Author Topic: Pin lock VS Ball Lock  (Read 7632 times)

Offline Jeff M

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Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« on: May 10, 2013, 02:14:15 PM »
So im starting to do research on kegging equipment.  The first real choice i seem to come across is pin lock vs ball lock.  Does anyone have an opinion to voice on this matter.  Id like to start with a few 2.5-3 Gallon kegs.

i have read http://www.homebrewing.com/articles/cornelius-kegs.php but am looking for people experiences.

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Offline tygo

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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 02:18:36 PM »
Either is fine. I have all ball locks because that's what i started with but they're getting harder to come by these days.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 02:49:55 PM »
Personally I wouldn't bother with 2.5 or 3 gallon kegs unless space requirements absolutely require it. you can put 2.5 or 3 gallons of beer in a 5 gallon keg but not vice versa.

Generally, at least from what I have seen they are comparable prices wise.
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Offline dllipe

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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 03:14:27 PM »
Personally I wouldn't bother with 2.5 or 3 gallon kegs unless space requirements absolutely require it. you can put 2.5 or 3 gallons of beer in a 5 gallon keg but not vice versa.

Generally, at least from what I have seen they are comparable prices wise.

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Offline realbeerguy

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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 06:05:12 PM »
The 2.5/3 gal ones are almost 3x the cost of a 5.  Get mainly 5'ves and 1 or 2 smaller ones.  I typically use the smaller ones for barleywines and high gravity beers.
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2013, 07:33:43 PM »
Well i want to play with a 2.5 gallon keg first and then when i have the correct setup(keezer etc) 5s will be the name of the game.  but for now 1 or 2 2.5ers is more economical space and quantity wise:)
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Offline duxx

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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 08:07:46 PM »
I stopped by "The Home Brewery" in Springfield MO today.  I wanted to pick up a few more ball lock kegs.  The 12 I have are full.  They used to sell them (Last Fall) for $35.  Today, they were $49.99 and really beat up.  I didn't buy any because I thought it was crazy to pay for kegs that looked like they were in a tornado.  The owner's wife told me that most people will have to switch to pin lock because that is all they can find now.  So why is that?
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 08:09:56 PM by duxx »
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2013, 08:32:08 PM »
Thats very strange.  all the literature ive read suggests that ball lock kegs where created in a far higher quantity then pin lock.  While the soda industry doesnt use them any more i guess we can assume that homebrewers have eaten up all the ball locks.
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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2013, 09:02:17 PM »
The deal is Coke is still getting rid of pin locks, so they are more available. Quality doesn't matter, when is the last time you saw a homebrewer selling their ball lock kegs?

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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2013, 06:36:09 AM »
I stopped by "The Home Brewery" in Springfield MO today.  I wanted to pick up a few more ball lock kegs.  The 12 I have are full.  They used to sell them (Last Fall) for $35.  Today, they were $49.99 and really beat up.  I didn't buy any because I thought it was crazy to pay for kegs that looked like they were in a tornado.  The owner's wife told me that most people will have to switch to pin lock because that is all they can find now.  So why is that?

Steve, I think it's just supply/demand. Ball locks seemed to be the first choice for homebrewers, and now that Pepsi doesn't use them anymore, the supply is just drying up. When I first started only 3 years ago, you could find them on Craigslist all day long for $25-30. Now people want $50 for them.

You know what that means? Time to stock up! :)
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2013, 07:24:18 AM »
I have both kinds, in roughly equal quantities.  Pin locks are short and wide, ball locks are tall and skinny so that may matter when you design a kegerator for them.  I can put 6 of either in my 12.5 cu ft chest freezer.  My 18 cu ft fridge will hold 5 pin locks or 6 kegs if at least 2 are ball lock kegs.
You cannot force the wrong connector onto a pin lock keg, but you can with a ball lock.  With pin lock you don't even have to be able to see the post to put the proper connector on.
I use flared threaded connectors so that switching from one type to the other is simple.
I suggest you buy whatever you find and can afford. 
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2013, 07:18:06 AM »
Of course, you can also get converted pin locks.  Ball lock connections, pin lock dimensions.  I see these more and more.

I like my 3 gallon kegs, but the price of those things is crazy.  You can get two 5 gallons for the same price, even on fleaBay.

For me, the wider dimensions of the pin lock kegs is the deal breaker.  I can just barely fit two ball locks in my Sanyo mini fridge.  I don't think I could do two pins.

You know what that means? Time to stock up! :)

I really don't need more, but I keep cruising eBay and Craigslist looking for deal... $50 is looking like a deal these days.
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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2013, 08:37:06 AM »
Hopefully the price of new ball locks will fall as people start to buy more. I've already seen them sold for ~$90 in multi-packs. Given the hastle of some used kegs, I'd pay a premium for new. I think if it dropped to $75 or so it would be great.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2013, 08:42:18 AM »
I'm seeing some pretty beat-up used kegs on eBay selling for around $50 plus shipping which puts them at $70+ all in.  If you need new poppets, gaskets and/or a PRV you're looking at a total cost in the ballpark of new kegs.
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Re: Pin lock VS Ball Lock
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2013, 09:00:01 AM »
Even worse if you never get it to seal at all.
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