Author Topic: Small kegging setup  (Read 1040 times)

Offline kgs

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Small kegging setup
« on: December 31, 2015, 03:30:01 AM »
After getting some good news today, I looked at the bottles I was getting ready to soak and clean and thought... now is the time to start kegging. A) I am rewarding myself, and B) I realized bottling is a big hold-up in my brewing workflow. I live not too far from Williams Brewing and try to use them when it makes sense to do so. Right now they have a 15% off on small kegs. The beer and gas line assemblies from Amazon looked like an easy way to start (versus buying hosing and parts), especially since Williams was low on some inventory.

I brew small batches (2 - 2.5 gallons). Here's what I put together, based on an earlier thread... thoughts welcome.... though for one 2.5 gal batch, my question would be, should I go with a regular CO2 tank, or could I use a paintball tank + adapter? The driver here is not cost but ease of use (lifting and so on). A full 5-lb CO2 tank is only 12 lbs, so theoretically doable. The local Dave's Sporting Goods does fill paintball tanks, and other places fill other tanks.

The "Git List":

2.5 gal keg http://www.williamsbrewing.com/2-GALLON-NSF-RATED-BALL-LOCK-RUBBER-TOP-P3009.aspx

CO2 tank http://www.williamsbrewing.com/5-LB-ALUMINIUM-CO2-TANK-P49.aspx

Taprite regulator http://www.williamsbrewing.com/TWO-GAUGE-GAS-REGULATOR-P50.aspx

Nylon washers — 3 or 4 http://www.williamsbrewing.com/NYLON-WASHER-FOR-FLARE-FITTINGS-P612.aspx
Taprite regulator http://www.williamsbrewing.com/TWO-GAUGE-GAS-REGULATOR-P50.aspx

Regulator check valve http://www.williamsbrewing.com/BRASS-CHECK-VALVE-P2368.aspx

Stainless hose clamp (a couple spares) http://www.williamsbrewing.com/732-by-58-STAINLESS-HOSE-CLAMP--P88.aspx

Beer line assembly http://amazon.com/gp/product/B0064OI6Z2

Gas line assembly http://amazon.com/16-Gas-Line-Assembly-Ball/dp/B0064OI77Y

Keg lube http://www.williamsbrewing.com/KEG-LUBE-P99.aspx
K.G. Schneider
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Small kegging setup
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2015, 03:43:22 AM »
Don't buy a tank until you figure out where you are going to get it filled/exchanged. If you will fill at a paint ball store then buy whatever tank you like. If exchanging tanks (Airgas, Nexair, etc), then there is no use buying a tank. Those places take and keep your tank. Just buy a full one from them the first time you go.

I recommend a 5# tank (or bigger) even with small kegs.  The price to fill a tank is about the same regardless of size and the places you have to drive to get co2 can be pretty far (not usually nice neighborhoods).

Finally, I bought 2.5G kegs from AIH. brand new for $75. I love them. Morebeer has 2.6G topedo kegs for $80 new.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Small kegging setup
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2015, 08:28:36 AM »
I recommend a 5# tank (or bigger) even with small kegs.  The price to fill a tank is about the same regardless of size and the places you have to drive to get co2 can be pretty far (not usually nice neighborhoods).

Finally, I bought 2.5G kegs from AIH. brand new for $75. I love them. Morebeer has 2.6G topedo kegs for $80 new.
I have several of the AiH kegs and you really can't beat them for the price.

Had no idea that the "not nice neighborhood" thing was common. I thought it was just my crappy luck, lol.
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Offline kgs

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Re: Small kegging setup
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2015, 03:58:56 PM »
I recommend a 5# tank (or bigger) even with small kegs.  The price to fill a tank is about the same regardless of size and the places you have to drive to get co2 can be pretty far (not usually nice neighborhoods).

Finally, I bought 2.5G kegs from AIH. brand new for $75. I love them. Morebeer has 2.6G topedo kegs for $80 new.
I have several of the AiH kegs and you really can't beat them for the price.

Had no idea that the "not nice neighborhood" thing was common. I thought it was just my crappy luck, lol.

Thanks for the help. In my town, AirGas is not in such a bad location either in distance or "nice"-ness (though where I get my propane could qualify). I'll call them and see what the options are before spending $ on a new tank. I can still see the paintball option for taking beer places -- with a small keg, it would eliminate the need to fill anything else.
K.G. Schneider
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Offline tommymorris

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Small kegging setup
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2015, 04:12:24 PM »
I recommend a 5# tank (or bigger) even with small kegs.  The price to fill a tank is about the same regardless of size and the places you have to drive to get co2 can be pretty far (not usually nice neighborhoods).

