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Best beginner kegging system for around $200.

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Jmac

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The wife has given me the ok to purchase a new kegging system. My price range is going to be close to $200. The best deal I have found so far is from Midwest(link below). Anyone have any suggestions on a better purchase? I would prefer to use the picnic taps for now to save on cost and to spend more money on the kegs, reg and tank... So I am not looking for the fridge conversion option at this point but when I get more money would like to update the system with the "better" taps..



Brew Logic Dual Tap Draft System- with NEW Aluminum CO2 Tank

Brew Logic Dual Tap Draft System- with NEW Aluminum CO2 Tank :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies

Any help would be appreciated!!!
 

Baja_Brewer

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Midwest had the best deals when I was looking, I went ahead and bought 4 kegs from Pedalbiker as well so that I can have some for conditioning. Other people will recommend kegconnection.com and others. For the money though, you may want to try piecing together the system. Nikobrew has a great deal on some 5# tanks, cheap cornies from the classifieds (or CHI Company ball lock kegs for sale is {EDIT: was} having a sale, depending on where you're located) and picnic taps can be obtained for real cheap from AHS or other places on your next supply order.

Again, the systems from Midwest are fantastic if doing separate purchases dont add up as well!
 

rudy0498

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I bought the kit from Midwest with the double body, dual guage regulator. If you want a 2 keg kit, you just can't beat the price. This is especially valuable because you can force carb 1 keg and serve out of another keg at the same time. You'd be hard pressed to piece together the parts for this type of kit for any cheaper unless you get some unreal deals. I haven't seen double body regulators for much cheaper than $100. And that doesn't leave a lot of money left of to locate the rest of the parts...especially if you are paying shipping from multiple places.

One thing to note, they make the regulators for the "Brew Logic" kits and they are not the highest quality. So you get what you pay for to some extent. Several people (including myself) have had issues with leaks and broken gauges. But Midwest's customer service is excellent and they will help you resolve any issues you might have.

So if you are willing to deal with the potential hassle of troubleshooting some issues in order to save money, get the kit from Midwest. If not, I've heard good things about Keg Connection and Beverage Factory.
 

wildwest450

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Make sure you can get a tank filled before you buy a nice shiny aluminum one. Most places will only exchange tanks. You will be waving bye bye to your new tank and hauling an old rusty steel tank home.:(
 

rudy0498

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+1 on BeverageFactory.com, they have great kits and great prices. I'd get a 2 keg kit, but since you'll be swapping out the CO2 tank just leave that out of the kit. Go to your local welding supply or beverage supply store and get a tank to swap out.

2 Keg Basic Keg Kit, Dispenses two kegs at once! (Separate Check Valves!)
$148.95 NO CO2 CYLINDER


This kit with the same options as the Midwest kit above is about $40 more ($238 w/ CO2 tank, and dual body regulator). I don't remember it being quite this cheap from Keg Connection. Knowing what I know now, I might have shelled out the extra $40 for this kit with the better regulator. (I also didn't know the Brew Logic Regulator was homemade at the time).

$60 isn't a lot for a CO2 tank from what I've seen, even if you are just trying to get into an exchange program. Maybe you can get lucky and find someone who is practically giving them away on craigslist, which I watched like a hawk and was never able to accomplish. Obviously check your local area first, but Ebay is the cheapest I've found and they are still about $55-60 after shipping.
 

lowlife

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craigslist is your friend. I got a 5 lb steel tank and a crappy regulator for 25 dollars. The regulator works but is old and oxidized. It took a couple weeks of looking though. Throw out an ad in the wanted section or a trade ad. I just hooked a new taprite dual guage for a 160 gig hard drive and old x300 video card today on craigslist.
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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craigslist is your friend. I got a 5 lb steel tank and a crappy regulator for 25 dollars. The regulator works but is old and oxidized. It took a couple weeks of looking though. Throw out an ad in the wanted section or a trade ad. I just hooked a new taprite dual guage for a 160 gig hard drive and old x300 video card today on craigslist.
Craigslist IS killer, I found quite a few killer steals on there...here's one:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/craigslist-haul-90085/

However!!! If you are paying decent $$$ for a CO2 tank make SURE that it does not have any CocaCola, PepsiCo, or any other soda distributor stickers or stamps on it. It took me months to get rid of my 20# tank because the former owner had sold me a technically "stolen" piece of property. By law, places that do CO2 swaps and fills are not allowed to even touch those tanks as they are property of another company.
 

