Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Corny Kegs - Ball or Pin Lock
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:27 PM   #1
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Default Corny Kegs - Ball or Pin Lock

I am very new to homebrewing and am about to purchase some corny kegs. Any suggestions on which style to go with? Are they equivalent in availability, ease of sanitization, etc?


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Old 02-04-2010, 01:29 PM   #2
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Ball locks are probably 4x more common in numbers. If you can find 12 pinlocks at less than $15 a piece, I'd go that way. Otherwise go ball lock.


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Old 02-04-2010, 01:29 PM   #3
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Pin locks are shorter and wider, so for a given area you will be able to fit the same or fewer of them as ball locks, but never more.

Availability is heavily regional, ball locks are more available in most of the country but it might be pin locks in Texas.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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I agree with bobby m if you can get a good deal on pin lock's get them but get at least 12 or you'll be looking for more and you probably won't find them if you want to.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:46 PM   #5
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I use both (pin-locks for carbonating/secondary for lagers, ball-locks for everything else). I always serve from ball-locks due to the space issue remilard mentioned (6 ball-locks fit perfectly in my 7 cu ft Magic Chef keezer). I don't find either one that much easier to sanitize than the other but the poppets on my pin-locks don't come out easily, usually they do for ball-locks (but not all models).

One thing I would do differently if I could go back and do it all again is to try and get all the same kind of kegs. I don't like the older kegs that use plastic IN dip tubes (or 'racetrack' lids either) and for whatever reason I prefer the Cornelius-brand kegs but that's just based on my limited experience with some of the different types.

Regardless, when you get the kegs fully disassemble them, clean them extremely well, and replace all the o-rings. When cleaned right, you should be able to seal the keg for a while and then open it up and get NO funky odors.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:57 PM   #6
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Ball locks (Pepsi) are more available right now because Pepsi finished phasing out syrup delivery in corny kegs later than Coke (pin lock).

You'll also find that ball lock rebuild parts are more available for mostly the same reason. Either way, get a few because they will only be getting more and more rare.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:04 PM   #7
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I would highly recommend pin locks. Why? More ball locks for me.

BTW, has anyone ever seen the "ball" on a ball lock keg?
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
I would highly recommend pin locks. Why? More ball locks for me.

BTW, has anyone ever seen the "ball" on a ball lock keg?
Agree. The fewer people I have to compete with the better. And yes, the ball lock is under the thinga majig and right next to the what'cha macallit!

All kidding aside, as posted already ball lock are more readily available.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:10 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input guys, I think I am sold on ball-lock due to the availability issues mentioned above. There is a guy in houston who is selling reconditioned (sanitized, new orings, etc) for $25ea. I know they can be found cheaper, but the sanitizing, oring replace ment is done on these. Is this a good deal, yea or nea?
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
BTW, has anyone ever seen the "ball" on a ball lock keg?
Yah, it's in the quick disconnect. Actually, there are three balls in the disconnect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hightechlofi View Post
Thanks for the input guys, I think I am sold on ball-lock due to the availability issues mentioned above. There is a guy in houston who is selling reconditioned (sanitized, new orings, etc) for $25ea. I know they can be found cheaper, but the sanitizing, oring replace ment is done on these. Is this a good deal, yea or nea?
It's a good price for a rebuilt keg that is guaranteed to hold pressure. Sanitizing, eh, you'll do that again anyway when you fill it. I'd go $25 for guaranteed pressure and new orings.


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