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Old 03-23-2013, 05:40 PM   #1
kifkroker
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Default Suggestions from kegging experts please??

Thanks in advance for anyone with kegging expertise that has a minute to reply to my thread!

I won a new kegerator in a contest (Beverage Air BM23) and I've been researching for a week the best way to set up for multiple homebrew kegs / taps / regulators and I'm a little confused with all of the set up options. I'd like to have 3 taps and I have room for 3 or possibly 4, 5gal kegs. If there's room for a 4th keg, I'll probably use for aging (barleywine, stout, etc.) and it doesn't have to be on tap. Could really use some good advice on the following:

1. Ball/Pin lock or 1/6 sixth kegs (I'm not seeing anything currently on my local CrgsList). I'd like to have the option to dry hop my IPA's in the keg.
2. Perlick 525ss 3 tap tower, basic 3 tap stainless faucets/tower, or add 2 chrome faucets to the original single faucet tower that is currently on the kegerator. I want good, easy to clean faucets that will last.
3. 3 gauge regulator (2 separate keg ports) with one port split to 2 kegs or standard dual gauge regulator with 3 port air distributor. I'd like to be able to force carb with an available port without much hassle.
4. 5lb or 10lb Co2 cylinder, or (2)5lb cylinders. Looks like the 5lb will fit the best on the back shelf inside the kegerator and I can fit 2 of them if that is a good option.

Thanks again for your input!!!

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Old 03-23-2013, 09:36 PM   #2
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Did you happen to check out any of the retail sites for the BevAir line? There's tons of information available (on current models, anyway).

This site shows all kinds of different keg types and how many will fit inside you specific model (which, btw, looks sweet for a store-bought unit. Congrats!) and says you can fit four standard ball lock kegs within (and apparently without having to put a gas cylinder outside).

- I prefer oem ball lock, but you could certainly go with pins, or converted pins. Either way you can fit four of them in there, according to the Beverage Factory site.

- Go with Perls. If you can fit at least 10' of 3/16" ID barrier beer tubing for each keg inside, go with the 525SS model, it's a sweet faucet and I've had nothing but happiness with my six. If the line sounds like a problem - and you don't have a problem with chromed brass - consider the Perlick flow control model 545PC. Either way, forward sealing faucets really do beat "sticky faucet syndrome".

- A dual body ganged primary is a great thing to have if you only have one gas system. Consider one body feeding a four-way manifold and the other feeding a single drop.

- Go with whatever gas tank that floats your boat.

Have fun with your new system!

Cheers!

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Old 03-25-2013, 10:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info, I'll go with the 3 faucet SS Perlick and try to find (or buy new) oem ball lock kegs.

One question that I have is why do I need 10' of tubing per keg? I believe that the new tower comes with 5' lengths of tubing for each of the 3 faucets. Do I need to replace with 10' and if so, are there preferred types of tubing? Also, are there recommended types and lengths of tubing for the CO2 as well?

Thanks again!

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Old 03-25-2013, 10:11 PM   #4
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Opinion time: all of the equipment integrators suffer from the same delusion that 5 feet of 3/16" ID beer line is sufficient. It isn't - as a plethora of posts in this forum will attest.

Time after time folks come here with foaming faucets and fix them by changing to 10 foot lines. Yes, you'll get the outlier that claims to have no problems with 5 foot lines, but that's weak sauce compared to the volume on the other side.

Bevlex 200 is good barrier line that is easy to work with. Bev-Seal Ultra Series 235 tubing is probably considered the top line, but it's stiff and a pita to get onto barbs. They are both far superior to straight vinyl, which will contribute a plastic taste and aroma to your beer (definitely avoid vinyl lines, don't do your line shopping at Home Depot/Lowes/Ace Hardware, buy the good stuff).

CO2 line length (and diameter, for that matter) doesn't affect dispensing. Whatever comes with the kegerator will work fine...

Cheers!

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Old 03-26-2013, 02:07 AM   #5
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I just bought a BM23 at Christmas (actually a gift from my wife that I ordered ). Put a 3-tap tower on with Perlicks and added 10' of hose to each (therefore 15ft each total). Have a 5gal tank feeding a 4 port manifold. I have 3 ball lock corney's inside plus a rack in the forth slot that holds bottled beer, water, etc. Love the set-up, but the BM23 is a little louder than I would like but would order again.

Let me know if you want me to send any pic's or have other questions.
Enjoy

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Old 03-26-2013, 03:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kifkroker View Post
... and try to find (or buy new) oem ball lock kegs.
If you go with a new ball lock, try Keg Connection, they are a vendor here and you used to be able to PM them and they would send you a code for additional money off the keg.

I got one for Christmas and it is well made.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doed View Post
If you go with a new ball lock, try Keg Connection, they are a vendor here and you used to be able to PM them and they would send you a code for additional money off the keg.

I got one for Christmas and it is well made.
I was on their website earlier and didn't see any new 5 gal ball locks, just refurbs, but probably just overlooked it. I'm going to the homebrew shop to see their refurb ball locks, and if they look too ragged, I'll probably just buy new from kegconnection. I'll definitely try to PM them 1st to see if there is a discount available, thanks for the suggestion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MNRon View Post
I just bought a BM23 at Christmas (actually a gift from my wife that I ordered ). Put a 3-tap tower on with Perlicks and added 10' of hose to each (therefore 15ft each total). Have a 5gal tank feeding a 4 port manifold. I have 3 ball lock corney's inside plus a rack in the forth slot that holds bottled beer, water, etc. Love the set-up, but the BM23 is a little louder than I would like but would order again.

Let me know if you want me to send any pic's or have other questions.
Enjoy
A couple pics would be awesome!!! Sounds like your setup is just like I want mine to be. Good to know that the longer beer tubing is necessary as well just like day_trippr mentioned. Just wondering where you coiled up that much tubing?? If I don't have a 4th keg, I like the idea of some shelf space for a few beers, etc. also.

I appreciate the feedback and suggestions!
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:25 AM   #8
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Here are a couple of pics. I coiled the extra hose and zip-tied in, these three coils are then behind the kegs on the left side in the back, the CO2 is on the right side.

Hope the pics come through OK.

I have 3 kegs in, and 3 more kegs for the pipeline. Now I need to get a fermentation/pre-store freezer since spring is coming and the garage will soon be warmer than 40deg (maybe...). I purchased my kegs used from a local reconditioner and am very happy with the used cornys.

Enjoy your new set-up!

Not sure if my pics attached properly...

photo.jpg  
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:26 AM   #9
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Two more inside pics that didn't make it on the last post

photo.jpg   photo-1-.jpg  
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:28 AM   #10
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I just coil slack beer line on top of the kegs, usually a little more than two loops per keg...

Cheers!

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