Frustrated with keg expense

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

paperairplane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
656
Reaction score
177
Location
wv
Just need to vent, so feel free to ignore this and not read it. Ready to get out of the bottle business. Setting up a parts list - I believe in buy once, cry once - don't spend money on cheap taps and then buy Perlicks in 3 months.

So even with a free fridge, a moderate 3 tap setup looks like at least $400 + Fridge + Corny's + thermostat control + drip tray + fabrication + misc parts.

Might not need everything day 1 - but it's a $1000 investment over time. Gonna want 6+ cornys, gonna want Perlicks, gonna want a 2 body regulator, etc.

I am DIY friendly and scrounging things together (BIAB, turkey fryer, Corona mill in a bucket, etc). WV Craigs list stinks - so no magically great deals.

I'll get there and don't mind piecing things together, but it is a little annoying how much $$$ it takes to keg beer. Hey SWMBO, I know I've been spending a lot on beer stuff lately - but I'd like to keg beer. So I need another $500 (provided I can find a free fridge). Looks like I'm gonna have 1 corny on a picnic tap for a while. :smack:
 

snccoulter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
1,038
Reaction score
61
Location
Nooksack
I hear you. Just tell the SWMBO to take a pill and buy it all at once. Then be ready to sleep on the couch for a while... Take your time and buy it incrementally. It hurts way less and she will not notice the expense as quickly..
 

CA_Mouse

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2013
Messages
1,984
Reaction score
350
Location
Riverside
I have been buying mine a little at a time. Mine went into the garage the other day and confessed to thinking 'damn, he's bought a lot of crap'. But then I've put up with her needlepoint, crochet and sewing hobbies for nearly 3 decades, so.... :mug:
 
OP
P

paperairplane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
656
Reaction score
177
Location
wv
I think the answer is to get dual regulator setup, run 1 tap for a while and then add distributor and more taps and more carnys as funds allow.

For that matter - garage is low to mid 40's this time of year, slap a picnic tap on the keg and drink it.

I'm getting my head around what I need - but tonight was first time I made a full parts list with costs. That was a mistake.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
34,585
Reaction score
13,716
Location
☀️ Clearwater, FL ☀️
I started with a chest freezer, 2 kegs, and a couple of picnic taps.

Expanded to 4 kegs.

Bought 6 more kegs.

Bought another freezer. Build a keezer.

Bought SS perlicks, shanks, tubing.

Bought another regulator (dual, for beer and soda).

Manifolds for both freezers.

Considering a 3rd freezer.

Moral of story: you are only barely looking into the rabbit hole. It is deep. You should have taken the blue pill.
 

bsperr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
103
Reaction score
14
Location
Athens
Just gather your parts a little at a time. A kegerator/keezer you put together with quality components (temp controller, perlicks, etc.) will serve you better than any of the consumer options available. Keep an eye on homebrew finds and other deal websites (I like slickdeals) to save money on the parts.
 

NickTheGreat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
1,189
Reaction score
394
I started with two kegs, a single regulator in my old fridge. Bought another keg, bought a 4-way manifold. Could kinda tip-toe into it.

Now I'm fixin to drill some holes in the side of the fridge and have a proper kegerator.
 

m3n00b

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
1,134
Reaction score
155
Location
Orange County
I'm in the same place. Just dropped 380$ at kegconnection on a 4 tap setup. Still need the tank and kegs. Also plan on adding 2 nitro taps soon. I also went for good stuff. Taprite dual body and perlicks.

Already had the freezer/controller.

The best part is I haven't told swmbo anything.
 

JBOGAN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2013
Messages
611
Reaction score
124
Location
Warren
I'm in the same place. Just dropped 380$ at kegconnection on a 4 tap setup. Still need the tank and kegs. Also plan on adding 2 nitro taps soon. I also went for good stuff. Taprite dual body and perlicks.

Already had the freezer/controller.

