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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: tygo on December 04, 2010, 03:55:13 AM

Title: Taking the plunge
Post by: tygo on December 04, 2010, 03:55:13 AM
Just bought 4 used ball lock corny kegs on ebay.  I've been planning on eventually getting into kegging for awhile but had visions of a big chest freezer with a collar and taps, etc, etc.

In my current mild scotch haze I decided I just needed to get some kegs in the basement to start with and work my way up from there.  I have no idea what all is needed or more than a vague idea of how its done but that's been pretty much the story of my homebrewing career thus far so I'm guessing I'll figure it out as I go along.
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: oscarvan on December 04, 2010, 04:13:03 AM
Well, I just went through the whole process.....be more than willing to share, pm me for a phone # or I can just wear off my fingerprints typing away here....

BTW, ball connectors.....good choice.
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: bluesman on December 04, 2010, 04:40:39 AM
Great move tygo. Here's a great manual to use as a guide.

https://files.pbworks.com/download/PkNajw5Q8D/draftquality/18182336/DBQM_Full.pdf

Here're some threads of interest.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=4666.0

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=3258.0
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: noisycricket on December 04, 2010, 07:27:21 AM
Great move tygo. Here's a great manual to use as a guide.

https://files.pbworks.com/download/PkNajw5Q8D/draftquality/18182336/DBQM_Full.pdf

Here're some threads of interest.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=4666.0

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=3258.0

That DBQManual says (p.14) that the CO2 tank should never be located inside the refrigerator.  But it doesn't say why not. 

Anybody have the answer?
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: tschmidlin on December 04, 2010, 08:15:57 AM
I have a guess . . .

You get marginally less CO2 out of a refrigerated tank than a warm one.  That is not a good reason to me.

The secondary gauges are not very responsive at refrigerated temps (I just learned this in one of the threads here), so if the tank is inside the fridge the gauges probably are too.  This is a very good reason to me.

<edit> found the thread (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=4817.0)
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: oscarvan on December 04, 2010, 02:24:35 PM
I have a guess . . .

You get marginally less CO2 out of a refrigerated tank than a warm one.  That is not a good reason to me.

The secondary gauges are not very responsive at refrigerated temps (I just learned this in one of the threads here), so if the tank is inside the fridge the gauges probably are too.  This is a very good reason to me.

<edit> found the thread (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=4817.0)

Still not a good enough reason to drill a bunch of holes in the side of the fridge...... OK, you have to fine tune the pressure a few hours later and the bottle will last 54 weeks instead of 55.....
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: cheba420 on December 04, 2010, 03:58:36 PM

[/quote]

That DBQManual says (p.14) that the CO2 tank should never be located inside the refrigerator.  But it doesn't say why not. 

Anybody have the answer?
[/quote]
It takes the space of one whole keg!!!! In my fridge, i can either have two kegs and the co2 or 3 kegs with the co2 outside. The Beer wins!! :)
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: oscarvan on December 04, 2010, 04:21:14 PM
A VERY  valid reason.... Should I need room for a 6th keg I will re-evaluate..... ;D
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: tygo on December 12, 2010, 05:13:23 PM
Ok, here's the first of what I'm sure will be a large number of basic questions:

How do I get the poppet valves out of the posts?  I took one of the kegs apart last night and cleaned it but I couldn't figure out how to get the poppet out.  I watched this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu68wZcTztc&feature=related) and the guy just taps on top of the post and the poppet falls out.  That didn't work for me.
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: oscarvan on December 12, 2010, 08:37:25 PM
Tap harder..... There's nothing holding it in.... If that fails poke. If you break it replace it they're cheap. And since there's a rubber seal in it that's not a bad idea anyways.
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: HydraulicSammich on December 12, 2010, 08:40:47 PM
I am a little late reading this thread and trying to catch up.  Let me see if I understand this correctly.  My gig is in the keezer.  Is the problem you are discussing just the speed of adjustment of the guages or is their a carbonation deficiency associated with it?
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: tygo on December 13, 2010, 02:08:59 AM
Tap harder..... There's nothing holding it in.... If that fails poke. If you break it replace it they're cheap. And since there's a rubber seal in it that's not a bad idea anyways.

