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Buying keg setup questions

I’m looking to get into kegging. I started doing some research and have a few questions. Is it cheaper to build my own compared to buying a kegging system? Is there anything I should be checking for if I buy a used keg. I like the idea of new but I feel like used keg may have been manufactured at a higher quality than the new ones. I figure if I buy used it will be at a LHBS. I think the one store has a 1 year replacement on used and I’m not sure on the other store. I would like one keg to start before increasing to multiple kegs. I have a chest freezer that I plan on building a collar for. If I want to have two kegs on tap is that what a manifold is for and do I just need a dual regulator on a 5# cylinder connected to a manifold? Is a two handle keg better and or easier to lift and move? Does it protect the valves more? Are all ball lock kegs the same dimensions? Thanks

See if you can talk to a bar owner. If he can give you a couple of kegs. I do use heineken kegs. Think they call it slim keg. A 19 gallon kegs. Got about 8. They are a pain to open but long live youtube. Co2 wise i do use a 63cft cilinder last me long time. Manifold regulator. A double conection. One for. The beer kegs. Other conection for carbonation. With the regulator. I can adjust two kinds of. Co2 pressure. Inside. The kegurator. Got the. Co2 manifold. With three conectors. Wich i can open and close seprate

Two handles make it easier to load into a keeper. I like pin locks, I have had ball lock. Leave the wye out side and you can set yer pressure at 12 PSI and just open the valve and close it quickly so as not to git full pressure, or maybe you would like a very high carbed brew, then leave the valve open longer. Sure you can git a lot fancier stuff with more doodads, but that costs some serious coin. Sneezles61

All my kegs are used. Bought most at kegconnecion.com(which I highly recommend) and a few off craigslist. As long as it holds pressure it’s fine. The two handles are easier to lift, no other benefit that I can see. Pin locks are wider and shorter I believe. I have all ball locks.

You can get away with one regulator setup by using splitters in the gas lines or you can use a manifold if you want to turn them off separately. The least amount of hardware possible is the best option because you have less potential leak points.

I set my pressure for the vol level I want and leave it on all the time. I see no point in turning it off and on to save gas if your beer isn’t consistently carbed.

Yes you can probably save a little buying a kegging kit. Definitely check out kegconnection.com, they’re having a sale right now. Great prices and service.

Ive seen some good deals for new set ups but can still save some money on used. All mine are pin style. For some reason they are cheaper. I don’t use a manifold just a splitter. I have two tanks one split into 3 for my mini freezer an one split int 2 for my keggerater. Both my regulators are dual gage but really if I got another I would just get a single. The tank gauge doesn’t really work much on the 5 gallon tanks. And yes 5 gallon tanks last quite a while.

High pressure gauge doesn’t work very well on my 20 lb tank either. They tend to stay where they are when full then drop to zero when empty in my experience. Can you get a reg setup without one though?

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Is your tank/regulator in the fridge? The high pressure gauge won’t read correctly if it’s cold. At one point I had a fridge that the tank was outside, the HP gauge was a little more reliable.

The 20 lb-er is outside the fridge but the gauge is inside. My 5 lb setup both are inside. I don’t sweat it much. The gas supplier is pretty close and now that my leak issues are resolved the gas lasts a long time.

Some other thoughts. Know anyone in the bar or restaurant business? Many soda distributors have gone to what they call “bag in box” meaning the soda is post carbonated so there is no keg. There may be some old ones laying around. I got several for free that were abandoned. A good cleaning and replacement O rings are a good idea.

Pin lock are just a little shorter and wider. With the 2 and 3 pin set up it is impossible to swap the gas and liquid posts. With ball lock they can be swapped by mistake potentially ruining the QD (quick disconnect). That said I have lots of ball locks and never ruined one. Grey=gas, black=beer and the gas in side of the ball lock kegs usually have a dimple or cut in the handle so you can find it in the dark. Pin lock are usually Coke products and ball lock Pepsi.

Check CO2 distributors for used stuff, Craigslist too. Some of the old stuff is tough compared to some of the junk I have seen now.

A second tank is almost a must have. They know it is Sunday and the CO2 guy is closed. Then they wait until you have a house full of people watching the game and run out. Or you get a leak and a just filled one blows completely out. I have a little 2.5lb tank that is only for emergency back up.

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I have a 2.5lb, two 10 and a 50 so I don’t really pay attention either. The 50 is really too big so it gets used a lot to force carbonate. Got the big one with an entire fridge keg set up at a garage sale for $25.

Another question is what would I need if I had 2 kegs and one needed to be force carb one while the other is at serving pressure? Is this possible with a single tank setup?

Any time you’re using CO2 you’re force carbing. I assume you mean “quick” force carb? Turn the pressure up higher for some period of time?
Sure, you can do that with one cylinder if you have a two line manifold OR if you have a line splitter(Y or T) and put check valve/shut off valve in each line. Then you could close one off and carb the other. For that matter if you’re willing to spend the money you can add a second(or more) low pressure gauge to a single tank setup and run lines with different CO2 pressure from each low pressure gauge.

Yes I meant carb one while the other is at serving pressure.

You just disconnect the one keg your not force carbing. You can still serve awhile without the line on and maybe give it a burst if needed. It’s kind of a pita but once you get multiple kegs you probably won’t force carb much. If you only have one keg you may be tempted to force carb more but then it wouldn’t mater since you only have one line.

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Or this ^^

Force carbing is force carbing. There’s numerous ways to go about this:
Set it and Forget it, High pressure for a couple days, shaking/rolling the keg, and diffusion stone.

You may want to read into those if you’re getting ready to buy a kegging setup.

Yes I’ve read about a couple different ways. Now that I think of it. If you set a keg to 30 psi you disconnect the gas line after the pressure regulator stops letting in C02. Correct? So that isn’t an issue to still serve beer on another keg.

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me got a two way regulator one connection for the beer tap the other one for force carbonation will set this pressure at 20 psi for 3 days than move it in to the kegurator let it sit for a week at 12 psi and afther that ready to drink
indeed the pressure gauge does stay at the original tank pressure and it does not tell you how much left in the tank untill compleet empty so a must a spare co2 tank

Well depending on how you want to carb depends on your equipment. It takes 2 regulators to carb beer at different levels of CO2. It takes 2 regulators if you want to high pressure force carb while serving another keg.

Here’s the kicker… You can fast carb a beer within a few hours, days or even a week. However, your beer will have a better carbonation and head after about 2 weeks. Reason is the CO2 hydrates and truly dissolves in the beer. This is why I have multiple dual gauge regulators and use the set it and forget method.

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