2.5 Gallon Keg System Recommendations

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AugustWest

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I have been wanting to get into kegging but space is a serious issue where I live. As such, I have no ferm chamber or keezer. I do have a beer fridge though. I have been looking at the small kegging systems that would accommodate my half batches and wondering if it realistic to think that I could fit a small CO2 tank in the fridge with a 2.5 gallon keg. I have seen some with picnic taps and smaller gas cartridges too but I am leery of going too small with the operation. Anyone have luck with these setups?
 

Garfield43

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I am looking in to getting a similar set up.
If you can put a hole in your fridge you can keep a bigger CO2 tank outside.
That wasn't an option in my case, had to go with a 2.5 pound CO2 tank, it will cost nearly as much to refill as a 5 pound tank. Most of the charge is for the labor of hooking the tank up to get refilled, the actual cost of the CO2 adds little to the price.

I haven't decided between 3 gallon or 2.5 for the keg yet.
I am planning to run a flow control faucet on one of these kind of rigs:

You have to double check and see if the adaptor will work with a flow control faucet if that is what you want to use. Some wont.
You could try the rig that is in the pic but from what I have read you may have a hard time getting anything other than foam out of it.
Flow control hopefully lets you adjust until foam isn't a problem.
My whole rig is going to fit into the mini fridge we have without making any permanent mods to it.
If you can mod your beer fridge you have a lot more options.
 

NSMikeD

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I’m still looking for a solution. I use 2.5 gal torpedo kegs but can only fit one in my small mini fridge. I can fit the 5lb CO2 in there as well but I am limited to one keg at a time. I was looking to try to use one of my extra soda stream canisters as they are thin and a 5lb canister lasts me a year. Plus I can refill my soda stream with dry ice for about $2 each

alas the adapter I bought online was not what was advertised as the thread to put on a CO2 regulator were not what was stamped on the adapter. I haven’t. The small canisters are more expensive than the 5lb and are not narrow.

My current set up: 5lb CO2 and 2.5 gal torpedo keg


BB563E42-51AA-4FA4-9BA9-F3300B9E2B4E.jpeg


I believe my larger mini fridge that I use to ferment can hold 2 kegs, so I am considering using the above for fermenting and putting a dual tap and external CO2 on the other mini fridge. I ran while I continue to look for an adapter to use my soda stream CO2.
 

bkboiler

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depends on your fridge and roommate...u want things even easier?
Brew 4.25 gallon batches and get 2 gallons into each of two 2.5 gallon kegs.
Cut about 1.25" off the diptube and ferment in the kegs with a single spunding valve (connect gas valve from one keg to other with jumper).
When it's done fermenting. just toss one at a time into the fridge (will already be carbonated if u ramp from 10psi on day 1-3 up to 30psi for day 4 onward).
Use a picnic tap with 8 ft of line coiled on top of the keg. Easy!
I wouldn't even keep a CO2 in the fridge. Just connect and pressurize it with CO2 every few pints.
 

Deadalus

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I would recommend examining the dimensions careful between any 2.5 and 3 gallon kegs you are interested in and if not particularly critical, go with the 3 gallon. I suppose it depends a bit on your recipe creation and batch size but if you are splitting 5 gallon recipes in half the extra headspace is helpful. Seems to be more of height reduction rather than diameter between the regular 5 gallon vs. 2.5 and 3 gallon kegs.
 

bkboiler

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That's really cool! Does the tap pour well without much foam? Do you keep it really cold?
 

IslandLizard

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but space is a serious issue where I live
I'd maximize the space as much as you can inside the refrigerator, and keep the CO2 tank outside the fridge.
A simple 1/4" bulkhead can make that passage happen:

I'd not go to using small 2.5# or 5# CO2 tanks. Get a used 20# (or a deposit) and use it: Purging, carbonating, serving.
The cost to refill/swap a 20# vs. a 5# tank can be surprisingly similar. CO2 is cheap, the labor to recertify, refill, and transport tanks is much more expensive.
 

