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Old 02-10-2011, 01:15 PM   #1
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Default A bit confused on how to set up my three keg system...

I bought a single-tap kegerator and installed a three tap tower in place of the stock one. I've got one keg on tap, but I'm a little confused how I should go about adding the other two kegs to the CO2 system.

Right now I've got your basic single-gauge, single-output regulator. I can only fit three kegs into the kegerator so I won't be having more than three kegs connected simultaneously.

I don't care much about having different serving pressures, I think. Unless it's going to seriously affect my beer, or the cost is insignificant, I can deal. The bulk of my carbonation will likely be done via the shake method, since keeping a keg cold and untapped means I've got one less beer on tap.

As I understand it, my options are:

- Use a cross (e.g. http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=223). Connect all 3 beer lines to the cross, serve at the same pressure. If I need to force carb, disconnect the other kegs at their gas disconnects, disconnect the cross, connect the keg directly to the CO2, crank up pressure to remaining keg and shake carb. Turn down pressure and reconnect everything to serve.

- Use an air distributor (e.g. http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=52). Connect 3 kegs to the distributor, serve at the same pressure. If I need to force carb, turn off the valves to the other kegs, crank up the pressure on the third keg and shake carb. Then turn pressure back down and serve.

- Use a triple regulator (e.g http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=479). Serve/carb at whatever pressures I want.

The triple regulator obviously allows the most flexibility but is the most expensive. The air distributor might be a bit easier to deal with since I can shut off pressures to individual kegs.

Am I on the right track here? Am I missing anything or over-thinking this?

Any advice or input is greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-10-2011, 01:26 PM   #2
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You aren't giving yourself enough credit. You aren't confused, you just need to decide what to do! You have all your bases covered with those 3 choices.

If you want advice in regards to which of those three choices is preferrable, I would recomend having one of your lines be independant of the other two so that you can shut the valve going to the two when you are carbonating the third. I do the "set it and forget it" method, so this isn't a problem for me, but I understand your reasoning for wanting to do it the other way. Spending the extra money for a three-way regulator is obviously easier, but unnecessary if you are going to serve at the same pressures.

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Old 02-10-2011, 02:07 PM   #3
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I have 2 taps, and space for 4-5 kegs. Because most everything I have brewed/plan to brew have had similar CO2 volume requirements, I'm just doing the set it and forget it method, and tossing everything in the fridge. With my consumption rate, this gives me plenty of lead time to allow the other kegs to carb as well as age a bit. I just use a picnic faucet to sample.

You may consider changing your single regulator out for a double regulator, but keep the line for this one on the outside of the fridge. This would allow you to force carb @ high pressure while shaking, and would also give you a CO2 source for transfers ect.

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Old 02-10-2011, 05:26 PM   #4
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I have a 3 keg setup too. I went with a dual pressure regulator and a Y adapter on one of the gauges. That gives me the ability to have one pressure higher or lower. Also allows me to hook up the single to the beer gun or to set that one higher for force carb. I am really happy I bought the dual pressure regulator. Might as well go for it!

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Old 02-11-2011, 07:56 AM   #5
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I had the same questions. I went with a 2 tap keggerator(room for 4 kegs), single regulator, 4 way line splitter with ball valves. This way I can serve on 2 kegs and set it and forget it on 2 backup kegs for when the others go empty.

I'm not too worried about different serving/carbing pressures, but if I have to I can always shut the air off to a particular keg. For instance, turn a tapped keg off when I'm not using it to carb another at a different pressure.

Yeah it would be easier to double regulate, but this works for me.

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Old 02-11-2011, 08:35 AM   #6
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Any of the aforementioned methods will work. One thing I strongly suggest is placing a ball check valve in each of the gas lines to the kegs. This will not only allow you to shut them off individually if needed, but will also separate the gas lines. Without the check valves, it is possible that a pressure differential could siphon beer from one keg to another. At a minimum, you need one check valve to protect your regulator, but that is not necessary if you have one on each line.

If you go with one pressure, the simplest method is to get a three-way distributor and put the check valves in the distributor. In secondary regulators, the check valve can go right into the regulator.

3-way distributor with check valves

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Old 02-11-2011, 11:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
Any of the aforementioned methods will work. One thing I strongly suggest is placing a ball check valve in each of the gas lines to the kegs. This will not only allow you to shut them off individually if needed, but will also separate the gas lines. Without the check valves, it is possible that a pressure differential could siphon beer from one keg to another. At a minimum, you need one check valve to protect your regulator, but that is not necessary if you have one on each line.

If you go with one pressure, the simplest method is to get a three-way distributor and put the check valves in the distributor. In secondary regulators, the check valve can go right into the regulator.

3-way distributor with check valves
Hm, is it possible to have MFL connectors with check valves? I like the ease of swapping out hoses with MFL connectors better.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tu13es View Post
Hm, is it possible to have MFL connectors with check valves? I like the ease of swapping out hoses with MFL connectors better.
Yes indeed. http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=343
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:06 PM   #9
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Hm, I'm leaning towards the 3-way distributor. However, if I wanted to somehow add a second regulator into the mix with the distributor, would I be able to?

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Old 02-11-2011, 07:15 PM   #10
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sure, you'd just have to do a bit of reconfiguring. i started with a kegconnection kit and 3-way distro. worked great, but having only one pressure for all beers is kind of limiting.

i bought a secondary reg, which was about the same amount as a decent 3-way, but then materials (gas line, oetiker clamps, mfl connections, etc) to reconfig my system was another like $40. so, basically, i could have set myself up with two secondaries for what i paid.

summary: go with two secondaries from the start. you'll be really happy when you have a wheat beer and an ESB on tap and they aren't at the same carb level.

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