Ok brains trust I need some help. I have scored two 19 litre kegs and need to decide on two things: How to carbonate and how to dispense from keg to tap.
So 1st is carbonation there are 2 methods, secondary fermentation via bulk priming which will pressurise the kegs but it will need supplementary CO2 to maintain pressure once beer is being consumed. The second, force carbonation via CO2, either way will need CO2. So that brings me to my next decision how to deliver the C02 and again there is 2 options. Either refillable CO2 via 2.6 or 6kg cylinder or Soda stream. Both require regulators to that is not an issue. No matter what I do a regulator is on the shopping list. Now to eliminate the carbonation issue seeing I need CO2 I will force carbonate so that decision has been made. Now may last dilemma. Which bottle: Soda Stream or a CO2 Cylinder.
Ok let’s look at the Soda stream. Not the best for cash economy, have read that they get about 100 litres from a cylinder if used efficiently, but 100% the best for economy of space. I do not, a this stage, have a dedicated Keg fridge so I will be using a Pluto gun and share the beer fridge with kegs and bottles. CO2 Cylinders: the 2.6 kg is smaller than the 6kg and cheaper to refill but needs to be refilled more often. I have no idea how many kegs or litres of beer it will deliver before it runs out which is the same for the 6kg bottle which obviously lasts longer but has a bigger cash hit when refilled.
So now to my dilemma I need guidance from the brains trust on which is the best way to go. The Soda Stream is perfect for space but cost is an issue if every 3 months or so I need a new one but at around $20 buck for an exchange it is not so bad really. Works out at around $0.20/litre if I get 100 litres per cylinder. Now this is where I need more help how long does a 2.6kg and the 6kg cylinder last?
So knowing what you know which system would you advise a novice to get Soda Stream or CO2 cylinder? … Or is this a viable option … getting both a soda stream cylinder and 2.6 or 6kg keg and using the the CO2 cylinder to carbonate the brew and the Soda stream to be the propellant. That way I have the luxury of space savings and the size and economy of the bigger cylinder to make Soda Stream more cost efficient. Or am I just over thinking this and those savings are negligible and it doesn’t really matter?
I have search through past topics on this and found some useful info but nothing this specific.
Thanks in advance.