Mini-Kegs - Good Idea?

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CowboyShootist

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Greetings,

I am looking at moving from bottling to kegging and have done quite a bit of research on both Corny kegging systems as well as some of the Mini-Keg systems available.

The main issue I see with the Corny kegs is size and cost. Cost is not that big of a deal since it's something that you'll have for a long long time but size, in this case, does matter. LOL

The size issue comes mainly from needing refridgeration space. This means additional expense, possibly, in the form of a kegerator. By my most conservative estimates you'll be spending between $200-400 for a kegging system built around the Cornelius kegs.

The Mini-Kegs look like an attractive alternative but most of the ones I have seen are only a little over a gallon in size which means you'll need at least 3-4 of the kegs. From what I've read the mini kegs are actually consumable in that you'll need to replace them every 6-10 batches but at $10 a keg that's not too bad.

There is also a mini-keg system called Tap-a-Draft which looks interesting. I'd love to hear anyone's experience with this system.

So the question comes down to this. Is the Mini-Keg system worth looking into or does it just make sense to go with the Corny kegs right off the bat and not worry about it?

Thanks
TC
 

ChshreCat

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If you can do cornies, then go for it. It's worth it in the long run. Currently I can't quite do it yet so I have a Tap-a-draft. Unfortunately, I'm just about to bottle with it for the first time so I can't give you much feedback.

On kegging with corny kegs, you don't HAVE to go with a full kegerator right off the bat. You can just use cobra taps at first and have a fridge for them to sit in. That works perfectly fine and you don't have the initial expense of towers and faucets and shanks and all that jazz. It's not too hard to get into it in steps and still have a working system.

I have one corny and a mini-fridge so far. Just need to get a cobra tap and the gas side and I'll be ready to have at least one corny running.
 

MoRoToRiUm

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Not awake enough to search yet; Recently someone posted a nice looking alternative that might work for you. They made a cradle so that the corny could lay sideways (after bending the dip tube) in the fridge, and mounted a faucet in the cradle (could just as easily use a picnic tap).

I have about 6 mini kegs and an avanti mini pub wasting space... Why'd I waste that money? Used them for one half batch before I switched to my kegerator setup (found three cornies and two CO2 tanks free!)...
 

david_42

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Your reasoning is flawless. 4 5Liter mini-kegs will hold a typical batch. I started with mini-kegs and hated them, mainly because the tapping system was junk and kept breaking. That system is no longer available. Both tap-a-draft and mini-kegs make sense if space is critical.

Kegging is certainly more expensive up front, but much of it can be obtained used and once you have the gear, your expenses drop to CO2 refills, o-ring replacements every few years, and replacing lines when they won't clean-up.
 
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so if you figure you need 3-4 mini kegs per batch at $10 a pop, that's 30-40 per kegging for one batch. You can get cornies much cheaper thatn 30-40 dollars. and they'll last indefinitely with the occasional poopet/oring maintenance as apposed to another 30-40 bucks every 6-10 bathes. Check the classified. I got 4 cornies in great condition shipped from California to Ohio for $100. That included shipping) Kegs themselves for like $17/ea
 

Schlenkerla

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OP - I thought the same as you. I was at a local pub one day drinking "Free Homebrew" Jimmy Carter's Happy Hour....

A guy walks in selling about a dozen kegs for $15 each. I hemmed and hawed until they were almost gone. I finally hit the ATM and got his last 3 for $45.

I have a vertical fridge that barely fits the keg with the connections on top. But it does fit. I have a bunch of grain under that shelf that it sits on now. I can probably make the hook-up easer by modifying the shelf. Like a stair-step. The back area can't be lowered since the fridge's mechanical junk back there. Blah, Blah, Blah...

I'm glad I got the kegs, I bought one more just so I have 4.

Right now I've got a gas & regulator hooked up to one keg fitted with a 5' party tap. I can use this set-up for a bit. I will probably buy more party taps so I can use more than one keg and not swap taps. You can get started w/o a full blown system.

Once you go that route opportunities of what you can do open up. I picked up a used jockey-box for $60. Fitted with 2 circuit cold plate. No taps or infeed hoses, but its still worth it IMO. I am planning to real ales with the kegs too.

Go with cornies.
 
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CowboyShootist

CowboyShootist

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Thanks everyone. I am definitely leaning towards the Cornelius kegs. I can make room in the outside fridge for now and get the keggerator later on.
 

vanhanz

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so if you figure you need 3-4 mini kegs per batch at $10 a pop, that's 30-40 per kegging for one batch. You can get cornies much cheaper thatn 30-40 dollars. and they'll last indefinitely with the occasional poopet/oring maintenance as apposed to another 30-40 bucks every 6-10 bathes. Check the classified. I got 4 cornies in great condition shipped from California to Ohio for $100. That included shipping) Kegs themselves for like $17/ea
:ban::ban::D
 
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