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Old 06-28-2013, 01:09 PM   #1
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Default Kegging advice

I'm about to get into kegging I've looked at what seems like a thousand websites and reviews. Is there any company's y'all recommend or anything to watch out for. And is it worth to buy refurbished kegs or should I go ahead and buy new?

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Old 06-28-2013, 01:12 PM   #2
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Stick with ball locks and if u go with refurbished, don't get any that are marked "Root beer" as you'll never get that flavor out of them no matter how long u soak.

Oh and check with ur local LHBS and see if they sell refurbished ones. Usually cheaper and will save u the cost of shipping.

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Old 06-28-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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I got my setup from BeverageDepot. Refurbed kegs are fine.

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Old 06-28-2013, 01:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pratzie View Post
Stick with ball locks and if u go with refurbished, don't get any that are marked "Root beer" as you'll never get that flavor out of them no matter how long u soak.

Oh and check with ur local LHBS and see if they sell refurbished ones. Usually cheaper and will save u the cost of shipping.
Pin locks work fine and are cheaper than ball locks.

Root beer kegs can easily be cleaned: Take is all apart, soak with oxy-clean, and replace all rubbers. Done.

MC
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:51 PM   #5
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I've personally used Kegconnection and ritebrew.com. Both have been awesome to deal with.

As far as pin lock (Coke products) vs. ball lock (Pepsi products), as was already mentioned, pin locks are a little cheaper, since they are more readily available. I like ball locks myself because of the physical size (taller and skinnier than pin locks, which fit better in my keg fridge), as well as the fact that they have a manual pressure release valve (convenient, but not necessary). A buddy of mine has a small store-purchased kegerator that doesn't have enough height clearance to accommodate a ball lock, so he uses a pin lock that was converted to ball lock, which is 3 inches shorter than an actual ball lock.

Before you decide which way to go, consider where you will be using them and figure out if size will be an issue. IIRC, ball locks are 8.5 dia x 25 tall and pin locks are 9.0 x 22. Also keep in mind that pin locks can be converted to ball lock and you can purchase ones that have already been converted. Cornykeg.com, among others, sells these.

I have 10 kegs and all were purchased used and had no problems cleaning them up. New would be nice, but I can't yet justify the cost when used ones work perfectly fine for about half the cost of new.

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Old 06-28-2013, 02:16 PM   #6
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I've always had bad luck with ball lock and pin lock. I switched to sanke kegs and no more problems. Yes, they cost more, but check with your local scrap yard. They are built to last for ever.

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Old 06-28-2013, 02:16 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the feedback! One more question, Does a picnic tap foam worse than a fridge kit? I have a mini fridge that I can convert into a kegerator but besides looks is it much more convenient?

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Old 06-28-2013, 02:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck View Post
Root beer kegs can easily be cleaned: Take is all apart, soak with oxy-clean, and replace all rubbers. Done.

MC
I wish I had been that lucky. took one for free off of my LHBS (he refuses to take them from his supplier and missed the one label) to try it. Soaked 4 times in oxyclean for a minimum of one day each and also replaced all the rings. I can still smell it. And i know alot of people who have tried that as well with no success.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will_rouse View Post
I'm about to get into kegging I've looked at what seems like a thousand websites and reviews. Is there any company's y'all recommend or anything to watch out for. And is it worth to buy refurbished kegs or should I go ahead and buy new?
Kegging will change your whole outlook on beer making - at least it did for me

I used kegconnection at a time when they had some of the lowest costs. They were awesome to deal with and took care of me very well. Great customer service.

Refurbished kegs are the way to go unless you're kegerator/keezer has a glass door . You'll save a ton of money, won't care if they accidentally get dinged, won't feel like you always need to be cleaning them, and they'll function everybit as good as a new keg.

As for ball or pin lock.... Measure your space and buy what fits. My refrigerator cannot accommodate the height of ball locks plus their disconnects so I went with pin lock. In my case, I can fit 4 pin locks plus a steel 10 lb co2 talk inside. Even if I could fit ball locks, I would still only be able to fit 4 plus the tank. Some freezers on the other hand can accommodate more ball locks than pin locks but might require you build a collar.

You can always buy the flared disconnects for the opposite style if you end up with one or want to have friends bring over their opposite-style kegs.

IIRC:
Pin lock plus disconnect: 22 + 1.5 = 23.5" tall (9" diam)
Ball lock plus disconnect: 25 + 1 = 26" tall (8.5" diam)

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:02 PM   #10
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I've been getting my kegs from Adventures in Homebrewing whenever they put sets of 4 ball locks on sale- http://www.homebrewing.org/5-Gallon-...Used_p_70.html For some reason, when you get 4, the shipping per keg is most reasonable.

I went with ball locks since almost all of them out there have a pressure relief valve in the lid standard. It's more handy than you might think.

For my keezer internals, after shopping it around quite a bit, I bought from http://www.birdmanbrewing.com/ The owner, Brian, is a great guy, an HBT vendor and took good care of me.
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