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dp69_2001 05-30-2009 07:06 AM

mini kegging?!
Tried searching for a thread but couldn't really find anything similar to my situation. So, after bottle carbing for 1 year I decided that I would do a little upgrading of my setup so I bought a mini keg setup from my lhbs.

Comes with 4 of these little buggers and one tap. you put a Co2 cartridge on the tap and then basically dispense the beer. which is all the instructions that are included with this (which are in german). So now I'm full of questions.

If I fill the I can only have the tap (which is the only way to carb it) on one keg at a time. So do I leave the other 3 unpressurized until the tap is freed up and then wait a few days for it to carb? Or am I supposed to mostly carbonate with corn sugar (because that kind of eliminates the purpose)? and then use the C02 for dispensing? Doesn't look like the bung/plug thing is really built to hold much pressure untill the tap is on it. Kinda confused. I've got a pale ale that needs to go in these hopefully sunday.

Blender 05-30-2009 07:26 AM

I'm pretty sure you are supposed to carbonate with sugar and just use the cartridge to dispense the beer.

dp69_2001 05-30-2009 07:30 AM

so would you use the same amount as you would for bottling? I suppose the bungs could hold under pressure.

dp69_2001 05-30-2009 07:49 AM

So that would make the process about the same... except I'd have beer on tap as opposed to opening a bottle every 5 minutes. So, it would save me no carbonation time at all? and it will cost more?

The larger systems use no sugar correct? you just basically have a large c02 tank feeding the keg and with enough pressure to push it up the hose and out the tap? Only real pain is having a dedicated fridge in my 2 bedroom apartment. ha ha.

killian 05-30-2009 07:49 AM

I would try the same as when bottling, you should be fine. If I bought those I would have to find a way to pour one of those with out the co2 cask conditioned style.

dp69_2001 05-30-2009 07:51 AM

tip it upside down and pull the lever ;)

homebrewer_99 05-30-2009 02:58 PM

NO, when priming minikegs you use only 1 tablespoon of corn sugar.

Since you have the gravity tap built in the bottom you don't need a tapper w/CO2 cartridges.

Replace the tap (faucet) with the black rubber bung (with the red plastic key).

killian 05-30-2009 07:06 PM

so if you are using 1 tbs per keg what would that make it for 5 gallons?
What size are those kegs?

dp69_2001 05-31-2009 06:57 AM

They're 1 gallon kegs. The drain plug on the bottom is kind of weird and I'm not entirely sure it would work as a tap. You twist it, and then pull it out. It seems like it would spray beer everywhere as you were pulling it.

So, it wouldn't work if I siphoned the beer on top of 3/4 cup corn sugar in my bottling bucket and then filled the kegs and put the remaining gallon in Bottles? Would that be too much carbonation for the bung to hold, or for the beer to dispense properly?

BackAlleyBrewingCo 05-31-2009 03:04 PM

Those look like standard 5L mini kegs to me. They can be bought from many beer supply stores: midwestsupplies, homebrewadventures. You can also recycle commercial kegs (available at many/most liquor stores.) Around Ohio you can buy a 5L keg of commercial beer for around $15 - less than the equivalent in bottles - so it's quite a deal if you can find a beer you enjoy in one.

Since they are used for distributing commercial brews they'll hold pressure just fine; Although I've heard that you do need to be careful if you're using them for forced carbonation.

The 'drain' is actually a tap that can be used for serving; you need to relieve the pressure in the keg or it will spray foam everywhere. The commercial kegs have an air valve integrated into the top bung to vent excess CO2 when you start serving, as well as to let air in as the beer is served to equalize pressure.

Anyway, 4 of those kegs adds up to about 5 gal of beer, so I'd guess that it's intended to be used to keg and naturally carbonate a full 5gal batch of beer, with the CO2 system used for serving. Not a bad little setup. How much did you pay for the tap?

The main knocks on them for homebrewing is that the inner lining wears off after several re-uses, they can be a bit fragile, and you need to buy or make non-standard fittings to serve from them.

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