/  I think it tastes better.
4/  Party friendly, for cleanup. A kitchen full of empty bottles that suddenly need rinsed from a party is a PITA also.
5/  I can fill anything from a sample glass to a growler or stein.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: lewisb13 on April 04, 2013, 02:23:02 PM
Man all that mess you do to your keg IMHO is wayyyyy overkill. I just kegged a batch last night and it took me all of 10 minutes. Took the keg with the few ounces of leftover beer in it to the sink, rinse, fill with a half gallon of water and some Sanitizer. Put the lid on, shake it up, hook up co2 and flow solution through your dispensing tube. Empty keg and fill with new beer. Done. I've done 100 batches like this and never had a problem. So to answer your question, my reason I keg is because its cheaper. I don't waste bottles, priming sugar, caps, time, and Sanitizer when I keg. It costs me between $28 and $35 to brew a 5 gallon batch of whatever. 
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 04, 2013, 02:59:42 PM
I can lager 8 kegs in my chest freezer. One reason.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: dak0415 on April 04, 2013, 03:06:33 PM
When I graduated to all grain, I made my own chiller out of 40' of 3/8 copper.  That lead to carpal tunnel.  Even with a bottle brush on an electric drill, cleaning bottles was sheer agony.  My wonderful wife said,"Wouldn't kegging be easier?"

End of story ;D
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: beersk on April 04, 2013, 03:26:53 PM
I can lager 8 kegs in my chest freezer. One reason.
This here is one reason I'd stick with kegging. Don't want to mess with bottling lagers, adding yeast at bottling, etc.
But carbonation isn't much of an issue with bottling is you know what you're doing. Neither is sanitizing bottles if you clean them out properly after you pour a beer. I don't think kegging is cheaper. The upfront cost is way greater, you still have to pay to replace lines, moving parts once in a while, deal with possible CO2 leaks or even liquid post leaks. I'm not arguing that bottling is better, I just think it's simpler. Sure it's more work on bottling day, but that's it, it's a one time deal. Kegging requires ongoing maintenance, which isn't necessarily bad or inconvenient.
Thanks for you input. I really enjoy kegging also, but enjoy the experience of opening a bottle of beer. I guess that's why I still do both.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: gsandel on April 04, 2013, 04:56:48 PM
quicker to package, quicker to carbonate beers that benefit from freshness, less variability in carbonation, cool factor of having a 4 tap keggerator I built myself, variable pours (I like an 11 ounce glass).

There is a certain satisfaction to operating a bottle capper, but that wears off after 6 bottles.  I like to bottle my aging beers, however, and like to give bottles away.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: Pinski on April 04, 2013, 05:39:17 PM
Both packages have their place.  I prefer kegs, but I still bottle for comps, gifts, lengthy storage and travel. 
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: snowtiger87 on April 04, 2013, 07:46:56 PM
I do both. I bottle condition my Belgian-style beers and generally keg everything else. On occasion I will bottle beers out of a keg for competition or for longer term storage or if I need the keg for a new beer.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: a10t2 on April 04, 2013, 08:29:39 PM
All good reasons given so far, but I didn't see anyone mention oxidation. A standard crown cap lets in about 200-500 ppb O2 per month, and 500 or so is pretty much the maximum allowable level for long-term storage.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: dean_palmer on April 04, 2013, 08:56:42 PM
I have so many reasons for kegging, but most of the mechanical universals have been mentioned already. It's simply the best package for most styles. I still bottle (from the keg) for competition and gifting and such, but rarely, and have a Blichmann gun that makes that a decent process as well. I just hate dealing with bottles no matter how good I get at it and how many years I've been doing it.

I generally keep 4 beers on tap and like the ability to sample a little bit at a time and serve small samples to visitors without having to open a whole bottle when not needed. It's surprising how many times a visitor will drink less than 12oz and sample all the beers, and most of the time it's not because the beer sucks :-0

I also like that when we have gatherings, brew days, parties, etc, that people enjoy serving themselves beer from a faucet. I see that for many folks it's a fun novelty that we take for granted. For kids we sometimes carbonate some water and make sodas with syrups. Parties don't end up with bottles everywhere and broken.


Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: davidgzach on April 04, 2013, 10:29:07 PM
I like to bottle high gravity beers so it doesn't sit on tap for 2 months and I can enjoy them at my leisure.  I think kegging is just so much easier though.  And I'm not crouched on the floor with a leaky bottle wand spraying beer all over the place.

