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Pin lock vs ball lock

Looking to start kegging. What is the difference between ball and pin lock kegs? Any advantages/disadvantages between them?

Thanks

The difference are the posts and gas/beer line connections. The only real difference is that ball locks are more common and easier to find. You want to choose one and stick with it since your connections will only work with that particular style. If you have a ball lock setup and buy a pinlock keg, they do make pin-to-ball conversions, but IMO it’s just easier to buy ball lock from the start and stick with it.

I might add that pin locks are slightly larger and a little shorter than ball locks

also, how often do you change the seals?

The simple answer, when they look like they need changing. When I break down a keg for cleaning, I soak the seals along with the posts, poppets, etc in oxyclean. I continue to use them until they don’t look so great… meaning they get frayed or start falling apart.

EDIT: Having said that, I’ve only replaced the seals once when I bought the kegs used and one set on the posts for a keg because I had the gas and liquid posts switched by accident and the connection tore up the seal a bit. Other than that, I haven’t changed any since the first new set. They’re so cheap though, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to change them now and then.

Again I might add there are a total of 5 seals, 2 on the outside of the posts 2 underneath the posts and 1 on the lid.

I use keg lube and very seldom do I change or need to change any of the seals also place it on the poppets

Apart from the price difference, this may be the most important point, depending on your keezer/fridge. I went with genuine ball lock (as opposed to converted ball lock), so I could fit 8 kegs. I would have only been able to fit 6 if I had gone pin lock.

Edit: fixed typo

Regarding changing the seals, I’ve been kind of unlucky with post o-rings. I’ve had a lot of leaks–even when using keg lub and new o-rings. I’ve found that I have the best luck with silicone. I’ve rarely had to change any other o-rings.

You can buy a life-time supply of o-rings for very low cost from McMaster-Carr.

I’m sorry I’ve got to disagree. Ball locks are not more common. In fact they are harder to find used hence the higher price tag. Pin locks are shorter but wider. You don’t have to stick with just one. You can put a 1/4" swivel nut on the beverage line and switch between kegs using a mfl ball or pin lock quick disconnect. Here are your parts:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/1-4- ... l-nut.html http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/ball ... l-liq.html http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/pin- ... l-liq.html

FWIW, i run pin locks and i like them better. For one, the dip tubes are typically straight so i can easily look down them to ensure they are clean, two, they are a boat load cheaper and i have no issue finding them, three, I hate the ears on ball lock dip tubes, they often twist and become difficult to remove. Having said this, the pull release on ball locks are more convenient however, not mandatory as you can easily purge co2 by pushing down on the gas poppet or not sealing the keg until you have purged the o2 out of the keg. But again, having said this, when i see a deal on ball lock lids, i’ll snatch them up.

[quote=“chuck”]
I use keg lube and very seldom do I change or need to change any of the seals also place it on the poppets[/quote]
Keg lube helps keep the seals from dryrot over time and the lube helps with co2 leakage out.
An old plumbers secret. As I’ve been told.

[quote=“Loopie Beer”]I’m sorry I’ve got to disagree. Ball locks are not more common. In fact they are harder to find used hence the higher price tag. Pin locks are shorter but wider. You don’t have to stick with just one. You can put a 1/4" swivel nut on the beverage line and switch between kegs using a mfl ball or pin lock quick disconnect. Here are your parts:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/1-4- ... l-nut.html http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/ball ... l-liq.html http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/pin- ... l-liq.html[/quote]

Maybe it’s the area of the country or maybe just luck, but I’ve been involved in several group keg buys through my beer club and ball locks are always more readily available. 90% of the members in my club (with around 250 members) use ball lock. I’m not arguing that one is better than the other. In the end they’re all kegs and will all hold/dispense beer. To each his own, but in my experience, ball locks are way easier to find used.

One thing that I would caution people is that some stores are converting pin lock kegs to ball lock kegs and selling them as such. Some others are calling them converted or short ball lock kegs.

Maybe it’s the area of the country or maybe just luck, but I’ve been involved in several group keg buys through my beer club and ball locks are always more readily available. 90% of the members in my club (with around 250 members) use ball lock. I’m not arguing that one is better than the other. In the end they’re all kegs and will all hold/dispense beer. To each his own, but in my experience, ball locks are way easier to find used.[/quote]
I think you’re both right. 8) Ball lock kegs are probably more commonly used by guys who have been brewing for a while, but pin lock kegs are more commonly available for purchase through retailers now. The latter is how I interpreted dobe’s comment, but I can see how it could be interpreted differently.

I see and if that’s the case I would totally agree. Like I said they are more popular which has driven the prices WAY up… if you can even find them used. Heck might as well buy new at $100 ehen used are going at $70!

$70 for a used keg… really? Not doubting you, I really haven’t looked into buying kegs in over a year, but when my club put together group buys they ran about $25 each. Of course they were used, old, missing a handle usually, some in bad shape, so not so bad, but still only $25. Break’em down, clean’em good, and they’re good to go. I’d never pay $70-$100 for a keg. I’d sooner search craig’s list for a brewer getting out of the game and selling equipment or better yet, find a local place and setup a group buy. Another great resource (which most probably already know) is homebrewfinds.com. I’m sure you can occasionally find deals there like buy 2 get one free or such.

GEEZ let me know when you guys go in on a club purchase again!
For reference:
NB: $59.99
MidWest: $59.99
Rebel: $57.99
AIH: $59.99 (on sale usually $69.99)

I found some on craigslist for $65.00. Others I have seen at $70.00.

[quote=“Loopie Beer”]GEEZ let me know when you guys go in on a club purchase again!
For reference:
NB: $59.99
MidWest: $59.99
Rebel: $57.99
AIH: $59.99 (on sale usually $69.99)

I found some on craigslist for $65.00. Others I have seen at $70.00.[/quote]
This is exactly why i run pin locks, i’ve purchased them all for about $35 apiece, all online so i don’t get how region can attribute to the ability to not get pin lock kegs.

[quote=“mppatriots”][quote=“Loopie Beer”]GEEZ let me know when you guys go in on a club purchase again!
For reference:
NB: $59.99
MidWest: $59.99
Rebel: $57.99
AIH: $59.99 (on sale usually $69.99)

I found some on craigslist for $65.00. Others I have seen at $70.00.[/quote]
This is exactly why i run pin locks, i’ve purchased them all for about $35 apiece, all online so i don’t get how region can attribute to the ability to not get pin lock kegs.[/quote]

No idea. I’ll have to find out were we get them from and post it for ya. We do also buy around 75-100 at a shot. So maybe someone negotiated a better price. I really don’t know. I do know the last time we had a buy the supplier mentioned that they are getting harder and harder to find. So I guess that justifies the prices climbing. Now, he may have just been trying to scare us into buying more, but since soda companies don’t use them any more and home brewing has really taken off the last few years, I have to assume used kegs are quickly becoming relics.

Then you get guys like me that can’t help themselves and are slowly accumulating too many of them. Started with two and now i’m up to six. I’ve seen where a few guys here have 10 or more.

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