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Old 03-07-2013, 07:59 PM   #1
OmegaFunk
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Default Buying Used Kegs "upgrades"

I'm looking to pick up my first set of kegs from a reputable online dealer, kegs come pressure tested and guaranteed to work. At the check out there is the option to buy extra o-ring packs (the options are 4 sets of replacement orings and 10 sets) and/or have them replace the kegs poppets with new universal poppets.

My feeling is to spring for the 4 pack of o-rings, but not worry about the poppets (if it ain't broke...). Does this seem like the best course of action to you more experienced types?

I gather I should throw some keg lube in my order too. Any other keg specific stuff I should consider getting at the same time?


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Old 03-07-2013, 09:03 PM   #2
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Getting new O-rings is a must, but before you buy the add-on compare the price of it to the price of the o-rings at McMaster Carr. You should be able to find the product numbers here on HBT with a little searching, and if I happen to find them I'll edit the post. When I was taking a look, buying a 100-pack of the two smaller sizes and a 10-pack of the lid size was only about twice as much as the single keg add-on option where I was buying them, even after shipping from McMaster Carr. I've begun adding kegs to my stash, and have yet to run out of any of the rings yet.

For the poppits, some people like to swap them out, while others don't. I haven't bothered when I first get them, and only switch them out if they have lost their spring. The majority of mine still work fine, and they don't tend to soak up the cola flavor like the o-rings. If they'll offer to leave the old ones in place and toss in the new ones, that way you could check them out and keep the new ones for a while if they're not needed, using them if the old ones start to go out. Maybe other people have better ideas, but that's what has worked for me.

For the rest, keg lube is a good call. I also really like my dip-tube brush (sometimes its called a line brush) for doing a good thorough cleaning every once and a while. Another thing (although you probably can't order it from the same place) you might want to look into getting is a wrench/ratchet for the posts. If you're getting pin lock kegs you'll have to get a specific tool that the beer place might carry, but with ball locks a 12-point 7/8 or 15/16 ratchet will work for most posts.


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Old 03-07-2013, 10:00 PM   #3
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My keg recommendations (based on my experience, food for thought)

-Post Socket- This is just a socket that goes on any standard wrench. This is for my pinlocks. Sure you could probably make one, but a couple bucks is worth it. Ball locks, refer to prior post dimensions.

-Keg lube- By two!!! For every opened tube, have one not opened. Just imagine sitting there with a batch that is a lid away from being sealed up, a workspace ready to be cleaned up, legs that are tired from working on the batch, and running out. Avoid the headache, keep one extra on hand!

-A cleaning brush is needed (you have a carboy brush right? if not...)

-Have a few sets of rings in your storage. They are cheap.

-Something to label kegs. You get into this, and in a few days you won't remember which one is which. Go cheap.... painters tape and a sharpie. Go nicer... some luggage tags from a walmart/target.

-I found a really nice $4 plastic flower planter. This is a window box, but just molded plastic about 2-3' long. I like filling it with cleaners or sanitizers, and dunking my longer equipment in there. It is nice to be able to submerge stuff rather than keep the water running the whole time.

-Remember this overall, most of this stuff is not available at most corner stores. If you need it, you likely won't be bale to get it the same day. It is the sort of thing that is worth building a "pantry".
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikpete18 View Post
Getting new O-rings is a must, but before you buy the add-on compare the price of it to the price of the o-rings at McMaster Carr. You should be able to find the product numbers here on HBT with a little searching, and if I happen to find them I'll edit the post. When I was taking a look, buying a 100-pack of the two smaller sizes and a 10-pack of the lid size was only about twice as much as the single keg add-on option where I was buying them, even after shipping from McMaster Carr. I've begun adding kegs to my stash, and have yet to run out of any of the rings yet.

For the poppits, some people like to swap them out, while others don't. I haven't bothered when I first get them, and only switch them out if they have lost their spring. The majority of mine still work fine, and they don't tend to soak up the cola flavor like the o-rings. If they'll offer to leave the old ones in place and toss in the new ones, that way you could check them out and keep the new ones for a while if they're not needed, using them if the old ones start to go out. Maybe other people have better ideas, but that's what has worked for me.