MoRoToRiUm

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However!!! If you are paying decent $$$ for a CO2 tank make SURE that it does not have any CocaCola, PepsiCo, or any other soda distributor stickers or stamps on it. It took me months to get rid of my 20# tank because the former owner had sold me a technically "stolen" piece of property.
I know the ethics, and I'm not going to get into it- but you were legally buying ownership of it from him, assuming he owned it (bad on his part); Stickers are easy to remove. Just saying....
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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I know the ethics, and I'm not going to get into it- but you were legally buying ownership of it from him, assuming he owned it (bad on his part); Stickers are easy to remove. Just saying....
I can't buy ownership of something that doesn't belong to him. And FWIW, the tank he just threw in there because nobody would fill it. And I did in fact sand the sticker off...at the welding shop's suggestion. They said, "If I don't see a coke or pepsi sticker on it, there is no way for me to know WHO it came from, know what i mean?".
 

fishnfever

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kegconnection.com

+1 on keg connection. I bought that same set up from midwest and with in two months I was on the phone with kegconnection for a better regulator. Went threw two of the Midwest in two months (leaks and just getting ones with broken gages). Since dealing with kegconnection I have never looked back (almost a year with NO problems).


Just my 0.02
 

TeufelBrew

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I got the 3 tap system from Midwest and have had no problems at all. I would suggest getting a gauge cage to go with it. Bolts together on the gauges and if the tank falls, the gauges are protected.
 
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Jmac

Jmac

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Guys,

Thanks for all of the suggestions... I have to be on a budget to keep the wife happy and to keep brewing.. My 30th is coming up so she is OK with me spending a little extra on my hobby.

I did look at the kegconnection.com 2 keg setup that has been suggested to me but was leaning toward the Midwest setup due to the regulator... being able to serve and force carb at the same time..

Maybe I should go ahead and get the door mount instead of the party style tap.. I do have a old fridge I will be replacing and putting in the garage for this setup.

How does 2 keg setup work with the kegconnection.com setup.. I notice it has some type of "manifold" to control flow to both kegs... You cant get 2 different pressure settings on the kegs can you? Might need this as I told the wife I could make soda..lol

Also, I am really looking for a kit.. A one time purchase to get all I need to be up and kegging except for the temp controller/thermostat.. Every time I try to piece it together it ends up costing me more and turns into a pain in the arse.

Any preference on those? Ranco vs Johnson Controls... I read you don't have to wire anything up with the Johnson Controls thermostat.. I am a computer geek not a electrician.. so that is a good thing for me. Electricity Kills!!!....
 
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Jmac

Jmac

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Also, How important is it for you to be able to force carb and serve through the same regulator at the same time...

This is one of reasons why I was leaning towards the Midwest 2 keg kit.. but if the regulator is not that good I don't want to do it...

I would rather buy the basics once and not have any issues.. then add extra parts later if need be...


I have emailed Kegconnection.com to see if their dual regulator add-on to the 2 keg setup is actually the Taprite regulator.

Will have to wait for reply..
 

Vtbrew

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I have the Midwest dual reg set up and it has worked fine for me.
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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I understand the concern with the dual pressure regulator. It is indeed great to be able to carb and serve at the same time. I wonder if you could talk with Midwest and get them to lower the price by leaving the CO2 tank out. As mentioned before, you'd be exchanging your brand new tank out for a used steel one anyways. If you can get them to lower the price for the kit and exclude the tank, I'd go that route. With a dual pressure regulator, you would in effect have a two-way manifold built in. As far as the temp controller goes, if you're going to use a fridge, you don't need one. I just set my fridge at the lowest possible temp and that gets me about 37F which is perfect. If you are going to use a freezer for your kegerator setup, I would go for the analog Johnson control. It's a pretty bulletproof unit and is the cheapest you will find; about 50-60 bucks (mine was $56 at the LHBS). Good luck with your setup! :mug:
 
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Jmac

Jmac

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Looks like I am going to go with the kegconnection 2 keg setup but modified a bit.. Going to upgrade to the taprite dual regulator and then remove the co2 tank and manifold options.. All will cost around $200 with shipping.. Still need to get a tank from the welding supply.. Hopefully I can pick one up for around 55 dollars which is what kegconnections was going to cost me.

I worked with them today and the person I spoke to Ben was very friendly.

Thanks everyone for the tips!!! I cant wait for the purchase to be final and the kit shipped!!
 

zacster

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I guess I don't have to ask the same questions. I'm looking for a kegging system myself and was looking at Midwest and Austin, but the KegConnection seems cheaper.

I live in NYC where I probably can't get a tank filled, only swapped. I know I can't fill a propane tank. Does anybody know for sure? It's too late to call a supplier to find out.
 

JesseRC

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Looks like I am going to go with the kegconnection 2 keg setup but modified a bit.. Going to upgrade to the taprite dual regulator and then remove the co2 tank and manifold options.. All will cost around $200 with shipping.. Still need to get a tank from the welding supply.. Hopefully I can pick one up for around 55 dollars which is what kegconnections was going to cost me.

I worked with them today and the person I spoke to Ben was very friendly.

Thanks everyone for the tips!!! I cant wait for the purchase to be final and the kit shipped!!

