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Interested in kegging

I have been searching the forums lately trying to figure out exactly how much of a pain setting up and maintiaining a keg system will be. Basically I have a lot of questions here they are

  1. how much does it cost to keep a keg system going between replaceing o rings and tubes and such.

  2. how much of a pain is keeping a kegging system going, is it like a snowmobile where everytime you try to use it it is broken (only good analogy I could find)

  3. after initial cost is kegging any cheaper than bottling

  4. what are some “hidden cost” no one tells you about (Maintiance, CO2, etc)

  5. pin lock VS. Ball lock

  6. is midwest supplies a reputable brew company, have you had any problems out of them.

Know this is quite a list of questions, sorry trying to figure out this mysterious world of kegging. Thanks for any responses in advance. thanks again

Kegging is very low maintenance and is mostly an up-front cost. You don’t have to replace the o-rings very often and cleaning them is a breeze. It is MUCH easier and quicker than bottling. The only real cost I notice is refilling CO2 tanks. I suggest buying a 10# tank as the last time (few weeks ago) I had my two 5# and the 10# tanks filled and the 10# was only $1.00 more than the single 5#.

As far as reliability, the only thing I ever had was a leaky keg (lid not sealed properly) and the CO2 tank emptied. I would suggest using star san in a spray bottle and spraying everything when gas is attached to make sure there are no leaks (it will bubble).

As far as pin/ball it doesn’t really matter. Pin locks are a little shorter and wider so take that into consideration. I equiped mine with a swivel nut so I can use either a pin or a ball lock keg.

Midwest is an excellent supply store. I have used them many times and have had great success.

Here is a very comprehensive read about kegging. If you scroll all the way to the bottom there is pdf link to a “must read.”

thanks man for all the info, I am thinking about ordering the two pin lock kegs and all accessories deal with midwest, just worried that they will be more of a pain than they are worth, thanks for your time

No prob. I REALLY think you will like kegging. It not only saves time but you can do a lot of different things, like filter. One nice thing too is that you can serve crystal clear beer which a lot of people like (they don’t understand it’s not bad).

Another thing, kegs don’t take up as much surface space as a carboy which makes aging them in fridges/chest freezers much nicer.

Pin locks are cheaper, other than that, I don’t think there is an advantage of one over the other.

Ball locks are equipped with a relief valve. I think with pinlocks you have to vent using a post.

I’m in the process of acquiring used kegging equipment. One hidden cost I’ve heard of but haven’t researched is certification of a CO2 tank. As I understand it, they have to be re-tested every few years.

every 5 years according to my local shop. cost me an additinal $15. date is stamped into the metal

every 5 years according to my local shop. cost me an additinal $15. date is stamped into the metal[/quote]

Hmmmm…is that something that varies by state or locality?
I’ve been using the same 5lb tank for around 23 years. I got it used…the beverage service that fills it gave it to me at the time (for free).
(In fact, they still fill it for only $10 …the same price I’ve paid since the late 1980’s).

Never a mention of periodic re-certification or a fee.
Maybe that’s just for commercial customers?

As far as pin/ball it doesn’t really matter. Pin locks are a little shorter and wider so take that into consideration. I equiped mine with a swivel nut so I can use either a pin or a ball lock keg

How does this swivel nut work, also does NB sell them, looked through keg stuff didnt see anything, does it connect to the keg or the tubing?

every 5 years according to my local shop. cost me an additinal $15. date is stamped into the metal[/quote]

Hmmmm…is that something that varies by state or locality?
I’ve been using the same 5lb tank for around 23 years. I got it used…the beverage service that fills it gave it to me at the time (for free).
(In fact, they still fill it for only $10 …the same price I’ve paid since the late 1980’s).

Never a mention of periodic re-certification or a fee.
Maybe that’s just for commercial customers?[/quote]

Google “co2 tank certification” for lots of links. Not state/local but federal. Apparently an OSHA standard. Certification required every 5 years by facility certified by DOT to perform hydrostatic testing.

Seems your “beverage service” is either clueless or chooses not to comply.

cheers

[quote=“muktuk31”]
How does this swivel nut work, also does NB sell them, looked through keg stuff didnt see anything, does it connect to the keg or the tubing?[/quote]

It allows you to connect gas and beverage tubing to the quick-disconnects that are then connected to the keg. The swivel nut connection uses a threaded connection that can be easily and repeatedly detached/reattached so you can swap between pin lock and ball lock kegs. Here it is: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brew … l-nut.html
but you need to pair it with the correct quick disconnect, make sure to get the type that has the threaded connection, like this one shown here: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/1-4- … l-nut.html

i bought the 2 pin lock keg set up from Midwest and have not had any issues with it. my kegs did have PRVs on them. :cheers:

temp controller if you are using a freezer; some folks use them with fridges too.

I spent about $350 getting a 2 keg system system put together.

That’s 2 used Ball lock kegs, new O ring kits, 5# C02 bottle, single stage regulator, distribution block and picnic taps.

I’ve only just set it up and filled but I see it as money well spent.

Midwest is fine, though the few times I’ve walked in there it was rough trying to find someone to help you.

Sorry, doesn’t appear I posted the link. Here it is:

http://morebeer.com/content/kegging-homebrew
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