For the rest, keg lube is a good call. I also really like my dip-tube brush (sometimes its called a line brush) for doing a good thorough cleaning every once and a while. Another thing (although you probably can't order it from the same place) you might want to look into getting is a wrench/ratchet for the posts. If you're getting pin lock kegs you'll have to get a specific tool that the beer place might carry, but with ball locks a 12-point 7/8 or 15/16 ratchet will work for most posts.
Last I checked McMaster Carr for stuff the sweetness of their prices was overcome by the cost of shipping to Canada I'll check again for o-rings though, hopefully shipping will be cheap since o-rings are pretty compact.

Good call on the poppits. They're cheaper to buy as spares rather than have the company pre-install them anyways.

Hmm, can't seem to find a dip-tube/line brush anywhere... is it something I might find in a hardware/plumbing store?

Quote:
Originally Posted by H-Balm View Post
My keg recommendations (based on my experience, food for thought)

-Post Socket- This is just a socket that goes on any standard wrench. This is for my pinlocks. Sure you could probably make one, but a couple bucks is worth it. Ball locks, refer to prior post dimensions.

-Keg lube- By two!!! For every opened tube, have one not opened. Just imagine sitting there with a batch that is a lid away from being sealed up, a workspace ready to be cleaned up, legs that are tired from working on the batch, and running out. Avoid the headache, keep one extra on hand!

-A cleaning brush is needed (you have a carboy brush right? if not...)

-Have a few sets of rings in your storage. They are cheap.

-Something to label kegs. You get into this, and in a few days you won't remember which one is which. Go cheap.... painters tape and a sharpie. Go nicer... some luggage tags from a walmart/target.

-I found a really nice $4 plastic flower planter. This is a window box, but just molded plastic about 2-3' long. I like filling it with cleaners or sanitizers, and dunking my longer equipment in there. It is nice to be able to submerge stuff rather than keep the water running the whole time.

-Remember this overall, most of this stuff is not available at most corner stores. If you need it, you likely won't be bale to get it the same day. It is the sort of thing that is worth building a "pantry".
I'm going to do a chalk board door panel on my kegerator, was thinking I'd put a strip of chalk paint on each keg for labelling. (Also, I can never find rolls of tape when I need them)

A keg first aid kit sounds like a good idea. So in addition to a ratchet for the posts, o-rings, and lube; what should I be thinking of getting to put in there?

Thanks for the help!

Incidently, I'll be ordering from www.ontariobeerkegs.com
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:56 PM   #5
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Trust me once you start kegging... you will eventually end up with more kegs than taps. A sticker on your keg that gives the recipe name, primary date, secondary info, and hydro readings can be helpful months later.

In the first aid kit.... don't forget the hardware that connects your line to the shank (a large nut and a nipple that inserts into the liquid hose).

If building a true wishlist... keep an "emergency" picnic tap in case things get stressfull, dirty or problematic. You may need an "emergency' drink to help you relax!

A nice thing to throw on the Christmas list is a Commercial keg tap (D style I think). If you get one of these, you just need a nipple/nut combination that will allow you to universalize your keezer system. If you look around, some vendors sell these parts. Essentially it takes your commercial tap, and allows you to screw in the same line/ nuts that you use on your corny kegs. I have a nice brewery that sells sixtels, that are nice to have on occassion. Also fun to have a commercial next to the homebrew, and have taste tests (go your way)!
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OmegaFunk View Post

Last I checked McMaster Carr for stuff the sweetness of their prices was overcome by the cost of shipping to Canada I'll check again for o-rings though, hopefully shipping will be cheap since o-rings are pretty compact.

Good call on the poppits. They're cheaper to buy as spares rather than have the company pre-install them anyways.

Hmm, can't seem to find a dip-tube/line brush anywhere... is it something I might find in a hardware/plumbing store?

I'm going to do a chalk board door panel on my kegerator, was thinking I'd put a strip of chalk paint on each keg for labelling. (Also, I can never find rolls of tape when I need them)

A keg first aid kit sounds like a good idea. So in addition to a ratchet for the posts, o-rings, and lube; what should I be thinking of getting to put in there?

Thanks for the help!

Incidently, I'll be ordering from www.ontariobeerkegs.com
More beer sell 48" line brushes for a couple bucks
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:23 PM   #7
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the cheapest and best price on used and new kegs are CornyKeg.com $ 143 for 2 brand new 5 gal ball kegs


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