Author Topic: having hard time deciding if i should upgrade to kegging what do you recommend  (Read 1711 times)

Offline yendor30

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My real question is for you more experienced brewers do you prefer bottle conditioning or kegging and force carbonating...I have been brewing for several months now my batches all ways taste good but sometimes the carbonation is weird or not enough could be an issue with right amount and type of priming sugar but either way im thinking about making the switch

Offline Slowbrew

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My experience was that I got tired of bottling.  It was nice to take a 12 pack to a party but you always had to deal with the dregs on the bottom of each bottle.

That's what I say today but the deeper truth is I thought it would be really cool to have beer on tap in the basement all the time.   ;D

On the other side kegging means some relatively expensive equipment for the convenience.  Taking beer to  a party is now hauling a keg and CO2 tank/regulator, ice and an "Ice Cube" cooler with you.  It makes you popular but also can be a pain in the tail.

I don't normally force carb my kegs.  I'm not in a hurry since I usually have more beer on hand than I can consume anyway so I still carb with priming sugar.  If the keg is over carbed, I can de-gas it.  Under carbed and I can let it sit a few days.

I hope this is useful.

Paul
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Offline jtoots

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I keg, force carb.  Bottling became the achilles heel of my brewing process.  Such a PITA.  Go for it!!!

Offline kramerog

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It is not an either or situation.  Beers that can be improved with aging, e.g., barleywine can be bottled, others are kegged.  Being able to do stuff to beer in the keg is a big advantage. For example, an older IPA can be revived by dry hopping in the keg.

Offline Stevie

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^ this

Be forewarned, kegging has its own headaches. All is roses until you need to chase down a gas leak or you get a clogged poppet.

Offline blair.streit

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Kegging is SO much easier for me that I would brew a lot less frequently if I had to bottle each batch to carb and condition it.

I usually keep my beer on tap at home and serve from a keg, but I have plenty of repackaging options. If I want to take a little beer somewhere for same day consumption I can easily fill a growler or swing-top bottle. If I want to package for a competition or longer term storage I use a Beer Gun.

When it comes to carbonating I have a lot more control. I know where I want most of my recipes now, but the regulator makes it really easy for me to find the carbonation level I prefer on a new recipe.

Offline pete b

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I never really minded bottling but I just started kegging. It has its own headaches and heartbreaks but it adds flexibility as you can always bottle condition. I suggest getting a bottling device for your kegs. I have The Last Straw which has a nice feature of one-handed operation as well as a button to fill the bottle with co2 to purge. One great thing is that it makes bottling mead way faster, I just rack into the keg and push the mead into bottles with the Last Straw. Its easier than doing it from a bottling bucket.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline dilluh98

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It is not an either or situation.  Beers that can be improved with aging, e.g., barleywine can be bottled, others are bottled.  Being able to do stuff to beer in the keg is a big advantage. For example, an older IPA can be revived by dry hopping in the keg.

As a bottler, I am definitely envious of certain aspects of kegging but it's not in my budget or within space constraints of our house right now. I also have to deal with high/low pressure gas systems and manifolds on a daily basis at work so I'd rather not have my hobby involve that as well at this point. Also, it's really nice to have friends over, have them try my beer and if they really like it, walk into the closet, pluck a bomber and say, "here you go."

To those who say that bottling is a big hassle, I would say that there are always process improvements to be made that can make bottling not such a chore. I have modified my bottling process to the point where I'm never hunching over a case of bombers anymore, cleaning and sanitizing bottles is almost effortless and a 5 gallon batch takes half the time it used to to bottle.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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This forum is probably one of the few places that people ever openly talk about the troubles of kegging. Usually you read how bottling is nothing but problems while kegging is problem-free. That's just not true. Each comes with its own benefits and its own burdens.

I don't think sinking costs into kegging is a good remedy for problems with bottling. Adjusting your bottling process to get good carbonation is not difficult. If you want to switch to kegging you should do it because you want to keg not because you don't want to adjust your bottling process.
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Offline blair.streit

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This forum is probably one of the few places that people ever openly talk about the troubles of kegging. Usually you read how bottling is nothing but problems while kegging is problem-free. That's just not true. Each comes with its own benefits and its own burdens.
Absolutely true. I've managed to royally screw up almost every process in this hobby (usually more than once). Kegging is no exception. Once I figured out all the seals, gaskets and fittings it was no big deal, but I definitely leaked my fair share of beer and CO2 in the process of figuring it out.

Offline Joe Sr.

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I'm actually considering moving back to bottling more...

Kegs are great. They're easy to fill.  Chasing down leaks is a PITA, but not that difficult.

Kegging can get expensive as you acquire more and more and need to have a dedicated beer fridge with multiple Perlick taps and multiple regulators to keep them all at the perfect carbonation.

But, there's a whole continuum of kegging.  You can get by with one or two kegs, cobra taps, a mini-fridge, and a 5 gallon CO2 tank.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tommymorris

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I keg.

But, I like bottles because they create a natural stopping point. 1 bottle is 12 oz. I will drink 1 and stop.

With kegging I serve a pint. Then sneak a few more ounces. Then a few more.

Makes watching my weight more challenging.

Offline Slowbrew

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I keg.

But, I like bottles because they create a natural stopping point. 1 bottle is 12 oz. I will drink 1 and stop.

With kegging I serve a pint. Then sneak a few more ounces. Then a few more.

Makes watching my weight more challenging.

+1 (or more)

Where I used to have 1 or maybe 2 bottles of beer I now find myself finishing 3 or maybe 4 pints and wondering where those extra pounds are coming from?   ::)  It can be too convenient some evenings after work.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline blair.streit

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I keg.

But, I like bottles because they create a natural stopping point. 1 bottle is 12 oz. I will drink 1 and stop.

With kegging I serve a pint. Then sneak a few more ounces. Then a few more.

Makes watching my weight more challenging.
+10 (pounds)

+1 (or more)

Where I used to have 1 or maybe 2 bottles of beer I now find myself finishing 3 or maybe 4 pints and wondering where those extra pounds are coming from?   ::)  It can be too convenient some evenings after work.

Paul

Offline dilluh98

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I keg.

But, I like bottles because they create a natural stopping point. 1 bottle is 12 oz. I will drink 1 and stop.


Yup. Seeing a bunch of bombers lined up next to the sink the next day is a good quantitative reminder. My general rule is, if my wife won't share/finish a bomber with me, I don't open one. Most often this limits us to one or two bombers on a given night but increasingly it just means we don't crack one at all.