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Old 06-16-2007, 12:02 PM   #1
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Default Kegorator $

It seems as though bottling is the most labor intensive and time consuming part of this hobby. (Really brewing is more time consuming but I really enjoy that!) It makes sense to me to move to kegging. I am looking for a rough estimate of the cost involved. I realize that much like anything else you can spend as much or as little (within reason) as you want. I am not planning to make this move until around Christmas. Lets remove the fridge from the equation, also lets assume that I am not the best shopper in the world (which I am not). Not really looking for a parts list just an estimate. Also my plan is to DIY rather than buying one ready to go.

SHMBO would freak if I was to start spending $ on a kegorator right now. I was enjoying a Bass clone homebrew last night and she asked if that was about a $20.00 beer. Stupidly I said it might be more (However this came from the first good batch of many, I hope)

Thank you & Cheers!!!

Oh... where do you get CO2 tanks filled and roughly how much do they cost?

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Old 06-16-2007, 12:16 PM   #2
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tank $70
regulator $40
hoses/disconnects per keg $15

Options:
picnic faucet $3
high end shank/perlick faucet $45


CO2 fills are about $1 per pound.

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Old 06-16-2007, 12:32 PM   #3
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Kegs themselves are anywhere from $20 to $35 a pop, depending on where you buy them, once they're re-conditioned. You probably will want at least three or four to start, so you can have a couple on draft and a couple conditioning at the same time.

I spend a little more than that on my CO2 refills ($2/lb), but I could swap in my 10lb tank for $14 if I chose to. If you get an old tank, it might need to be recertified, which could run from $20 - $30 (usually). You can get them filled or swapped at industrial gas places (like Airgas) or places that recharge fire extinguishers.

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Old 06-16-2007, 02:41 PM   #4
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OK roughly (if I am reading this right)...

Kegs (Can I recondition them myself) $25-35.00
CO2 Tank (I am assuming that I will only need 1) $70.00
Regulator (Each keg?) $40.00
Plumbing per keg $15.00

I would imagine (2) taps, tower, and other needed supplies
might total $100-150.00

How long will a 10# CO2 tank last?

That comes to $470.00 for 4 kegs and 2 taps prior to the fridge.

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Old 06-16-2007, 02:53 PM   #5
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You only need one regulator; you split the gas line between the various kegs after the reg drops the pressure. You'll only need more than one reg if you want different kegs to be under different pressues (so you can have a highly-carbed hefe and a low-carb English Bitter on tap at the same time). If you can live with a single serving pressure, you just need the one regulator, then you can split the line with a cheap "T" (I think $4 - $5 for a stainless steel T) or you can get a CO2 distributor, which usually runs between $25 and $50 depending on how many kegs you can hook up to it.

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Old 06-16-2007, 03:27 PM   #6
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Just by a regulator that is plumbed with a 'Y' already in it.

I bought 342-2. It had check valves installed integral inside the ball valves.

http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-beer/regulators-cid-614.html

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Old 06-16-2007, 05:50 PM   #7
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co2 varies from locality to locality, and even from store to store in a single locality. i live in austin, and the cheapest i've found for co2 was 13.50 for my 50# tank. at the same shop, a 20# tank was around 11, so all the swaps were pretty close. i know that in other cities, the co2 is more expensive.

i definitely recommend getting more than one tank, at least eventually. i have seven currently. haha. the co2 will always seem to run out at the most inoportune times. having a second tank full will alleviate any worries. craigslist is great for finding co2 tanks on the cheap. i've never paid more than 20 per tank off craigslist. they needed to be tested, so add another 10, and then the cost of the fill, around 13 dollars. so for a bit over 50, i have a full tank of co2.

with kegging, you can start out as cheap as you want, or as extravagent as you want. i woudl say to start with just the basics, and then see what you want to do from there.

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Old 06-16-2007, 09:42 PM   #8
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What is the advantage having 2 gauge regulator?

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Old 06-16-2007, 09:43 PM   #9
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greatest advantage is to tell if you have a leak in your system.

second to that, it tells you when you are just about to run out of gas.

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Old 06-16-2007, 11:34 PM   #10
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Also start checking places like craigslist regularly. I got a 20 pound CO2 tank and regulator (as well as a fridge and sanke tap) for free off there. Fridges or freezers are also cheap if you wait for the right one to come along.

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