Not saying that you shouldn't keg, or that it's not validly a time-saver, but there is an easier solution to at least part of this problem: Don't let your bottles get stinky and bug-filled in the first place. It will make bottling day much happier, without the expense of a keg system.
Do you store your dishes dirty and wash only as many dishes as you need, before eating? No, then your cupboards would get stinky and full of bugs.
Just as you wash the dirty dishes after eating, even if you don't need any clean ones right this minute (at least I hope you do), you should rinse the beer bottles after you empty them, not when you're getting ready to fill them. There's no grease and nothing cooked on to the bottles, so it's easy - a quick rinse with water, put them in the drying rack to drain, and you're done.
Having done that, the only washing I do on bottling day is another quick rinse to get rid of any small amount of dust that might have settled in them. I don't even use any sanitizer (homebrew purists may recoil in horror at that).
I switched to kegs in order to simplify my home drinking experience too!
I agree with you 100%, however I will still keg. The bottling wand is not my friend. I do not need green beer all over the walls.
I think forced CO2 kegging produces the best quality... for my tastes anyway. It really depends on investment and space. This cartridge system seems like a good idea to get started (I was fortunate to find a refrigerator/kegorator for sale on Craigslist for cheaper than the new CO2 system would have cost me).
Are you able to place a pressure gauge between the cart and keg?
I have hard a hard time getting cask carbonation right, consistently. Different yeasts/beers/what have you make it inconsistent. Force carbonation never fails.
Aye, but sometimes, a bottle of cold, fizzy beer, in the way that only cold bottled beer can be...?
So when will Weisbergerbraü be available in the BoingBoing shop?
I'd be happy to host a Boing Boing beach party this summer in NorCal.
Switching to kegs is definitely the better "bottling" option. I went with cornelius "corny" kegs because they hold 5 gallons (a usual homebrew batch) and they are available used/reconditioned for cheap.
I'll brew something for the occasion.
"No more clumsy bottle filler"
Keep that bottling wand around. With the addition of a rubber cork, you have a counter-pressure filler for when you want to take a bottle with you.
I do the same thing, but give the bottles a quick dunk in a bucket of sanitizer. I don't recoil in horror that you don't use the stuff, but man, I sure do hate it when I get a gusher from a contaminated beer.
Whoa, wait a second. . .you just had $720 (not including the various gassing and tapping bits) just lying around? That's quite a heavy outlay of cash, my friend.
Congrats on discovering kegging.
A kegging setup, in my opinion, ranks #2 in equipment purchases any home brewer should make. The first being temperature control for their fermentation process.
I bought 2 at a time over the course of a year. Right now two are empty and need to be cleaned.
The gassing kit was pretty cheap, as per the links.
Is there any reason you went for the 2.5 as opposed to the 3 Gallon ones?
This one is $10 cheaper than the one you linked to, and holds a half gallon more. The extra space means that you can consider fermenting a split batch (probably with fermcap) in them as well! Provided you can still fit them in your fridge It seems like a good deal!
There is no science to this. I didn't see the 3gal and have bought the 2.5gal for consistency.
I have a bunch of five gallon cornies--kegging is night and day after bottling. If you have room cornies and a temp controlled chest freezer is a cheap, reasonable, and very effective setup.
The best part about half cornies is they will fit in a normal fridge, which is great.
Do we want to start a BB brewing club? I have an angram beer engine... >:)
I'm in for the BBBC, but I think it might be tough to get us all in the same room!