What is the difference between a ball lock and a pin lock keg and is one better than the other? Also what size co2 cylinder should I get for one possibly two 5 gallon kegs? Thanks in advance!
I have both. I see no difference in having either. Pin locks press on and turn, ball locks snap on like an
air hose. Both styles work well. I have a 20# bottle. It’s big, but I’m ok with that. You can get 10’s and 5’s. Before you buy, you check out all the possibilities that feel right for your set up. I’ve seen guys run 2-3 kegs off a 5#. They just have to fill it sooner. I have an old frig. and run my hose thru the side, and my manifold screws to the back. 3 kegs fit well with room although I generally run one, maybe two. I also bottle, but kegs are cool!
I am running two kegs off a 5 lb cylinder. I filled it in November when I set-up my system. I have dispensed 4 kegs so far, and have another two online and carbed. Still seems to be going strong.
What do you do for backup?
I push 2 kegs from a 5# tank. Fits nicely in the back of my kegerator behind the kegs. I keep a second tank with regulator to precarb kegs at room temp and also to purge oxygen from fermentors when racking to secondary. It’s nice to have the second tank around for when the first one kicks. I’m not certain, but I’d say I have to refill a tank every 6 months or so. As for the number of kegs… hard to say since I’m using the CO2 for other purposes too, like purging airspace in secondaries.
The pin locks are a little shorter and wider than the ball locks but not much. If you need to remove a post the pin locks are a little more difficult because you can not get a regular socket on them. See which type you can get the best deal on then stick with one if you don’t want to invest in both connectors.
CO2 wise, check out your local dealer(s). Sometimes the cost of a new tank is more than the deposit on one they own. That also makes them responsible for the hydrostatic testing every five years. The dealer owned one won’t be as pretty but will work the same and you can change sizes for a few bucks until you have the right one.