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SailorJerry

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Hey everyone, hoping to get some sound advice before we jump on in. We are buying two kegs from a buddy, I don't know what kind they are yet, but I'm curious as to what advice anyone might have.
2 5 gallon kegs
Will be putting them in a fridge, drilling lines through the door instead of the side
Need - Lines, taps, c02, and regulator.

We will want to know how to force carb and how to figure out what PSI to pour at (dependent on line length, right?).

I would love any and all advice or tips, thanks!
 

kh54s10

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You will need to know whether they are ball lock or pin lock for the disconnects.

Taps. I have Perlick 525ss and 630ss. The 600 series is the current one. Intertap faucets are also popular.
co2 tank - any. I go to a place that exchanges them so I have a different one every time.
I bought a cheap regulator that was really hard to adjust and gave out in a little over a year. I replaced it with a Taprite.

Force carbonating can be done in different ways. Most common is to pressurize to 30 psi for 24-36 hours then reduce to serving pressure. You have to let the pressure out of the keg. After that serving is between 8 and 12 psi, usually.

10 foot beer lines is the most common length, but you may need to adjust to get things optimal.
 

cubalz

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I use Perlick faucets and Taprite regulators. You can go cheaper but you will be replacing them. Buy it once and buy it right.

Force carbonating: I turn the regulator to 20 psi and let it sit for 3-4 days in the keg fridge. Turn off the regulator, depressurize and then turn to 10 psi for serving. I use 5' line with absolutely no over-carbonization, ever.
 

kh54s10

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There is also the set and forget method. Set to serving pressure then wait for it to carbonate. About 1-2 weeks.
 

chickypad

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Use this table to find out what equilibrium/serving pressure you need based on your fridge temp and the level of carbonation you want. For example I have my kegerator at 42* and I run most of my lines at 14 psi for about 2.5 vols.

Also this calculator is generally accepted as the best for figuring hose length and will likely help you avoid the hassle of foamy pours. It's best to go longer, with the only downside being a slow pour if you go too long. Trust me, it's much easier to shorten than to fully replace all the lines if you start out too short.
 
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SailorJerry

SailorJerry

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They appear to be ball-lock kegs - orings on the opening look pretty good yet, not sure if they need replaced or not. The kegs are definetely used/refurbished, and need a good cleaning.
We are looking to see if we have a local supplier that does C02 or not, hopefully we can find one, and hopefully they sell regulators. Is a 5# C02 tank big enough?
What's the recommended regulator? We want to be able to serve out of both kegs at the same time...
I'd love some links or suppliers to buy our kegging stuff, lines, orings, etc. if anyone has some!
 
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SailorJerry

SailorJerry

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Our local supplier only has 20# tanks, isn't that a bit much? Only $125 for it, and $16.50 a fill. They have regulators as well for $100.
 

Yooper

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Our local supplier only has 20# tanks, isn't that a bit much? Only $125 for it, and $16.50 a fill. They have regulators as well for $100.
I have one 20# tank, and I love it because I only fill it once a year.

The thing is, if you have a leak it'll drain super fast and you have to refill it. The same is true with any tank, but I'm a weakling and can barely lift a full 20# tank in and out of my truck so I try to avoid doing it with the big one!

$100 for a regulator is pretty outrageous. I'd get this one: https://www.kegconnection.com/chudnow-wye-regulator-double-gauge/
Which would carb and serve two beers at a time, as long as you kept them both at the same pressure.
 
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SailorJerry

SailorJerry

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Thanks Yooper, that's the one I was just looking at. It also looks like I can get a 5# tank pretty cheap off of there as well, which might be the route we go. However, 20# for $125, and $16.50 a fill seems reasonable, maybe we'll just go with that and hopefully not screw anything up and have a leak!
 

owmatooth

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for what it's worth, I couldn't deal without having two tanks. Leaks happen to the best of us, and running to get more co2 isn't always the easiest. The $45 for a 5# tank is great. I'd get two so you always have a spare and don't have to scramble to get a refill. Same idea as only having one propane tank for your bbq grill. Its always gonna run out in the middle of a party.