NBBrewer

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That's really cool! Does the tap pour well without much foam? Do you keep it really cold?
I found an adapter to go from sodastream to a common regulator recently. And yes it works pretty good no foam just beer.
 

Craiginthecorn

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I use small, 1.75-to-3 gallon kegs almost exclusively since moving most of my brewing to a Picobrew Z1. Since I end up drinking most of the beer I brew myself, I find these smaller batch sizes allow me to brew more often, not get bored drinking the same beers endlessly, and reduces the chances that my beer heads south before it's been consumed.

In addition, by stacking them, I am able to fit four kegs in my tiny keezer. I could fit five, if I wanted to add another faucet. It does get somewhat inconvenient and tricky to swap kegs with so many lines, but if I am careful to coil my EVABarrier tubing neatly, it's manageable. To achieve this, I always try to put a Torpedo Slimline 2.5 gallon keg on the bottom because their extra-tall handle design allows stacking, provided that I use appropriate disconnects. I have standardized on the Torpedo stainless disconnects because they are low-profile and have right angle flare hose connections. This is particularly important for my gas lines because I use GovReg inline secondary regulators, which are a few inches long and attach directly to the disconnect. If those are connected to a normal ball lock disconnect, the added length and angled connection make the connection too tall to allow stacking. With this system, I can stack a 2-1/2 gallon and a 3 gallon keg and just close the lid.
 
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AugustWest

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Thank you everyone. A lot of good ideas here that make me think this may not be a difficult as I thought. My main goal is to get into kegging my own beer while still having room to store the beer I pick up from local breweries in the same fridge. I like the idea of a bulkhead adapter that allows the tank to be stored outside. I was given a retro fridge like the one here as a Father's Day gift last year. I'll want to know where I can drill before hacking up. I will probably need to rely on a picnic tap for the time being.
 

NSMikeD

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I find this works pretty good with a 3 gallon keg. I can refill the approx 1 lb cannisters for a fraction of the cost.
Do you have a link to the adaptor. The one I got thread was wrong on the regulator side despite the sellers representation.
I love the soda streams. I can refill with dry ice for $2.

thanks.

Edit note: That look like a cartridge regulator? Is so, I’m still interested in hooking up my soda stream into my fermenting/ aging mini fridge for cold crashing and carbonating as I use that regulator with cartridges now.
 
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NSMikeD

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Thank you everyone. A lot of good ideas here that make me think this may not be a difficult as I thought. My main goal is to get into kegging my own beer while still having room to store the beer I pick up from local breweries in the same fridge. I like the idea of a bulkhead adapter that allows the tank to be stored outside. I was given a retro fridge like the one here as a Father's Day gift last year. I'll want to know where I can drill before hacking up. I will probably need to rely on a picnic tap for the time being.
While I was never 100% sure, I could tell that the guts were in the back bottom and the coolant lines ran up the tray. So I bent the tray slowly until it was flat against the back and then drilled the tap hole right through the top and crossed my fingers. I ran a small dc fan with plastic tubing up the tap to keep the beer in 5b3 tap line cool. That required a tiny hole in the side to feed the power line (an old cell phone charger) again fingers were crossed. The fan was placed in a project box to feed the air into the hose, there are link online to do this.
The other thing was cutting away all the plastic on the door so it would close. I then lined the door with duct/pipe insulation. It’s rolls of foam with adhesive on one side and foil on the other. Then trimmed it near with foil tape.


My last addition was to add a small chorded probe thermometer to outside door. I didn’t drill thus tine. The display is two way taped to the outside of the door and the cord is fed right along the stripping. It’s so thin that door seals.

The mini fridge is very stable at serving temp so I never bothered with a temperature control.

Here’s a pick with the thermometer display.

D3AB09B8-5D81-4B9F-9EB6-AA4F3D9B8B7D.jpeg
 

NBBrewer

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Do you have a link to the adaptor. The one I got thread was wrong on the regulator side despite the sellers representation.
I love the soda streams. I can refill with dry ice for $2.

thanks.

