Like most home brewers we started bottle priming our beer because that’s the option home brew kits. There is also a little bit more of an investment* then asking friends to save bottles for you to reuse. Some people say there are advantage to both but we stand strong on kegging or forced carbonation is the way to go! !
Bottle Conditioning or priming is great as a first attempt at brewing but it’s hard to control the volume of carbonation in your beer which takes away from the flavor; basically ruining the final product and your ability to enjoy it. A lot of factors impact bottle priming and a tried-and-true formula of boiling 3/4 cup (4-5 oz by weight) of corn sugar in 2 cups of water per 5 gallon batch. No matter what, always right it down as a method of being more accurate to achieve your ideal carbonation level.
Although it will cost more for you to be able to force carbonate/ keg your beer you have so much more control of your carbonation level. You also cut your wait time from secondary fermentation to drinking from weeks to days. That’s not the only benefit, now you can have draft beer at anytime and you can always bottle your kegged beer. Quick tip: To Bottle from a keg you will need to sanitize bottles & caps, get them near the temperature of the kegged beer, fill and cap. You can now let them get to room temperature but AVOID direct light (misnomer beer gets skunked because of temperature transition but it’s actually direct light that skunks your beer)
If you chose to force carbonate check out this carbonation chart provided by Kegerators.com. It’s a great resource when figuring out what PSI to set your regulator at. Quick Note: It’s always smart to make sure you carbonate your beer cold to get the best absorption of CO2 quickly.
*You’ll need to buy a few things including a kegorator($370-$500) or you can always make one. Check out our post on “Make Your Own Kegorator”. This is what else you’ll need:
Ball Lock Corny Keg ($50 – $75), CO2 Regulator ($50 – $150), Ball Locks & Hoses ($20 – $50)