The Obvious Drawback with Kegging

To keg or not to keg; that is the question. Don’t get me wrong. If money wasn’t an issue at all, I would keg the shit out of my beer. I would have a huge kegerator with 2 or 3 taps, placed right next to my fermentation chamber in my garage. But I’m practical and my wife wouldn’t let me. Check back in 10 years.kegerator

You need another fridge. And that’s really the only advantage bottling has over kegging, if we are being honest. Bottling doesn’t require a special refrigerator or kegerator. With bottles, you can store them in the basement and put them in the fridge whenever you want. That’s it. But that’s a big deal.

A kegerator is a lot of money, time, energy, and space. If you are mechanically inclined, you can shed some of the costs and build it yourself. But my real point is this: if you are considering a kegerater, you should first be considering a fermentation chamber. It’s more important. So which one do you choose? Sadly, you cannot use a kegerator as a fermentation chamber at the same time, so now you are looking to get two extra fridges just to make beer at home? That’s a tall order. I personally opted for the fermentation chamber instead, something that isn’t necessary but helps. Now, if you talk to anyone who kegs, they will tell you how incredibly easy it is. But cleaning kegs can be more work than cleaning bottles, if you clean bottles using a dishwasher. If not, then cleaning bottles can be a pain in the ass (I used to dunk them individually into my bath tub…gross). Kegging requires special cleaning supplies, lines and tubing, a CO2 tank, and special trips to fill it.

A huge advantage to kegging is that it doesn’t take as long to carbonate your beer.  I’ve heard 4-5 days. Bottles can take from 1-3 weeks, depending. You could potentially go from grain to glass in two weeks.

2 thoughts on “The Obvious Drawback with Kegging

  1. I can tell you from one who has made the switch from bottling to kegs, I would never go back. Your points on expense are valid, but we already had a spare fridge. My keg set up was purchased for me by my lovely bride (who also just picked me up another keg!) so my expense really is the CO2 at this point. A tank of that usually lasts me about 6 months so I can honestly say it is well worth the time I have saved with the whole bottling process. I am also convince that kegging exposes the beer to less O2 than the bottling process so I feel it is a safer way to package from that respect. To each his own, but for me, if I would not have moved to kegs I may not be brewing anymore. Simply hated the process of de-labeling, cleaning, sanitizing, capping. Plus, I almost always made a big mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pretty much agree and I’m jealous. A resourceful, patient person can graduate to kegging for little cost (except the energy cost, which is probably significant especially if the fridge is old and inefficient). Theoretically, on the O2 issue, you are right – but I’m still skeptical that bottling can ruin or stale a beer. In practice I’ve yet to taste it. I think the live yeast in the bottle take care of the O2 issue. If I bottled how I used to bottle, I completely agree it’s a pain in the ass. Using dishwasher to sanitize, using dominoe sugar cubes, and not having to use siphons/tubes has made the process enormously better for me (still, not that fun).


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