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Some silly kegging questions:

So, I have bottled for a long time and now I am moving on to kegging. I think I am a smart guy, but experience has taught me to ask questions, no matter how silly, so I screw up less on my own accord.:

  • The whole ball vs pin keg thing, is the pressure relief the only issue… how important is that? (since I am seeing pin kegs w/o pressure relief, cheaper)

  • Body connect, quick disconnects, seals and poppets…how often do they need replacement? is Amazon the best place to get them?

  • Dip Tubes: do they every need replacement or just cleaning?

  • If I want a beer to sit (like a really awesome Imperial stout I have) and I keg it (for w few months where I will not be drinking it)… do I need to keep a Co2 container attached to the keg, or can I just pressure it up, disconnect and let it sit (or bump the pressure it up with the tank every few weeks?)

  • Can I take a keg from the fridge and take it out for a few weeks? My worry is that I will not finish a full keg for a while and I can make 5 gallons of beer faster than I drink them. Can I pull a keg out of the fridge let it sit in the basement a few months and then chill it again and be ok… or am I going to get skunked beer?
    … If it will skunk…also this means for every keg I have, I need to purchase refrigerator space for it… is that how it works?

  • Also, what is the proper keg to Co2 tank ratio? and do I need a regulator per Co2 tank?

Thanks in advance…

You can get aftermarket keg lids equipped with a pressure relief valve for pinlock kegs. There’s also a size difference. I believe pin lock kegs are slightly larger diameter and shorter than ball locks but I have all ball lock so I forget…

seldom…but o-rings on keg posts get the most abuse. I’ve bought all my kegs used or reconditioned. If they didn’t have all new o-rings i put new ones on when I got them. I replaced a couple post o- rings this summer and can’t really remember the last time I replaced others. Out of 14 kegs i think I’ve replaced one poppet that I can recall in the last 4-5 years.

Never replaced a dip tube on any of my kegs…seldom run a brush through them honestly. Rinse the kegs in hot water and fill them back with beer…maybe run some sanitizer through every 3-4 fills…I’m pretty casual about keg cleaning honestly.

Pressure will equalize between the liquid and head space in a keg that’s off the gas. So I generally carbonate to desired pressure prior to taking one off the gas for a while. If the keg is sealed properly it should maintain pressure but it doesn’t hurt to give it a bump occasionally.

i’ve let kegs sit at room temp for almost a year under pressure with no issue.

Number of regulators depends on whether you want all your kegs at the same pressure or you want to have some at different vol levels. I run 6 kegs off a 20 lb tank and haven’t filled it for over a year. I have a 5 lb tank for 3 other kegs in my lagering chest. CO2 cylinder size is just a user preference thing really.

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Get the pins they are cheaper and the connectors are easier to deal with. Release the pressure by just pressing down on the poppet

I started with ball locks, got a great deal on pin locks… I find I like them better… You can not put the coupler on the wrong post… And as Danny pointed out, pins are a wee bit shorter and fatter… As for venting… I have spare gas and liquid couplers… Easy enough to put the gas side, 2 pin, on and let it degass if you need…
Lube will help with the seals, sealing and lasting longer.
I have many kegs and as I buy them, I do like to take them all apart, clean and put new gaskets on… Most haven’t had any problems… And I have up to 4 kegs on one regulator… Works fine for me
I suppose a lagering keezer would be another great adventure. Sneezles61

Thanks… any comments on taking a keg out of the fridge and letting it sit for weeks, then going back in the fridge?.. it sounds like a bad idea, but I want to make sure…

It’s fine. I do it all the time. Keep it under pressure and you should have no problem storing it for months.

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Once a beer is cold(32* in the Voodoo kegerator hopefully across the barrier islands as Dorian departs this am) I try to keep it cold. A warm keg can stay warm for aging, souring, dry hopping etc…
not sure if they “skunk” if cold then warm but probably not optimal handling. If you can brew a lot faster than u drink maybe 3 gallon kegs/ batches or use a 5 and purge well.

Skunking is more a light exposure problem, one of the definite advantages of kegging over bottling.
As @dannyboy58 said room temp is fine for previously chilled kegs(not Florida garage hot) in his experience.

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All kegs have a relief valve to protect the keg from failing due to overpressure. Not having one would be dangerous. On some kegs, that valve also has a pull ring allowing you to open the valve to vent the keg. As others have said, there are alternate ways to vent a keg if your relief valves don’t allow for it. I use this poppet valve depressor.

I too rarely replace O-rings or seals, but I always keep spares on hand. As noted by others, keg lube helps a lot. I get all that sort of stuff from keg connection. I’ve never replaced a dip tube.

