Selecting Kegging Setup

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VV_Wildcatfan

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So I've been brewing since last Christmas and the wife just asked what I wanted for this year... so obviously I turned my thoughts to kegging. I'm thinking to start small with a Keezer conversion and 2 kegs with another line for carbing. Everything I've read has said to go ahead and begin with good quality equipment because I'll end up wanting to upgrade anyway. The problem is the wife is buying and I need to keep the price reasonable 🙄. My questions are:

Has anyone had good success with Keg Connection? They seem straight forward and easy to customize.


I'm thinking to get a dual body regulator (primary) and unsure whether to go with a 2-way distributor ($23+) or a secondary regulator ($75+). Obviously if the price is acceptable to SWMBO I'd like to go with the extra regulator to serve beers on different pressures. I drink mostly IPAs, pale/cream ales, some Belgians and Scottish ales. How important is the difference in serving pressures with these styles? Is it worth the extra money?


And what are the actual mechanics of connecting the secondary to primary with a dual body regulator and/or distributor? Can I add more regulators in series and what equipment is needed?

Finally, with the end game being to have 5-6 beers on tap at some point (AKA when financially feasible and approved by the lovely SWMBO) is this the best way to start out while allowing for future growth?

Any and all advice and/or redirecting is appreciated. Thanks in advance for the help!!
 

JONNYROTTEN

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Being able to have different serving pressure will make your kegging more enjoyable.Plus if your force carbing you can crank that keg up to 30 psi while drinking the other at serving pressure. The number one thing you can do for kegging is a Perlick flow control faucet. It will take all the frustration out of your kegging and line balancing headaches.
 

mongoose33

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As I've done my hobbies over the years, I've tended to find that I don't go big enough and end up having to buy again. The rule of thumb with a safe? Always buy the next larger size at least. Same with keezers--always go bigger than you think you need.

When I looked into kegging, I figured I might want a couple kegs max; how much beer can you drink, anyway?

Well. I started with a keezer with three faucets (Perlick Flow Control, BTW). Pretty soon it was apparent I needed a 4th, so I added that. Now, I actually have five beers I want on tap at the same time--but only 4 faucets! I can have the 5th keg in the keezer and serve it with a picnic tap, but I want that 5th faucet!

You *will* want more capacity. Build that into your expectations. The smaller chest freezers can handle 6 or 7 kegs, and you can have the distribution manifolds feed different kegs with different pressures if you think that's valuable.

Originally I had a dual-gauge regulator with the idea that I could force-carb one keg while serving another. It didn't work all that well for me, and I switched to a standard one-pressure regulator (two gauges). I feed my distribution manifold with that one pressure (9 pounds) and my beer stays carbed at a level I like and pours like a dream.

I also realized that I could force-carb in that keezer with one simple fix: put one keg on 30 psi and turn off the other valves for a day. Voila! I have some bottled beer and if I ran into such an urge while force carbing to have a beer that I couldn't resist, I'll just have a bottle or two.

This is one of those things that I don't read about. I can force carb in my keezer, off a single regulator. All I need do is turn off the other valves for a day. No extra regulator, no extra price, it all works.
 
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VV_Wildcatfan

VV_Wildcatfan

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A little more research at keg connection and I'm thinking about a dual body primary regulator with a secondary manifold to either A)serve two at one pressure with one carbing line, or B) serve two on different pressures. This seems expandable to 3 taps or more simply by substituting the manifold with a larger one (or hopefully a 4 body secondary regulator) when affordable.

Price right there looks like $335ish with the perlicks, pin locks, and does not include CO2 tank, freezer, temp controller, etc. Is this looking reasonable? If so, any recommendations for a cheaper supplier? I am also a little confused about fittings, swivel nuts, MFL etc. Is it worth further investment for these items that aren't included in the standard kit?
 

skraeling

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So far for equipment. Im building one too right now.

I used morebeer.com for the fittings and faucets lines and connectors (ball lock in my case) and faucets (seriously 50.00 for 650ss perlicks). plus the free shipping on orders over 49? I think.

i bought my gas distributor at ritebrew.com cheapest prices ive seen for that at 35.00 shipped for a 4 way (not mfl, but i didnt care and got the barbed).

I bought two more kegs at farmhousebrewingsupply.com as 75.00ea for two new kegs is pretty damn good and **** refurb for the 100 midwest is charging.

I got my shanks + tailpieces at stainlessbrewing.com they had a sale for 20% going when i ordered managed to get 4 stainless shanks shipped for 81.

granted its going to be cheaper for me as I had a 10# co2 tank and two kegs already that I got as a gift years ago.

Heres my thread.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=593107

so pages used.

www.morebeer.com
www.ritebrew.com
www.farmhousebrewingsupply.com
www.stainlessbrewing.com
 

u81doughboy

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I highly recommend Kegconnection.com for their TapRite regulators. I bought my original primary with a 4 body secondary. It works great and it allows me to control my 4 kegs on tap. I recently purchased a single regulator with wye adapter attached for my new "portable" system with picnic taps.
Their service is excellent. Some parts were slow in arrival at their facility, but the team at Kegconnection upgraded the shipping (including a Sat. delivery) to ensure that my order would arrive in time for me. If you have questions about putting your system together, give them a call. They answered my questions when I was designing my keezer system.
Good luck.
 

JONNYROTTEN

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You need to watch what regs you get. Some are standard lefty loosy some are opposite threads and are not interchangeable.I believe the TapRights are opposite threads.
 

ericbw

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Keg Connection and Keg Outlet are both very good with what they offer and with service. They have all those set ups put together, but they will work with you to customize what you want as well. I've bought stuff from both places and have been very happy. They answer questions quickly and help you get what you want.

Unless you really, really *need* to serve at different pressures, then I think you should skip the secondary regulator and get a 3- or 4-way manifold. Like someone said, if you turn off all the valves but one for a day, you can carb at 30psi and then drop it it serving pressure, turn the other valves on, and let it sit till it's carbed and conditioned. I would start with a manifold unless you plan to do soda. If that's the case, you can always add on down the road.

(I find that trying to rush the process will get carbonation, but it still needs some conditioning time to taste its best. For most beers we do, this means 3 weeks of cold conditioning.)

Another small money saver is that you probably don't need the gauge that tells you the pressure of the tank. It's not an accurate way to tell how much is in the tank anyway. So Keg Connection/Keg Outlet will help you configure what you need without that dial and save a few bucks.

I also feel like I wasted money on the shanks I bought. They're longer than necessary and so they cost more.

I have a mix of ball locks and pin locks, but ball locks are a lot easier to deal with - easier to put on and take off. Pin lock kegs usually don't have a pressure relief valve, so you have to monkey with the post to release the pressure. There is a device for doing it, or you can use a screwdriver. As long as you make sure you are using the correct post and don't spray beer out of the keg. So even if you get pin locks, you can replace the lid with one that has a relief valve and that's a good upgrade. I have replaced posts and the lid on one keg, and eventually will do the same with another so I will have all ball locks with PRVs.

Buy a few extra worm clamps. You always need one more.
 
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