Getting used cornies ready for use...

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lady_brewer

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Okay, so getting ready to take the leap into kegging, but I know nothing... I have been doing some research and I think I am finally ready to start asking some specific dumb questions. Forgive me for anything that is asked here a million times, or just so obvious it makes you roll your eyes...

1. All the kegs I have are old pepsi (cornelious/ ball-lock) kegs - scored 5 for $50 (yay!!! would have gotten more if they were available) - but they are in questionable condition. Obviously it is really bad if they don't hold pressure, but what else am I looking for? Is it okay or bad if the rubber tops/ bottoms are damaged? What other fixable (or not) issues can they have?

2. What do I need to buy for them? Obviously new O rings, I am thinking food grade lubricant, do I need new disconnects? What exactly do I need to worry about between the gas in line and the beer out line? Trying to do a good but frugal system start-up...

I will have more questions re: CO2 and kegorator builds, but I'll make more posts for those...

TIA!
 

woodstone

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Rubber bottom and tops are aesthetic issues, nothing else.

Pull them apart (one at a time - DO NOT mix popet valves or lids between kegs), clean the snot out of them, reasemble, pressurize...do they hold pressure? Done.

You can replace the lid o-ring, the gas in tube o-ring, the liquid out tube o-ring, the valve o-rings, and/or the popets themselves but why if you don't need?

Fill with 30 or so psi after cleaning, run some soapy water over everything and check for leaks...then order up only what you need to replace!

I've got a bunch of unfurbished kegs and only had to replace a small number of rings...I do keep a few spares of everything on hand but you don't need to...I also use Keg Lube on all rings after cleaning...works wonders!!!
 

heferly

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For the price of the o rings and poppits, I would replace them all....peace of mind

Clean them well, 3x as well if you smell rootbeer
 

CGVT

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The sticky at the top of this section has all the part # for the gaskets at McMaster Carr. I got 200 of each of the post gaskets and 10 of the lid O rings shipped to me for about $20. Pretty cheap peace of mind...
 

E-Mursed

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Here is a link that describes the breakdown of a 5 gallon Cornelius keg:

How to Assemble a Cornelius Keg: 8 steps (with pictures)

Be sure to release the pressure before trying to disassemble. I break mine down, rinse with hot water, clean with Oxyclean, and then sanitize with Starsan. Replace your o-rings if you can afford it. Use a small smear of keg lube on the lid seal if you think you need it.

Another good tip is to replace the original poppets with some new universal poppets. Never know how old and worn the originals are until it's too late.
 
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lady_brewer

lady_brewer

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Thanks all... more to read... unfortunately McMaster Carr won't ship to Canada (or wouldn't when last hubby tried) - he can get the same type of things from a work connection, but are there different grades of the rings to worry about?

And really dumb I am sure - poppets are ? (off to read the wiki article, where I am sure that and more is answered...)

ETA Okay... I have now found them... so do I order two per keg just because? Enough to do two kegs just in case? The online store (ontariobeerkegs.com) that I am looking at has them for $3.00 each... (cornelious poppet)
 

day_trippr

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There are three poppets on a Pepsi (ball lock) keg: there is a poppet inside each of the "posts", and a poppet inside the pressure relief valve on the lid. All three are spring-loaded, and have small rubber seals at the business end.

I'm not a fan of the "universal" poppets. I only have one - it's in the post I used on my beer line cleaner. The spring is way too strong, and the o-ring simply rides on the end of the poppet and may not actually retract with the poppet. The first time I used it the poppet got slightly sideways and hung up on the inside of the post. Fortunately I built my cleaner with a functional trigger valve, otherwise there would have been a cup or two of BLC sprayed all over me and my keezer.

btw: Definitely invest in a keg dip tube brush. Totally worth the $5 price. Use it on those kegs before you put beer in them to avoid having any bugs hidden inside the dip tubes from rampaging through your beer.

fwiw, I always replace all five o-rings on new-to-me kegs. I don't know where those kegs have been ;) or how old they are, or what they might have held at any point in their histories. And none of my 14 kegs leak...

Cheers!
 

david_42

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Mark the In/Out holes, if they aren't etched in. Dismantle and clean. Replace all of the o-rings, the kits are cheap and you won't have to worry for a couple years.
 
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lady_brewer

lady_brewer

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Okay... will have to get the hubby to look into/ cross reference the different rings, since I think the ones I was looking at are only kits to replace 3 (the lid +2.)

Still a little clueless on disconnects... are they a per keg thing? Or a per line thing? And should I be buying them?
 

E-Mursed

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I have 7 kegs from 4 different manufacturers with just as many different poppet styles. Having universal poppets takes away the problem of deciding what type of poppet to buy when a 30 year old spring turns into a quitter. Five dollars is a small price to pay for assurance.

When it comes to poppet springs - strong is good.

JMO
 

heferly

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lady_brewer said:
Okay... will have to get the hubby to look into/ cross reference the different rings, since I think the ones I was looking at are only kits to replace 3 (the lid +2.)

Still a little clueless on disconnects... are they a per keg thing? Or a per line thing? And should I be buying them?
You really only need to worry about the 3 orings, lid and 2 disconnect posts.

The disconnects are one gas (grey) and one liquid (black) PER keg, so 2 total per keg.

While you are researching, look up line balancing (it may make your head spin, but it will keep you from getting all foam pours)...short story, get 10 feet of beverage line per keg
 
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