Dave
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: dudesbrews on April 04, 2013, 10:35:50 PM
I tend to keg my session beers. That way when I say "just another half a glass" (usually more than once) I can't get myself into too much trouble.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 04, 2013, 11:12:05 PM
And I'm not crouched on the floor with a leaky bottle wand spraying beer all over the place.

I heard that can happen as you get older, but you might want to get it checked out.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: thebigbaker on April 04, 2013, 11:30:22 PM
For me, kegging is quicker.  I've only bottled a couple of times, so my bottling process may not be the best.  I do intend on bottling a few batches for the fall and winter. 
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: davidgzach on April 04, 2013, 11:47:39 PM
And I'm not crouched on the floor with a leaky bottle wand spraying beer all over the place.

I heard that can happen as you get older, but you might want to get it checked out.

OK, two leaky bottle wands....
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: coastsidemike on April 05, 2013, 01:27:14 AM
Craft beer tastes better from the keg.  Always on the hunt for Aroma Coma.  For homebrew, bottled conditioned tastes better (and is more visceral).  Kinda like there's a 9-times-out-of-10 off-flavor with kegging that I can only describe as "force carbonated".  Any ROT to get beyond that?

p.s.  happy baseball season.
Title: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: majorvices on April 05, 2013, 01:54:13 AM
Craft beer tastes better from the keg.  Always on the hunt for Aroma Coma.  For homebrew, bottled conditioned tastes better (and is more visceral).  Kinda like there's a 9-times-out-of-10 off-flavor with kegging that I can only describe as "force carbonated".  Any ROT to get beyond that?

p.s.  happy baseball season.

Can you please explain how bottle conditioned taste better for homebrew and not craft? That is making about zero sense to me.

Draft beer in every instance stays fresh longer, is easier to dial in Co2 volumes, and has better protection from light and o2 than bottles, both homebrew and craft.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: jeffgolf1 on April 05, 2013, 02:10:30 AM
I wasn't very good at cleaning and sanitizing bottles.  It is a lot easier to clean one giant stainless steel bottle.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: coastsidemike on April 05, 2013, 02:45:48 AM
Craft beer tastes better from the keg.  Always on the hunt for Aroma Coma.  For homebrew, bottled conditioned tastes better (and is more visceral).  Kinda like there's a 9-times-out-of-10 off-flavor with kegging that I can only describe as "force carbonated".  Any ROT to get beyond that?

p.s.  happy baseball season.

Can you please explain how bottle conditioned taste better for homebrew and not craft? That is making about zero sense to me.

Draft beer in every instance stays fresh longer, is easier to dial in Co2 volumes, and has better protection from light and o2 than bottles, both homebrew and craft.

It's an opinion.  There's a number of beers on tap that for me simply have a certain characteristic that's unappealing.  I'll pass.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: theDarkSide on April 05, 2013, 12:22:13 PM
I like to bottle high gravity beers so it doesn't sit on tap for 2 months and I can enjoy them at my leisure. 

Same here but I will keg it first to get the carbonation set and and age it a bit, but then bottle the batch with the beergun for long term aging.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: beersk on April 05, 2013, 01:39:40 PM
Thanks for you input, guys! Always interesting to see what others think and why they do the things they do. I really agree with most reasons why people keg and they're the reasons I want to keep kegging. I like to have hefes in bottles though for the yeast. I don't do many higher gravity beers, none more than about 7%, so I don't bottle for that reason really.
I'm in the process of figuring out why all my IPA's are turning to butterscotch a week or so into the keg and I'm thinking it's from infection of some kind, because it gets worse over time. So I'm thinking a good thorough cleaning of kegs and replacing of tap lines is in order.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: bluesman on April 05, 2013, 01:47:57 PM
1. kegs are easier to manage (one vessel vs 50 bottles)
2. more shelf stable (less oxidation) longer shelf-life when kept cold
3. serving via kegerater is preferable
4. less cleaning/sanitizing
5. beer lines are easy to clean (I use BLC)
6. force carbonation is faster/easily controlled
7. kegs are cool :)
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: mugwort on April 05, 2013, 08:40:41 PM
All good reasons given so far, but I didn't see anyone mention oxidation. A standard crown cap lets in about 200-500 ppb O2 per month, and 500 or so is pretty much the maximum allowable level for long-term storage.