Edit note: That look like a cartridge regulator? Is so, I’m still interested in hooking up my soda stream into my fermenting/ aging mini fridge for cold crashing and carbonating as I use that regulator with cartridges now.
Those mini regulators aren't the best. Not like set it and forget it.


This was the cheapest I could find and does the job.


Then I got this to use a regular regulator.


Then this to refill the sodastream. 5 lb or smaller cylinder would save all the hassle but its a little lighter especially handy if you are hiking up a mountain with a waterfall or whatever.
 

NSMikeD

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Those mini regulators aren't the best. Not like set it and forget it.


This was the cheapest I could find and does the job.


Then I got this to use a regular regulator.


Then this to refill the sodastream. 5 lb or smaller cylinder would save all the hassle but its a little lighter especially handy if you are hiking up a mountain with a waterfall or whatever.
Dang. You are in Canada. I saw the adapter for a standard CO2 regulator on the site but alas it cannot be sold or delivered to the US. Soda stream won’t let them enter here.


Edit note: I was able to get a UK CO2 regulator (21.8 size thread) for my existing soda stream adaptor off eBay so now I can use my soda stream canisters. I have 3 60l (14.5 oz) canisters. I remove the cap and fill with dry ice pellets. 3lbs of dry ice costs $6.

I also have the little regulator for standard CO2 cartridges to take a mini keg with me, including my 1.75 gallon which I fill at my local growler station with local brews from time to time.
 
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madscientist451

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I have 5 gallon and the small 2.5 gallon corny kegs. My small kegs are from More Beer. I use a picnic tap with 5 ft of beer line.
I don't keep the CO2 hooked up all the time, but connect the gas after 3-4 pints. Its cheaper to buy the CO2 in a 20lb tank.
The big kegs fit in my chests freezer, but the small kegs are great for taking to my G/F house and go in the basement beer fridge.
The small kegs are great but you never see them used and the new price is $75-95. Sometimes you'll see them on sale. Other vendor might have them cheaper.
 

Garfield43

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What did you use to connect the tap to the disconnect?
As in who did you buy it from.
There are a lot of them online but some say "won't work with Perlick flow control taps".
I have a Perlick 690SS on the way want to run a rig like yours.
I like the return spring as well.
Are those tap handles casters with the tires removed?
 

Beermeister32

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The connector pieces were bought on Ebay. They are found on the cheap Chinese handle assemblies. They clear the Perlick shuttle. Some of the others will not fit as they interfere with the shuttle movement. These Chinese ones are recessed enough to clear the shuttle.

Tap handles are some vintage ball knob pieces I use. They are small enough to clear my refrigerator, and I like the look.
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IMG_0030.JPG
 

Garfield43

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Thanks so much.
I thought the manual return springs looked familiar.
I remember this rig from the "show us your kegerator" thread.
I was impressed how much you could fit in to a mini fridge & liked the return springs.

I want to copy your return spring setup but will have to be careful setting it up.
I could get a 690 cheaper than a 680 so a Perlick 690 is on the way.
If you pull it back hard enough you activate the creamer function.
Looks like yours are set perfect, it pulls the tap back and the spring is compressed all the way not keeping the handle under constant tension.

I like the look of your tap handles, I was trying to figure out what they were so I could copy them.
Looks like you get to remain unique.
Think I will go with the stubby that William's sells.

It is short and cheap.

Bonus points for Hamm's and Oly in the door.
Wish I could find Hamm's Special Light.
It doesn't just taste like Hamm's + water, somehow it has a slight citrus flavor I like.
Never tried Oly but I loved the ads as a kid.
I particularly remember the one with Grandmother hand knitting a sweater for one of the Artesians.
She apparently thought Artesians had 3 arms.
I was living in Missouri then so Oly was still national at the time.

I wish Pabst would issue a "One of everything" 30 pack of all the beers they still make.
A 30 pack should cover it.
I would love to try Oly, Blatz, Rainer, Schmitt(s), Ballentine (ale and beer), Country Club Malt Liquor and whatever else Miller and City contract brew for them that doesn't grow in my area.
Sorry for the thread jack.

Just got distracted, thinking about beer.
Nobody else here does that do they? ;)
 
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