Switching from bottle to keg
I have been brewing for 2 years. I have bottled the whole time. I would like to switch to keging but don't know where to start. Could I get some advice please
Kegging is easier by far but you need more than just the keg and co2. 5 gallon Cornelius kegs are the most popular and u can get a whole set up (keg, co2 tank and beer/gas lines)online starting for about $150 or so. But in order for the co2 to diffuse into solution it needs to be cold. So you'll have to store the keg in a fridge or a converted chest freezer( a keezer) or dorm fridge the whole time. There are other options if you don't have room or money for any of that though. The tap a draft type systems get good reviews. I've got a keg set up in my old dorm fridge but am looking into tap a draft for something more portable. I think the kit come with three 1 gallon plastic containers that fit nicely on your existing fridge shelf and have a dispensing unit that takes a co2 cartridge for about $70. Extra containers are cheap , under $10 I think. You can force carbonate with the cartridge or naturally carbonate then use the cartridge for dispensing. The down side is you can't control the level of carbonation with this( although there are DIY threads here to rig it to a co2 tank and regulator).
I bottled for about a year and am really happy I switched to kegging.
a few things you will need to decide on before moving forward:
1. Type of keg you want to go with for holding finished product
Pin Lock---cheaper, harder to come by and replacement parts will most likey come from online sources
Ball Lock---easier to come by, most local homebrew shops will carry parts
you can typically find these on CL or can buy online
2. Storage for kegs
you can do some searches in the DIY section of this forum to get ideas or you can just buy a kit that serves from a fridge (basic kit). Heres a link
If you want to get up and running quick as possible i would suggest that you do some looking on craigslist for corny kegs, it really doesnt matter the type, and then buy a basic kit to match (you can always modify later if you want to build a kegerator or keezer). You may also be able to find a C02 bottle on CL (at least a 5#), which will cut the cost of the basic kit online. Then all thats left is to get to brewing.
If you have a Local homebrew store (LHBS) I would check with them first on buying used kegs. I had no luck on Craigslist finding kegs in my area. I did a ton of pricing for facuets, disconnects, hose, fittings, etc... I found www.ritebrew.com to have the best prices. Haven't checked them lately, but shop around. If you have the $$ then go with stainless faucets and shanks. If not the chrome versions will get you going for less.
Thanks for the info. Greatly appreciated
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