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Old 05-07-2007, 03:39 PM   #1
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Default Sanke kegs and Corny kegs

Why do all commercial brewery, even brewpubs use Sanke kegs.
Why do all home brewers (who keg) use Corny kegs.
Can a home brewer use Sanke kegs instead of Corny kegs?
It seems there is little difference in how the kegs are used.

My understanding is that Corny kegs originally came from the soda industry but the industry has mostly abandoned the Corny keg for the easier and more economical boxed bag of syrup. Does this mean Corny kegs are going to get hard to find as they are only manufactured in small quantities for the homebrew market, instead of the large volume of used kegs from the soda industry?

I know alot of questions and I don't even keg yet.
Craig

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Old 05-07-2007, 03:43 PM   #2
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You pretty much summed it up. The sanke system is the industry standard for beer and cornies were the standard for soda. When cornies were abandoned they became really cheap for homebrewers. There is no legal source for sankes that would come anywhere near the same price for a used corny ($20). I don't think they're being manufactured anymore so any new ones you find available are old stock that just never made circulation. Used ones are fine and dirt cheap.

Of course, home brewers can use a sanke keg if they want to. They're a little trickier to clean due to the smaller access hole, but it can be done.

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Old 05-07-2007, 03:48 PM   #3
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Sanky kegs are used by everyone in the retail industry because the equipment is the standard. Rather than develop their own equipment, the little guys use what everyone else is using. This also allows them to enter other markets (like selling to bars) if need be.

However, homebrewers typically operate in much smaller volumes and have to fit their equipment in much smaller places. The size of a corney fits the typical HB batch. Additionally, corney kegs are cheaper than sankey and are much easier to clean manually both a boon to the homebrewer.

Yes. Corney kegs will get harder to find. But they've been saying that for years-- since bag syrup post mix systems became the norm. The day of corney keg scarcity is coming but not tomorrow. Or next month. Check back in a couple years.

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Old 05-07-2007, 03:50 PM   #4
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Most homebrewers brew 5 gallon batches, not 15, which makes the Cornie a more convenient size. Nice to be able to fit a couple of different beers in the fridge rather than being limited to one or two because of the size of the Sankey. They're also very easy to clean and to sanitize, and because there were so many of them in circulation, they're still dirt cheap.

There's no real danger of Cornies becoming unavailable, as long as replacement parts are still available (and there's enough demand for their continued manufacture). I'm just getting into kegging, but I have several really old ones that still hold pressure, that are clean, that seem like they'll be fine indefinately. If there IS a shortage at some point, the design isn't so complicated that you wouldn't see someone start to manufacture new ones.

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Old 05-07-2007, 03:57 PM   #5
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If we want to get technical, there are 5 gallon sankes and 15 gallon cornies but they're both pretty rare considering.

5 gallon cornies will always be available. Just because the retired ones direct from the soda industry will dry up doesn't mean all the circulating ones disappear. How many guys get out of homebrewing, etc? There's always the used, used market. Even if demand beats supply, they'll be cheaper than Sankes.

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Old 05-07-2007, 04:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBBaron
Can a home brewer use Sanke kegs instead of Corny kegs?
I'll take this one.

1) Cost. Cornies can be legitimately purchased for as little as $15-25 from LHBS or OHBS. Purchasing a Sanke keg from a legitimate source will cost you upwards od >$100. Because they are being phased out, cornies are a retail item. Because Sankey kegs are and will be in use by commercial brewers they are not a retail item.

Contentious point here... see our wiki...http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/ind...eg_Acquisition

If you see used Sankey kegs for less its because:
a) It's stolen;
b) It's abandoned (deposit);
c) It's purchased from a scrapyard legitimately (decommissioned or stolen).
d) It's legitamately "written off" or no longer meets the brewery's standard.
e) Other that I missed...

The point is that you won't see someone with an inventory of these for sale like you do with cornies.

The fittings are also more costly... Consider that a Sankey fitting will cost you $30-50 per tap vs $5-10 with cornies.

2) Difficult to clean sankey. No access like the hatch on a corny.

3) Rubberized bottom and top... nice feature that cornies have. Fridge friendly.


But, yes you COULD use a Sankey for home brew. Not many HBers do.
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:42 PM   #7
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Default 20L Sanke Kegs

Good Day,

I use the 20L Sanke kegs myself. Opening the first one took some time, but you get the hang of it. As for cleaning, not that much different then cleaning a Carboy.

I prefer carbing my beer with Corn sugar, and I have no problems dumping in 3/4 of cup of sugar per keg and waiting a couple of weeks. I would imagine I could force carb if I wanted.

Being from the Great White North, I take advantage of the government enforced Beer distribution. I can order a 20L keg of beer plus a 20$ deposit. Which is nice, my Keg Setup will accomodate commercial beer. On those occasions I'm between batches, I can use the same setup on a store bought keg, or if I decide to throw a party, I can pick up a 60L keg.

As for the legality issue, which seems a hot topic, up here we have a deposit on Beer Bottles and they don't always make it back to the Beer Store. Not to mention when a case of beer sells for 35 bucks, the breweries can take a loss on a keg

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Old 05-08-2007, 01:51 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the replies.
Pretty much as I thought its mainly a cost thing. Corny kegs have a long life span but due to changes in the soda industry a lot of used and some new Cornies became available at a greatly reduced price. Cornies are also a convenient size and fairly easy to use.
When/If the demand for Cornies exceeds the supply then Sanke kegs like the 20L size might make a good replacement. I'm guessing at that point that Sanke kegs will be less expensive because there is a commercial market in addition to the homebrew market.
I guess when I get my kegging system I will get some Cornies but I will probably also have a Sanke tap available in case I want to have some commercial brew available for parties.

Craig

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Old 05-09-2007, 01:28 PM   #9
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Sankey kegs involve a great deal more steel than a corney so I suspect you'll never see commercially available sankeys for the kinds of prices we see corneys for now (the grey market notwithstanding) so don't hold out hope for that.

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Old 05-11-2007, 02:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornkob
Sankey kegs involve a great deal more steel than a corney so I suspect you'll never see commercially available sankeys for the kinds of prices we see corneys for now (the grey market notwithstanding) so don't hold out hope for that.
I'm not familiar with either keg type but why should a similar size Sanke keg (20l) use much more steel than a Corny (5gal). Aren't both designed to use a similar pressure.
Craig
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