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.
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.