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Old 11-21-2012, 02:43 AM   #1
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Default Knock-off Corny?

I recently received an order I placed for a keg kit that included two ball-lock corny kegs. One was a genuine Cornelius Keg, but the other, upon closer inspection, was a Firestone Challenger VI Keg, and I'm severely disappointed. When I took off the posts of the Challenger, I found that not one but BOTH poppet valves were broken and I've been unable to fix them. The (cheap s***) plastic gas dip tube was also badly warped around the top of it, such that the gas in post seems to not want to seat. All of the O-Rings badly need to be replaced (but I expected that), but the liquid dip-tube on the Challenger was bent out of shape and scraping/pressing against the bottom of the keg upon arrival. As a result, I can't get the liquid out post to seat properly (it only screws on about halfway), so I'm sure it won't hold pressure. What can I do? I've sent a nasty email to the company that sent me the kegs (which they specifically labeled as CORNELIUS kegs, despite the fact that they are shipping other brands), but my hopes aren't high..

Does anybody have experience with these off-brand corny kegs? I've had a bear of a time trying to get the poppet-valves to hold together and line up properly with the dip tube to seat the posts, but the best I can currently achieve seems unlikely to work. Pending a response from the company, I may try to buy new poppets and somehow find a plastic gas tube, and bend the liquid tube back so it fits, but I'm pretty frustrated.

Sorry for the rant, but I've had a few homebrews.

Thanks,
Derick

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Old 11-21-2012, 02:50 AM   #2
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I have a few of these and they're just a good as the cornelius variants when not damaged. They're not really knockoffs in my opinion, just different. You can buy replacement gas dip tubes here http://www.williamsbrewing.com/TAPERED-PLASTIC-GAS-DIP-TUBE-P2570.aspx.

Also, I've had great luck with these universal poppets http://www.williamsbrewing.com/UNIVERSAL-POPPET-VALVE-P2924.aspx.

I would complain about the quality of the kegs, however, if they're not what you expected.

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Old 11-21-2012, 02:56 AM   #3
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Have you received a reply from the keg dealer yet? Is this a dealer that you found through recoemmendations from the HBT forum?

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Old 11-21-2012, 03:23 AM   #4
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A lot of places sell the Challenger VI when you buy "cornelius style" kegs. I've got six and I've had no problems with them (mine came from 2 very reputable companies listed in the vendor section). Most are old pepsi-co kegs. One of mine is the style that takes a plastic dip tube - the tubes from the site linked above fit well, and that's the only place I found that sells them too. The posts take type A poppets like these or universal poppets as mentioned. I've never seen the foot of a poppet come off like that, looks like the little nubs that hold them on broke off. I'd get them to send you replacements.

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Old 11-21-2012, 03:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudsmcgee View Post
I would complain about the quality of the kegs, however, if they're not what you expected.
Thanks for the links, I'm awaiting a reply and I'll let you guys know what happens.

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Originally Posted by msa8967
Have you received a reply from the keg dealer yet? Is this a dealer that you found through recoemmendations from the HBT forum?
I haven't gotten anything back as of yet, but I'll keep you updated. I didn't find the company through this forum, but they seemed to be a fairly trustworthy source from other reviews.

I'm hoping I'll at least get replacement poppets/diptubes, but honestly I'd like a partial refund so I can send this thing back and get identical kegs or a true Cornelius keg. I imagine it'll get pretty complicated to have two kegs with poppets/plugs/etc that look so similar and yet are incompatible.

EDIT: Has anybody tried to drill out the gas in post? I've found a few sources talking about that, but it seems a bit over my head.. Others recommend cutting a SS gas tube short so it'll still sit flush in the hole, and while that seems easier, it's still a bit imposing.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derick_Z View Post
Thanks for the links, I'm awaiting a reply and I'll let you guys know what happens.



I haven't gotten anything back as of yet, but I'll keep you updated. I didn't find the company through this forum, but they seemed to be a fairly trustworthy source from other reviews.

