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New to Kegging/Kegerator Questions

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by hopest, Apr 1, 2013.

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  1. hopest

    hopest Jan 8, 2007 Rhode Island

    So I've been brewing for a while and am finally making the swich to kegs. Just can't take bottle washing any more.

    I have:
    1 large white 90s kitchen fridge from my friendly neighbor
    1 pinlock keg from LHBS
    2 Quick disconnects for air/beer lines
    1 Air line
    5 gallons of Bavarian Hefe in fermentation

    I'm putting in an order now for a faucet, shank, BLC, beer line and new O Rings.

    Is there anything I'm forgetting?

    And does anyone have suggestions on faucet types? Should I get a perlick, and if so does SS vs brass matter? What about the creamer thing?

    Thanks in advance
  2. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    CO2 tank (how were you planning to dispense your beer?). Many people make do with 5#. But, unless you plan to put it in the fridge or are really cramped for space, there's really no point in getting a small tank. I have 2 20# tanks. Each is a bit smaller than a corny keg. The money you save on the first fill-up will easily cover the difference in the price of the bigger tank, if there is one. Start with Craigslist for a used tank (patience is definitely your friend here). You can also occasionally find a good deal on ebay.

    Perlick is definitely the better choice, and it really doesn't cost that much more than a good quality traditional rear sealing faucet. Brass looks nicer, IMO, but SS doesn't tarnish (FWIW, mine are SS). The creamer thing is nice, but it's easy enough to finesse a head using a non-creamer.
  3. DougC123

    DougC123 Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    You will need a regulator. Dual gage will show you the tank volume and the line pressure. You should also grab a small diameter brush for cleaning out the faucets. There is no substitute for stainless faucets, they are the best. Forward closers are better in my opinion, they don't get sticky like rear closers. I have Perlicks also.
  4. hopest

    hopest Jan 8, 2007 Rhode Island

    Right, got the CO2, forgot to list that, and a regulator. It's a 5lb that I got off craigslist, and there's a place close by that will refill.

    Thanks, I'll put in the order for the faucet today.
  5. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    not to pick nits, but, to dispel a common misconception, a pressure gauge will not tell you how much CO2 is in the tank. It will tell you only if there's liquid in there. For all practical purposes, it's a binary gauge - yes or no. The only instrument that will tell you how much is left is a scale (a bathroom scale is good enough for this).
  6. billandsuz

    billandsuz Sep 1, 2004 New York

    i'll see your one nit and raise you one.

    the secondary pressure gauge will indicate the pressure inside the tank, before it has been regulated down to the out flow pressure. but yeah, that is essentialy the same thing you state, as it only tells you if there is liquid in the tank and will NOT indicate how much liquid remains. its not like a fuel gauge in your car, but maybe like the low fuel warning light.
  7. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    I was trying to come up with a good analogy. Thanks for that one.
  8. PortLargo

    PortLargo Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    1 large white 90s kitchen fridge from my friendly neighbor

    Sounds like you have the space, so it's almost impossible to stop with one keg . . . go ahead and start thinking about how you will expand. The biggest concern is how to pressurize multiple kegs. It's fairly easy to split off a gas line for an additional keg, but it's almost certain you will want to have more than one keg pressure. The hefe will be at a higher pressure than most anything else you will brew. This will require a secondary regulator (or two, or three).

    I also like the primary regulator with a wye and two shut-off valves. This doesn't give you multiple keg pressures, but allows you to have an auxiliary CO2 output. It's cheaper to get this on initial purchase than upgrading later. (Once you accept your addiction, the process goes smoother o_O)

    Ditto on the ss Perlicks . . . and spend the extra few bucks for ss shanks . . . respect your beer.

    When you order your gaskets, washers, hose clamps, swivel nuts, etc, go ahead and get at least twice what you need. This is the least frustrating way to start out . . . you will end up using them all. I keep an extra set of corny QD's and end up using them often.
  9. hopest

    hopest Jan 8, 2007 Rhode Island

    On the CO2 tank, I have a 5LB but my brother in law has a 20Lb which I could borrow indefinitely. If I'm going to get the 5Lb filled, I should probably get both filled right? Or even just skip the 5 and use the 20? Also, any idea what a 5lb should weigh full? I'll weigh it tonight when I get home. I bought it used, so no idea if its full or not.

    To PortLargo's comment: if I go the multiple kegs route, would I just use the two different CO2 tanks? I ordered the 5" ss shank, and extra gaskets etc. The Pin Lock o rings were suprisingly hard to find. Seems everything is ball lock.
  10. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    The more tanks the better. You'll want a backup. A full 5lb tank will weigh the tare (empty) weight, plus 5 lbs. Sorry I can't be more definitive, but it varies. The tare weight should be stamped/etched on the tank.

    For two kegs (for example), most people would use a 'dual primary' regulator with a single CO2 tank. Or a single primary regulator, with a splitter. The former allows different pressures for each keg. The latter does not.

    My serving keezer usually contains 3 kegs. I use a dual primary regulator, and one of those primaries has a two-way splitter, for a total of three gas lines. Two of these gas lines (the ones coming off the splitter) have to be at the same pressure. The one that does not come off the splitter is independent. This is all with one CO2 tank.
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