Keg or Bottles

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by Alistair Miller, Jan 11, 2019.

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  1. Jan 11, 2019 #1

    Alistair Miller

    Alistair Miller

    Alistair Miller

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    I had some old kit up in the attic which I hadn't used much, so I decided to give it a go again. I bought a Tequila & Lime Lager from The Range and am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

    I do have a couple of queries and I'd like a bit of advice from more experienced brewers.

    1. After I had everything prepared in the bucket I noticed the best before date on the packaging had expired more than a year ago. Will it still turn out ok? Everything was vacuum packed before I opened it and I didn't notice any abnormal smells when I opened it.

    2. Keg or bottles? Assuming everything turns out ok do I put it in bottles or can I keg it. Some people say you should bottle lager. I have bottles but don't have a keg yet. The only thing I don't like about bottles is the time it takes to sanitize them before filling them.

    Any help and advice on these matters would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Jan 11, 2019 #2

    Davewhit

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    No expert by any means but the threads and books I've read alway's advises bottle's to get and hold the required carbonation levels for lager.

    Dave
     
  3. Jan 11, 2019 #3

    stephen1546

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    Hi Ive read on here that folk have used kits that are years out of date, perhaps a year aint so bad if its all sealed properly. I switched to bottles from a keg as my keg did not carb up my beer on one occasion, which ive read can be a problem as they are not always airtight. Not had a problem since moving to bottles.

    Stevie
     
  4. Jan 11, 2019 #4

    phildo79

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    Unless you are serious about getting into brewing, buying a keg, gas, gas fittings and possibly a fridge to house the keg seems like an awful big expense. But perhaps you already have some of that stuff?

    Bottling up is a pain in the neck and sooner or later (if you keep brewing) you will reach the end of your tether. I tried so many different ways to shorten the bottling process before buying kegs. You can sanitise all the bottles at once in a bath tub with 200ml of THIN bleach (leave to soak for 20 mins). Drain and rinse before filling. I did this for years without any problems with regards to infection or off flavours. Swing top bottles will drastically cut the time down as well but you will need about 50 Grolsch bottles for a 23L kit.
     
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  5. Jan 11, 2019 #5

    Bigcol49

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    Hi @Alistair Miller
    Use the kit but ditch the yeast and buy some appropriate yeast that is in date.
     
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  6. Jan 11, 2019 #6

    Covrich

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    Quickest way for bottles I find is (obviously make sure they are all very clean first) just have star san in a bottle rinser blast each bottle and then fill swing tops are even quicker.

    For many a fridge dedicated to kegs are not so easy

    I have wondered about having a mini keg with party star tap for some of my brews, keg half and bottle the rest
     
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  7. Jan 11, 2019 #7

    terrym

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    Bottles are fine for all sorts of beer. Glass obviously and PET too although the purists may baulk at the latter. Any second hand bottle must have held a fizzy drink
    Most plastic PBs are pressure limited and this translates to low to medium carbed beers like ales but not beers requiring high carb levels like AIPAs and lagers.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2019 #8

    Alistair Miller

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    From what Ive read online plus the advice on here bottling is looking like the best option. I don't have much room for a keg or another fridge. I have a fairly basic kit and as long as I get decent results from it I will probably just stick with it. The main thinking behind a keg was just to save a bit of time, but it doesn't seem like you get as good results from a keg anyway. If this is a success I might try something different next time but not sure what to try yet. Thanks to everybody for your advice.
     
  9. Jan 11, 2019 #9

    HarryFlatters

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    Get a bottling wand, they're the best thing since no-rinse sanitiser :D
     
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  10. Jan 11, 2019 #10

    phildo79

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    Wouldn't say that, exactly. I find that a keg that is set up correctly has great results. Plus no sediment after the very first pour. You can also pour as little or as much as you want. I'm so happy that I finally took the plunge and switched to kegs.
     
  11. Jan 11, 2019 #11

    steve denholm

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    Bottle rinser, star san and a decent capper make it much less painful :)
     
  12. Jan 11, 2019 #12

    stephen1546

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    Need a decent capper, find the wing capper a little annoying.
     
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  13. Jan 12, 2019 #13

    beertrap

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    I bottle everything in swing top bottles.

    Kegging is a bit costly. Bottles also make great gifts.
     
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  14. Jan 12, 2019 #14

    Alistair Miller

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    Well I already own 48 swing top bottles, so just going to go with that for now. Going to get a bottling wand as they will surely make bottling a much easier task.
     
  15. Jan 13, 2019 #15

    Crappyfish

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    I have swing top bottles but bought myself a corny keg for xmas which is ok but I have to purchase gas now. No more sticky kitchen floor the amount of time it took to fill the keg was nothing compared to bottling so the trade off is cost over convenience I only do about 3 brews a year so not too costly.
     
  16. Jan 13, 2019 #16

    Mavroz

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    Bottles.
     
  17. Jan 13, 2019 #17

    Oneflewover

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    I bottle on the whole. Portable and means you can keep a good range of beers in stock. That and I'd worry that I'd find it too easy to drink too much if I kegged! I started an 5l minikeg last night and finished it this afternoon - normally only have a pint or 2 at most a day :beer1:

    Edit - also depends on style. The pale ale served out of the keg was better than if it had been served from bottle.
     
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  18. Jan 13, 2019 #18

    Victor Churchill

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    I have just enough swingtop bottles to have a brew in conditioning and another in the drinking stage - accumulated over many years from Xmas markets, supermarkets here and in France on camping holidays long ago!
    I have a PB but have not used it for a while - great at first but I foun dthe beer started tasting sourish after about half of it was drunk. That was keeping the CO2 presure up with a Hambleton Bard S30 cylinder (R.i.P.)
    Interested in 'kegs' versus PBs but seems like quite an investment.
    means you can keep a good range of beers in stock​
    ... I wish :-)
     
  19. Jan 14, 2019 at 10:17 AM #19

    phildo79

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    You're not wrong. I kegged a batch last night and it took me all of 10 to 15 mins to sort out the keg. I had a little left over so I decided to bottle it up. Took me 45 mins to fill 6 swing tops. The amount of faffing around is unreal compared to filling a corny. I future I will be aiming for a batch size of 19 litres. We all like a little bit extra but it just isn't worth the hassle, IMO.
     

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