You really don’t have to keep the keg pressurized and/or cold for long term storage. You just don’t want any oxygen in there as that can oxidize the beer. After cleaning some empty kegs, I fill one keg completely with sanitizer, close it up, then use low pressure CO2 to force the sanitizer into the next empty keg. That way you are sure the keg is full of CO2, with no oxygen. I leave them like that until ready to fill. A fill time, I attach the above depressor to depressurize the keg, fill thru the liquid side using a disconnect, then remove the disconnect and poppet depressor. The keg now holds only beer and CO2, no oxygen to worry about. I can store, chill, and/or pressurize as desired without worry. A side benefit here is leak detection - the empty keg, left pressurized, should still be pressurized at fill time. If its not, then it is leaking.

That said, it may be more convenient to pressurize a full keg before storage. It takes time for CO2 to dissolve into the beer, up to a couple weeks. Once fully carbonated, the beer should stay that way without needing a CO2 connection, as long it has no leaks. Note that the level of carbonation (volumes) is a function of both pressure and temperature. See a carbonation chart. For example, if you want to serve your beer at 40 degrees F with 2.5 volumes, you would set your serving pressure to about 12 psig. If you are carbonating that beer at 70 F in advance, you want it pressurized to 29 psig for a couple weeks. (The pressure will drop when you chill the keg prior to serving. Similarly, if you carbonate the beer cold, then take it out of the refrigerator, the pressure will rise.)

Welcome to kegging. There is no turning back now. :slight_smile:

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“All kegs have a relief valve to protect the keg from failing due to overpressure.”

You are correct. Let me correct my statement to: Ball lock kegs have a “manual” pressure relief valve that allow you to vent pressure where pin lock kegs have an automatic PRV. Can’t say I know how it’s supposed to work sine I have no pni lock kegs.

Personally, I like being able to pull on the little ring and get a shot of beer scented CO2 in the face. As I stated above you can buy a lid for a pin lock with that manual PRV built in.

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Just to clarify, because pressure relief valves are important, almost any sealed vessel that can hold a pressurized liquid or gas - kegs, CO2 tanks, Liquid Propane (LP) tanks, hot water heaters, air compressor / paint sprayer tanks, scuba tanks, etc. - have a relief valve designed and set to open automatically at a pressure less than the pressure which would rupture the vessel. Its a safety feature to prevent a rupture from hurting or killing anyone. For our kegs, I think that pressure setting is something like 115 psi. If, for example, your pressure regulator failed in a way that allowed CO2 to flow continuously into the keg, the keg’s relief valve should open automatically to prevent the keg from blowing apart.
PLEASE do not try this - relief valves are not perfect and an exploding keg could kill you!

Some pressure relief valves, as an additional convenience feature, have a pull ring to allow manual depressurization but the primary purpose of the valve is to prevent your keg form killing you.

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Just when we thought it was safe to keg…:fearful:

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I think I’ve seen Maximum pressure 60 PSI stamped on my kegs. A 150% safety factor would get us to 150 PSI. I usually charge mine to 40 PSI max to seat the lid and force carbonate. Don’t think I’d ever want to even hit 60 PSI to be honest. Pressurized vessels need our respect. I’m SURE I don’t ever want to make the PRV lift.

I don’t think I’ve ever pushed one higher than 25-30ish psi.

Something wrong with this PC… Took a picture of a keg that doesn’t have any safety blow port… Can’t get it to post now… Time to update both gizmos!! Sneezles61

Me do use heineken kegs. Think they call them sankey. Kegs. Not lots of maintence only. 1 oring. Once i got co2 carbonated. They last long time.

I’ve never seen one, but I believe some kegs (e.g. Franke) have a “rupture disk” or “burst disk” (sometimes spelled disc) instead of a relief valve. It serves the same safety purpose but it is a single use design. Once blown, it does not reclose after relieving pressure. You probably have one of those. It could be on the bottom?

Remember the old kegs with the wood bung pounded in for the check valve?

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I’m no expert on this stuff but I believe 60 psi is what is called the “Maximum Working Pressure” - the maximum pressure the keg should be routinely used at. The “Design Pressure”, the maximum pressure the keg is designed, to withstand will be much higher - maybe something like 300 psi, or even more. The idea is to provide a significant factor of safety, recognizing that, in use, the kegs get banged around, dented, and pressure cycled many times. The relief valve (or rupture disk) setting will be above the max working pressure but well below the design pressure. I think we’re all pretty safe. It was just the original post’s “… since I am seeing pin kegs w/o pressure relief …” that got my attention here.

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I’ve got 2 of them… Grantme I think has one also… Sneezles61

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