For 55 dollars I would have just gotten the tank from them. Sure you might have to exchange it, but atleast you'd have it. Unless you're looking for a 10# or 20# tank. Ben personally delivered a order to me yesterday, he's a really young guy, but he's always on top of customer service and returns all my calls.

As for filling and exchanging co2, what I have learned is most city's have both, you just have to ask around. Some places only exchange, if so, ask them who fills there empty tanks, and go from there. You might also ask around who does there hydro testing , and fire and safety companys also fill or exchange tanks. Som Home Depots do exchanges, as well as some Northern Tool's. Ask some local bars who they use.
 
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Jmac

Jmac

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Yep, Called the welding supply about 5 minutes from the house before making the purchase... The didn't have any tanks in stock but could fill it for less than 10 bucks... I am a happy camper!!! So I just went ahead and ordered the 5# tank...

I cant wait for it to get here.. They said to look for it on Monday or Tuesday

The only thing though is I went over my budget a little BUT..I think I came out pretty good with the setup I got.. I have the basics to get me up and going and hopefully dont have to upgrade what I bought later besides more kegs and better taps...etc..

Total was around $280

This included the basic 2 keg kit, upgraded 2 body taprite reg, co2 tank, all hoses and attachments, some lube and extra seals.. o and some 1lb pbw.. I removed the manifold that was included in the kit so I could upgrade to the better reg..,


Shipping and taxes added about 37 dollars to the total.. They are in Texas and I am too so I got hit with the tax.. I hate taxes!!!
 
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Jmac

Jmac

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I love this website and its members!!!!
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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Yep, Called the welding supply about 5 minutes from the house before making the purchase... The didn't have any tanks in stock but could fill it for less than 10 bucks... I am a happy camper!!! So I just went ahead and ordered the 5# tank...

I cant wait for it to get here.. They said to look for it on Monday or Tuesday

The only thing though is I went over my budget a little BUT..I think I came out pretty good with the setup I got.. I have the basics to get me up and going and hopefully dont have to upgrade what I bought later besides more kegs and better taps...etc..

Total was around $280

This included the basic 2 keg kit, upgraded 2 body taprite reg, co2 tank, all hoses and attachments, some lube and extra seals.. o and some 1lb pbw.. I removed the manifold that was included in the kit so I could upgrade to the better reg..,


Shipping and taxes added about 37 dollars to the total.. They are in Texas and I am too so I got hit with the tax.. I hate taxes!!!
Right on man, congrats on your kegging setup. Make sure to post back when you get the kit in and share some beer pr0n with us! :mug:
 

JesseRC

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yeah congrats. What I have learned is that this hobby is so addicting and yet so rewarding, which kinda makes the addicting part worse.:mug:
 

fishnfever

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yeah congrats. What I have learned is that this hobby is so addicting and yet so rewarding, which kinda makes the addicting part worse.:mug:
This is soooo true!!!!!!!!!!


PHP:
Originally Posted by Jmac  
Looks like I am going to go with the kegconnection 2 keg setup but modified a bit.. Going to upgrade to the taprite dual regulator and then remove the co2 tank and manifold options.. All will cost around $200 with shipping.. Still need to get a tank from the welding supply.. Hopefully I can pick one up for around 55 dollars which is what kegconnections was going to cost me. 

I worked with them today and the person I spoke to Ben was very friendly.

Thanks everyone for the tips!!! I cant wait for the purchase to be final and the kit shipped!!

You will not be disappointed, Good Joice.
 

Dagatris

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I'm kind of confused by all of this, could someone enlighten me?

The taprite regulator is better than the one from Midwest because it is of higher quality, correct? Seems like a few people have had issues with the Midwest regulators.

But the Midwest regulator is a dual-gauge, so you can force carb and serve 2 seperate tanks at the same time. Jmac, you said you upgraded to a dual-gauge Taprite regulator. Is this the option that would be a $30 increase? Do you feel that it was worth the price jump?

Why would you remove the manifold? I guess cause it's only required if you have a single gauge regulator? Did you have to specifically ask them to deduct this from the price when you upgraded to the dual-gauge?

I think, having typed all this out, that I kind of answered my own questions. But I'd appreciate some confirmation from those with more experience in this area.
 
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Jmac

Jmac

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The taprite regulator is better than the one from Midwest because it is of higher quality, correct? Seems like a few people have had issues with the Midwest regulators.

I read the same thing so that is why I went with the keg connection regulator.. the one I upgraded to did add a bit to the final price but I can carb and serve with the one regulator.

Here is the regulator I got..

4) CO2 Beer Regulator, Dual Body, Three Gauge, Taprite Brand


But the Midwest regulator is a dual-gauge, so you can force carb and serve 2 seperate tanks at the same time. Jmac, you said you upgraded to a dual-gauge Taprite regulator. Is this the option that would be a $30 increase? Do you feel that it was worth the price jump?