C'mon now.  You can't just roll stats like that without sharing a source.  I'm staring at some precious bottled HB approaching the four year mark now with visions of oxygen ingress dancing in my head.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: theDarkSide on April 05, 2013, 08:44:05 PM
7. kegs are cool :)
8)
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: klickitat jim on April 05, 2013, 09:41:25 PM
I've found that the black top kegs are the coolest and the blue top ones lower my efficiency by as much as a  half a percentage point. Maybe they are for lite beers only.

Does anyone polish their kegs for a more tricked out, sexy, look?

"Freedom is temporary unless you are also Brave!" - Patriot

Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 05, 2013, 09:48:07 PM
Does anyone polish their kegs for a more tricked out, sexy, look?

I have actually thought about cleaning them up with some BKF so they don't look so beat up.  But ain't nobody got time for that.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: The Professor on April 05, 2013, 11:58:15 PM
I started doing it because of #7 (the cool factor) ...but in the end it also allows for convenient bulk aging/conditioning. 
And when I do elect to bottle (either a few bottles or most of a batch) I can bottle bright, properly aged, perfectly conditioned beer without producing any bottle sediment.   
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: brewsumore on April 06, 2013, 02:40:43 AM
I just like to see the disappointed look on a friend's face when the keg holding their favorite beer kicks, and the same face lights up a minute or two later when they realize that they actually enjoy one of the other remaining beers, possibly a style which they didn't think they liked!

Kinda like weaning them off of BMC!
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: a10t2 on April 06, 2013, 02:57:31 PM
All good reasons given so far, but I didn't see anyone mention oxidation. A standard crown cap lets in about 200-500 ppb O2 per month, and 500 or so is pretty much the maximum allowable level for long-term storage.

C'mon now.  You can't just roll stats like that without sharing a source.  I'm staring at some precious bottled HB approaching the four year mark now with visions of oxygen ingress dancing in my head.

Sorry, the 500 number is just a rule of thumb that I've picked up. The numbers for O2 ingress I got from the manual for our Meheen Merlin. They cite: Proceedings of the European Brewing Congress, Oslo 1993, p 654. That isn't online, but I found a pretty interesting paper on staling that does have some data. They did find lower diffusion rates (0-850 ppb over 180 days). http://dfadel.ferasoft.com.br/homebrew/livros/artigos/flavor_stability_8p.pdf
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: euge on April 07, 2013, 01:49:30 PM
I quit a short homebrewing endeavor in 93-94. When I started back up in 2007 it was straight to kegs. I knew already that it was easier and less messy than dealing with bottles so enjoyed my very first batch of SNPA clone on draft.

Also, I don't mind breaking a keg down to clean since it only takes a few minutes. I reach into the keg and feel around for any slime building up- which can happen. Then it needs a scrub with a sponge instead of just an oxyclean soak.

Bottles tend to build up on the counter by the sink. Don't like that... Even so, I tend to bottle hefeweizens but this year I'll be kegging them.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: beersk on April 08, 2013, 12:54:55 PM
I quit a short homebrewing endeavor in 93-94. When I started back up in 2007 it was straight to kegs. I knew already that it was easier and less messy than dealing with bottles so enjoyed my very first batch of SNPA clone on draft.

Also, I don't mind breaking a keg down to clean since it only takes a few minutes. I reach into the keg and feel around for any slime building up- which can happen. Then it needs a scrub with a sponge instead of just an oxyclean soak.

Bottles tend to build up on the counter by the sink. Don't like that... Even so, I tend to bottle hefeweizens but this year I'll be kegging them.
Hefes are a style where I like having that sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Perhaps the issue I've been having is slime/whatever building up in my dip tubes.  Since I've only recently bought a dip tube brush, I hope this issue goes away.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: 58limited on July 04, 2013, 06:51:41 PM
I keg because I'm too lazy to bottle. Bottling takes way too much time and effort. I can keg a beer, including sanitizing time (walk away and let the keg soak for 10 minutes), in less than 15-20 minutes (rinsing keg - 1-2 minutes, siphoning beer into keg - a couple of minutes). Washing 50+ bottles, rinsing them, filling them, and capping them takes way more time. I don't clean the lines and taps between beers - the new beer flushes the old out, never had a problem with the old beer affecting new beer flavor (although I do change hoses and rubber when going from root beer to beer). My fridge has 5 taps so I keep a good variety on hand all the time.

Having said all of that, some of the best brewing times I've ever had was bottling with several friends helping.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: corkybstewart on July 05, 2013, 07:04:06 PM
I bottled my beer until I started brewing 10 or 15 gallon batches.  Bottling wouldn't even be feasible for those batches. Bottle storage alone would have been a major issue.

