Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Pin Lock vs Ball Lock
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:35 AM   #1
beerguy2009
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Default Pin Lock vs Ball Lock

I am looking at starting to keg my beer and was wanting to know if there if any advantage in going with the ball lock vs the pin lock corny keg.


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Old 08-15-2012, 05:08 AM   #2
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Default Generally speaking

Speaking in broad terms, there are some differences between Ball Locks and Pin Locks.
Pin Locks are generally shorter, but have a wider diameter than Ball Locks. Also, Pin Locks do not have a pressure relief valve, whereas Ball Locks do. Finally, Pin Locks tend to be a bit less costly than Ball Locks.
Generally people don't like to mix Ball Locks and Pin Locks. Yet I have read some people like Ball Locks for their normal beers and Pin Locks for their sour beers (keeping them separate so as to minimize infecting some equipment).
If you have nothing invested yet, you could save some money by buying Pin Locks.
Those are some of my thoughts. I hope that this helps.

Mark


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Old 08-15-2012, 05:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuiInIdaho View Post
Pin Locks are generally shorter, but have a wider diameter than Ball Locks.
Keep this in mind when designing your kegerator/keezer. My first kegerator was a small refrigerator that would hold three ball locks, but only two pin locks would fit because they were wider.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:26 AM   #4
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search the thread.... lots of posts out there

IMHO...the relief valve is not as big an issue. A screwdriver can do the same thing, or a $2 cap from Midwest.
The best decision is to determine maximum efficiency based on your fridge.

One thing often missed is for a few extra bucks, you can buy fittings for both types. Keeping a spare in the supply box.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:27 AM   #5
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:06 PM   #6
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Pin locks are shorter, but I think the QD adds a bit of heights compared to the QD of a ball lock, so keep that in mind when figuring space requirements.

I have ball locks due to my supplier switching over and I wanted to be uniform. If you don't have to be worried about space, then grab whatever kegs you can find cheapest.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:48 PM   #7
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So you can convert pin lock to ball lock and vise versa?
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerguy2009 View Post
So you can convert pin lock to ball lock and vise versa?
Not necessarily. The threads are different I think. Ball locks have a few different thread types IIRC. I traded my original Pin Lock to the store for a ball lock when they told me they were only able to get ball lock. Even up trade. They were happy to get a pin lock so they could sell to one of their customers who already had several pin locks.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:29 PM   #9
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They both work fine. I have used both and have no preference. I always set up my lines with threaded swivel nuts and then use threaded disconnects so you can switch back and forth depending on which type of kegs you have available. This will allow you to use Ball Lock, Pin Lock and Sanke kegs on the same lines.
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
Pin locks are shorter, but I think the QD adds a bit of heights compared to the QD of a ball lock, so keep that in mind when figuring space requirements.

I have ball locks due to my supplier switching over and I wanted to be uniform. If you don't have to be worried about space, then grab whatever kegs you can find cheapest.
Yep. With the taller QD the effective height of the pin locks is about the same as ball locks. If height is the primary limiting factor in the keezer or fridge, a pin lock that's been converted to ball lock fittings is the best bet. That's what I had to do for the antique mini-fridge kegerator I restored for a friend. I went with ball locks for my keezer because I could fit 4 in there, as opposed to only 3 of the fatter pin locks.


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