Finally, I bought 2.5G kegs from AIH. brand new for $75. I love them. Morebeer has 2.6G topedo kegs for $80 new.
I have several of the AiH kegs and you really can't beat them for the price.

Had no idea that the "not nice neighborhood" thing was common. I thought it was just my crappy luck, lol.

Thanks for the help. In my town, AirGas is not in such a bad location either in distance or "nice"-ness (though where I get my propane could qualify). I'll call them and see what the options are before spending $ on a new tank. I can still see the paintball option for taking beer places -- with a small keg, it would eliminate the need to fill anything else.

To be fair, I didn't mean dangerous bad neighborhood. I should be more politically correct. Airgas and the like are usually in industrial settings nearer their customers. Nice neighborhoods are often set a ways away from such places.

For taking kegs on the road I have one of these:
http://www.northernbrewer.com/soda-keg-co2-charger?gclid=CPTd2MS-hsoCFYwvgQodMcEJKg

I wish I had one of these:
http://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/minireg.htm

Both use small disposable co2 cartridges.

Offline beersk

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Re: Small kegging setup
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2015, 05:21:58 PM »
Looks like you got a good game plan, kgs. AiH kegs are good. I don't think you'll need keg lube, especially with new kegs. Plus, keg lube is a pain the a$$ to clean off.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Small kegging setup
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2015, 05:38:39 PM »

Looks like you got a good game plan, kgs. AiH kegs are good. I don't think you'll need keg lube, especially with new kegs. Plus, keg lube is a pain the a$$ to clean off.
I disagree on the keg lube. While it may not be needed for a brand new keg on the lid, it is a smart idea to use it on the post rings. Adding lube to the post ring will extend their life, keep them from getting tweaked which could cause a leak, and makes it easier to remove when a keg is kicked.

It is also smart to use it on the dip tube rings when rebuilding kegs.

With keg lube, a little goes a long way. I use about a 1/2 pea amount on lid rings and just a tiny little bit on the finger tip for the posts.

Offline kgs

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Re: Small kegging setup
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2015, 08:15:45 PM »

Looks like you got a good game plan, kgs. AiH kegs are good. I don't think you'll need keg lube, especially with new kegs. Plus, keg lube is a pain the a$$ to clean off.
I disagree on the keg lube. While it may not be needed for a brand new keg on the lid, it is a smart idea to use it on the post rings. Adding lube to the post ring will extend their life, keep them from getting tweaked which could cause a leak, and makes it easier to remove when a keg is kicked.

It is also smart to use it on the dip tube rings when rebuilding kegs.

With keg lube, a little goes a long way. I use about a 1/2 pea amount on lid rings and just a tiny little bit on the finger tip for the posts.

Fortunately, aside from washers and clamps, this is the least expensive part of my "git list." But I appreciate both points of view, and the suggestions about the AIH kegs. (And I don't disagree about the "neighborhood" aspect of where gases are sold... there is a reason there aren't lots of home-sweet-homes near those companies.)
K.G. Schneider
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Small kegging setup
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2015, 09:23:42 PM »
If you have a Cintas in your town, they'll do CO2 fill ups, I think I pay like $10 for my 5 lb. Also, regarding the paintball tanks I would look into it further. I think I remember reading that they aren't the same quality inside the tank and can lead to sanitary issues.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Small kegging setup
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2016, 02:41:15 PM »
I have a 5# tank at home for my keezer and force carbonating, and I use the small charger that runs on the disposable paintball-sized CO2 cartridges for bringing a keg to parties, tailgating, etc. I think that's a better way to go rather than compromising and getting a smaller tank that isn't really ideal for either situation.

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Offline beersk

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Re: Small kegging setup
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2016, 02:01:07 PM »

Looks like you got a good game plan, kgs. AiH kegs are good. I don't think you'll need keg lube, especially with new kegs. Plus, keg lube is a pain the a$$ to clean off.
I disagree on the keg lube. While it may not be needed for a brand new keg on the lid, it is a smart idea to use it on the post rings. Adding lube to the post ring will extend their life, keep them from getting tweaked which could cause a leak, and makes it easier to remove when a keg is kicked.

It is also smart to use it on the dip tube rings when rebuilding kegs.

With keg lube, a little goes a long way. I use about a 1/2 pea amount on lid rings and just a tiny little bit on the finger tip for the posts.
Okay. I think I will heed your advice to use them on post orings as it does often get to be difficult to remove the disconnects after a month.

I just picked up a couple of 2.5 gallon kegs from AiH. Excited to get some small batches going here myself.
die Schönheit der bier...

Jesse