Author Topic: Keg vs. Bottle - flavor and aroma  (Read 3371 times)

Offline Kinetic

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Keg vs. Bottle - flavor and aroma
« on: June 24, 2014, 06:54:27 PM »
Does anyone here keg and bottle condition the same batch?  If so, how do the two compare flavor and aroma wise over time?   

Offline glenmoorebrewing

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Re: Keg vs. Bottle - flavor and aroma
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2014, 07:56:43 PM »
I've kegged and bottled the same ten gal batch that has been split into 5 gal buckets. I often like the kegged half better. I can get the carbonation right where I want it with the kegging setup a lot easier than using priming sugar. It's not much of a difference in over all taste difference for me, but I would say there is one. Maybe it's placebo but for most of the styles I brew I find myself liking the draft!
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Offline duboman

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Re: Keg vs. Bottle - flavor and aroma
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2014, 09:53:58 PM »
I've split batches as well and in most cases I don't really notice a difference so I do whatever is convenient regarding the space I have at the time.

I will say I tend to drink what's in a keg faster than bottled beer so for bigger complex beers I would say the bottle conditioned ones are better but that's most likely because I sucked down the keg faster than I should have :o
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Keg vs. Bottle - flavor and aroma
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 10:24:48 PM »
The main difference to me is that the keg cold conditions for months and clears extremely well. Bottles could be cold conditioned but I don't keep whole cases refrigerated and each bottle would still have sediment to avoid.

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Offline beersk

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Re: Keg vs. Bottle - flavor and aroma
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2014, 05:58:21 PM »
The main difference to me is that the keg cold conditions for months and clears extremely well. Bottles could be cold conditioned but I don't keep whole cases refrigerated and each bottle would still have sediment to avoid.

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Ha, if you're one of those who keeps your kegs around for months.......

I had a friend recently keg and bottle a 10 gallon batch of pale ale. The bottled version was actually a lot better. For some reason the keg version had a butterscotchy thing going on, much like I was dealing with for a while. He swears his co2 lines and disconnects are clean. So, ruling that out, I can only think that whatever diacetyl was there, was cleaned up by the bottle conditioning phase. That, or something was off in the carboy he fermented the kegged version in.
Either way, I think kegged beer holds up A LOT longer than bottled beer. I always get slight oxidation flavors in a lot of my homebrewing friend's beers that have been bottled that I don't get from my own kegged versions. Perhaps there's something to do with handling of the beer post fermentation there too.
But, in general, you shouldn't see a whole lot of difference between kegged and bottled versions of beer. The conditioning phase for bottles might clean the beer up a little more if there's diacetyl present, but should affect much else. But, bottled versions will likely begin showing oxidation after a few months in the bottle in my experience.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 06:01:23 PM by beersk »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Keg vs. Bottle - flavor and aroma
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2014, 02:26:56 PM »
Some beers hold up better under bottle conditioning than others. I've had bottles Belgian quads hold up for years, and barley wines sometimes seem to benefit from the oxygen pick up. IPAs and IIPAs seem to deteriorate very quickly compared to same batch in kegs.

Offline beersk

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Re: Keg vs. Bottle - flavor and aroma
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2014, 02:47:14 PM »
Some beers hold up better under bottle conditioning than others. I've had bottles Belgian quads hold up for years, and barley wines sometimes seem to benefit from the oxygen pick up. IPAs and IIPAs seem to deteriorate very quickly compared to same batch in kegs.
Agreed. Anything lower in gravity tends to not hold up for more than a couple months, in my experience.
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Offline Kinetic

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Re: Keg vs. Bottle - flavor and aroma
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2014, 05:11:58 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  The consensus appears to be there isn't a significant difference in flavor or aroma with respect to bottling vs. kegging if the same beer is consumed and compared younger than 2-3 months.

Kegging is more convenient and less time consuming.  The bottling process isn't torture for me.  Sometimes it's a chore.  Most of the time, I consider it a perfectly valid reason to drink beer and enjoy the hobby.

Offline beerdropps

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Re: Keg vs. Bottle - flavor and aroma
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2014, 03:36:53 AM »
I've just recently started to mess around with all the dispensing variables and have a lot of figuring to do. I did listen to the presentation "Draft System Design and Maintenance" given by  Tom Schmidlin. It comes with a slide show as well. I have to check it out again, but he mentions that a pint should take x amount of time to fill up. Sorry, I don't remember the specifics.