I don't know, I just pressed down pretty hard on it with an awl.  It's not just a little stuck.  Here's what the inside of the gas-in post looks like:

(http://i.imgur.com/t5xOu.jpg)

I'm sure I could get that out if I want to.  I'm also sure that I'll break it in the process.  I'm fine replacing the poppet.  If it's that stuck then I'd want to replace it before using anyway.  I just want to make sure that's what I should be doing before I bust it up.

Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: oscarvan on December 13, 2010, 02:47:17 AM
Excuse me if I'm stating the obvious, but you are trying to get it out -looking at the picture- towards you right? Have you tried putting a small screw driver or awl in there and leveraging it out?

There is a small plastic-ish material cone seal in there..... I had one that was broken and looking at your picture very closely it almost looks like I see a piece in there.... Could be jammed on something. You have one of those lamps with a magnifying glass? Take a real close look at what's going on in there.....
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: tygo on December 13, 2010, 03:03:09 AM
Yeah, I was trying to get it out the big end  ;D

I was able to pry it out after considerable effort.  It was really jammed up in there.  I think I'll just be replacing that one.  The out post on the same keg is in the same shape so I'll need to work on that one as well.  

I haven't taken apart the other three kegs yet but I just went down and pulled off one of the posts from another one and it was fine.  These kegs will definitely need some refurbishing before they can be used.

Which poppet valves should I buy for replacements?  I've looked at a couple of sites and there seems to be some variety depending on the type of keg.  Mine are pepsi ball-locks.
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: oscarvan on December 13, 2010, 03:55:13 AM
I took mine to the LHBS and they had a few different ones.....we matched them up. You can probably tell from the pictures on the various vendor websites, but I can't tell from here.  ;D
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: tygo on December 13, 2010, 04:02:13 AM
The homebrew shop is a good idea.  Kind of a pain to get to mine but this might be worth the trip.

Here's what I'm looking for:

(http://i.imgur.com/GSZ0i.jpg)

Looking at the morebeer (http://morebeer.com/search/102295//2) site they offer two varieties that seem close, the becker and firestone ones.  Just eyeballing it the firestone ones seem to look the closest.
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: oscarvan on December 13, 2010, 04:05:32 AM
Live dangerously.....go for it... ;D
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: tygo on December 13, 2010, 04:12:23 AM
Live dangerously.....go for it... ;D

Yeah, that's the plan.  I just like to post my plans when I don't know what the hell I'm doing so someone can stop me if I'm making a booboo.   ;)
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: oscarvan on December 13, 2010, 04:24:18 AM
Just put in an order with Midwest for a bunch of keggie conversion hardware. Time to get welding!
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: tschmidlin on December 13, 2010, 04:35:11 AM
Look at the side of the kegs, there should be a manufacturer on it.  If you have cornelius kegs, don't get firestone poppets.  And the three "legs" on the poppet in the picture are seriously bent, it probably means that you had the wrong poppet on there in the first place.  See if any of the poppets from your other kegs work well with that post, and if so then order ones like that.
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: bluesman on December 13, 2010, 12:24:42 PM
Here's a procedure including drawings and photos on how to clean and rebuild Ball Lock Kegs.

In particular there's a photo of the four different kinds of poppets and the keg types they are associated with.

This is a nice procedure to keep handy. Actually this was drawn up by our very own Mike Dixon.

http://hbd.org/carboy/ballkegclean.htm

(http://hbd.org/carboy/images/Image8.gif)

Type A is for Spartanburg or Firestone Challenger V, VI, and Super Challenger.

Type B is for Cornelius.

Type C is for older Firestone Challenger (no V or VI) and John Wood 85.

Type D is for older Firestone models A, R, RA, and RC, Alloy Products and John Wood (pin lock).

Cheers,

Ron
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: tygo on December 13, 2010, 03:28:16 PM
Thanks guys that's really good information.  Upon quick inspection this morning it looks like I have a variety.  At least one Cornelius, two Super Champion (is that the same as Super Challenger?), and one which I couldn't find a manufacturer on initial inspection.  I'll need to play look them over in more detail tonight.
Title: Re: Taking the plunge
Post by: tygo on December 14, 2010, 02:51:05 AM
After digging through some stickers I see that I actually have three cornelius kegs and one mystery keg.  The mystery keg is Italian made and that's about all I was able to uncover.  I guess I'll proceed under the assumption its a corny as well and see if everything fits together.