The best part is I haven't told swmbo anything.
I just wait until the SWMBO starts tripping over new brewing equipment toys.Because believe it or not women tune conversations out like men do."Oh you forgot the conversation we had about me building another fermentation chamber over the past month?"...Yup that is a mini fridge i just got off CL
 

day_trippr

Moderna Or Bust! :D
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
36,678
Reaction score
19,331
Location
Stow, MA
I just realized that at today's pricing the 14 ball lock kegs I've acquired over the years would cost just as much as the stainless 6 hole t-tower, half dozen Perls, tubing, 1x6 manifold, CO2 tank - and the Craig's List 10cf chest freezer. The only things not covered would be the controller, flare fittings and QDs, but when kegs hit $70 those will be covered and then some.

Woof. My condolences to kegging rookies everywhere...

Cheers!
 

DrunkleJon

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
8,187
Reaction score
2,567
Location
Alexandria
Either buy a little at a time and wait it out, or wait it out and put $10-20 or whatever you can afford away and buy it all at once. I started with a 3 keg, 3 tap setup, and a chest freezer, have bought more kegs and a dual body regulator so I have a spare place to carb from and am considering another tap and using my old reg to carb with.
 

m3n00b

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
1,134
Reaction score
155
Location
Orange County
I just realized that at today's pricing the 14 ball lock kegs I've acquired over the years would cost just as much as the stainless 6 hole t-tower, half dozen Perls, tubing, 1x6 manifold, CO2 tank - and the Craig's List 10cf chest freezer. The only things not covered would be the controller, flare fittings and QDs, but when kegs hit $70 those will be covered and then some.

Woof. My condolences to kegging rookies everywhere...

Cheers!
Making me regret it... Lol
 

Mike37

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2012
Messages
226
Reaction score
11
I just started with one keg and bought myself an upgrade every Christmas and birthday whether it was another keg, distributor, etc.

Just have your final setup in your mind and buy stuff that facilitates it. For example don't buy a single body regulator now if you know you'll want/need a dual body later, even if you're only running 1 keg now.
 

troy2000

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
1,057
Reaction score
483
As a gun collector, one of the best pieces of advice I ever had was, "it's OK to carry guns back and forth in front of your wife, but never let her see all of them at once." Because while a lot of wives can't tell one gun from another, most of them do know how to count.

I guess that's hard advice to follow with a brewing setup though, because you need all the pieces of it in one place to make it work. Never mind....:(
 

Roadie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2013
Messages
1,915
Reaction score
170
Location
Summerville
In my instance SWMBO pretty much demanded a keg system once we started brewing so I never bottled. Not cheap though and I have close to $2000 in my 8 tap setup.
 

troy2000

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
1,057
Reaction score
483
In my instance SWMBO pretty much demanded a keg system once we started brewing so I never bottled. Not cheap though and I have close to $2000 in my 8 tap setup.
$2000?!? [whimper...]

Of course I'm bottle conditioning, and doing small (4 gal) batches. And because I had things like 5 gal glass carboys, stock pots and picnic coolers laying around already, and also because I'm an ex-contractor with things like duplex outlets and electrical wire squirreled away, I saved a lot of money.

My big expenditures were a Walmart mini-fridge (on sale for $99.00) for a fermenting chamber, a $25.00 Ebay aquarium temperature controller, an $8.00 Radio Shack project box to install it in, and a $20.00 ceramic heating bulb to raise temp's in the fridge when necessary.

I'm retiring in about 18 months, and plan to get more into the brewing thing. Which means I'll probably wind up in no position to gloat about spending less money than the next guy....
 

bottlebomber

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2011
Messages
14,296
Reaction score
2,748
Location
Ukiah
I bought $700 worth of kegging supplies and it's still in the boxes it came in, and I'm using the "portable" setup in my fridge with a picnic tap. I've been a bit busy. What pisses me off is the cost of kegs themselves. It's a total supply/demand issue. There's no way a dented ball lock keg is worth a penny more than $40, but more like half of that, and yet they're selling for twice that.
 

jaydog2314

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2012
Messages
740
Reaction score
118
Location
Lockport
explained the ease of kegging to SWMBO, who helped bottled, and she was all for it, she loves the homebrews too...took some fantasy baseball winnings and bought 1 tap setup(already had CO2 tank and some basics from an old kegerator) then I cashed in early xmas & birthday presents to expand it to a 2nd tap, 2nd regulator, 2 valve manifold, tubing, another faucet, and spent some of my own $ on 3 more kegs. SO currently have the ability to have 2 taps at one PSI and a 3rd at another(force carb or diff serving psi). I only have 2 faucets but hope to pick up that 3rd after the new year...Def just falling down that rabbit hole but it's so much nicer than messing with bottles! good luck and save up!
 

