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Old 10-19-2009, 07:31 PM   #1
MaxPower49
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Default Want to get started kegging… how much is this gonna cost me?

I’ve been brewing for about a year now (just extract batches so far) and I’d like to start kegging. I’ve done some reading, but there seems like a lot of stuff to buy and I’m having trouble getting a handle on exactly how much all of this stuff is going to cost.

I think I can get a small chest freezer for $150 or so (maybe cheaper on craigslist?). Aside from that, how much is it going to cost me for a 5 gallon corny keg (just 1 to start with.. reconditioned is fine) and all of the hoses, connections, regulators, CO2 tank, etc. that I will need to get started? Also, what do I need to regulate temperature on the freezer? I don’t need a draft tower for now… I don’t mind opening the freezer to get my beer.

Thanks!

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Old 10-19-2009, 08:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by MaxPower49 View Post
I’ve been brewing for about a year now (just extract batches so far) and I’d like to start kegging. I’ve done some reading, but there seems like a lot of stuff to buy and I’m having trouble getting a handle on exactly how much all of this stuff is going to cost.

I think I can get a small chest freezer for $150 or so (maybe cheaper on craigslist?). Aside from that, how much is it going to cost me for a 5 gallon corny keg (just 1 to start with.. reconditioned is fine) and all of the hoses, connections, regulators, CO2 tank, etc. that I will need to get started? Also, what do I need to regulate temperature on the freezer? I don’t need a draft tower for now… I don’t mind opening the freezer to get my beer.

Thanks!
Being new to kegging, I just went ahead and bought a kegging kit from Midwest. They were the cheapest place i could find and i'm very happy with it:

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/produ...px?ProdID=7738

Other than that, you'll need a refrigerator thermostat controller if you're doing a kreezer: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/produ...px?ProdID=4230

I would definitely look on craigslist for a used fridge or freezer. I got my Sanyo 4912 for $30.

Nothing else needed if you plan to use the picnic tap. Otherwise, you'll need a shank and faucet or tower and faucet depending on which route you wanna go.

I'm sure it could be done for cheaper, but it's nice buying as a kit so you know everything is there.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:20 PM   #3
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Good info, thanks.

I think this is a really stupid question, but if i were to keep say 3 kegs in the freezer... do i need three separate CO2 tanks? Do the tanks always have to stay hooked up to the kegs?

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Old 10-19-2009, 08:20 PM   #4
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Here is a good starter kit, but trust me, you will want more than one keg.
You only need one CO2 tank.

http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=325

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Old 10-19-2009, 08:32 PM   #5
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One CO2 tank, and a "co2 manifold" (search at your favorite online store)....or just make your own.

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Old 10-19-2009, 08:38 PM   #6
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Right. It's really simple, but I'm going to explain it and that will make it seem more complicated than it is!

You can get by with only one regulator. That will keep all the kegs at one pressure, which you select. You can then dispense and serve at one set pressure. Then, you can use either a WYE fitting or a little manifold (like this: http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=326) to separate the air to each tank. You can do this to many kegs.

If you wish to serve and dispense and different pressures, say maybe quick carbing one keg at 30 psi, while serving a beer at 9 psi, you'll need two regulators. Like this: http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=324

From there, you can use more WYE fittings, or a manifold to set up even more kegs.

So, the first choice is do you want to be able to have more than one pressure? If not, the manifold/distributor is the cheaper way to go. But if you want to have kegs at different pressures, you need more than one regulator.

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Old 10-20-2009, 01:42 PM   #7
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Great information... thanks guys! Doesn't seem like this is going to cost too much... those thermostat controls for the freezer are more expensive than I was expecting though.

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Old 10-22-2009, 07:41 AM   #8
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Be careful with your spending and it won't be that bad...if you let it get out of hand like I did, you won't be able to remember how much you've spent

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Old 10-22-2009, 12:39 PM   #9
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If you have a fridge you can probably pick up a picnic kegging kit from LHB for ~$200. That should come with a co2 tank, a regulator, a corny keg and a dispenser and all the proper hoses you need.

That likely will not come with a faucet or a tower.

Kegging systems aren't horrible expensive to maintain. I added a corny to prime while the other is on tap to prevent downtime, the co2 tank to refill runs ~$10 every couple months and of course o-rings are cheap.

Upgrading kegging systems seems like it can be expensive. Say you want to have more than 1 option on tap, then you need to upgrade your regulator, lines, tower & faucets. Now since you're serving two beers you'll need somewhere else to lager, so you need another freezer with another thermostat.

Start up kegging system can be done under $200, and basic maintenance is negligable.

The price of continuing to improve and upgrade your keg can be a bottomless pit.

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Old 10-22-2009, 12:41 PM   #10
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check your local welding supply/gases store for co2 tanks I just picked up a tank for $50 filled

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