Another huge advantage to kegs is that in the morning there's just one glass to clean, and not a pile of empty bottles my wife can point at and ask if I really thought drinking that many beers was a good idea.

I can come home for lunch, run Starsan through 2 kegs, make a sandwich, fill the kegs and be back to work on time.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: klickitat jim on July 05, 2013, 07:17:11 PM
I was a nothing but bottles guy until I switched to keg. Now I'm stuck. Though I will soon be trying to bottle a half rack of every keg with a cobra tap and bottle filler
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: mugwort on July 06, 2013, 08:00:36 AM
The keg vs bottle debate thread has been resurrected!  Of course we won't really change the minds of those dead-set on either side, but it's fun to hear the pros and cons, with perspectives sometimes really pushed to the extremes.

I'm contrasting the people who clean their lines every week or two to those people who when a keg blows just hook up another keg and let it flow.  We can be as precise or relaxed as we want in this hobby/obsession.

That's not to say there are no consequences.  But since we're the creators of the brew (at least up until we pitch the yeast), we feel the success and occasional failure personally.  While we can be bombarded with information on what is the "best" way to brew--a decent amount of it conflicting--we demonstrate by our actions what we believe.  Brewing and debating brewing is sometimes governed more by emotion than logic or science.

As for my bottling and kegging habits, the merits of kegging have grown on me.  I've never minded bottling, but I really like the fact that if I want, I can pull a keg off tap and tinker with the brew if I get inspired.  You know, applying the unplanned dry-hop or the rubber-mallet-cracked coffee bean addition.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: durschad on July 06, 2013, 11:40:25 AM
Not having a bunch of bottle bombs after incorrectly measuring priming sugar was a big reason!  I also feel its more convenient.  Cleaning the keg after use doesn't take too much time for me.  Maybe a half hour,  then I sanitize and pressurize so it's ready to be filled right away.  I find sanitizing all those bottles takes about the same time, but I'm using a 5 gallon buck, so I only let 10 or so soak for about 5 min or so at a time.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: erockrph on July 06, 2013, 04:56:02 PM
I'm a bottler and that's fine with me. I only brew small batches, so the time investment in bottling isn't that bad for me. I have a workflow that works into my lifestyle pretty well. The main pros that would have me interested in kegging are the cool factor and the lack of sediment when serving my homebrew to friends. But since that generally only happens a couple of times a year, that's not enough to justify the initial expense to either myself or the wife. I'm eyeing a tap-a-draft system, though. Seems like a reasonable way to meet my needs.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: bboy9000 on July 07, 2013, 04:28:53 AM
I me because I was tired if also of the bottles laying around and takin up space.  I also like the fact I can carbonate a beer in two days as opposed to four weeks though I will keep bottle conditioning my Belgian styles.
Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: 58limited on July 07, 2013, 05:22:36 PM
  While we can be bombarded with information on what is the "best" way to brew--a decent amount of it conflicting--we demonstrate by our actions what we believe.  Brewing and debating brewing is sometimes governed more by emotion than logic or science.

I cannot agree more. Ask any brewer and they will probably have their own unique process, but they all (or most) work just fine. For instance: I was once chided at a meeting for using bleach to sanitize my equipment, I was told it was evil and would ruin my beers. Well, guess what: I've brewed 130+ beers now sanitizing with bleach with no problems. I rinse thoroughly. That person's sanitizing method works for him, mine works for me. He spends more money on sanitizer than I do.

Title: Re: Why do YOU keg?
Post by: Three on July 07, 2013, 06:21:38 PM
Kegging just fits the whole brewing process.  I REALLY enjoy brewing.  I brew two to three times a month.  I would brew more but this by far surpasses my consumption and sharing levels so bottles are working their way back into the process.  I use the kegs as secondaries to dry hop in, as bright tanks, aging and conditioning, etc.  They are easier to work with and store once you get past the primary fermentation in a carboy or bucket.  And then the best part, which is serving awesome homebrew from them!  I have started utilizing three gallon kegs and bottling the remainder of a five gallon cornie with some brews.  Both are easier to transport for sharing and enjoying away from home.  It just depends on the situation.  I have to say the reaction and cool factor when showing up with a keg to share is always awesome!

Whether your kegging or bottling, the cleaning process in brewing is I think the biggest challenge.  While I think I can always improve on in my brewing processes, I have started to spend more time on making the "clean and sterilized" processes better as well.