Bottling vs kegging

I keg and I bottle and I bottle from the keg. But some of my best beers have been bottle conditioned. The last batch I brewed and kegged I also bottled a portion and so far the bottled seems a little favored. What do you guys think.

now theres a complex question. Seems my belgium strongs are best from the bottle, and of course APA andIPA’s best kegged. Also a brittish common is great conditioned in the keg, poured warm in a freezing glass, and my german styles, which I use ale yeast, kegged, cold aged, er lagered, and sometimes get to a bottle. so maybe my taste and way I like it served is different than yours. But, I’m getting lazier, and do like kegging. Sneezles61 :cheers:

I do as you do Brew Cat. I have only been brewing now for a little over a year so I cannot state that my methods are solid, but so far I think my bottle conditioned beers have been the best. I have force carbed and served from the keg which has worked out well. I have natural carbed in the keg and served from the keg and that was not as successful as the forced carb. I have bottled from the keg in both of the two keg scenarios and those are hit and miss. I find that if I overcarb the kegged beer before bottling I have the best results in bottling from the keg. And I significantly overcarb. Like I crank it up to 25 PSI for 2 days prior to bottling, and when I bottle from the keg I take it down to 5 PSI for the bottling process. IT seems to work well and I retain a good carbonation level. But overall I would have to say that the bottle conditioned have been the most reliable and probably the best so far. Unfortunately I don’t like giving bottle conditioned beer to friends and having to give a class on how to pour it knowing that they will likely do it wrong anyway. And that would lead to them not being very satisfied with the beer.

I know what your saying about bring bottles to a party. People will grab a bottle and start slugging like a bud. When I tell them you have to pour it in a glass to appreciate it they look at you like your funny. Now I bring beer in flip top growlers. So they are forced to use a glass. Works better. I only give bottle conditioned to certain people because most of them are Belgian style and not everyone likes that. :cheers:

I don’t find that any one way is always better than any other, but on average I get the worst results from bottling from the keg. Lagers seem to age best in the keg, and bottled ales (of almost any type) seem equally good if force carbed in a keg or bottle conditioned. Haven’t tried keg conditioning with sugar - the whole idea of needing to clear my way through the sludge that drops out doesn’t appeal to me.

So far I’ve had success with both but not sure which is better yet. I would say it depends on the style but my kegging experience is limited (just started last month) so I figure I’ll wait and see.

One advantage I think of kegging with something like an IPA is being able to dry hop in the kegs and keeping that flavor and aroma going longer. I think I remember reading that IPA’s in the bottles lose that hoppy flavor/aroma over time and I can only guess that it’s because they are eventually mellowed out. If you dry hop in the keg, they stay in there until the keg is kicked so you get every little bit worth of those hops.

I’ll be brewing an IPA next and plan to do my one dry hop stage in the primary and then the other in my keg, so we will see how it goes!

Done correctly, all 3 methods are equivalent IMO.

By equivalent,
do you mean “produce indistinguishable results”,
or do you mean “produce equally good results”?

And there ya have it. Denny made the point perfectly. Done correctly. We are all hobbyists. Brewing beer is our hobby and so we are all in the learning process. Denny has been doing this a long time and is likely much better at the processes than most of us. Certainly better than me. I have only been brewing a little over a year and only been kegging since November 2014, so my experience is limited. I hope that a year from now I will be able to bottle from a force carbonated keg and have the perfect bottle of beer with no sediment in the bottle. That’s my goal. To make beer that is like drinking commercial beer only with far better taste and made by me. So I guess the answer to the question of which way is better is 95% dependent upon how experienced and skilled you are in the process of brewing beer. It’s not a matter of the better way, it’s a matter of your skill and ability in employing the method.

Seems like it’s just carbonation to me. If you have a method to get the carbonation level where you prefer for a given beer style then you win.

I only bottled a few times then decided kegging was for me. I feel I can pretty much dial in the carbonation level I prefer for the styles I brew most often.

I felt like it would take me a long time to be able to consistently do that with sugar priming in a bottle.

I’ve never felt like there’s any reason for me to sugar prime in the keg. I have two bottles of gas on hand so why? I know some of you have your reasons and more power to you.

Given the same time and temperature conditioning for a split batch, I would bet any perceived difference is just in your mind and based on your expectation.

Having said that it’s your hobby do it however you damn well please! :cheers:

Not saying one is better than the other but they each have pros and cons. Kegs are easy but take up space and are not easily transported. Bottles are great for beers that need aging ,sure you can age in a keg but it’s a PTA. I like to put some of my Belgians on the shelf and revisit from time to time as they continue to change over time. I mean no disrespect to Denny but there is a reason belgian brewers and breweries like alagash and omegang only bottle condition. I only have five kegs and since I can only keep two in the fridge I will sugar carb kegs to keep the pipeline running . When a keg runs low ill bottle off the last 12 pack or so. People say bottling is a lot of extra work, I don’t mind it’s part of the process and I still bottle condition certain beers. It’s all good. :smiley:

Absolutely, its a hobby and each will have their nitch and reasons fer how you like it! One thing I’ve not done is to prime in the keg… I do however watch my gravity in the fermenter and when I get to 1.020, I’ll put into a keg and yes, hit it with CO just to rid O2 and seal the top. I’ll lay it on its side and when walking past it, roll it. keep checking by sampling and you’ll know when its ready fer some friends and frosty glasses, Liquid velvet!! Sneezles61 :cheers:

I’ve thought about trying to keg before fermentation is complete. Does the FG matter. Or is it a rough calculation?

Even done correctly there is more of a chance of having a variance in bottle beer vs kegged. That goes without saying.

[quote=“Brick1083”]By equivalent,
do you mean “produce indistinguishable results”,
or do you mean “produce equally good results”?[/quote]

In my testing, it was indistinguishable to a panel of 6 blind tasters.

Sorry, but many Belgian breweries keg also. Bottling seems to be done more for tradition than beer quality.

Sorry, but many Belgian breweries keg also. Bottling seems to be done more for tradition than beer quality.[/quote]
I’ve had St.Bernardus ABT 12 on tap and in bottle (albeit, not side-by-side), but I remembered the bottled version tasting MUCH better.

I really like both kegging and bottling, not necessarily for flavor difference (haven’t noticed any difference having kegged and bottle conditioned from the same batch), but because I like opening bottles. But I love kegging because I brew lots of lagers (almost exclusively these days) and it’s so much better for cold conditioning.

“The Rogue” seems to feel that there are benefits to bottling including flavor profile and shelf life: ... -the-rogue

[quote=“floyd”]“The Rogue” seems to feel that there are benefits to bottling including flavor profile and shelf life: ... -the-rogue[/quote]

I don’t know if there are flavor benefits or not, but I know that there are marketing benefits to claiming there are flavor benefits.

This forum needs a “like post” button.

Good stuff folks!