Home brew keg kit

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by Sixam2, Mar 25, 2013.

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  1. Sixam2

    Sixam2 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2013 Washington

    I'm done bottling.. Going to start kegging my brews... I've seen kits from $150 - $250 for complete set
    I have absolutely no idea what to buy, or who to buy it from.. Any recommendations ?
    I want to make sure and get decent equipment as I will be brewing 5 gallon batches often..
  2. warchez

    warchez Aspirant (213) Oct 19, 2004 Massachusetts

    The first thing I recommend is consider where you'll get your CO2 tank refilled first. Around me I could only find swap facilities. This is where you bring your empty tank and they trade it for a filled one. If this is all you can find around you for a fresh supply of CO2, you'll want to avoid buying into a kegging package that includes a shiney new tank. I learned that the hard way.
    You still need to "buy into" the tank at your gas supplier, but its a one time payment sort of like a lease. Then its cheaper every time you fill up (actually 'swap up'). It costs me about $11 for the fill...I mean swap.
  3. Sixam2

    Sixam2 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2013 Washington

    Thanks. I have a swap place for tanks.. Makes it much easier I'm sure..
  4. OddNotion

    OddNotion Devotee (478) Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    The swap place by me is such a ripoff but the fill place is kinda far away and has bad hours for me. I will be trying to buy a big tank soon and hopefully not have to fill up that often.

    If you want to keg you will need a way to keep that beer cold meaning that you either need to buy a kegerator or build one yourself.
  5. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (300) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    the all included complete set-up deals from the big homebrew online shops aren't all that great a deal.

    first, as already posted, plan to spend alot of money for the initial co2 tank. a 20# tank is more expensive to buy initially, but refills are about $3 more than the 5# tank, and 20# will last forever and a day. and don't buy a new tank.

    don't buy new kegs unless you want to spend twice the money for shiny. $45 or $50 plus $2.50 for new o-rings or $100+ for new. you can literally buy two used for the cost of one new keg. after you replace the o-rings, they are identical. and used kegs look just fine. pretty much all used kegs are the same, you can buy on price. they seem to be really competitively priced. having a spare set of o-rings is a good idea.

    micromatic.com has all the info on regulators and decent prices. i recommend staying away from the cheapest regulator you can find. you don't need the top of the line either, but very cheap regulators will fail, often, accuracy is questionable and this isn't a place when saving $15 is worth it.

    don't forget to have star-san, oxyclean or whatever you will be using to clean and sanitize.

    you'll need a temperature controlled fridge. temperature accuracy is important, so consider an outboard temp controller if you dont already have one.

    will you be using a picnic tap or a real faucet? go with the faucet if you can set it up though a picnic tap is ok for now. soon enough you'll want to upgrade.

    edit- this post wil end up in the kegging forum. you'll get decent experienced help over there.
  6. Sixam2

    Sixam2 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2013 Washington

    I have been looking for fridges on CL... Thought that would be easiest.. I think one of those taller dorm room mini fridges would work.. I need to measure.. You just drill some holes in it right because the Co2 is always hooked up ?
  7. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (300) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    a chest freezer is ideal. dorm fridges have a hump in the back limiting floor space and an ice chest up top limiting height. a dorm fridge can be modified if you are careful but it is alot of work, even if you can squeeze in a corny keg.

    a small chest freezer is ideal as it allows you to add some kegs in the future (you will add kegs in the future) and you can make a keezer no hassle. this allows you to have faucets, drip tray if you like, wood trim... or just a modest appliance that works perfectly. keezers will also allow for a commercial sixtel.
    OddNotion likes this.
  8. Sixam2

    Sixam2 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2013 Washington

    Awesome.. Thank you. The more I search this forum the more info I've found..
    I am in the kegging area, and there's a plethora of advice. It's what I love about BA
  9. OddNotion

    OddNotion Devotee (478) Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Take a look there and look over at homebrewtalk as they have a lot of threads about the build of all different types of kegerators/keezers/fridges/mini fridges. More info out there than you could possibly imagine.
  10. mugs1789

    mugs1789 Initiate (184) Dec 6, 2005 Maryland

    I bought mine from Midwest a few years ago. It came with one used keg, hardware, regulator, a 5#CO2 tank, and tubing/tap already assembled. I think I added a set of o-rings and had to get the tank filled locally. I have since added a splitter and another keg for serving (as well as backup kegs) so if I were to do it again, I would start with a 2 keg setup for serving. I don't bother with multiple regulators. I am happy to serve everything at the same PSI. I like my setup, though. I serve from picnic taps sitting in my keezer. I don't have fancy taps and didn't do any modifications to my 5.0 sq. ft freezer other than the plug-in thermostat.

    The Midwest kit came with a shiny, new aluminum CO2 tank. If you do exchanges at your local supplier, you will probably give away your shiny new tank and receive an old steel tank in its place. It will work just the same but it caused me great mental anguish giving away something new and shiny in exchange for something old and dirty.

    Other vendors mix and match their kits differently. Some don't have used kegs anymore so they charge for new ones. Some don't include kegs at all. Some don't include CO2 tanks so they charge you less but you need to buy your own. Generally, used kegs will cost about $50 these days and a new set of o-rings another $5. A 5# tank will cost about $75 bucks. It will cost between $12 and $30 to fill / exchange it.

    Like I said, I bought from Midwest. People say good things about Micromatic. I'm sure the other big HB supply stores have mostly the same products. A few dollars extra for service (somebody you can call on the phone for explanations and help) may be worth the price when you're starting out.
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