Ball Lock vs Pin Lock

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pokerloict

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Hi,

Im looking for keg system and I would like to know the diffenrence between ball lock and pin lock.

Thank
 

rjhoff

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There's tons of threads on this. Either one is fine, ball lock items are more prevalent though.
 

camonick

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For one, ball lock (Pepsi) kegs are taller with a smaller diameter while pin lock (Coke) kegs are shorter and fatter. That is sometimes a factor depending on your layout/ space availability. Also, the pin lock keg lids have a fixed PRV that seems to be an issue for some folks (unless they have had a lid with a manual PRV swapped, as they are interchangeable). Other than that, they function the same and ball lock parts tend to be more popular as noted above. All NEW Cornelius style kegs are ball lock.
 

rjhoff

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Agree with camonick. I happen to own pin lock. They work fine for me and I buy my kegs used, so no issue finding them.
 

camonick

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I have 9 pin lock kegs. I didn’t even know there were 2 kinds at the time I got them. I was lucky and got almost all of mine for free about 18 years ago. I was working at a metal fabrication shop at the time and occasionally a repair technician for Coke would stop for us to do a little project for him/them. That’s about the time they were phasing out those kegs and sometimes he would accidentally on purpose knock a few off his truck when he was leaving. They’ve served me well other than the usual maintenance for gaskets and such which will be required on either style eventually. The biggest problem is that the static PRVs are very hard to find now if one should need to be replaced. I just spend a few extra bucks and replace the whole lid with one with a manual PRV if necessary.
 

Redpappy

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I have both ( sorta say). I have a 5qft freezer that I turned into my keezer. When I started kegging I purchased 3 converted kegs ( hence the sorta). The kegs were pin lock, however the post were swapped out to ball lock. I ended up purchasing 2 more ball lock kegs ( because of size difference) so that I could fit 3 kegs in my keezer easily.
Difference in the two that I have noticed Is the pin lock is short and fatter, ball lock is skinny and taller. Only by an inch or two width wise. And of course if it would be the connection style.
 

day_trippr

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The only thing I'd put out there wrt pin lock kegs is fittings are increasingly difficult to find compared to ball lock parts...

Cheers!
 

gnef

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I think it all depends on your priorities and budget. If you want new kegs and stainless QD's, ball lock is the only way to go.

If you are buying used, you can find both. If you have specific space constraints, you may need to go one way or another.

If you are looking for the best deal, you may end up with both!

I have a mix of both, probably around 60 pin lock and 30 ball lock. I live in Atlanta though, so pin lock has been a lot more prevalent, at least when Coke was moving away from kegs. I find them both interchangeable for my uses, and I have dozens of sets of each QD. I did want a stainless QD for a side project, and in all my years of brewing, I've only ever been able to find a single stainless pin lock QD, whereas stainless ball lock ones can be found just about anywhere online.
 

Deadalus

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I think it all depends on your priorities and budget. If you want new kegs and stainless QD's, ball lock is the only way to go.

If you are buying used, you can find both. If you have specific space constraints, you may need to go one way or another.

If you are looking for the best deal, you may end up with both!

I have a mix of both, probably around 60 pin lock and 30 ball lock. I live in Atlanta though, so pin lock has been a lot more prevalent, at least when Coke was moving away from kegs. I find them both interchangeable for my uses, and I have dozens of sets of each QD. I did want a stainless QD for a side project, and in all my years of brewing, I've only ever been able to find a single stainless pin lock QD, whereas stainless ball lock ones can be found just about anywhere online.
Here you go on the SS pin lock disconnects (barbed), expensive though!
 

gnef

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Here you go on the SS pin lock disconnects (barbed), expensive though!
Thanks for those links, unfortunately I should've specified that I needed 1/4 MFL for my QD's, and when I was looking at that type, I couldn't find any appropriate adapter (I actually have some of those that came with one of my jockey boxes originally made by Coke, and chicompany also sells that style).

Here is a picture of the one that I have:


It was actually manufactured by/for Coke, and had a Coke part number. I had searched for it, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I bought this one from Ebay way back in the day, and after I got this one, I couldn't find it on Ebay or anywhere else. I know they are floating around out there used at this point, but it doesn't seem like anyone is still making a stainless pin lock with 1/4" MFL.
 

Deadalus

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Yeah I'm not seeing any with the MFL connection. I prefer that myself too. If you look at the pin lock sleeve at that link they have the exploded view of the disconnect for both the SS pin locks and ball locks. First I thought maybe switching out the sleeves could work but the innards are different. Second I thought maybe the 1/4"FL head off the ball locks could maybe go on the barbed SS pin lock. Can't tell though as the MFL ball lock doesn't have a schematic. Probably not either though as the pin lock has that insert assembly (8) 07E04-270 but the ball lock has the gasket only (10). The MFL head must come off to clean the poppets on the ball locks? I haven't bought any yet, eventually! Oh well, I enjoy finding obscure keg parts if I ever see one I'll post it.

1594139752956.png


1594139810252.png


1594139864284.png
 

camonick

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Thanks for those links, unfortunately I should've specified that I needed 1/4 MFL for my QD's, and when I was looking at that type, I couldn't find any appropriate adapter (I actually have some of those that came with one of my jockey boxes originally made by Coke, and chicompany also sells that style).
What is the connection in the circled area?
6A91BAAC-0E68-4085-8037-8B0E2A392D18.jpeg
Still, $140 for a pair seems ridiculous.
 

camonick

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Looks like an answer was posted while I was typing my question.
 

gnef

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Yeah I'm not seeing any with the MFL connection. I prefer that myself too. If you look at the pin lock sleeve at that link they have the exploded view of the disconnect for both the SS pin locks and ball locks. First I thought maybe switching out the sleeves could work but the innards are different. Second I thought maybe the 1/4"FL head off the ball locks could maybe go on the barbed SS pin lock. Can't tell though as the MFL ball lock doesn't have a schematic. Probably not either though as the pin lock has that insert assembly (8) 07E04-270 but the ball lock has the gasket only (10). The MFL head must come off to clean the poppets on the ball locks? I haven't bought any yet, eventually! Oh well, I enjoy finding obscure keg parts if I ever see one I'll post it.

View attachment 688387

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I appreciate the effort! I've pretty much resigned myself to not being able to find what I want new. Stainless QD's really aren't a great value in general, and with how many I would need to switch over all my main connections (I probably have around 40 sets), it would be way too expensive anyway. One can always dream though!
 

Yesfan

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One other thing, Adventures in Homebrewing and Austin Homebrew Supply are currently having a sale on used ball lock kegs. Pretty decent deal for those getting into kegging or need more kegs.

Adventures in Homebrewing

Austin Homebrew Supply

I bought about 3 from AiH and got them in a few days ago. They held pressure as advertised. Now I just got to clean and fill them.
 
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