Yes, I can carb and server at same time. Is it worth the price.. not sure.. I am new to this and have not used it yet..plus in the past I have always taken the cheaper route and hated my decision later.. I was aiming for $200 and ended up spending 285...



Why would you remove the manifold? I guess cause it's only required if you have a single gauge regulator? Did you have to specifically ask them to deduct this from the price when you upgraded to the dual-gauge?

Yes I called kegconnection to modify the kit. I removed the manifold to save money and since I upgraded the regulator I didnt need it. I could use it now to sever or carb more kegs as I just bought 4 more kegs... willl have to wait awhile to let the wife forget how much money I have spent on this hobby...lol

I copied my kegconnection quote in here but formatting is bad.. I hope you can understand it..


So basically I removed the single regulator and manifold so I could upgrade to the better dual gauge regulator for an extra 20-30 dollars..




HK120
1 2 Keg Basic Keg Kit, Dispenses two kegs at once! (Separate Check Valves!)
208.95
208.95T
RG000
-1 CO2 Beer Regulator,Taprite. Quick Adjust, Double Gauge, 5/16 Barb, High Pressure
50.95
-50.95T
(Use with manifold)
AD402
-1 Air Distributor/Manifold, 2-Way with 5/16 check valves
21.95
-21.95T
RG022
1 Dual Body Taprite CO2 Beer Regulator, Quick Adjust, Double Gauge, 5/16 Check Valve,
98.95
98.95T
High Pressure
KP205
1 O-ring Lubricant, Food Grade
3.95
3.95T
CL101
1 PBW, 1 LB Jar
6.95
6.95T
Shipping
1 Shipping Charge
15.98
15.98T
Sales Tax
8.25%
21.61


Total $283.49

Take out the pbw, lube, taxes and it would be a little less.. You dont have to pay taxes if you are from out of state right? I hate taxes!!
 

Dagatris

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So then adding the dual gauge and keeping the manifold would allow you to carb one keg, and set 2 others up at serving pressure (assuming you had enough kegs)? Or you could serve one keg, and have 2 carbing?
 
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Jmac

Jmac

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Yep, you got it right!! I will probabably do this down the road but will get a manifold that let's me serve more kegs...Maybe 3 or 4kegs.. But for now - have to fill the ones I have with beer and wait for the wife to allow me to spend more money.. Lol
 

Edcculus

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I'd like to bump this thread even though its a little old. I was looking for the exact parameters (kegging setup for around $200). This thread had everything I needed. Thanks for doing the leg work for me!

I just emailed Keg Connection about modifying the basic kit to include the dual regulator, excluding the manifold and possibly excluding the tank. Hopefully I'll have a kegging setup by this weekend!
 

Cincy_Ron

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Good info thread. I just ordered about the same thing Edcculus mentions in the post above me from Keg Connections. Went with the 2 keg, upgraded to dual body taprite, kept the manifold, dropped the co2 tank. Also bought some gasket lube and keg cleaner that the guy recommended. With shipping it came in at $180.66. I'm going to pick up a co2 tank locally (5#) and refills on it are $7. Looking forward to a couple of corny kegs in the fridge and not having to bottle up my homebrew!
 

Cincy_Ron

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Well, I received my kit from Keg Connections today. I'm a little disappointed in two areas. First, I clearly stated that I wanted the dual regulator. I wrote it down here in a notepad I keep next to the computer, the guy read it back to me, I even posted it here right after the order. We discussed being able to dispense two kegs while force carbing a third. As you can see they just sent the single reg. I also called back within minutes of placing this order (got voicemail this time) to add some Star San. Never heard back from them and they had plenty of time to add it as they didn't ship until the next afternoon.

Anyway... I would have caught it if I knew what the dual tap regulators were going for and what the total SHOULD have been, but this has all been new to me. I'll probably just go with this for now and possibly upgrade the reg down the road. Need to get these corny kegs cleaned up and get some beer in them!

IMG_1900.jpg
 
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Sorry for not making your order with the components you intended to include! If you are still interested in using a dual body, please call us, email, or PM me and we can charge you the difference between the regulators but shipping would be on us. We can also add your Star San at that time with no additional shipping charges. Please let me know if there is anything we can do for you!

Joshua
 

Cincy_Ron

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Sorry for not making your order with the components you intended to include! If you are still interested in using a dual body, please call us, email, or PM me and we can charge you the difference between the regulators but shipping would be on us. We can also add your Star San at that time with no additional shipping charges. Please let me know if there is anything we can do for you!

Joshua
Joshua, that's awesome! Didn't realize you guys were on here and appreciate the good customer service. I'll shoot you a PM about the dual body. It might actually not be worth the hassle, shipping, and all that...

Ron
 

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