As part of my growing obsession with brewing various Franconian beer styles (Rauchbier, Dunkel, Schwarzbier, Kellerbier, etc.) I have purchased a German gravity keg.
Unlike English casks, which are relatively popular in the US and are sold through US retailers, this was the only model I could find that didn't require importing a keg from Germany, the Schaefer Party Keg, sold by the North American division of a German keg maker: https://schaefercontainers.com/products/kegs/party-keg/https://www.keg.schaefer-container-systems.com/fileadmin/Redakteur/KEG/PDF/party-keg-201605en.pdf
As you can see, the beauty of this model is the "Bavarian bunghole" for "bayerischer Anstich" or a gravity pour.
It is 20 liters (5.3 gallons) and the standard option for the North American market is the Sanke D fitting on top. This is where my questions begin. I know you can remove the spear and fill the keg that way (and that is probably how I will clean it), but for closed transfers you need to go in through the spear. I bought a coupler (this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E5WWNT0/
) and these Sanke to ball lock converters (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FT3I0PE/
The question is this, if I have the ball lock converters in place, do I need the plastic check valve on the gas in and the ball on the line out?
My basic goal is "real lager" (the lager version of real ale, AKA traditional naturally carbonated lager). I plan to do a closed transfer when the beer is mostly done fermenting out of my Speidel fermenter into the keg through beer out port and then attach a spunding valve to the gas in port so it can naturally carbonate while it finishes fermenting.
I'm pretty sure the check valve will prevent the excess pressure from release out through the spunding valve so I think that has to be removed. And I think the ball in the beer out line will prevent me from pushing the beer into the keg. If I have the ball lock adapters on, my intuition is that I don't ever need the check valve or ball (it's not like corny kegs need either of those things). Can anyone think of a reason why I might need them?
When it comes to serving, I'm gonna follow these instructions:http://www.bunitedint.com/information/collections/3/gravity_guide/
The keg comes with an air inlet valve for venting the keg (which you can also do with the coupler, but that won't look as cool).
If anyone wants to see it in person I will be serving a Kellerbier at NHC in Providence in a month, either at club night or maybe during the social hour that my club has signed up for. Hope it works as I won't have time for a test beer before then. Wish me luck!