Membership questions? Log in issues? Email

Author Topic: Recommendations for buying a keg setup  (Read 3119 times)

Offline pinnah

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1323
  • Wesloper, CO
Recommendations for buying a keg setup
« on: February 07, 2011, 11:52:31 am »
OK, I am ready.  I have held out a ridiculously long time,
but am super sick of the bottles, and the wait.

So I thought I would ask here for advise on where to buy.

I was looking at Midwest, they have a bunch of options and seem reasonable,
but there are likely other places you might direct me to?

I am thinking that new kegs are $hiney but not worth the coin,
is that true?  Or are used kegs just not reliable?

Right now, I really don't care about a fancy setup.
I do have a spare fridge in the shop, but won't mind opening the door and using picnic taps...

I would probably get three kegs to start if that matters.

Thanks for the advise.

Offline theDarkSide

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 3041
  • Derry, NH
Re: Recommendations for buying a keg setup
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 12:00:53 pm »
I got my initial system from ( 2 keg systems with TapRite regulator ) and have been extremely satified with it.

Additional kegs and items have been purchased from Northern Brewer, Brewmasters Warehouse, Morebeer, and Austin Homebrew Supply.  Basically went with the one that I could get the best deal with for what I was buying a the time.

Pull the will hurt at first but you won't regret it.

As far as new vs used, I haven't had any issues with my used kegs.  Just make sure you have some keg lube and spare o-ring sets for them.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 12:02:50 pm by theDarkSide »
Seacoast Homebrew Club - Portsmouth, NH
AHA Member
Stephen Mayo

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8017
  • Ego ceruisam ad bibere cervisiam
Re: Recommendations for buying a keg setup
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2011, 12:31:35 pm »
I believe I got my 5# tank and regulator from Keg Connection back in 07. Still use cobra taps.

Used kegs are perfectly OK but refurbished are a bit better. Most of them have dents and scratches anyway. A refurbished shouldn't give you problems the first time you use it and a plain old used keg may need some repairs right off the bat. Brand new is nice if you don't mind the price! Think they are now being fabricated in China...

IIRC a used keg for $40 is decent. KC is offering free o-rings so they probably need replacing anyway.

Good luck. Do yourself a favor and take the plunge!
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Laws are spider-webs, which catch the little flies, but cannot hold the big ones. -Anacharsis

Offline bluesman

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8825
  • Delaware
Re: Recommendations for buying a keg setup
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2011, 12:38:28 pm »
MLHBS has used kegs and alot of them for $47.50 which I think is high right now. I was able to get used kegs for $16/ea a few years ago but the laws of supply and demand have taken over now.

That being said, I have been looking for used kegs and the cheapest I've seen lately is $40 shipped. However it is a crap shoot as far as quality goes from my experience and I have gotten some pretty shabby kegs over the years.

So I think I am going to pay the extra bucks at MLHBS and get some of their used kegs. This way I can pick and choose the better kegs they have on hand. Some are better than others and they are all pressure tested and have all new o-rings.

Ron Price

Offline pinnah

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1323
  • Wesloper, CO
Re: Recommendations for buying a keg setup
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2011, 01:25:07 pm »
Thanks very much folks!  That was way too easy. 8)
Hopefully my luck will be good with the kegs I get!


Offline tumarkin

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 666
Re: Recommendations for buying a keg setup
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2011, 01:26:03 pm »
used kegs are fine, I wouldn't pay the extra for new unless you want a 2.5 or 3 gal keg & can't find it used. as bluesman says, the local price may be higher but if you can cherry pick the ones you like, it may be worth it. especially if they are replacing the o-ring gaskets out front. if at all possible, you really want them pressure tested and holding pressure. that should eliminate the ones with bent rims on the lid, etc. replacing the rubber is not big deal.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline oscarvan

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1707
Re: Recommendations for buying a keg setup
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2011, 06:12:44 pm »
They're all within a few $$ of each other, go for the sale coupon if you can get one.....Used is fine, make sure you get an O-ring set with it. Then again, Yesterday I realized I've been using one keg for weeks and forgot to change the rubber.....just the way I picked it up at the LHBS.

Never bottled.... wouldn't know where to start.....sort of.  ;)
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline gsandel

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 341
    • On Beer
Re: Recommendations for buying a keg setup
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2011, 08:59:45 pm »
I just completed my first round of initial purchases....(you know, you never really finish)....and my advice in three words.

Craigslist, craigslist, craigslist.

It takes longer, but boy oh boy is it satisfying.  l purchased a chest freezer last year, and bought the love controller from McMaster Carr.  The controller costs as much as the freezer, but I used that as a fermentation chamber for a year.

I found an awesome deal on craigslist for a keggerator that had a 1930's fridge.  Old guy an hour out of town was selling it for $100.  Fridge, 20# co2 tank (still certified) half full, regulator, empty keg shell, sanke tap, faucet and fittings.  I sold the fridge for $50.  I found an ad on craigslist for someone wanting to trade a corny for a sanke 1/2 bbl keg and bought a second keg from the guy for $30 (so $30 plus an old Coors keg for two ball lock cornys).  I also bought a keg from the LHBS ($45) and all new fittings and hoses (spent $100 there with the co2 manifold).

But, if I had to do it again, I would do it all the same, except maybe not buy the lhbs keg and fittings.

Also, buying used cornys from other homebrewers mean that they are likely clean and ready to go (your milage may vary), but when you buy used from a homebrew shop, they smell and have soda syrup in them....most homebrewers even ones giving up on the hobby have decent habits.

Oh, and I found that Austin Homebrew has Perlicks on sale for $22 as well.....I have been putting this purchase off, I need to buy them, unless a deal comes on craigslist.

So, good luck, and if you can, be patient.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 10:01:27 pm by gsandel »
You wouldn't believe the things I've seen...

Offline upperbocobrewers

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Recommendations for buying a keg setup
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2011, 01:31:26 pm »
I also had good success with buying my initial one-keg setup from Keg Connection. They seem to have excellent prices, the shipping was fast and I haven't had any problems with the system for over a year now. Lord help you, though, if you need any customer service or a custom order. Here is my recent experience with trying to get everything to add a 2nd keg: I can't find exactly what I need as a package on the website so I call them. They say 'sorry we can't help you right now, can you send customer service an email describing what you need?' When I received the not-very-prompt email reply, it said "You will need to call to place this order over the phone" When I called, the guy who answered said "sorry, we are all on lunch right now so we can't help you..."  When I calmly explained that I would just skip placing an order with them b/c of the run-around, he didn't seem to care much.
 Long story short, my next trip to the homebrew store included the purchase of some overpriced hoses and fittings but the customer service at Hop-to-It was great. Get what you pay for?? maybe so