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Old 12-09-2012, 07:18 PM   #1
MotoMatt01
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Default Using 1/6 Kegs in a Kegerator

Hey guys. So after going through cleaning, bottling, etc to my home brew for the last couple years I finally got a sweet deal on a 4 tap kegerator. I picked it and a 3 gal keg up to pus some of my home brew in. I am typically brewing anywhere from 5-15 gallons of home brew at a time and would like 1 of the taps to have a commercial beer in it (Icky, Sierra Nevada, etc). Correct me if I'm wrong but they all have the Sankey connection, right? What is the best way to hook that up to my current setup that has all ball lock connectors? Can I buy the adapter and have 1 tap permanently have that connection?

Also, I plan to have it on tap for a while so do places frown upon me keeping a keg I put a deposit on for a couple months? I have also heard of people taking their corny kegs to places and getting them filled. Anywhere in town that allows that? Thanks for the help. I am just starting to get into kegging and so far I love it. Was nice to keg my smoked porter so quickly. Now I can brew more often!

Here are some pictures of the get up I purchased. Going to make some tap handles too. Have access to a plasma table so we should be able to make some really cool designs!

Hmm...not sure why 1/2 the pictures are sideways. They are right side up on my computer.

photo-1.jpg   photo-2.jpg   photo-3.jpg   photo-4.jpg  
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:23 PM   #2
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I'd change those beer lines ASAP. They look NASTY!!

For using a sanke keg, get the coupler, but then get the additional fittings so that you can connect up swivel nuts to the gas/liquid sides. Or go one step further and adapt it to use ball lock posts and keep using the same QD's for all. That will let you put the commerical keg onto any of the taps you want, NOT have it locked to a set one.

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Old 12-09-2012, 09:42 PM   #3
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^^^

exactly what he said - Get the quick disconnects from your ball locks and get the sankey coupler with mfl tail pieces so you can quickly switch between the 2 if needed. That's what I'm currently running. Right now I have a log of SN Celebration - but when that's all through, I plan on brewing up a 5 gal batch of homebrew and have it kegged in my ball lock keg.

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Old 12-09-2012, 10:17 PM   #4
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I cleaned all of the lines with line cleaner right before I kegged and it was running clear water through after. If I notice any off flavors I will replace them.

I'll try to find some of those adapters. I really like that idea. Does this look like the right kit?
Sanke Tap to Homebrew Conversion Kit, Ball Lock Disconects

Does this look like the right kind of sanke coupler I need?
US Sankey Keg Coupler

I need to check height though, the fridge gives me 29" so I may need this one?
Low Profile US Sankey Keg Coupler


Then do I hook it all up just like a corny? On the full size coupler do you just keep the lever open all the time? Not too sure how it operates?

EDIT: just figured out how it all works. Makes lots of sense and seems to be much more simple than i was making it out to be.

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Old 12-10-2012, 01:46 AM   #5
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Since I already had the quick disconnects, I went With this:

http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=64

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Old 12-10-2012, 03:05 AM   #6
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A couple hours ago I bought a Sanke coupler from Amazon (I have 2 day free shipping with Prime and paid the extra $3 to get it in 1 day). Looked up some diagrams and it looks like I should be able to fit the full sized one and I may need the elbow. 29" clearance from top to bottom. I will probably order the rest of the fittings later this week. Ordered it before I knew there was an all in one kit.

What I will probably do is hook everything up to a keg this week then next time I swap kegs I will hook it all up with the quick connect/disconnect fittings. Anybody see a problem with that?

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Old 12-10-2012, 03:41 AM   #7
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Add two of these and you'll be able to install standard corny keg posts to the sanke coupler. Just be sure to get the posts that use 19/32-18 threads (available from Keg Connection).

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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:59 PM   #8
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Everyone's given you good answers on the coupler/plumbing side, so I'll tackle the other ones.

I frequently have commercial kegs in my keezer. In my experience, the stores don't mind if you keep them for a while, as long as you're using your own coupler/tap. The brewery owns the keg, the store owns the coupler. A lot of stores have a policy (30-90 days, etc.) but it's generally only enforced if you have a coupler checked out.

I'd suggest finding a good local craft beer / liquor store, and getting friendly with their beer manager. Bring him or her some homebrew, get their business card, and get their e-mail address if you can. It's nice to have a relationship with them. I can e-mail or call the manager at my favorite shop and get info on what seasonals are coming, pricing, recommendations, etc. The "keg lists" that a lot of places put on their website are usually outdated, and a good beer manager should be excited to talk to someone that's really into beer, since it's what they do for a living! You can ask them directly about keeping the keg for a while.

I've heard that some smaller breweries or brewpubs will fill corneys. If you have a brewpub in your area that you like, call them up and ask them!

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Old 12-11-2012, 02:54 PM   #9
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I have had several shells from Total Wine for months. I traded one the other day. They really do not seem to care so long as you keep ahold of your receipt and dont rip the registration sticker off or mutilate it. I am even guilty of refilling one and re-emptying it before returning. Bad Drunkle.

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Old 12-12-2012, 01:59 AM   #10
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Well, to get the ball rolling yesterday I ordered a 5 gallon keg of Icky from Great Basin Brewery (a Reno/Sparks local brewery that is starting to get bigger and bigger, they just won some Nevada brewery of the year award). Plus they charge no deposit up front and if you are using a kegerator they won't charge you a deposit for 3 months. I got off work today, picked up the keg, got home to my coupler sitting on my front door...and there was 1 fitting and no washer! What good does that do me?

I'll head on over to the home brew place tomorrow on my lunch break (5 minutes from my work) and pick up the fittings as they are a specialty size apparently and Home Depot didn't have anything that fit.

A friend of a friend is also going to hook me up with a few free 1/6 kegs and full kegs for me to swap out when I need to. He is also going to introduce me to a guy over at Saint James Brasserie (another local brewer) and see what kinds of deals he can get me on a keg of their beer from time to time when I'm not filled up with home brew.

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