If youre still working on buying the regulator, get a double. that way you can force carb one beer and not screw up your other one. I also like to have the co2 tank outside the fridge so you can read the amount left. when it's inside it works fine except for the full/empty gauge.

my set up is in the link below
 

itsnotrequired

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for what it's worth, I couldn't deal without having two tanks. Leaks happen to the best of us, and running to get more co2 isn't always the easiest. The $45 for a 5# tank is great. I'd get two so you always have a spare and don't have to scramble to get a refill. Same idea as only having one propane tank for your bbq grill. Its always gonna run out in the middle of a party.
second vote to having multiple tanks. i have a #20 in my six-tap keezer and a separate #5 tank in the brew area for purging, transfers, etc. i actually have a third #5 that is a spare for either one of the primary tanks.
 

Jim311

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I have two 20LB tanks. I fill them like.. never. Which I like because the gas place is like a million miles from my house.
 

Yooper

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So, two tanks, and two solo regulators?
No, two tanks and either a double regulator (for two different pressures) or a solo regulator with a WYE fitting to work with two kegs.

I happen to have two 5# tanks and one 20# tank. But I have a kegerator at my cottage and one at home, so two of them are usually in use and I have one spare. The spare serves wine in the cellar, so it's not really a spare in the sense it's just laying around but it sure is handy when you run out of gas on a Saturday at 11 AM and the gas place is closed until Monday!

One thing to note about co2 and regulators- the "high pressure" gauge doesn't really work like a fuel gauge and let you know if the tank is 1/2 empty or low. Since C02 is a liquid dispensed at a gas, a full 5# tank is something like 500 psi. It'll stay at 500 psi for weeks, and then suddenly drop like a rock. The next day it'll be empty. If you put your tank in the fridge, it'll go down to 300 psi or something like that. It's like a propane tank in that way- there is no real "gauge" on it to tell you how much is left.

Once you get your tank, weigh it. It should match the "tare weight" stamped on the side. Once you get it filled- weigh it. It should weigh the tare weight + 5 pounds (if you got a 5 pound tank). Some gas companies don't fill right, and will sell you only 3 pounds and charge 5. Anyway, from now on, unless the tank is totally full or totally empty, the only change you'll see if it's getting low is the weight. If you want to see if you have plenty of gas, weigh the tank. If you wait until it starts to show lower pressure on the gauge, you'll be out of gas in the next day.

I joke about the way to handle that high pressure gauge- cover it with duct tape. Because other than knowing if your tank is empty, it's pretty useless. :D
 

helterscelter

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second vote to having multiple tanks. i have a #20 in my six-tap keezer and a separate #5 tank in the brew area for purging, transfers, etc. i actually have a third #5 that is a spare for either one of the primary tanks.
Count me in for multiple bottles. I got 3x5lb because it is so convenient to use co2 for stuff but so inconvenient to refill.
 

itsnotrequired

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One thing to note about co2 and regulators- the "high pressure" gauge doesn't really work like a fuel gauge and let you know if the tank is 1/2 empty or low. Since C02 is a liquid dispensed at a gas, a full 5# tank is something like 500 psi. It'll stay at 500 psi for weeks, and then suddenly drop like a rock. The next day it'll be empty. If you put your tank in the fridge, it'll go down to 300 psi or something like that. It's like a propane tank in that way- there is no real "gauge" on it to tell you how much is left.

I joke about the way to handle that high pressure gauge- cover it with duct tape. Because other than knowing if your tank is empty, it's pretty useless. :D
and the volume gauge reads lower at serving temp compared to room temp so keep that in mind if the tank is stored in a kegerator/keezer. i store my #20 in my keezer and the gauge was below the green 'good' range the next day, has stayed at that reading since i got it.
 

Jim311

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I only have one regulator. One of my tanks just sits unused and ready to swap in if the other runs out. As mentioned, you don't know you're out of CO2 until you are, the gauge really doesn't tell you much. But you CAN sort of tell if you watch the gauge closely. Since CO2 equilibrates from liquid to gas, the pressure should stay high until you run out of liquid CO2. Once you see the pressure start to fall from a very high pressure you know you're running low. Having two tanks just eliminates the possibility that you'll just flat out run out of gas, because that sucks.
 
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