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Dragonfly

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I have a dream... and the dream is this: 2 or 3 or 5 kegs of homebrew. :eek: Real kegs - not just the cornelius. How can I make this happen? I have a big party house with 4 friends and Nothing, would, be , cooler. It wouldn't just be a block party - it would be parinirvana. But I have a sinking feeling that I would need some serious heavy-duty (very expensive) equipment to fill 15 gallon kegs. Thoughts?
 

DeRoux's Broux

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i've never even seen the option to buy equipment to re-use a 15.5 g keg for homebrew? i'm sure the equipment is expensive as hell. conry's are just too cheap and easy to use. you can still have 2-5 kegs of homebrew. they'd take up less space (granted, they would be 5 gallon batches...)
good luck with it......
 

Janx

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It can be done and isn't all that hard. There are a bunch of different fittings on commercial kegs, but most all of them use the same fitting for gas in/beer out. You can remove the bung on many (all?) of them, but some are easier than others. Some are really politely threaded...we used to use them at a brewery I worked at, but I don't see them on commercial kegs too much.

The more typical type are removed by pulling out this spring loaded little band that fits around the bung and holds it in. So, you just need to buy/steal some kegs and the appropriate fitting, attach a agas line in and a beer line aout and proceed as normal.

But I'm not sure you've thought out all the difficulties. Cost is the least among them IMHO. For starters, how would you chill 4 or 5 15 gallon kegs? Even a chest freezer wouldn't cut it. If you have access to a commercial walk-in freezer, then you're cool, but otherwise, this is kind of a deal killer. You wouldn't be able to condition the beer if you can't chill it.

And what about cleaning them? You can't get your arm in there to scrub, so most commercial breweries use harsh chemicals, usually very basic, to clean them. That's pretty scary stuff to mess with since it melts skin. I'd avoid if you can.

Why not just fill 10-15 cornies, then build yourself a cool looking tap/dispensation system. I have my taps mounted on a cool redwood board on my back deck, and you have no idea what the beer is stored in. What, after all, is so much cooler about the big kegs? They're much much worse if you're thinking about using a hand pump like you'd have at a tailgate party because your beer will go flat and get skunked by the introduction of oxygen.

You're much better off to dispense with CO2, and build yourself a nice tap setup or jockey box with 2 or 3 taps. Then you have some classy stuff that folks love at parties (believe me), and no one knows or cares whether your beer is in big or little kegs. It comes out of taps like at the pub, which is way cooler anyway.

Have fun and good luck!
 

Janx

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On second thought, you could condition them with priming sugar and dunk them in ice for serving...a lot of ice...The cleaning issues would still keep me clear, as well as the overall weight/size/hassle, but it's doable.

Cheers! :D
 
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Dragonfly

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So, you just need to buy/steal some kegs and the appropriate fitting
I'm glad we're on the same page here Janx, but maybe you're right... there's a Coca Cola bottling company in my town - maybe I could get a bunch of cheap cornies from them? I'm gonna look into it, and formulate a plan. This is a slightly long-term investment; I'm tryin to get everything set up by the end of 1st semester (christmas-ish). That leaves me plenty of time to build a bar, gather equipment, get better at brewing, etc etc. Well, thanks for the input y'all :cool:
 

DeRoux's Broux

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JANX!?!?!?! i figured, once again, you got eat'n by a shark while diving or had a full carboy fall on your head..........
welcome back!!!!!
 

Janx

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DeRoux's Broux said:
JANX!?!?!?! i figured, once again, you got eat'n by a shark while diving or had a full carboy fall on your head..........
welcome back!!!!!
No such luck, my friend ;)

Though we did see a couple sharks and 16 foot manta rays in Hawaii...no one was hungry, though.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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Janx said:
No such luck, my friend ;)

Though we did see a couple sharks and 16 foot manta rays in Hawaii...no one was hungry, though.
good thing. where else would we get to hear such witty retort! :D
 

bikebryan

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Dragonfly said:
I'm glad we're on the same page here Janx, but maybe you're right... there's a Coca Cola bottling company in my town - maybe I could get a bunch of cheap cornies from them? I'm gonna look into it, and formulate a plan. This is a slightly long-term investment; I'm tryin to get everything set up by the end of 1st semester (christmas-ish). That leaves me plenty of time to build a bar, gather equipment, get better at brewing, etc etc. Well, thanks for the input y'all :cool:
Ah, to be young again...thinking of the time between now and christmas, then using the words "long term" to describe that time period...
 

Driftwood

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Janx said:
On second thought, you could condition them with priming sugar and dunk them in ice for serving...a lot of ice...The cleaning issues would still keep me clear, as well as the overall weight/size/hassle, but it's doable.

Cheers! :D
Hey Janx,

We've been thinking about doing this same thing at my fraternity. We've already got a full bar at the place because we order the 1/2 bbl kegs all the time with commercial beers. But it would be REALLY cool to be able to fill these kegs with homebrew for parties!!

So some questions:

1. How could you condition? Does conditioning need to be done under pressure? We would probably want the beer pretty clear when it goes into the kegs, so we'll probably filter a little bit before kegging. So could we just leave the beer in secondary (or tertiary) a little longer to condition?

2. What are these skin dissolving chemicals you speak off? Any idea what goes in them? Just lots of sanitizer?

3. Do you need to remove the bung to clean the kegs out? And how tough is it to remove without the special tool for it? Could you just do it with some pliers?

As for cooling, we here in Canada play hockey much of the year and theres always ice outside of the rinks dumped from the zambonies... just pop a keg in a garbage can and fill with ice... lasts all party... :cool:
 
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