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flyangler18 10-02-2008 02:48 PM

Experiences with Fass-Frisch (report them here)
Split off from this thread

So, Bob mentioned the 5L Fass-Frisch keg and I'll admit I didn't know about these. Has anyone else used them? Gravity-dispensed or using a taper? I think I'll naturally condition in these mini-kegs or use the old BMBF to fill 'em up.

I think I may pick up a couple to take to rugby matches. :D :rockin::D

I do keg- but transporting full cornies can be quite cumbersome, so this might be an excellent alternative with less fuss.

From Bob:


Odd, mused Bob. I have cornies, too, and love them for at home. But they're a pain in the arse to lug to parties. You not only have a heavy keg, you must carry complicated dispensing equipment. With a 5L Fass-Frisch keg, you take a tiny little keg my silver-haired mother-in-law wouldn't strain to carry great distances. Sit it on a bag of ice. That's it!
And replying to my C02 or gravity-fed question:


Both. Fass-Frisch 5L kegs have a built-in tap. What with the two-piece bung, dispensing Real Ale is a snap!

I have other kegs sans tap. For those I have a CO2 tap which uses those little cartridges. Whippets, I believe they used to be called by the paint-huffing crowd.

You must realize, of course, that you cannot artificially carbonate beer in 5L minikegs. It must either be carbonated before filling or naturally conditioned in the keg. I prefer the latter, of course, given my slathering obsession with session-strength Real Ale, but the BMBF can presumably be used to fill them.

Another caveat is that they are not stainless. They're coated with some sort of sealant on the inside that will eventually degrade. So they're not items of infinite use, like Cornelius kegs.

But handy? Hell, yeah

Bob 10-02-2008 03:49 PM

I suppose I ought to help on where to get them and their associated equipment.

Homebrew Adventures lists 5L kegs in stock on their website. I think the Party-Star system is a good starter system; that's what I bought right out of the blocks.

Taps, gadgets and goodies can be had from Wecomatic in Germany. Prices are good, but shipping is a b!tch and the dollar is weak.

Listermann has a bunch of cool accessories also, but are out of stock on the kegs themselves. Search on "mini-keg".

You can also press commercial mini-kegs into service. Like buying cases of good beer to enjoy while keeping the bottles, get yourself four 5L minikegs of decent German pils beer and have a party. After your friends drink you dry, clean and store the kegs.

Whatever you do, lay in a supply of the two-piece bungs. They're easy to damage and, given that the 5L keg system is falling out of fashion, who knows when supply will dry up.


Dagatris 10-02-2008 04:05 PM

So if I bought one of the 5L Heineken mini kegs at the grocery store and emptied it out, what else would be necessary to be able to refill and use it? I've not purchased one of them before, but I think the ones I've seen have a gravity tap at the bottom.

I'm not quite sure how you'd get one open to clean/refill and then be able to seal it up airtight again.

In the other thread you posted that they have some sort of coating inside that will wear down overtime. How many uses have you averaged out of each mini keg?

flyangler18 10-02-2008 04:15 PM

It looks like you would siphon into the keg through one of the bung openings after pouring your priming solution into the keg. As Bob mentioned earlier, you'll have to naturally carb in the keg as you can't force carb one of these vessels.

Funkenjaeger 10-02-2008 05:14 PM

The heineken kegs are proprietary and have a built-in CO2 cartridge and dispensing system, AFAIK they are not reusable. The "normal" 5L kegs have a gravity tap at the bottom and a rubber bung in the top, no other fancy equipment attached.

Bob 10-02-2008 05:34 PM

I think the Heineken kegs have no easy means of filling. But most of the other 5L kegs I've seen - such as Warsteiner, Kostritzer, Bitburger, Spaten and Kulmbacher - all have the built-in taps and venting bit where you will eventually install the two-piece bung.

Getting the rubber bung out can be a real adventure. :) But you have to in order to clean them.

Sometimes, especially if you buy new kegs from a homebrew shop, you'll get kegs without the built-in tap. For those you need a tapping system of some sort.


Bob 10-02-2008 05:38 PM


Originally Posted by Dagatris (Post 877691)
I'm not quite sure how you'd get one open to clean/refill and then be able to seal it up airtight again.

There is a two-piece rubber bung that seals the keg. It's a b!tch to remove and install, but that's because it seals so well! :)


In the other thread you posted that they have some sort of coating inside that will wear down overtime. How many uses have you averaged out of each mini keg?
Yes. :D

Okay, that's a bit of fun. Really, I haven't the foggiest. I inspect them before use. If I see something that doesn't look like smooth coated metal, it's into the recycling with that keg. I've had precisely one go bad in the past ten years. That said, I don't use them for every batch! My output varies: Some cornies, some bottles, some mini-kegs, some a mix of two or all three. It's literally a case of Your Mileage May Vary.


jtvinny 10-02-2008 05:46 PM

I bought a couple of these because I had a "das bier zapfer" it has a push pump and a lever to dispense. I have used bitburger kegs before and would recommend this system. The CO2 dispenser for it is pretty nice too perhaps I will find one on CL someday.

MoRoToRiUm 10-02-2008 10:29 PM

Mini Keg Equipment :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies

Before I got my cornies, I experimented with mini kegs- They are a lot easier to lug around, but you definetly have to have a CO2 adapter or a server like the Avanti Mini-Pub-it works with Heiniken and the gravity fed with CO2 and chill plate (Since I have kegorator now, I guess I should stop letting mine collect dust and sell it)...

I had bought four minikegs from Midwest, one had a little dent. Called them up, shipped me a replacement free of charge (As stated before, get the two piece bungs, and the brush is kind of handy).

Dagatris 10-08-2008 03:22 PM

I guess the best way to learn is to go buy myself one of these little mini kegs.

If it's gravity-fed, wouldn't there be a lot of sediment from a homebrew?

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