Bottling is by far the cheapest approach when it comes to containerizing your beer. Bottles can be found at every party lying around. You can steal bottles from your neighborís recycle bin or ask around at bars for empty bottles. The bars shouldnít mind giving you some of their trash. Secondly, beer bottles are portable. You can bring a six pack with you to a friends house or give a bottle to a friend or relative. You can even mail beer bottles.
The down side with bottles is that itís a lot more time consuming to sanitize and fill two cases of bottles than it is to fill up a keg. Itís also harder to find the right carbonation level when you add the priming sugar. Bottles are also known to foam over or worse yet - explode. Some people donít like the yeast sediment that forms on the bottom from priming (even though the beer is clear when you bottle it, the extra sugar you add at bottling time allows the suspended yeast to multiply again inside the bottle). Despite the cloudier beer, the yeast does add some nutrition (thatís absent in store-bought filtered beer) especially in the B vitamins.
|Our Brew Not Bombs collection.........Chyaaa!|
|Typical 5 gallon Keg and CO2 system||
Kegging does, however, come with big disadvantages. The cost of just one keg, hoses disconnects, a faucet, CO2 tank, CO2, regulator, and a refrigerator for storage (yes a refrigerator, or kegerator, is a necessity), will cost well over two hundred dollars if you shop thrifty and buy used equipment. Kegs are not as portable as bottles but a trash can filled with ice would do the trick. Itís also slightly more expensive to operate, costing on average from one to two dollars a keg for the CO2. The old soda kegs can have leaks around one of the many gaskets. It would suck to wake up and find that all your CO2 was gone just after you kegged it.
Drink a homebrew and ask yourself which method is right for you. If you have lots of bottles at your disposal (recycle) and plan to take your beer with you to parties etc. then it sounds like bottling my suit your needs just fine. If, on the other hand, you have a bit of money to invest, have a place for a kegerator, entertain at home a lot, or plan on having huge BNB parties, then a kegging system will make brewing easier. Both methods lead to excellent beer!