This articles covers the benefits of kegging your home brew. Bottling can be a long and monotonous process of home brewing. Begging offers a better alternative, but with greater cost. However, once the proper equipment has been purchased, it’s relatively cheap to continuously keg your beer. This article does a good job of going through the pros and cons of kegging.
Typically in home brewing, if you are just starting you will likely bottle your first batches of beer. Many home brewers at some point take the plunge and opt to keg their beer. Kegging offers many advantages over bottling, but new brewers do not start with kegging because it requires specialized equipment with extra costs to get up and running.
One great thing about home brewing is the fact that you can get started in this hobby relatively cheaply, without too great of an initial expense. However, to get started kegging your home brew, it will require some money initially. For many people, they simply want to try home brewing first as cheaply and easily as possible to determine if this is a hobby that they will want to continue to do. It does not require a lot of money to get started, just a simple starter kit and the first batch of ingredients. However, many people find that after a few batches they are hooked and then are looking for ways to enhance their home brewing experience. This is when they start looking into kegging their home brew.
Once you have the equipment in place, kegging offers many advantages over bottling. First, bottling can be a more difficult way to store and serve your beer versus kegging. You have to clean and sanitize each and every bottle. You also must have the storage space to store all of the bottles. A typical 5 gallon batch of beer requires at least 50 12 oz bottles, and one way or another you must purchase these bottles, as well as the bottle caps and capper. Fortunately, many of the starter kits will include these items. However, you still have to actually perform the task of bottling and capping, as well as storing the bottles.
You also must prime your beer and allow it to carbonate for a few weeks before you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. On the other hand, kegs offer an easier way to enjoy your beer. You simply rack the beer from the fermenter directly into your keg. You can prime your beer in the keg itself, although this will still require a few weeks wait while the beer carbonates. Instead, most home brewers that keg purchase a CO2 tank for carbonation. This is what is known as forced carbonation.
This allows you to condition your beer in just a couple days, and then you can enjoy drinking your beer quicker. Another advantage of forced carbonation is the fact that you control the amount of carbonation. With bottles, it is possible to over carbonate or under carbonate your beer, which can result in either bottle bombs or flat beer.
To get started kegging, you will need to purchase some specialized equipment including the kegs themselves. You need a place to store the kegs, which can be a kegerator, or a converted freezer or fridge. This will wind up being an initial expense ranging from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand. Fortunately, the costs associated with kegging are primarily upfront costs, so you can quickly recoup your investment.
Plus, it is cool to have beer ready to go at any given time. And this is another advantage of kegging: you will be the envy of your friends. How cool will you be to have delicious home brews on hand at all times, ready to enjoy? The only big drawback to kegging is that it isn’t easy to transport your home brew. Taking along a 12 pack in bottles is much easier, although you have to still keep track of the bottles to reuse them.
However, just because you keg doesn’t mean you can’t also bottle your beer. After all, you will still have the bottles around. This makes transporting beer and giving home brew as gifts much easier, and offers you the best of both worlds. Once you have some home brewing experience under your belt, you may decide to take the leap and keg your beer. It really isn’t that difficult to do, and can be a much better alternative to bottling.