Poll

How much of  your homebrew do you bottle?

I only bottle my homebrew
20 (22.5%)
I bottle most of my homebrew, but occassionaly keg
2 (2.2%)
I split fairly evenly between bottling and kegging
9 (10.1%)
I almost exlusively keg and rarely bottle
34 (38.2%)
I only keg anymore
5 (5.6%)
I only keg, but I use a CPBF/Beer gun on occassion
19 (21.3%)

Total Members Voted: 88

Voting closed: December 12, 2009, 10:46:59 AM

Author Topic: Keg, bottle or both?  (Read 6577 times)

boulderbrewer

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2009, 09:11:09 AM »
I keg mostly, I fill bottles for competitions or sending out. I just bottled 1/2 of a batch of the beer from the Surly rally. So I could remember why I keg. ;)

Offline valorian

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2009, 09:25:50 AM »
I almost always keg. Some styles like Hefes I prefer to bottle.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2009, 10:39:56 AM »
I keg all the beer and then bottle some to give away.
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Offline rabid_dingo

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2009, 10:53:51 PM »
I have for 4 years now brewed a Holiday Cheer spiced ale. I made it a tradition to brew it on Christmas Eve
and bulk age it in fermenters until the following fall, and bottle. The last two years I switched to bottling it
in bombers for sharing. I have not had the enthusiastic response I had hoped. (BMC drinkers mostly. Fellow
brewers have always loved my holiday beer.) This year I kegged it. I asked about bottling from a keg in another
thread because of this. Otherwise only keg any more.
Ruben * Colorado :)

Offline 1vertical

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2009, 09:17:45 AM »
I cannot believe that it took me so long to start, but now I mostly Keg and that is because the labor consuming job of
handling bottles is now gone.  I am still in the learning curve on the methods to obtain good carbonation in any bottles
that I fill from the keg. That has been a challenge but the experimentation continues.  FWIW, I own 6 ball lock kegs.
4 are currently filled and 2 have not arrived yet but will be welcome additions to the collection.  I plan another Saison
and a Lager for them when they arrive.

I do enjoy the result of a good bottle conditioned homebrew.

Edit: the other 2 just showed up...ugly but holding pressure. :-\
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 09:41:51 AM by 1vertical »
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Offline richt

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2009, 03:16:25 PM »
I exclusively keg, save for the one comp I've entered (so far) and the occasional growler for when I have to leave my house to drink.
On Tap: IPA, Amber, Emma's Brown, Barleywine
Fermenting/Conditioning: Sour project, Bourbon barrel Barleywine, Kit IPA
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Offline blorvak

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2009, 01:54:26 AM »
Only have 2 kegs, so I bottle the really big beers.  Make a no-sparge barleywine every Nov that I bottle.  Basically, anything over 10% is going into bottles.  Takes me a while to finish 'em.

Offline dan1076

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2009, 04:13:56 PM »
I almost exclusively keg unless my 3 kegs are full.  Then I will bottle the beer.  I also bottle beer that I plan on giving away to others.
On Tap: Jamil's Evil Twin and an Alt
Bottles:BVIP
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Offline ne-brewer

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2009, 03:09:57 PM »
I usually do 6 gallon batches then keg 4 or 5 and bottle the rest.

Sometimes I bottle some from a keg with a counter pressure filler --- but, that is only if I need some bottles and I'm out of filled bottles and still have beer in the keg.

Roger
-------------------------------
Keg#1: Honey Blonde
Keg#2: Jamil's Mild (dark)
Keg#3: Jamil's Nut Brown
Keg#4: Hefeweizen
Keg#5: Amber-Simple-Malty
Keg#6: empty
Fermenting: Moose Drool
Next: Dunkelweizen?

Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2009, 09:15:03 PM »
I bottle exclusively and I enjoy the process. There's a Zen thing to it or something. I  like assembling the equipment, boiling the priming sugar and sanitizing everything. I put some music on and go to work. It usually takes a little over an hour for a five gallon batch. If I were brewing bigger batches, I might feel a little differently.
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2009, 09:48:39 PM »
Man I must just need to find my rhythm. It took me almost two. But at least I remembered to sanitize the bottling bucket this time. It's like learning to brew all over again!
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2009, 09:14:28 AM »
I bottled for about two years and then built a mini-fridge kegerator.  I haven't bottled since I started kegging, except for last weekend when I bottled half of the Surly AHA Rally Beer and put the rest in a 2.5 gallon cornie.

A little off-topic, but I'd really like to perfect a way to bottle from the keg so I can start entering competitions.  I would rather not have to bottle my competition batches.  After four years and 70+ batches, I'd like to start getting some helpful feedback on my brews.  Plus, I like to compete.   8) 
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2009, 09:33:39 AM »
I mainly keg, but bottle maybe 25% overall for competitions and to give as gifts. 

Big beers go into bottles.  Sour beers and funky beers go into bottles, mainly to age.

Meads and ciders go into bottles, because I lager in kegs and I only have 13 kegs.

Sombody already pointed out that one lazy AHA board member does the most complicated bottling that I have seen.  ;)

Jeff Rankert
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Online Kaiser

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2009, 09:40:45 AM »
I do both.

When cold conditioning is completed and the beer is carbonated I bottle about 6-12 bottles from the cold keg into cold and sanitized bottles using a picnic tap with a short tube attached. The cold keeps the CO2 from gushing out and I can bottle clear carbonated beer. These bottles are then for sharing, evaluating and sampling. The rest gets transferred to a serving keg. Evaluating beer from bottles eliminates possibly inconsistent carbonation from serving and any possible infection or taste change that may happen during serving. Something I seek to eliminate as well, but it is nice that I can cut this out of the loop.

For beers that I plan to age (Doppelbocks for example) I bottle the whole keg into about 2 cases the same way.

Kai

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Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2009, 09:57:44 AM »
A little off-topic, but I'd really like to perfect a way to bottle from the keg so I can start entering competitions.

Here is what I do:

- put the beer in a corny keg with a shortened dip-tube and let it carbonate in there (natural or artificial)
- move the keg into a cold fridge (32F is good) and let it cold condition in there, You may even add finings to accelerate the clearing process
- Sanitze a few bottles. I do this by adding a squirt of water, cap with tin foil and bake them in the over at 250F for ~2 hrs.
- Once the bottles are cooled place them with the beer in the fridge/freezer. Make sure the bottles don’t freeze. This will create ice crystals that cause gushing during filling.
- Sanitize a picnic tap and a short piece of a racking cane. Put the tube into the picnic tap to make a “beer gun”
- W/o moving it connect the keg to CO2 and release the pressure until you have only 2-3 psi in there. Set the regulator to the same pressure.
- get a large sanitary mug into which you can rest the “beer gun” and catch any foam flowing from the bottles.
- place bottle caps into sanitizer
- now take a bottle, remove tin foil and fill the bottles. If it foams too much, reduce the pressure.
- let foam drip into the mug
- cap on foam to eliminate head space O2. If the beer doesn’t foam enough squirt some more beer into it or tap the side of the bottle.
- keep filling as many bottles as you need.

I bottle from a lagering chest and have a large black pan like this one (http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=19252-000001569-ST3608&lpage=none) set such that I can keep the bottles and all the mess in it.

Once I’m done I wipe off the bottles and label the caps.

Kai