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Different Types of Kegs and Connections

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BeerIsGood

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Post Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:33 am

Different Types of Kegs and Connections

I'm getting ready to make the move to kegging and I'm looking at some used equipment to keep the initial costs downs. From what I can tell there are few different varieties of kegs and connections. What do I need to know about connections and 5 gallon kegs?

Are corny kegs the same as ball-lock kegs? What about pin-lock? Are the two different types of locks interchangeable on a tap?
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onthekeg

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Post Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:59 am

Re: Different Types of Kegs and Connections

Pin lock kegs are different than ball lock.
here are a couple pictures:
Ball Lock
Image

Pin Lock
Image
"The dog is an outside dog. You want an inside dog, you go get your own inside."

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BeerIsGood

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Post Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:04 am

Re: Different Types of Kegs and Connections

Thanks. So it looks like I need to pick one style and stay consistent with my kegerator build.

Is the choice simply a matter or preference?
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onthekeg

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Post Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:43 am

Re: Different Types of Kegs and Connections

BeerIsGood wrote:Thanks. So it looks like I need to pick one style and stay consistent with my kegerator build.

Is the choice simply a matter or preference?


Its up to you. I have pin lock and ball lock. You just need some additional fittings. I managed to get a bunch of pin lock kegs for a great price, so I didn't care that I have 2 different styles of connectors. If you buy the screw on hose fittings it isn't a big deal at all.
"The dog is an outside dog. You want an inside dog, you go get your own inside."

I hate the Packers so much, I wouldn't cheer for them if they were playing al Qaeda.
A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be sure.
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TG

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Post Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:54 am

Re: Different Types of Kegs and Connections

Pin-locks are used by Coke, and ball-locks by Pepsi and everyone else. Pin-locks have 2 pins on the gas connector and 3 on the beer so you can't mix them up. Ball-locks are marked too, but much less obviously. Most homebrewers choose ball-locks because they are more common, but if your buddy works for Coke, then pin-locks might be more available and cheaper. Soda distributors are changing from corny kegs to bag-in-box. But I have heard a rumor that rats like to chew through those.
Pin-locks are built a little sturdier, but ball-locks are fine. Pin-locks are a little fatter and shorter: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=20226 so the decision might come down to the size of your fridge. There are 2 main manufacturers too, Cornelius and Firestone. The lids are interchangeable, but the thread sizes vary http://www.ipass.net/mpdixon/KegThreadSizes.htm .
You'll love kegging.
:cheers:
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BeerIsGood

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Post Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:17 pm

Re: Different Types of Kegs and Connections

TG wrote:Pin-locks are used by Coke, and ball-locks by Pepsi and everyone else. Pin-locks have 2 pins on the gas connector and 3 on the beer so you can't mix them up. Ball-locks are marked too, but much less obviously. Most homebrewers choose ball-locks because they are more common, but if your buddy works for Coke, then pin-locks might be more available and cheaper. Soda distributors are changing from corny kegs to bag-in-box. But I have heard a rumor that rats like to chew through those.
Pin-locks are built a little sturdier, but ball-locks are fine. Pin-locks are a little fatter and shorter: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=20226 so the decision might come down to the size of your fridge. There are 2 main manufacturers too, Cornelius and Firestone. The lids are interchangeable, but the thread sizes vary http://www.ipass.net/mpdixon/KegThreadSizes.htm .
You'll love kegging.
:cheers:



Thanks! That nailed my questions. :D

One last one now: the threading, that's the threading to the valves?
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TG

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Post Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:25 pm

Re: Different Types of Kegs and Connections

The keg posts http://www.northernbrewer.com/default/p ... -v-vi.html screw on to a fitting on the top of the keg. There at least 3 different threads for these.
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Nighthawk

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Post Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:02 pm

Re: Different Types of Kegs and Connections

If I had to do it over I would have purchased the MFL disconnects over the barbed ones as Onthekeg mentioned. I also have a mix of ball/pin kegs.

You can also unscrew your beer lines and screw in a garden sprayer with cleaning/sanitizing agents when you want. No need to fill a keg and push the liquid with co2.
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FriendsR2Thirsty

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Post Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:27 am

Re: Different Types of Kegs and Connections

Nighthawk wrote:You can also unscrew your beer lines and screw in a garden sprayer with cleaning/sanitizing agents when you want. No need to fill a keg and push the liquid with co2.


Great idea on the garden sprayer....I hate wasting all that CO2. Any pictures? I imagine you just cut off the end of the sprayer and attach a barbed male flare that then screws into the swivel nut? Got a model # handy so I can make sure it has the correct ID on the hose?
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marcopolo

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Post Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:50 am

Re: Different Types of Kegs and Connections

One thing I just learned the hard way (cost of refilling a couple 5 Lb CO2 bottles) is that there are 2 types of keg connections on the corny keg. One for liquid (black) and one for gas (grey). I mistakenly used a black (liquid) on my gas post. The amount of gas leakage was pretty slow because the system held pressure for over 24 hours. But eventually I lost pressure and all my CO2 (not once, but twice !) Originally, I thought I just had to replace the O ring in the lid, but obviously that wasn't the case. I feel homebrewing makes me better at my job as a chef/cook because homebrewing DEMANDS attention to detail.
Cheers & Good Luck to you !
Marco
Berthoud, Colorado
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marcopolo

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Post Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Different Types of Kegs and Connections

I own 8 corny kegs, all ball lock, but they are all different. The keg posts all seem to be made for different makes of the corny kegs. I have some kegs made from Italy, a couple "MSR", a couple super champions and a challenger VI.
There are 3 types of keg posts, type A, type B and type C. Also, the liquid and gas disconnects are not interchangeable with the differnt posts even though they're all "ball lock". SO, it's not always as simple as you may think. I'm hoping that the SS disconnects are more universal as opposed to the simple plastic ones. Otherwise it's kinda like doing a jigsaw puzzle. This is critical because the connections must be airtight. I can produce 3 workable units from my collection of 8, so I'm OK. I'm just sharing my learning experiences with everyone. It's kinda fun to explore the world of kegging...
Cheers,
marco
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BeerIsGood

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Post Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:30 pm

Re: Different Types of Kegs and Connections

Nighthawk wrote:If I had to do it over I would have purchased the MFL disconnects over the barbed ones as Onthekeg mentioned. I also have a mix of ball/pin kegs.


I've decided that I'm going to go this route. I will have a mix of both ball- and pin-lock kegs right off the bat, so this sounds like it will be the easiest for me.

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