Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

How did you start kegging?

Just curious how people started on kegging. Did you buy a keg here, a C02 tank here, some equipment there? Did you buy everything all at once? Did you start with a single keg and tap or did you go balls to the wall and buy an entire bar setup?

For me it seems like such a big initial investment or else you are collecting parts for years before you can do anything with it.

[quote=“mattnaik”]Just curious how people started on kegging. Did you buy a keg here, a C02 tank here, some equipment there? Did you buy everything all at once? Did you start with a single keg and tap or did you go balls to the wall and buy an entire bar setup?

For me it seems like such a big initial investment or else you are collecting parts for years before you can do anything with it.[/quote]

I went in with the idea of slowly putting it together piece by piece. For someone with patience and self control that might work in the end. Not for me.

I think I had put everything together in a couple of months. Once you get the idea in your head you just want that beer on tap so bad. Then you watch a few episodes of Cheers and dream of being Woody or Sam pouring those beers, or Normy sitting there drinking them. Just eats away at ya! :cheers:

I don’t have much money to put into the hobby. I spent a few months watching Craigslist for the best deals.

I went balls out and bought 6 ball lock Corny kegs and the regulator and CO2 tank from my LHBS. Then I found a $1000 score on Craigslist and bought all of a guys equipment prior to his divorce. I sold what I didn’t need and ended up making my $1000 back as well as getting (6) 3-gal kegs, (4) 5-gal kegs, a CO2 tank and regulator and a few odds and ends for free. Now, years later I have 21 kegs and 3 CO2 tanks with dual regulators.

I bought all my Ventmatic taps and SS shanks on eBay before they disappeared.

I started on batch one. I got my kegging equipment with my starter kit, it was like 500 for everything from buckets to tank and keg ect… . I’ve added to it since then.

I decided on my ultimate requirements, which were basically:

  • Six faucets
  • Ability to store a couple extra kegs
  • Ability to serve using two different CO2 pressures, or CO2 on some lines and beer gas on other lines
  • Room to store some bottles
  • Best available hardware, all stainless (should last forever)

I decided I needed a ~15 cu. ft. freezer. I watched craigs list for a while, but the freezer I wanted didn’t come around very often unless it was 30 years old. I watched retail sales and ended up getting one from Sears for ~$320. I shopped around until I found 6 reasonably priced kegs online.

I started out with a temp controller and picnic faucets. I did research and took my time building a reasonably attractive insulated wooden collar. After receiving some gift cert’s and some hardware from my wish list, I built out the rest. I’ve since added two stout faucets, a 20 lb. CO2 tank, 10 lb beer gas tank and a few more kegs. It didn’t take me long to go all-in.

I homebrewed and bottled long ago… and it was a PITA. So much of a PITA that I didn’t homebrew again… Years went by, until…

Years later… wifey decided that our side by side fridge that we bought right after getting married was an antique and HAD to be replaced by a french door style model.

Ok, ok, ok… I said… I guess that we can get a new fridge but that antique could be a kegerator, right, honey?

Smile.

I went all in… painted the fridge to match the basement decor, bought a dual keg setup and have NEVER bottled a batch since really getting into it 3-4 years ago.

ps - that new fridge freezes our veggies and the ice maker locks up… and meanwhile that old side by side soldiers on… can’t beat 1992 technology, man.

I forgot to mention that I continued to bottle even after I went to 22 gallon batches. I think in total, I bottled over 6600 bottles before I started kegging.

I didn’t have a fridge at the time to store the kegs, but did have a room that got really cold in the winter. So I had a kegging system 1/2 the year. Eventually I got a dedicated fridge. It’s the only way to go if you’re going to seriously homebrew as a hobby.

I still run “picnic taps”. I don’t feel like drilling holes in my nice new-ish fridge and don’t care to spend $300 to have taps. I don’t really care all that much, picnic taps work fine.

Long ago - BC (before Craigslist) - back in the late 80s, there was an ad in this thing called a newspaper. There was a fellow under Doctor’s orders to quit drinking beer - I got three kegs, CO2, regulator, picnic taps, and a few extra carboys for $100. It took me another 25 years to get a dedicated fridge with taps, but I’ve finally arrived. I’d say it was worth it, but that’s obviously an understatement. I hope the guy found a better doctor!

My assistant bottler threatened to quit unless I kegged. I Googled Kegarator and the rest is history. She loves the fact that she can only have half a beer :smiley:

[quote=“enkamania”]She loves the fact that she can only have half a beer :smiley: [/quote]Thats one of my favorite things about kegging. Pour the amount you want.

I started with one keg, tank, regulator, and picnic tap.

Then quickly built one 2 tap fridge, then a second 3 tap fridge.

I started with 3 taps in a converted fridge and several kegs that I receiced for free. Through years of creative CL trading I have since upgraded several times. Now have two kegerators with tap towers running five taps total, Perlick faucets, 3 CO2 tanks (including two 20lb tanks), and currently stock sixteen 5gal kegs and four 2.5gal kegs.

[quote=“Baratone Brewer”]I started with 3 taps in a converted fridge and several kegs that I receiced for free. Through years of creative CL trading I have since upgraded several times. Now have two kegerators with tap towers running five taps total, Perlick faucets, 3 CO2 tanks (including two 20lb tanks), and currently stock sixteen 5gal kegs and four 2.5gal kegs.[/quote]Sounds like we have a lot in common. :cheers:

I bottled about 3 batches and realized my need for immediate, or at least quicker, gratification required me to keg. I bought 2 kegs, reg and CO2 bottle from kegconnection.com, picked up a couple more kegs off craigslist. Turned an under utilized upright freezer into a keg fridge with a Johnson control temp controller. I use picnic taps run through splitters from 2 low pressure gages. I occasional feel I need to put shanks trough the door of the fridge and mount taps but I don’t figure it will make my beer taste any better and I can brew a bunch of batches with that $$. So the last time I had that urge I bought a mill and a thermapen instead. :cheers:

Both great purchases.

I brewed and bottled extract for about 10 yrs. Took a year off to build a 3 tier all-grain rig.

I was given an old Philco fridge (built like a tank), a Sanke coupler, regulator, and a couple faucets. Why not go all out? :smiley:

I pieced it together as I built my stand. I can keep 4 corneys on tap in the Philco, and a 1/4 or 1/2 Bbl next door.

A few years ago I let slip to my wife that someday I’d like to get a keg set-up, and she surprised me the next Christmas with a keg, picnic tap and IOU for a regulator (LHBS was out of stock). I thanked her, and asked where we should put a fridge for it. Blank look, followed by “it has to be in a fridge”? Once that was settled, I slowly built up my stock of kegs over a period of a year or so. At some point in the near future, I plan to replace the picnic taps with faucets. At some time in the distant future when I can find the space for it, I will get a bigger fridge that fits more than two kegs at a time.

Where do I start I hate to say this but I got into kegging when I was paying less than $5 per keg. I have bought and sold over 800 kegs including 16 3 gallon and 2.5 gallon ones. Some of the kegs and CO2 tanks were free others I paid pennies on the dollar for. I have 2 of the gold tipped ventmatic faucets that are on my one kegerator that I still have.
Now a days 5 five gallon and 3 three gallon and 2 two and a half gallon kegs fills my needs.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com