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Getting ready to take the plunge to kegging

Since I have about 150 bottles worth of beer in the present pipeline, I am thinking about making the “next” brew a keg batch. Since I just bought a new chest freezer and inkbird temperature controller, I am hoping I can also use this temporarily to hold a full keg and a party tap/ flex hose etc. This would be until I can find something suitable to put upstairs in the house to dispense the 5 gallon keg.

does anyone know how much more height I would need beyond the 25" the keg stands at now?

tried to upload the image, not sure if it will show up. Its a kegco 5 gallon ball lock with the rubber top handles and bottom.

I don’t have much more than 27" or so inside height available in the freezer. It looks like there is some room from the top of the fittings to the handle tops on the keg, so maybe that with a cople more inches on top is enough to flex the hoses around. Worst case I guess I could pick up a small fridge that can later be “kegeratored” .

Thank you,

Tom

Sounds like you have plenty of room. The QDs have a slight angle on the fitting that does push the lines upward a little higher than the handle on some of my ball lock kegs but it’s not an issue. I’d guess my lagering chest freezer is about 27" high inside as well. It’s close but it closes and seals just fine.

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I don’t keg but I do make things fit in tight spaces. Does a keg need to be upright or can it be tilted with the dip tube at the lowest point?

Great, thank you for the information! I will prob end up with some type of kegerator later on. Would be good to slow the brewing equip spend rate for a little bit and get double duty from my just purchased chest freezer / fermentation chamber. I am really impressed how well the inkbird temp controller works with it.
Just trying to decide what size co2 tank to get, and prob a smaller " back up " tank in case of leak or just to swap over to when primary is empty.

I just measured one of my ball lock kegs. It’s a standard Cornelius type soda keg similar to the one pictured. You will need about 26" for the disconnect with the fitting and tubing so 27" should be plenty.

@flars I think they will work tipped or even on their side. The only problem I can see is that if the CO2 tank empties or is turned off, if the beer is in contact with the gas in, it will back flow into the line. That’s not a problem unless it gets to the regulator. There are check valves you can install to prevent it but they go at the regulator so the lines still can get some in and need to be cleaned.

There are low profile Sanke commercial beer taps but I have not seen ball lock. Might be a good product to “invent”. Pin lock kegs are shorter and wider. “Standard ball lock kegs measure 25″ tall x 8.5″ diameter, while standard pin lock kegs measure 23″ tall x 9″ diameter.”

Go with a 5# tank mine has been in my freezer/kegerator for almost 4 months with 3 keg on co2.

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Get a second one also. They know when it’s Sunday, you have a house full and the CO2 guy is closed so that is when it runs out.

Thank you for all the info and measurements! I will start accumulating what I need.
Sounds like a 5 lb tank will be enough, thanks for that benchmark. Do you guys keep some type of backup on hand? Maybe 2 of the 5 lb tanks is the best way.

I want to get a high quality regulator so if snyone has any suggestions that would be great. Sounds like taprite is a good choice. I would prefer to wait and spend a little more for this component to hopefully avoid problems later.

I also only see very inexpensive picnic type faucets attached to the beer hose. I am not sure if there are better solutions out there. I hate to leak 5 gallons of beer into my freezer…

Thanks again for all the input guys. It’s a big help not going into this blind.

Tom

I wouldn’t make it a habit of tipping kegs. Keep them upright. That’s the way they’re designed to work.

Taprite regulator is the way to go IMO. I have a 20 lb cylinder on my serving fridge with 4 kegs and a 5 lb on the lagering/storage fridge with 3 kegs. Lately problems with line distributor have bled my 5#er out a couple times but it usually lasts 4-6 months depending on keg purgings, etc. The 20 will last much longer and isn’t all that much more expensive to fill. Smaller cylinders cost more per lb to fill so keep that in mind.

Picnic taps work fine. I have perlicks on my serving fridge and love them but I used picnic taps for a year or so first and I use picnic taps for sampling or serving from the other fridge. I’ve heard the stories but I’ve never had an issue with one leaking.

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The picnic taps work fine. You will get tired of having to open the freezer for every pint though. Loses a lot of cold opening it all the time too. Do be careful if you decide to get a shank and faucet when drilling holes in any fridge/freezer. There may be coolant lines or wires behind. A good idea is to drill a small hole first with tape wound around the bit to stop it once it just penetrates the surface. Then stick a wire in to feel around to see if there is anything possibly in the way. A wiring diagram of the freezer might help.

Again, yes to a spare tank. I have a little 2.5lb tank that I normally reserve just for short term use when a larger tank quits.

Thanks, yes the keg in the basement is just temporary. I thought I could also fill a growler and stick in in the fridge if I am having a few… Just to save the trips up and down the basement stairs and like you say, opening the freezer door multiple times.

A chest freezer isn’t a real problem, an upright… Be sure to have your wool socks on… Sneezles61

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