J-Pizzel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
172
Reaction score
22
Location
Santa Cruz
Black Friday coming up is your friend. I remember utilizing it, researching web sites an pulling the trigger two years ago..
 

coyote68

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
1,858
Reaction score
327
Location
Clune
just remember black friday deals with mail order companies. last year i got 2 kegs, 2 faucets w/ shanks for 45.00 and a 25% off coupon.

so sign up for them newsletters/mailing lists
 

BBBF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
1,697
Reaction score
211
Location
Chicago
Which companies have keg sales on black Friday?
Keg Connection has had them the last few years. They are also great to deal with regardless.


I really got into kegging at the right time because my first 5 kegs were 1/3 the price of my last 5 and even those were half the price of some of the prices I'm seeing quoted.
 

m3n00b

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
1,134
Reaction score
155
Location
Orange County
Just called my LHBS and they have 8 ball locks in stock for $75. Might just do that before they're gone.
 

cjhammel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
47
Reaction score
8
Location
Springfield
I got a good deal on some 3 pin lock kegs about 10 years ago ($15 a pop) and had them camped out in my basement for about 7 years before my wife got me a basic kegging setup (CO2 tank,regulator and picnic tap) for Christmas. Then the next year she got me the kegerator conversion kit (2 taps, shanks, hoses, and line cleaner, regulator). The bad thing is that the refrigerator died just before Christmas that year so we needed to go out and by a new one. I picked up 3 more kegs and a 20lb CO2 tank on Craig's list for $150 last year. I would say that Craig's list is a great way to find some stuff for less than new.
 

billl

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2012
Messages
2,381
Reaction score
424
Location
Raleigh
"I'll get there and don't mind piecing things together, but it is a little annoying how much $$$ it takes to keg beer"

Some expenses are keg related, but some of the stuff you list is just about making it look nice. You could just open the fridge door and serve off picnic taps if you wanted.

disclaimer***** I'll end up spending over $1,000 on kegging stuff eventually too, but a lot of that is going to "wants", not "needs".
 

m3n00b

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
1,134
Reaction score
155
Location
Orange County
"I'll get there and don't mind piecing things together, but it is a little annoying how much $$$ it takes to keg beer"

Some expenses are keg related, but some of the stuff you list is just about making it look nice. You could just open the fridge door and serve off picnic taps if you wanted.

disclaimer***** I'll end up spending over $1,000 on kegging stuff eventually too, but a lot of that is going to "wants", not "needs".
I'm at $700 this week. Don't tell swmbo.
 

mcangeli

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
372
Reaction score
58
Yea, I just put my first 5 gallons in to a keg the other night (had been bottling) and it was so much easier...

I built a 4 tap setup, I found the freezer on CL for $75, and bought the fridge kit from Kegconnection with the co2 tank and kegs for just under $500. Did not go fancy on any of the pieces at the moment as its mostly for me and living in the garage. I figured I can upgraded as needed down the road.

I will say, my friends and family are jealous though that I can have four different beers on tap.
 

joesmink

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2013
Messages
47
Reaction score
9
Location
Stevensville
Been doing that for a few years now and not really a bother. Open door grab picnic tap and pour beer in mug, smile! I don't have to bottle!:mug:
Oh, forgot, close door.;)
 

m3n00b

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
1,134
Reaction score
155
Location
Orange County
Just ordered another keg and nitro faucet/regulator on black Friday. I don't even want to total this weeks kegging expense but its over $1k.
 
Top