I'm hoping I'll at least get replacement poppets/diptubes, but honestly I'd like a partial refund so I can send this thing back and get identical kegs or a true Cornelius keg. I imagine it'll get pretty complicated to have two kegs with poppets/plugs/etc that look so similar and yet are incompatible.

EDIT: Has anybody tried to drill out the gas in post? I've found a few sources talking about that, but it seems a bit over my head.. Others recommend cutting a SS gas tube short so it'll still sit flush in the hole, and while that seems easier, it's still a bit imposing.
Is the company listed in the vendor list on HBT?? How about reviews in that section of these boards? That could tell you what the experiences people have had in the past were like.

As for who made the kegs. Often with the used kegs, they're all listed [generically] as Corny kegs. Even if they're not made by Cornelius. Only way, IMO, to KNOW what you're buying (for used kegs) is to pick them out in person. OR, buy brand new [Italian] kegs.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Is the company listed in the vendor list on HBT?? How about reviews in that section of these boards? That could tell you what the experiences people have had in the past were like.

As for who made the kegs. Often with the used kegs, they're all listed [generically] as Corny kegs. Even if they're not made by Cornelius. Only way, IMO, to KNOW what you're buying (for used kegs) is to pick them out in person. OR, buy brand new [Italian] kegs.
I don't see it on the vendors list. I never saw reviews in that section, but I could be wrong. The reviews on other sites seemed generally positive, with one person concerned about the regulator being a different type than pictured (though mine seems to be identical), and one person concerned with leaking taps from the kit. I've been doing some research and found that Corny keg seems to be the generic nowadays, like kleenex. It's a specific brand, but everybody treats it as the product itself. I'll likely head to a few of the nearby HBS tomorrow and see if they have poppets/diptubes or advice/experience with these kegs. I've had luck there before.

Honestly, I'm not sure why I decided to buy from a relatively un-vetted vendor. It was cheaper, but not nearly enough to justify all these shortcomings and uncertainty.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:24 AM   #8
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IF the LHBS is actually local, and not a >30 minute drive (each way) I'll give them first crack at my business. Where I lived before, the closest (decent) LHBS was 40-45 minutes away. It got to the point where I would just order things online and just plan far enough ahead of time.

Where I live now, there's on not even a 10 minute drive. He has a good amount of stuff in stock, and is willing to order other things I want (tells me if there's going to be a delay in when it will arrive). IME, that's going above and beyond what some places will do. I am checking to see if they have things (more and more) before placing an order online now. Granted, he can't get some of the malts I like to use (due to his suppliers) but I know that and can work on getting other things from him.

I would really hesitate to try a new vendor, these days, that's not one of the major suppleirs (listed on the page here, and getting far more positive reviews than negative). With as many suppliers as there are these days, they should do whatever it takes to make things right for us. Especially since we can easily shift to another vendor without any issue. Not like the old days where the suppliers available were few and far between.

BTW, if you don't get a good resolution from that vendor, post up in the review section. Even if you do get a resolution, post up in that section about your experience.

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Old 11-21-2012, 04:32 AM   #9
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BTW, if you don't get a good resolution from that vendor, post up in the review section. Even if you do get a resolution, post up in that section about your experience.
I definitely will. I've got one shop near here with mediocre stock and sub-par service (they always seem too busy reading magazines or zoning out to help), one shop with pretty poor stock (except for grains) and great service, and one shop with (I've heard) great stock and great service. I haven't had the opportunity to visit the great shop yet, but it's only a 15 or 20 minute drive, so I'll likely be there soon. SWMBO already saw how frustrated/upset I was trying to piece together the keg I'd gotten, and offered to run out tomorrow and buy me a new corny from the good shop! Not sure what I'd do without her!
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:07 PM   #10
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Great news! I received an email from the company today, and they are sending another keg out today! She apologized profusely and told me I can keep the current keg free of charge. Honestly, I'm a bit embarrassed I was so upset/angry yesterday in my email

As soon as that arrives and I've had a chance to look it over, I'll post a great review on this and other forums.

Thanks for the input, everybody!

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