Author Topic: AIH 2.5 gal ball lock system w/ picnic tap opinions?  (Read 868 times)

Offline jeeyeop

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AIH 2.5 gal ball lock system w/ picnic tap opinions?
« on: January 11, 2016, 09:20:07 PM »
So after much deliberation I've decided this looks like the best starter kit for me:

http://www.homebrewing.org/25-Gallon-Ball-Lock-Keg-System-w-Picnic-Tap-New-AIH-Keg-1_p_5133.html
     this plus one of their 5lb co2 tanks for $65

I was originally thinking of getting a refurbished 5 gallon from AIH, an micromatic premium dual guage reg, and a tank from a local store, but then I started wondering about all the hassle for a first timer to find the right tubing, disconnects, worm clamps, etc.

Looking at the product in the link, do you guys see any drawbacks or issues with the quality of some of the products within the system? also:

-yes 2.5 gallons is small, but I was only doing 3 gallon batches to start with so I can brew weekly and finish my beer in a timely manner :p

-would anyone suggest I go with the faucet adapter kit instead? http://www.homebrewing.org/25-Gallon-Ball-Lock-Keg-System-w-Faucet-Adapter-New-AIH-Keg-2_p_5984.html

Offline narcout

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Re: AIH 2.5 gal ball lock system w/ picnic tap opinions?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2016, 09:35:27 PM »
Looking at the product in the link, do you guys see any drawbacks or issues with the quality of some of the products within the system?

I think 4 feet of beverage tubing will be too short to properly balance your system; it depends on your serving pressure.  It's an easy fix with some additional tubing though.

-would anyone suggest I go with the faucet adapter kit instead? http://www.homebrewing.org/25-Gallon-Ball-Lock-Keg-System-w-Faucet-Adapter-New-AIH-Keg-2_p_5984.html

I've never understood how you can balance a draft system with one of those things. 
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone

Offline jeeyeop

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Re: AIH 2.5 gal ball lock system w/ picnic tap opinions?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2016, 09:43:30 PM »
yeah I was curious too how the adapter would work

as for serving pressure, I'm still new to all of this, but if I adjust serving pressure lower, wouldn't it balance with a shorter tubing length? If not, what length should I go for?


Offline erockrph

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Re: AIH 2.5 gal ball lock system w/ picnic tap opinions?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2016, 09:54:37 PM »
I have six 2.5 gallon kegs from AiH and recommend them highly. Unless this is going to be your only keg I'd recommend just buying a 100 foot length of beverage hose and cutting what you need. Ten feet is a good length for a picnic tap, IMO.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 09:56:25 PM by erockrph »
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Offline jeeyeop

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Re: AIH 2.5 gal ball lock system w/ picnic tap opinions?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2016, 10:11:11 PM »
appreciate the feedback, I went ahead and placed my order.  I probably will eventually expand, but I have a store like 8 miles away I can visit. I'll probably play around with the 4 foot tubing first then change it once I'm comfortable with removing each little piece. It probably isn't as complicated as I'm thinking it is, but it'll be easier for me once I have it in hand. Glad to hear the 2.5 gallons are high quality! I hope the regulator is good too, it's the main reason I didn't buy the 3 gallon system from northern brewers.

Offline beersk

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Re: AIH 2.5 gal ball lock system w/ picnic tap opinions?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2016, 11:15:36 PM »
The kegs are good. One of mine that I just received had a little scratch in it though, deeper than it should be, so I'm sending it back. They're out of stock on the 2.5's for the moment, but the rep said they'd have more in on the 25th (hopefully). Definitely the way to go for smaller batches.
I think you'd be able to balance the lines plenty with picnic taps if it's 4 ft. Keep the freezer or beer at 36-38F (you can always let the beer warm up if it's too cold), have the regulator set to about 8-10 PSI. Should be fine. A friend of mine does this. But 5ft would be a safe bet.
die Schönheit der bier...

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Offline tonyccopeland

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Re: AIH 2.5 gal ball lock system w/ picnic tap opinions?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2016, 11:40:53 PM »
appreciate the feedback, I went ahead and placed my order.  I probably will eventually expand, but I have a store like 8 miles away I can visit. I'll probably play around with the 4 foot tubing first then change it once I'm comfortable with removing each little piece. It probably isn't as complicated as I'm thinking it is, but it'll be easier for me once I have it in hand. Glad to hear the 2.5 gallons are high quality! I hope the regulator is good too, it's the main reason I didn't buy the 3 gallon system from northern brewers.
The gadget section of this months Zymurgy has a section that uses weed whacker string to increase line restriction as well.

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Offline tommymorris

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Re: AIH 2.5 gal ball lock system w/ picnic tap opinions?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2016, 02:00:22 AM »

The kegs are good. One of mine that I just received had a little scratch in it though, deeper than it should be, so I'm sending it back. They're out of stock on the 2.5's for the moment, but the rep said they'd have more in on the 25th (hopefully). Definitely the way to go for smaller batches.
I think you'd be able to balance the lines plenty with picnic taps if it's 4 ft. Keep the freezer or beer at 36-38F (you can always let the beer warm up if it's too cold), have the regulator set to about 8-10 PSI. Should be fine. A friend of mine does this. But 5ft would be a safe bet.
I have used 10' lines since I started kegging 5-ish years ago. Last weekend when changing lines I decided to cut an old one in half and see what would happen. My measuring was off so I ended up with a 6' and 4' piece. To my surprise the 6' line works just fine. I didn't try the 4' line.

I am using a 2.5G keg with 6' line at 11 PSI. I can serve a beer with 1/3" of head.

Offline beersk

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Re: AIH 2.5 gal ball lock system w/ picnic tap opinions?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2016, 03:54:16 PM »

The kegs are good. One of mine that I just received had a little scratch in it though, deeper than it should be, so I'm sending it back. They're out of stock on the 2.5's for the moment, but the rep said they'd have more in on the 25th (hopefully). Definitely the way to go for smaller batches.
I think you'd be able to balance the lines plenty with picnic taps if it's 4 ft. Keep the freezer or beer at 36-38F (you can always let the beer warm up if it's too cold), have the regulator set to about 8-10 PSI. Should be fine. A friend of mine does this. But 5ft would be a safe bet.
I have used 10' lines since I started kegging 5-ish years ago. Last weekend when changing lines I decided to cut an old one in half and see what would happen. My measuring was off so I ended up with a 6' and 4' piece. To my surprise the 6' line works just fine. I didn't try the 4' line.

I am using a 2.5G keg with 6' line at 11 PSI. I can serve a beer with 1/3" of head.
Yeah, I don't like all that tubing. I feel it's more for beer to pick up off flavors from possibly unclean or old lines and it's more to keep clean. 5-6 feet I've felt is enough.
die Schönheit der bier...

Jesse